Neighbors in Religion tips its hat to the Rev. John F. White II and the congregation at Emmanuel Temple for their efforts to make life in Miami Gardens better for the children who live in the area.
At 1 p.m. Saturday, White and the church will host the Third Annual Come Together Day, a free community festival to be at the Betty T. Ferguson Community Center, 3000 NW 199th St. in Miami Gardens.
Students who receive free or reduced lunch at public schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are eligible for the more than 1,000 free sets of school uniforms to be given away. Each eligible student will receive one free top and one free bottom. Parents or guardians must be present and show proof that their child is eligible for free or reduced lunch. The giveaway is limited to one uniform per child and three per family or household.
The event will also feature a health fair, music, games, food, fellowship and fun, said White, who with his wife Minister Maria White, founded Emanuel Temple on Easter Sunday in 2012. The congregation meets at 10 a.m. Sundays in the Florida Memorial University Chapel.
“This is what we call love out loud. We want to express the love of Jesus Christ in a tangible way by giving back to the community. We expect about 1,000 people to come out and take advantage of this give away,” White said.
John White is a native of South Florida and has been a pastor at various churches in his home state for more than a decade. So far, Emanuel Temple has distributed nearly 3,000 uniforms to local students since the event was launched three years ago.
“It is a part of our church’s foundational principal,” White said, “to be committed to tithing back into the community 10 per cent of its income from tithes and offerings.” He said Come Together Day has a budget of more than $15,000, and is the single largest activity in that effort.
“Emanuel Temple is a church, not only in the community, but one that enjoys giving back to the the community,” he said.
The church will also transport children from the Homeless Assistance Care Center, North, to receive the free uniforms and to participate in the days activities.
For more information on the church’s Come Together Day, call White at 850-212-2573.
Back to school
Palm Springs United Methodist Church at 5700 W. 12th Ave. in Hialeah will host a back-to-school Health and Wellness event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 2 in the church’s fellowship hall.
The event will feature free school immunizations for children entering kindergarten through the seventh grade, which are required for school entry; free back packs filled with school supplies and toiletries for the first 50 children in attendance, and varied health services for children and adults.
For more information, call the church office at 305-821-3232.
New novel centers
on reproductive issue
With so many single women becoming pastors now, have you ever thought about how the church would handle it if one of them ever decided to become a single mother by artificial reproductive technology?
Said Henry: “It is known that there are female clergy who have given up aspirations to have a family of their own because they are not married. Single parenting is generally frowned on by churches and can invite censure and loss of congregational membership. A female clergy becoming a single parent will likely be automatically denounced and defrocked.”
Henry said in addition, artificial reproductive technology such as artificial insemination is often rejected or greeted with suspicion by many Christians and most churches, who cite theological or ethical objections to many of such methods.
Henry’s book is called “Reverend Mother” and is a fictional story meant to explore the various scenarios that could occur and issues that may arise were a never-married woman pastor were to have a child via artificial insemination. The protagonist in the story defied the leaders in her church organization — all men — to have her baby by artificial insemination.
I am curious as to the thinking of the clergy and church-goers in the Miami-Dade/South Florida Christian community.
I welcome your thoughts on the subject. And to get Henry's book, send an email to: email@example.com.