Community Voices

Neighbors in Religion: Springtime holidays mark a great time to be alive

Here we are, experiencing another wonderful springtime. I know some of you will say, “Spring came to us months ago.”

And you are correct ... weather-wise. But my spirit and the calendar tells me that spring really sprang a few days ago on March 20. But I really didn’t need the calendar to tell me spring had sprung. I could tell because of the great urge I have to clean the house and weed the yard, although my body won’t let me do to much of either right now.

Still, this is a wonderful time of the year. Flowers are blooming; birds are singing their sweet song; butterflies are flitting about from flower to flower, followed by the bees; and mango trees are heavy with blossoms that indicate a great year for mango lovers.

Oh yes, y’all. This is my time of the year.

But seriously, springtime means more than that to me. This is the time when Jews celebrate their liberation from the bonds of Egyptian slavery thousands of years ago.

It is also the time when Christians celebrate the rising of our dear Savior Jesus Christ from the dark tomb of death, giving all of us who would accept Him a chance for a new life in Him.

Starting Sunday, with the beginning of Passion Week, the holiest time on the Christian calendar, there will be celebrations and commemorations, reminding us never to forget the sacrifice of love that Jesus made.

I don’t believe it is a coincidence that Passover and Easter are about the same time each year. Christians and Jews are bound together in more ways than we want to admit. Jesus was a Jew. And as a devout Christian, I have always been taught that what happened on Calvary was an act of love, not only for Christian believers, but for the entire world.

So, spring to me, is a time of rejuvenation, of fresh starts, of making and keeping a pact to be more loving, more tolerant and more sincere about being our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper.

These are simply a few of the many reasons I am thankful for springtime. It’s great to be alive.

Holy Week celebrated in Pinecrest

Holy Week at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Pinecrest will include Maundy Thursday service at noon and 7:30 p.m. on April 2. The service will feature a sermon drama, The Gardener of Gethsemane, and Holy Communion served at tables reminiscent of the Last Supper.

On Good Friday, April 3, worship will begin at 7:30 p.m., when darkness descends on the sanctuary and Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest will be performed. The removal of Jesus from the cross will be reenacted as the service ends outdoors and in silence.

Than comes glorious Sunday morning, when Easter services will be at 6:30 a.m. and will be held alongside Snapper Creek Canal, and at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary. The order of service will include the brass and choirs performing special Easter music.

Pastor Kathryn (Pastor Katie, as she is lovingly called) Carroll invites the community to all services. The church is at 11295 SW 57th Ave.

Memorial of Christ’s Death

Jehovah’s Witnesses from around the world will celebrate “The Memorial of Christ’s Death” at sundown on April 3.

Locally, the denomination will celebrate the occasion at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3, at Florida Memorial University, 15800 NW 42nd Ave., Miami Gardens.

The news release promises that you will learn how Jesus’ life and death can benefit you personally.

Passover seder at Roasters N’ Toasters

Ahavat Olam Synagogue invites the community to its 10th annual Passover and Second Night Seder at 6:45 p.m. on April 4, at Roasters’ N Toasters, 9465 S. Dixie Hwy. in Dadeland Plaza Shopping Center in Pinecrest.

The seder will be led by Rabbi Danny Marmorstein and will include a menu featuring a choice of chicken, brisket or salmon, vegetables and baked desserts. Vegetarian dinners are also available.

The cost is $40 per adult and $25 for children under 10. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the synagogue at 305-412-4204 or by sending an email to

Good Friday prayer breakfast

The 40th annual Good Friday Prayer Breakfast will be at 7 a.m. April 3 at Harris Field, South Dixie Highway and Southwest 312th Street.

Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of South Dade, the breakfast will feature Col. Elwin Rozyskie Jr. as guest soloist. He is the Commander of the 482nd Mission Support Group at Homestead Air Reserve Base.

The guest speaker will be Donna Jean Albury Matthews, operations manager and morning show host for radio station 90.9 FM.

Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased by calling 305-247-7231 or by sending an email to

Health awareness conference

The “Am I My Brother’s Keeper” Health Awareness Conference will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cosmopolitan Baptist, 3003 NW 207th St. in Miami Gardens, where the Rev. Percy Ransom is pastor.

This is a free event open to the public and will include HIV/AIDs education and free testing.

“We are collaborating with Churches United for the Prevention and Healing of AIDS for this event,” the Rev. Nettie B. Davis said. “The Rev. Keith S. Butler, pastor of Logos Baptist Church in Miami Gardens will be the theme speaker.”

The Rev. Darryl K. Baxter and Davis are chair and co-chair, respectively, of the event.

For additional information, call Davis at 305-409-4655.

Homestead Procession of the Cross

The eighth annual Homestead Procession of the Cross will begin at noon on Good Friday, April 3, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 145 NE 10th St.

Be at the church at 11:30 a.m. to participate in the five-block procession.

