Community Voices

A bittersweet goodbye: Friends for life are moving to Atlanta

Bea L. Hines
Bea L. Hines

During our journey on life’s road, we will meet many kinds of people. Some will just be passing acquaintances and some will become your friends for a lifetime. I have been blessed to meet people who knew how to be the latter — friends for life.

Winnifred (Winnie) and Petro (Pete) Beacham are such friends. The Beachams are the kind of people who will pray with you and for you and will always have something uplifting to say to you, just at the right time.

Now, just as quietly as they walked into my life, the Beachams — devout members of Jesus Peoples Ministries International — will be walking out this week: They will move to Atlanta with daughter Walline and her husband, Richard A. Williams, Ph.D.

Last Sunday, the Beachams’ family threw them a going-away party and, since it was Pete’s birthday, we celebrated that, too. Hosted by their children, nephews and nieces, the party was at the home of nephew Bishop Arthur Wilson and his wife, Paula.

The event was bittersweet. There was laughter and there were tears as different friends and family members spoke of how much the Beachams meant to them. Nephew Barry Wilson said, “I thought I’d stopped crying after my brother Jimmy died, but now that Uncle Pete and Aunt Winnie are leaving, the tears are starting again.”

There was a tribute from “The Golden Girls,” Winnie’s luncheon buddies (of which I am a member); a saxophone serenade by Julien Wray, toasts from Elder Tracy and Pauline Jackson, Yours Truly and Enid Pinkney, who were classmates, graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1949. Pinkney is also god-sister to Winnie and her sister Maebell Wilson and her brother Norman Cox.

And so it went as each person spoke of the Beachams’ attributes. Pastor Billy and Prophetess Cynthia Thompson, Elder Terry Harig and Elder Pam Russell, spoke of the couple’s legacy and their love of God.

Someone spoke of how Pete never failed to text them with the “scripture for the day” and the Rev. Dr. Gloria Williams, the couple’s pastor, spoke of the contributions they made to the church as members. She then asked everyone to stretch out his or her hand toward the couple as she prayed a blessing over them, asking God to “bless their coming in and their going out.”

Pamela Mason, who served as emcee for the event, said Winnie was a nurturing mother. She told of how when their children were young, Winnie made it a point of taking them to a fine restaurant at least once a month, so they would become accustomed to the nicer things in life.

Winnie and Pete, we will miss you, but just as Hyacinth and Artemon Johnson, and so many others have already said, now I have another excuse to visit Atlanta.

Easter concert

The Miami Oratorio Society (MOS) will present its annual Easter concert at 5 p.m. Sunday at First Church of North Miami Congregational UCC, 1200 NE 135th St. in North Miami.

Directed by Andrew Anderson, the concert program will include Gabriel Faure’s “Requiem in D minor, Opus 48” and also selections from the Easter portion of Handel’s “Messiah.”

Faure composed “Requiem” in the late 1880s and is a work that “communicates to and resonates with audiences to this day,” according to Judy Feldman, a spokeswoman for MOS.

Written in 24 days in 1741, Handel’s “Messiah” is an integral part of the Easter season. The music is based on scripture and is performed around the world during the Easter and Christmas seasons.

Guest soloists for the concert are Joanne Martinez, soprano; Emilia Acon, mezzo-soprano; Lievens Castillo, tenor, and basses Gibson Dorce’ and Daniel Snodgrass.

Tickets are $20 each for adults, and $10 for children ages 10 -17, and may be purchased at the door or online by visiting,

Coral Gables Seder

A traditional public Passover Seder open to the entire community of Coral Gables and the surrounding areas will be 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Coral Gables Country Club, 990 Alhambra Circle.

Participants will partake in an inspirational evening, complete with a four-course gourmet Passover dinner, including a selection of fine kosher wines and hand-made matzah,

The cover charge for the Seder is $65 per adult; $36 for children 12 and under. However, no one will be turned away due to lack of funds..

