As we move toward the holiest day of the year, Resurrection Sunday, or Easter, I am also thinking of the masses of young people who gathered around the world March 24 in peaceful protest to help bring about a needed change in America’s gun laws.
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To me, it was fitting that the protests happened on the eve of Holy Week. In the Bible days, there were protests during this week, too. The people protested because Jesus said He was the Son of God, a God who so loved us that He gave His only son to die for our sins. The people didn’t understand and wanted Jesus crucified. And on a hill on a dark Friday, Jesus was crucified, only to be raised triumphantly on Easter morning — a day of rebirth and rejuvenation.
Since the March For Our Lives happened, some of the youthful leaders of the event — especially 18-year-old Emma González — have been scorned and had all manner of evil spoken about them. They have been crucified by the cruel words spoken by people like Jesse Hughes, the leader of the Eagles Death Metal Band, who has accused González of treason.
Hughes’ remarks seemed strange to me, since he along with his entire band, could have died when the Bataclan venue in Paris was targeted by terrorists in 2015, killing several people. In his lack-of-morals way, he has accused the Parkland survivors of “exploiting the deaths” of those who died “for a few Facebook likes and some media attention.”
In my opinion, Hughes is blind while yet having his eyesight. Apparently he didn’t know, that while this was one of the biggest single-day protests in the history of Washington, D.C., the Parkland survivors were not alone. People also protested throughout the United States and in Rome, Berlin, Tokyo and Buenos Aires.
As we approach Easter, we need to be reborn and rejuvenated in our views about weapons and who should be able to get their hands on them. The Parkland teens want to put a stop to the killings — in our schools, churches and communities. They are working for a change. And by faith, I can see it coming.
While the deadly ordeal of Feb. 14 was meant for evil, out of the ashes of that day, God has allowed something beautiful to be born — a unity such as I have never seen before.
The protesting students and adults simply demonstrate because they, and I, want a “comprehensive and effective bill to be immediately brought before Congress to address gun issues.” Is that too much to ask? We can use the spirit of Easter and its meaning to help us bring about needed change.
The student-driven protests have brought out the best and the worst in America. But I, for one, join them in saying, “Enough is enough.”
Good Friday services
The Rev. Dr. Walter T. Richardson will preach at the annual Good Friday service at 8 p.m. at The Church of God Tabernacle (True Holiness), 1351 NW 67th St. in Liberty City.
The community is invited to hear Richardson, who has preached throughout the U.S. and abroad. He will preach from “The Seven Last Words of Christ.”
Richardson is the son of the church’s pastor and overseer, Bishop Walter H. Richardson, who has served the church and community for nearly 53 years.
Free holiday concert
The Universal Truth Center for Better Living, 20310 NW 37th Ave. in Miami Gardens, will host its annual free Good Friday/Easter concert at 7 p.m. Friday at the church.
The concert will feature the church’s Voices of Truth and other groups and soloists. The community is invited to join in the celebration as the musical groups perform Easter favorites as well as new and uplifting contemporary music. It’s free.
The church will host its second prayer vigil — done in six one-hour sessions, from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday at the church. At the vigil, a prayer leader will conduct a short prayer at the beginning of each session, followed by individuals praying quietly on their own. If you go, please arrive a few minutes before the session starts. It is free, but offerings will be appreciated.
Residents of Coral Gables and surrounding areas are invited to attend a traditional public Passover Seder at the Hotel Colonnade, 180 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
All Jews, regardless of affiliation or background, are encouraged to participate. They’ll partake in an inspirational evening with a four-course gourmet Passover dinner, including a selection of fine kosher wines and hand-baked matzoh, spiced with unique traditional customs. Cover charge for the Seder is $65 per adult, $36 per child (12 & under) with reservations by Saturday; $75 per adult; and $45 per child after. 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,” says Chany Stolik, coordinator of the Seder. “It’s the Seder that has kept families together for thousands of years.”
Ukrainian Catholic Church
The Rev. Andril Romankiv, pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church at 39 NW 57th Ct., invites the community to its “Holy and Great Thursday” celebration at 6 p.m. Thursday for the Reading of 12 Passion Gospel in Ukrainian and English.
At 5 p.m. on Good Friday, the church will present The Exposition and Veneration of Christ’s Shroud.
At 8 a.m. Easter Sunday, the church will present Pascha — the Resurrection of Our Lord, followed at 9:30 a.m. by the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, sung by the church choir and followed by the blessing of traditional colorful Easter food baskets in the parish hall.
A Good Friday Open House and Lawn will begin at 1 p.m. Friday at 2948 NW 59th St. and will end at 5 p.m. with the traditional Easter Egg Hunt.
The program will include scenes from “The Color Purple” at 1 p.m. followed at 3 p.m. by The Upper Room — the first Easter Reading with the “Via Dolorosa.”
At 4 p.m., the Rev. Alaric Hunter will present “The Seven Last Words.”
It’s free and the community is invited.
The Greater Miami chapter of Continental Societies will celebrate its 30th anniversary of “saving children” with a gala benefit at 7 p.m. April 7 at the InterContinental Hotel at Doral, 2505 SW 87th Ave. The theme for the event is: “An Evening of Pearl Elegance.”
The program will include dining, dancing, a dinner show by the musical group the Old Skool Gang, and keynote speaker Dr. Rudy Crew, the former superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Continental Societies is an international service organization made up of women from many walks of life, with the common purpose of uplifting socioeconomic and culturally underserved children and youth. Founded in 1956, the organization was incorporated in 1972, and the Greater Miami chapter was installed on Jan. 30, 1988.
The event will raise funds for the support of ongoing activities that the members of the organization engage in, providing scholarships for graduating high school seniors, and programs and projects in health, education, employment, recreation and arts and humanities.
For tickets and more information about the gala, call President Vassie Green at 305-232-6124 or go to, www.greatermiamicontinentals.org.
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