Community Voices

Neighbors in Religion: Annual Pentecost meeting to celebrate birth of Christian church

There is something wonderful about gathering with friends and your pastor at a prayer fellowship. Not only does your soul get a bath, you are able to pass along the good vibes you get from emerging from a good, deep-down-in-the-heart prayer.

Last Monday, I, as well as many others from my church and some visitors, met for a noon-day prayer service. It’s what we do as we prepare for the upcoming annual Pentecost meeting, where we celebrate the birth of the Christian church.

To some, the gathering is simply another prayer meeting. But to me and others, it is an opportunity to pray in unison for each other, asking the Lord to make us bright lights in the city of Miami, and even abroad.

Each year, our pastor, Bishop Walter H. Richardson, announces a theme for the 10-day meeting, which starts 10 a.m. Sunday and will end on May 24. This year’s theme is one we have had before, but it is just as relevant today as it was in the past: “Seeking to please God.”

While the theme is for the entire church body, it is an individual admonishment. If each of us would only seek to please the Lord, the Bible tells us that even our enemies will be at peace with us. I believe that. I am so happy that as a young woman of 23, I sought to please the Lord. And although I have gone over some bumps in the road as I learned to live for Christ, my desire to please the Lord is what has kept me to this day.

As a young, single mom, I learned how to rear my sons to be gentlemen because I first sought to please God. The teaching that I got from the pulpit at my church proved to be invaluable: My older son, Rick, remembered the teaching I passed along to him and before he died in 2013, he had turned his life over to the Lord. In the year and a half since his passing, just knowing this has helped to comfort me.

His brother Shawn remembers too, and lives a good life in Rhode Island.

So on Monday, as we met for prayer and spiritual strength, these memories flooded my mind and I wept tears of joy. I realized more than ever before, that the Christian journey is made one step at a time. It is not a journey of judgment of others, but a journey of love and compassion for our fellow human beings.

It is not a journey where we all go about preaching to others; it is a journey of life-living. Our walk — the way we live — speaks volumes about who we are.

The annual Pentecost Meeting at The Church of God, 1351 NW 67th St. in Liberty City, will begin Sunday. Service times are 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays and 8 p.m. weekdays. There will be no service on Saturdays.

The order of service will include short, spirited sermons by the church ministers and short opening testimonials by the church’s missionaries and deacons. The Church of God Mass Choir, directed by Sister M. Chenise Pompey, will sing at each service.

You are also invited to the next noon-day prayer service to be Friday at the church. Everyone is welcome to attend the prayer meeting and also the 10-day Pentecost Meeting. There is no charge — just bring an open heart.

Sister Jeanne documentary

While we are on the topic of inspiration, let me remind you again about the premiere showing of local photographer Scherley Busch’s documentary about Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin, president emerita of Barry University.

The event will take place at 7 p.m May 19 at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. The evening will honor an icon in our community — Sister Jeanne — whose story will be told in the documentary Portraits of Inspiration: Sister Jeanne, The Power Nun.

To RSVP, go to, or call 305-661-6605. Your reservation will be confirmed by email and your complimentary tickets will be waiting at the theater’s registration desk.

Sister Jeanne is one of the nicest people I know. She is so deserving of this honor. This should be a great evening.

Cantorial Extravaganza

The Hadassah Inter-American Chapter will present “Music for Healing and Peace: A Cantorial Extravaganza” 7:30 p.m. May 21 at Temple Emanu-El, 1701 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach.

Organized by Rabbi Marc Phillipe of Temple Emanu-El, the evening will feature the talents of Susana Behar, soloist, accompanied by her guitarist Cantor Steven Haas of Temple Beth Shalom in Miami Beach; Cantor Jodi Rozental of Temple Judea in Coral Gables, and Cantor Stephen Texon of the Cuban Hebrew Congregation in Miami Beach, accompanied by Richard Shapiro on the piano.

The event is sponsored by Dr. Isidoro Morjaim and Dr. Alberto and Isabel Morjaim in loving memory of their parents Roberto and Sarita Morjaim.

If you go, you will be gifted with free valet parking, thanks to Mimi and Frank Rudman in honor of their six grandchildren, and by Rela and Julio Schniadoski.

Admission is $15 in advance and $18 at the door. To pay in advance, make checks payable to Hadassah and mail to Marta Olchyk at 9341 Collins Ave., Suite 508, Surfside, FL 33154.

Chapman Partnership luncheon

The Chapman Partnership opened its doors in 1995, with the mission to provide comprehensive services to empower homeless residents to become self-sufficient. Since then, the organization has admitted more than 100,000 homeless men, women and children to their two centers. It has done this with the help of the community.

On May 21, you will have the opportunity to help once more when you attend the sixth annual Take a Walk in Her Shoes Fashion Show and Luncheon to be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at JW Marriott Marquis I Hotel at 265 Boulevard Way in downtown Miami.

During the event, the 2015 Womenade Honorees will be presented: Ana De Figueroa Cisneros, Nancy Hector, Lani Kahn Drody, Linda Levy Goldberg, Lilliam Machado, Jillian Posner, Trina Robinson, Alexandra Villoch, and Allison Weiss Brady.

If you go, you will enjoy a vintage fashion showcase produced by C. Madeleine’s and directed by Danny Santiago. Hairstyling and makeup is by Rik Rak Salon.

Individual tickets are $150, $200 and $250 each. Tables of 10 start at $2,000. For tickets and more information call Faye Wright at 305-329-3092 or email

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.