Miami-Dade County

Bea Hines: An ‘elegant evening’ Saturday for Christian Homes for Children in Plantation

For more than 40 years, Christian Homes for Children has provided safe “homes of love” and supportive services for more than 1,176 abused and neglected children throughout the South Florida community.

On Saturday, there is something you can do to help the organization. You and your family can attend the organization's “Elegant Evening,” which will feature dining, entertainment and spiritual enrichment at its 27th annual participation dinner. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the West Broward Church of Christ, 12550 W. Broward Blvd., in Plantation.

The annual event will feature the “electrifying sounds” (I am told) of The New Faithful Few from Rockledge, Fla., as well as inspirational commentary by Jim Holway of the Latin American Mission Project. There will also be door prizes, as well as a chance to win the grand prize — a cruise for two on the MSC Divina.

Admission is $50 per person. Call Mary Menzies at 305-825-0517, or send an email to Christian Homes for Children at: for reservations and more information.

Shmear and Schmooze

Here is a two-for-one event: All single Jewish baby-boomers are invited to participate in the JSBoomers's "Shmear and Schmooze" program at Temple Israel of Greater Miami, to begin at 10:30 a.m. with socializing and refreshments in the temple's Kaplan Hall.

At 11 a.m., Rabbi Alexander Dukhovny, chief rabbi of the Progressive Jewish Congregations in Kiev and the Ukraine, will speak on “The Challenges Faced by Jewish communities in Ukraine (and What We can Learn from them).”

Dukhovny is a founder of the Progressive Jewish movement in the Ukraine,where he serves congregations throughout the region. He will discuss the current situation for Jews in his conflict-besieged homeland at the adult education program. Dukhovny's talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session and brunch for Jewish singles in their 50s and 60s.

The two events are open to the public and are being held in conjunction with the fifth annual Global Day of Jewish Learning, an international initiative designed to foster Jewish unity, empower individuals through increased Jewish knowledge, and create meaningful shared experiences.

There is a $10 suggested donation for the program and refreshments. Temple Israel of Greater Miami is at 137 NE 19th St. For more information about the program, email or call the temple at 305-573-5900.

Happy anniversary St. John’s

Warm congratulations to the congregation of St. John's On the Lake United Methodist church, which celebrates 90 years of ministry on Nov. 23.

The church, at 4760 Pine Tree Dr. in Miami Beach, is the second-oldest church in Miami Beach. It started in 1923, when a small group gathered on the second floor of Smith's Casino, which was a swimming and gathering spot for winter residents. Carol Hoffman-Guzman is responsible for the church's arts program, which has featured a variety of musical and drama programs over the years.

The church's colorful history tells of how in the early days, many of its members lived on the mainland, and came to church on one of two boats — the Lady Lou or the Dixie Bell. Some also came by automobile, crossing over the Collins wooden bridge. Attending church for the youngsters was a delight because it meant they could also swim in the casino's large indoor pool.

The church remained at the casino site for two years before moving to the second floor of the Fitch Building on Fifth Street, where the Miami Beach Post Office had the first floor.

In 1925, the Florida UMC Conference gave the congregation permission to build a new church at Sixth Street and Jefferson Ave. The new church's special feature was a lighted, revolving cross, 82 feet above the street, atop the entrance tower. The revolving cross was destroyed by the 1926 hurricane.

Until the 1950s, many church members were snowbirds, who came down for the winter to escape the cold in the Northeast. Many were affluent and owned small but comfortable second homes or apartments on the rapidly developing Miami Beach. At Sunday services some members enjoyed displaying their finery, including fur stoles.

In the 1940s, the church was turned into a Jewish temple and eventually was demolished. Later, the congregation was given some property by S.S. Kresge ( who started Kresge's Five and Dime stores). But when a neighbor living near the property on Pine Tree Drive complained about having a church next door, Kresge bought their house and donated it to the church for a parsonage.

A lot has changed since the early days of the church. Today, the congregation is much more diverse and eclectic than in its early days. It now houses a Montessori Academy for Children and is the home base for the Arts at St. Johns's, which is recognized as a Junior Arts Anchor of the city of Miami Beach.

The community is invited to the 90th anniversary service at 11 a.m. Nov. 23. Following the service, a proclamation from Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine will be presented. The celebration will culminate with a brunch, and an awards ceremony recognizing the people who have helped grow the church, school and arts program.

Arts at St. John’s

Arts at St. John's will present Von Henry in concert at 8 p.m. Friday at 4760 Pine Tree Dr. in Miami Beach.

Henry grew up in South Miami and has made a name for herself as a jazz singer. During the show, Henry will introduce her own portrayal of Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday and will perform such tunes as Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out, What a Little Moonlight Can Do, and God Bless the Child, as well as other familiar tunes.

In Act II, Henry will team up with actor, producer, and cabaret artist David Kingery to present an evening of satirical and comedic sketches, musical show stoppers and duets.

Tickets are $15, general admission, and $10 for seniors and students with IDs. Children under 10 and members of the military and their families are admitted free.

Church of Love seventh anniversary

Congratulations are in order, too, for the First Glorious Church of Love, which will celebrate its seventh anniversary at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The celebration service will be in the chapel at 9823 NE Fourth Ave. in Miami Shores. The community is welcome.

For more information visit

Coral Way church celebration

Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic church at 2055 Coral Way will have a celebration of the relics of Saint Rafka, the Maronite Church's only modern woman saint, Thursday through Sunday at the church.

Rafka — Arabic for Rebecca — was a Lebanese nun who died in 1914 and was canonized a saint in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. She is credited with a miracle for curing a woman of uterine cancer when the woman, Elizabeth Ennakl visited Rafka's tomb in 1938 in Lebanon.

The schedule is as follows:

▪ The Relics of Saint Rafka will arrive at 7 p.m. Thursday with a procession and divine liturgy celebrated by Chorbishop Michael Thomas, vicar general of the Eparchyof Saint Maron of Brooklyn.

▪ Prayer and Divine Liturgy will be at 6 p.m. Friday with Holy Rosary in Spanish followed by Mass in Spanish; 8 p.m., Mass in Araabic; 9 p.m. Meeting with Mother Marta Bassil, Superior of the Monastery of Saint Rafka.

▪ A recital by the OLOL Choir at 7 p.m. Saturday, and the Divine Liturgy and dedication of the Saint Rafka's Ladies Society at 8 p.m.

▪ Farewell of the Relics service will begin 10 a.m. Sunday with the Prayer of the Divine Office; Holy rosary at 10:30 a.m.; Divine Liturgy of Saint Rafka at 11 a.m. and at 12:30 p.m., the Procession and Farewell Service.

The community is invited to come sit, visit and pray with the relics. For more information call 305-856-7449, or call Norma Jean Abraham at 786-295-2983.

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.