If you are unable to walk the distance, you may gather at the church and then go on to First United Methodist Church of Homestead, 622 N. Krome Ave., where the procession will end with a short outdoor worship service.

Everyone is welcome. Call Bob Jensen at 305-248-0976 for more information.

Lutheran church to prepare Hope Totes

Following Palm Sunday worship service at South Miami Lutheran, members will prepare “Hope Totes” to be distributed to the Miami Rescue Mission’s Christian Outreach. The bags will contain personal items for homeless people in an effort to “express Christ’s love and the spirit of renewal.”

South Miami Lutheran Church, at 7190 SW 72nd St., and St. Marks Lutheran, at 3930 LeJuene Rd. in Coral Gables, will again share Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services.

The Maundy Thursday worship service will be at 7:30 p.m. at South Miami Lutheran, and the Good Friday service will be at 7:30 p.m. at St. Marks.

On Easter Sunday, the annual Easter Festival service will be at South Miami Lutheran at 9 a.m., followed by an Easter egg hunt and brunch.

Festival services at St. Marks will be at 11 a.m. Pastor Arnold Perry, pastor of St. Marks and interim pastor at South Miami, will officiate at both services.

Trinity Cathedral Holy Week schedule

Holy Week services at Trinity Cathedral, 464 NE 16th St., will begin with Palm Sunday services at 8 and 10 a.m., and 12:15 and 6 p.m. Sunday, March 29.

Maundy Thursday services will be at 12:10 p.m. for Holy Eucharist and 6:30 p.m. for Last Supper and Holy Communion. Good Friday, April 3, services will be at noon for the Good Friday Liturgy and at 6 p.m. for the Good Friday Liturgy in Spanish. The Stations of the Cross and the Passion will be at 7:30 p.m. Holy Saturday services, “The Great vigil of Easter,” will begin at 8 p.m.

Easter services will begin at 8 a.m. with Holy Eucharist and hymns. At 10 a.m. there will be the Festive Choral Eucharist, followed at 12:15 with the Holy Eucharist in Spanish.

Everyone is welcome.

Holy Week at Cathedral of St. Mary

Holy Week services at the Cathedral of St. Mary, 7525 NW 2nd Ave., begin with Palm Sunday confessions at 7, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Worship will be at 7:30 a.m. in Creole; 10 a.m. in English, celebrated by Archbishop Thomas Wenski; and at noon in Spanish.

On March 30, services in English will be at 8:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. On March 31, the 8:15 a.m. Mass will be in English and at 10:30 a.m. Wenski will celebrate the Chrism Mass. An English service will be at 5:30 p.m.

On April 1, Mass will be celebrated at 8:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. in English. At 8 p.m. there will be a Tenebrae service.

Holy Thursday service of the Mass of The Lord’s Supper will be at 8 p.m. and officiated by Wenski. Confessions on Good Friday will be from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by the Way of the Cross at 3 p.m. The service of The Passion of the Lord and Procession, led by Wenski, will be at 8 p.m.

Holy Saturday services will include confessions from 10 a.m. to noon. The Easter vigil will begin at 8 p.m. and will be led by Wenski.

Easter morning services will include confessions at 7, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. and Mass in Creole at 8 a.m., at 10 a.m. in English and at noon in Spanish.

Silver Palm United Methodist annual Easter cantata

Silver Palm United Methodist Church, 15855 SW 248th St., invites the community to its annual Easter cantata at 10:30 a.m. on Palm Sunday, March 29. During the cantata, a visual presentation will be shown. Bob Jensen will be the narrator and Sandy Ames will be in charge of sound and video. Sandy Keffer will direct.

The public is invited. It’s free.

Pinelands Presbyterian’s Cutler Bay Spring Festival

Pinelands Presbyterian Church will have its fourth annual Cutler Bay Spring Festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 4. The festival will feature a fun-for-the-family program to include free food, live music, an Easter egg hunt, crafts, face painting, puppet show, bounce house and prizes. There will also be a photo booth. The event will also include a short sermon.

From April 8 through May 6, the church will offer a five-Wednesday program for those interested in learning about the basics of Christianity, and also for those Christians who desire to “brush up” on the essentials of their faith.

The Wednesday evening program will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.. Complimentary food will be served, prior to the teaching. A question-and-answer session will follow. The church is at 10201 Bahia Dr. To RSVP and for more information, call the church at 305-235-1142 or go to

Bah’a’is to host public devotional

The Bah’a’is of Miami Dade invites youth of all faiths to a public devotional to be at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Bah’a’i Center, 9300 S. Dixie Hwy.

The program will include a discussion on the importance of friendship. According to the religion, “the advent of the prophets and the revelation of the Holy Book is intended to create love between souls and friendship between the inhabitants of the earth.”

“When you serve with others, you really understand them and learn how to interact with them and support them in their service ... that continues and the friendship becomes true and sincere,” said Marjaneh Akbari a local Bah’a’i. Light refreshments will be served and its free.

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.