“And a little child shall lead them...”
That passage of scripture from the New Testament in the Bible was never more evident to me than last Friday, when I was invited by Dr. Mary Hylor to visit her school. “We have a surprise for you,” said Hylor, a first-grade teacher at Beacon Hill Prep School in Miami Gardens.
When I got to the school, I was met with the sounds of Caribbean drums, as Dr. John Lester II, the school’s musical director, led his band in the foot-stamping sounds. It was a two-fold celebration — of Hispanic Month and the ongoing Haitian relief drive. I was the school’s special guest and was presented with great music and a bouquet of white lilies.
Hylor had called me earlier in the week to let me know about the relief drive. Amy Sheinkopf had already sent home a notice with the children requesting canned goods and other items for the people “who have suffered terribly from this (Hurricane Matthew) disaster.”
“The children in my class were really affected by the destruction in Haiti,” Hylor told me. “One little girl in my class, Ashaira Diorat, lost an uncle and another uncle is believed to have been swept out to sea. That’s a lot for a 6-year-old to digest.”
It was because of her student’s pain that Hylor came up with the idea of a Haitian relief drive to coincide with the school’s Hispanic Month celebration.
“It’s all about teaching love to the children,” Hylor said. “Leading up to this day, the students in my class studied Haiti — where it is located on the map; about its people; and also about its hardships.
“So far, we have collected 16 boxes of food and water and clothing, including over $1,000 worth of school uniforms,” she said. “We want the children to know that this is not an ‘I’ thing. This is a ‘we’ thing. We are all in this together and we are trying to show love through our humanitarian efforts to Haiti as well as showing love to our Haitian students here at the school.
Beacon Hill School is owned by Susan Hyman, who said, “We are very proud of Dr. Hylor and her first-grade class. We have parents and families at our school who have been directly impacted, not only by Haiti’s traumatic experience but also by families and friends who live in the East Coast of the U.S. Beacon Hill has always prided itself on being a part of all of the people in the community.”
Other schools, including Holy Cross Lutheran in North Miami, have also helped in the Haiti relief effort.
FALL FESTIVAL IN CORAL GABLES
Fall means fall festival time at many of the area’s churches and houses of worship.
First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables, 536 Coral Way, will have its annual fall festival from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21. The event will feature a petting zoo, live praise music and carnival games including a duck pond, football throw, penny toss, ring toss. giant dice roll and a cake walk.
The festival is free and is the church’s community outreach to welcome people. There will also be free hot dogs, popcorn and apple slices with hot caramel.
The youth of the church will be on hand and to collect $10 donations for relief bags for Haiti.
KAVANAH LIFE MINYAN
Following its annual Sukkot celebration at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, Kavanah Life the Carlebach Minyan, which is known to blend joyous services and joy to spiritual practice with contemporary and relevant teachings that explain the deeper meaning of Jewish prayer and ritual, will celebrate Hoshana Rabbah, which means “great help,” at 9:30 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 23, on the mezzanine at 5601 Collins Ave. in Miami Beach.
The service will be led by Rabbi Sam Intrator, Mendy Carlebach, Jay Spok and Aryeh Ehrich.
Everyone is invited. Call 786-201-1677 for more information.
ETHICS, MORALITY PROGRAM
The first session of a bimonthly program on the topic of “Mussar,” the study of ethics and morality, will begin at 10:15 a.m. Oct. 29 at Temple Beth Or, 11715 SW 87th Ave.
The sessions will be conducted by Rabbi Mark Kram and will focus on making positive conscious choices and mindful actions towards oneself and others, and to minimize those traits that are less desirable.
COMMUNITY FIRESIDE GATHERING
The Bahá’í Community of Miami-Dade County will have its Community Fireside Gathering at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Miami Bahá’í Center, Suite 209, 9300 S. Dixie Hwy. The topic will be “Unity First: Why Shun Partisan Politics,” and the discussion will be led by Emmalouise St. Amand, a musician and educator currently studying at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.
The event is free and open to everyone. Light refreshments will be served following the discussion.
Also: a Community Devotional will be at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 30 at the center. Call 786-372-7909 or visit MiamiBahai.org for more information.
If your soul is aching for some good, old-fashioned preaching and testimonials, as well as some great gospel singing, you might want to check out the annual Holy Convocation celebration at The Church of God Tabernacle, 1351 NW 67th St. in Liberty City.
The Holy Convocation, is a time of celebration for all who have been born again and celebrates deliverance. Using the text from the Bible on the Jewish Passover, which celebrates the Jews’ deliverance from the bonds of Egyptian slavery, The Church of God Tabernacle celebrates freedom from the bonds of sin.
The celebration is hosted by spiritual leader and overseer Bishop Walter H. Richardson. Weekday service time is at 8 p.m. The celebration culminates on Sunday, Oct. 23, with services at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
There is no admission charge and everyone is welcome. Call 305-691-4901 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. weekdays for more information.
‘AMERICANA’ MUSIC, FOOD EVENT
The Civic Chorale of Greater Miami will present its third annual music and food event, “Americana,” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 14260 Old Cutler Rd. in Palmetto Bay.
The program will feature the music of America with guests The Mark Magellan Bluegrass Band; a post -concert reception with food, wine and line dancing.
Tickets are $25 for adults; $20 for seniors and $10 for students. Children 6 and under are admitted free. For tickets, go to www.civicchorale.info. You may purchase tickets at the door on the day of the concert.
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