Jewish New Year can be a time for new beginnings

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, also celebrates the prospects of new beginnings. So as Jews around the world and in our own community gather to celebrate the High Holy Days, Betty Horwitz, a member of Bet Shira Congregation, 7500 SW 120th St. in Pinecrest, wrote to let us know about the new beginnings at her temple.

For example: Cantor Mark Kula, who for more than 25 years, served as the temple’s cantor, is now an ordained rabbi and serves as the temple’s new spiritual leader.

And that Cantor Shiree Kidron, who join the Cantor’s Assembly only two weeks ago, is now the synagogue’s cantor, "leading us in song," Horwitz said. "She also happens to be the first woman cantor at Bet Shira."

In addition, Horwitz said the synagogue has a new director of its Jewish Learning Center (JLC), Ella Levy. "Under her direction we are implementing a new vision for the center that will expand the traditional concept of a religious school to encompass the congregation as a whole. The new JLC at Bet Shira will offer the possibility of life-long learning," Horwitz said.

Happy 100th birthday

When the Miami Dolphins or the Miami Heat are playing, Franklin Clark will tell you quickly, "Don’t call my mom and don’t try to talk to her while her teams are playing."

Clark’s mom is Fannett Clark Lyons, And on Sunday, Lyons will celebrate her 100th birthday at Mt. Hermon A.M.E. Church, where she has been a member for more than 50 years. She will be joined in the worship service honoring her by her family and many of her friends. Then, at 1 p.m., Lyons will be honored at a birthday luncheon in the Henry E. Green Community Center at the church, 17800 NW 25th Ave. in Miami Gardens.

Lyons was born in Overtown to Bahamian parents Burke and Mary Smith. She is the oldest of six children. And as was the custom in many black families back then, Lyons dropped out of school when her father died to help her mother rear her younger siblings.

She is a devoted member of her church, serving on the Deaconess Board, the Missionary Society and the Pioneers and SAM Ministries.

Longtime family friend Lorraine King said Lyons still enjoys shopping and traveling, “and she still dresses fashionably fabulous."

In addition to Franklin, the twice widowed Lyons is the mother of Leonard Clark and Rosemary Clark Bethel. Another son Marvin Clark, died several years ago.

Lyons still enjoys cooking her favorite Bahamian dishes, King said. "Her specialty is pigeon peas and rice, for which she receives many requests."

Warm birthday wishes to you Sister Lyons, from Neighbors in Religion.

Grandparents Day

A special Grandparents Day variety program will be at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, which is known as Grandparents Day, at New Way Fellowship Baptist Church at 16800 NW 22nd Ave. in Miami Gardens.

The program is to raise funds for the church’s scholarship project and will feature some of the best talent from churches in the area.

During the program, the oldest grandparent and the youngest grandparent will be awarded a monetary prize.

A highlight of the event will be a lecture/sermon presented by Deacon George L. Baldwin entitled, "Can Our Children Be Saved? And What Must the Church Do?"

The program is open to the entire community and it’s free. However a freewill offering will be accepted to benefit the scholarship project.

Health fair

Grace Lutheran Church, 254 Curtiss Parkway in Miami Springs, will have a Health Fair following the worship service on Sunday. The worship service is from 10 to 11:15 a.m. and the Health Fair will follow in the church’s social hall until 2 p.m.

The free Health Fair will include blood pressure checks, diabetes screening, skin care consultants and nutritional information.

Participants are requested to bring gently used and new shoes, which will benefit the church’s mission in Peru. Also, used eyeglasses are being requested for the Recycle for Sight project of the Miami Peruvian Lions Club. The Community Blood Mobile will be located in front of the church for those who wish to make a donation.

Following the fair, the church invites participants to "enjoy a healthy salad bar on us."

The Health Fair is in conjunction with Grace’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Sept. 7 and 8. The church joins other Lutheran churches nationwide by providing community service on this weekend.

In addition, on Saturday members of the church will participate in a Habitat For Humanity "Fix up" workday in Liberty City, while some of the youth of the church will donate their time at a local Assisted Living Facility.

The Rev. David Imhoff is pastor of Grace. For more information call the church office at 305-888-2871.

‘Comfort of Ritual’

Temple Judea in Coral Gables started its High Holidays at sundown Wednesday with a "Comfort of Ritual" theme.

According to a press release from the temple, the "Comfort of Ritual" theme refers to dozens of ritual adult education courses and scholar series that are offered throughout the year. They will be announced during High Holy Day services.

Service times for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) are:

• 10 a.m. today and throughout the day and all day Friday starting at 10 a.m.

• Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, will begin at sundown Sept. 13 . Services will continue at 10 a.m. Saturday and will last throughout the day.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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