“The Seder is an opportune time to bring unity in the community, and to get together and enjoy each other’s company,” said Chany Stolik, coordinator of the Seder. “It’s the Seder that has kept families together for thousands of years.”

Said Rabbi Avrohom Stolik, director of Chabad in Coral Gables: “Passover is not simply a celebration of the historic liberation of an ancient people ... it is about our own personal liberation — physically, emotionally and spiritually. Passover inspires us to break free from the shackles restraining us from reaching new heights in our lives, relationships and connection with God.”

All Jews, regardless of affiliation or background, are encouraged to participate in the Seder. To reserve a seat and for more information, call 305-490-7572 or go online at

Catholic priests to be honored

Archbishop Thomas Wenski will celebrate Chrism Mass 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Mary Cathedral, 7525 NW Second Ave.

The Mass is a part of the activities of for the Lenten season and all priests of the Archdiocese of Miami have been invited. At the Mass, Wenski will ask the priests to renew their commitment to priestly service and he will honor jubilarians who are celebrating 25, 50 and more years of priestly service.

At the Chrism Mass, Wenski will bless the holy oils to be used in parishes throughout the year for the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and anointing of the sick.

The priests honored for 25 years of service are the Rev. Raul Soutuyo, the Rev. Curtis Kiddy, the Rev. Kidney M. Saint Jean, the Rev. Jesus Arias, the Rev. Jose Roberto Gomez and the Rev. Amulfo Gomez-Beltran, SSP.

Those being honored for 50 years of service are the Rev. Monsignor Franklyn Casale, the Rev. Patrick O’Neill, the Rev. Pedro Cartaya, S.J., the Rev. Nelson Garcia Rosales, S.J., the Rev. Joseph Angelini, the Rev. James A. Quinn, the Rev. John M. O’Leary, the Rev. Monsignor John Vaughn, the Rev. Thomas Foudy, the Rev. Anthony Mulderry, and the Rev. Matthew Didone, C.S.

The Rev. Monsignor Martin Cassidy and the Rev. Hernando Villegas are celebrating their 60th anniversary and the Rev. Monsignor Emilio Martin and the Rev. Jose M. Paz are celebrating their 65th anniversary in the priesthood.

Walk the Cross

The annual nondenominational Good Friday “Walk the Cross” in South Dade will begin 11:30 a.m. April 14 at St. John Episcopal Church, 145 NE 10th St. in Homestead.

Following a short prayer service, participants will walk the cross over to Krome Avenue, then down to First United Methodist Church at 622 N. Krome Ave. Along the route, Stations of the Cross will be honored with scripture readings.

Those unable to walk the four blocks are invited to join the short prayer service and then drive to First United Methodist. Call Bob Jensen at 305-248-0976 or email him at for more information.

Annual Easter Services

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church at 39 NW 57th Ct., invites the community to its annual Easter services.

The schedule: Holy and Great Thursday, at 7 p.m. on April 13, Matins — Reading of 12 Passion Gospels; Holy and Good Friday, 6 p.m. April 14, Exposition and Veneration of Shroud; Holy and Great Saturday, 5 p.m. April 15, Easter Vigil —Vespers with Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, followed at 6 p.m. with Veneration of the Shroud and blessing of Easter Food; PASCHA — Resurrection of the Lord at 8 a.m. April 16, Resurrection Matins in Ukrainian and English with Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom with Blessing of Easter Food after the Liturgy in the church hall.

Call 305-798-0190 for more information.

Easter Egg Hunt

St. Andrews Lutheran Church at 1855 N. Krome Ave in Homestead will have its first Easter Egg Hunt at 10 a.m. April 15 for neighborhood children ages 10 and under. There will be refreshments and prizes for the children and it’s free.

The church will also have its annual Easter Sunrise service at 7 a.m. Easter Sunday, April 16, followed by the regular service at 9 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Sunrise service

The Rev. Dr. Richard Hasselbach will conduct the Easter sunrise service at 7 a.m. on Easter Sunday at Christ Community Church, 901 E. McNab Rd. in Pompano Beach. The service will be in the church garden. The community is invited.

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