It feels like spring in South Florida — and time for Lent


The weather up North — and even in some parts of the Deep South — is freezing, and there seems to be no let-up of the snow and sleet. But here in South Florida, it might as well be spring. Yep, I borrowed that last phrase from a song. But this wonderful weather we are having now really puts me in a singing mood. Hope it does the same for you, too.

Anyway, springtime also brings with it the Lenten season and Easter, which in addition to being Resurrection Sunday, also symbolizes new beginnings.

That said, churches throughout the area are having Lenten services for the next month or so. One such church is Grace Lutheran at 254 Curtiss Pkwy. in Miami Springs, which will have a midweek Lenten service each Wednesday through April 9, beginning with a simple soup and sandwich supper at 6 p.m., followed at 6:45 p.m. by Bible study in the church's social hall.

Then, at 10 a.m. March 16, the youth of the church will lead the worship service. This means the sermon, the music, the scripture reading and those serving as ushers will all be done by the youth of the church. All are welcome. The Rev. David Imhoff is pastor.

Spiritual awareness

Unity on the Bay invites the community to an event called "Living a Life of Awareness" at 6 p.m. Friday with a VIP reception honoring Don Miguel Ruiz, author and guest teacher/speaker. The presentation will follow at 7 p.m.

The event invites attendees to "discover greater spiritual freedom," as Ruiz explains how each individual can become intimately connected to his or her identity. According to Ruiz, this belief creates everyone's attachments and emotional responses, with each attachment being a limiting filter on who you think you are and what the future could hold. Ruiz teaches living free from limiting beliefs.

Ruiz, the author of Living a Life of Awareness and The Five Levels of Attachment, will draw on the wisdom of his family's tradition and the knowledge he has gained from his own personal journey.

He is said to be a gifted spiritual teacher and a lively inspirational speaker.

The event will be at Unity on the Bay, 411 NE 21st St. VIP tickets cost $70 and include the reception and preferred seating at the presentation. General admission costs $35. All tickets are available online at or at The Source Bookstore. For more information, contact Shante Haymore at shante@unityonthebay.

Chicken barbecue

When I read the press release about this event I got so-o-o-o hungry. I'm talking about the Redland Country Chicken BBQ on Saturday hosted by the men of the Silver Palm United Methodist Church at 15855 SW 248th St. (next to Redland Middle School and across the street from the Knauss Berry Farm).

This is the 40th year that the men of the church have hosted the event that benefits the church's missions. Takeout opens at 2:30 p.m. in the parking lot east of the church, and eating in starts at 4:30 p.m. and will be in the church's Fellowship Hall. The meal includes a half chicken, fresh local produce, a roll and dessert prepared by the ladies of the church.

Bob Jensen (my source) tells me that the large halves of chicken are slow-cooked over charcoal and wood for hours until they fairly fall off the bone. "The men have gotten this BBQ down to a science," he said.

The cost is $9 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets are available at the door or from the men of the church. For more information, call Red McAlister at 305-247-7409 or Jensen at 305-586-8964.

‘Kendall Brass’

Kendall United Methodist Church will present the Kendall Brass on March 16, during a 9 a.m. traditional St. Patrick's Day service. The 10-piece ensemble will perform Vaughan Williams' Rhosymedre and Percy Grainger's Irish Tune From County Derry, better known as Danny Boy.

The church is at 7600 SW 104th St. in Pinecrest. It's free and everyone is invited.

‘Swap Meet’

The 35th annual Swap Meet at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 10700 SW 56th St., will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the church. The day will include free Baptist Health screenings from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you go, you will be able to shop for articles that I am told "you can't live without" while shopping for that "bargain of the day."

In addition, the Women's Ministry of the church will be selling pork sandwiches (delicious, I am told), homemade banana bread, cookies and brownies and a lot more.

Call Jo Ann Snipes, Swap Meet chairwoman, at 305-223-4650 for more information.

‘Rock and Soul Shabbat’

The Sisterhood at Temple Beth El at 1351 S. 14th Ave. in Hollywood invites the Greater Miami community to its free Rock and Soul Shabbat at 7 p.m. Friday.

The event is presented by Cantor Manny Silver and the temple's own rock band and will feature rock, soul, jazz and gospel music. Everyone is invited.

Longtime preacher

Evangelist Essie M. Redmond will be honored during the 10 a.m. worship service at The Church of God Tabernacle in Liberty City on the occasion of her preaching anniversary.

Redmond, who has been preaching for more than 40 years, has been a member of the church since 1950, when she accepted the Lord as her personal Savior at the age of 16.

Redmond grew up in Liberty City and is a graduate of Florida International University. Now retired, she is the founder of several local private schools.

As a young married woman, Redmond and her husband, the late Wille Redmond Jr., were known as "street" missionaries because they often held street services throughout South Florida. Eventually, the two went to other states, preaching the Gospel and inviting others to accept the Lord. Her husband died in the early 1980s, but she carried on the work along with her daughter Evangelist Essie L. Baker, until recent years.

Everyone is invited to the service.

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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