Over the years, I have often written about faith — particularly my own. Ever since I became a Christian, I have tried to live a faith-driven life. Whatever my needs have been, I prayed about them and believed my prayers would be answered.
I was a fairly new believer when I applied for a job at a local department store. Desegregation in employment was a new thing in the South. Recently widowed with two young children, I was working as a maid in private homes at the time, and needed a job with benefits. I heard that the store was hiring black clerks and decided to apply. I was interviewed and given a simple math test. I had already prayed that I would get the job, and took the test with confidence. Later, I waited to hear from the store letting me know I had the job. When I didn’t hear back, I inquired only to learn that I had not passed the simple math test. What? I knew that one-fourth of a dollar was a quarter. My heart sank. My faith was shattered and I was embarrassed, too.
I tried to make some sense of the matter. God had answered me before. Why not now? I questioned God on His decision not to allow me to get the job. I prayed for more faith. Meanwhile, I kept on looking for a better job. One Sunday, while searching the want ads, I saw the ad for a file clerk position at the Miami Herald. I wrote a letter of application, got an appointment for an interview and was later hired as the first black woman in the Miami Herald news department.
God hadn’t forgotten me after all. And He works in mysterious ways. While I was only a file clerk in the newsroom library, the job opened up other opportunities for me. I enrolled in night classes at Miami Dade College. l met the late Fred Shaw, the Herald’s book editor, and who also was the college’s vice president of development. He became my friend and mentor. He had encouraged me to study journalism.
God hadn’t not answered my prayers when I didn’t get the job at the department store. He simply had something better for me. Looking back at how all the pieces seemed to fall in place for me, I started to understand what faith is. It is, as the Bible says, “... the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…”
Today, our faith as a nation is being tested. There is strife and bitterness on all sides and it is tearing our country apart. We must pray for everyone in government, for the leaders of our country, and the world. And we must believe that God is in control, no matter how bad it looks. Our American government has been challenged before. We got through because I believe somebody had enough faith to pray for our nation. And God heard and answered. I have enough faith to believe He will do it again.
NEW UNITARIAN LEADER
Neighbors in Religion sends out a warm welcome to the Rev. Tom Capo. the new spiritual leader at Unitarian Universalist Congregation in South Miami.
Capo was installed on Aug. 1, and is known for his “long-standing reputation” as an activist for just causes. He said he was invited to Miami to work with the congregation “.on specific developmental areas. One of those is to align the church with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and its anti-oppression and anti-racism efforts.”
Capo was ordained a UU minister in 2013, and has served congregations in Beaumont and Huntsville, Texas; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and in Naperville, Illinois. While in Naperville, Capo went into Chicago to work with African-American Evangelical congregations to learn what they were doing to support the youth in the inner city. He said that experience helped him and his congregation to work with the schools in the Naperville community to help stem the school-to-prison pipeline by providing internships and mentoring programs.
“That work came out of recognizing the gaps in services and the desire of the congregation to serve,” Capo said.
Capo spent the first weeks at the South Miami church getting to know the congregation and the community it serves. Recently, he and some of the congregants of the church spoke out against the privately run Homestead detention center that has housed detained immigrant children.
“You have a number of people in the community who are highly motivated … if we can pull all that energy together in one direction, then we could make a real difference,” Capo said.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS DAY
The Church of God Tabernacle (True Holiness) at 1351 NW 67th St. in Liberty City will have a Family and Friends Day worship service at 10 a.m. Sunday (Sept. 29). And at 7 p.m., there will be a Holy Communion and Foot-washing service. The community is invited to both services. Bishop Walter H. Richardson is the pastor and overseer..
BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS
Trinity Cathedral will have its annual Blessing of the Animals during the 8 a.m. , 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. services on Oct. 6. The services are in honor of Saint Francis, the patron of animals and all animal companions (or stand-in animals, like teddy bears) are welcome.
All well-mannered dogs (on leashes), cats (in carriers) and other secured critters are welcome to attend the services inside the cathedral with their humans. The blessing will take place following the Sign of Peace.
Trinity Cathedral is at 464 NE 16th St.
SERVICE TO HONOR POPE
“John XXIII, a Pope for All Seasons” will be presented by the New Beginnings Ministry at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, from 9:45 a.m. to noon Oct. 12.
The service will honor the pope, who called the Second Vatican Council and who led an extraordinary life. Everyone is welcome to attend. The church is at 9200 SW 107th Ave.
CHURCH OF THE INCARNATION
The Church of the Incarnation at 1835 NW 54th St., invites the community to its Third Annual Family and Friends Worship Service set for 9 a.m. Oct 13.
Experience the inspirational preaching of the Rev. Roberta “Bobbie” Knowles and enjoy beautiful music by the St. Cecilia’s Choir, the Men’s Choir and the Liturgical Dancers. A reception will follow the service.