Community Voices

Neighbors in Religion: Lack of respect shown to President Obama in Roseburg, Oregon

Demonstrators watch as President Barack Obama's motorcade leaves Roseburg High School after a visit with families of victims of the shootings at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. The protesters were angry about Obamas calls for gun restrictions in the wake of the shooting rampage that killed eight students and a teacher at the college.
Demonstrators watch as President Barack Obama's motorcade leaves Roseburg High School after a visit with families of victims of the shootings at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. The protesters were angry about Obamas calls for gun restrictions in the wake of the shooting rampage that killed eight students and a teacher at the college. AP file

I love America. But there are times when I am actually ashamed of the actions of some of my countrymen and women.

Such a time was last week when President Barack Obama visited Roseburg, Oregon, to console the families of victims of the recent mass killing at Umpqua Community College.

When I learned the president was taking time from his busy schedule to spend a few minutes with the bereaved families, I was touched. It wasn’t the first time our president had reached out to grieving families after a mass killing, even shedding tears of sorrow with them.

Then, as I watched the news that evening, and saw the hateful and angry faces of the placard-holding mob letting the president know he was not welcome in their town, where guns seem to be their gods, I wondered: “Where is the common sense of the people? Where is their heart?”

Obama’s visit had nothing to do with the politics of guns, although he is the right man to lead the discussion on gun control. It had all to do with letting the families know that, though he is the president, he is sill human enough to feel their pain of loss.

In a Washington Post story, Obama was quoted: “I’ve got some very strong feelings about this, because when you talk to these families, you are reminded that this could be happening to your child, or your mom, or your dad, or your relative, or your friend.”

Later in the article, Obama said our nation would have to “come together” to figure out a way to prevent such tragedies from occurring with such regularity. “But today, it’s about the families and their grief and the love we feel for them.”

I wasn’t feeling any love from the people who were angrily waving their signs inviting the president of the United States to go home. To me, their actions made it an even sadder day in America.

Oh yes, I know there is such a thing as freedom of speech and the right to bear arms. I am thankful that I live in a country where citizens can exercise such freedoms.

I also know there is such a thing as R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And last week in Roseburg, there was a great deficit in respect for our president, and also for the nine victims of the mass shooting and their families.

Wake up, America, and admit that we have a great big problem with guns in this country. Hating and disrespecting our president will not solve the gun problem. Even while the haters rant and rage, there are laws pending that will put still more guns in the hands of people who do not need them.

This is a serious time in America, and I won’t pretend to know the answers. But then, that’s why we have elected people to solve the gun problem. Somehow, they have dropped the ball, and now the gun situation has really gotten out of hand.

Even as President Obama consoled the Roseburg families, violence continued. Just over the weekend, three people were shot in a drive-by attack in South Florida. Such shootings have become so commonplace in our community that, as President Obama said, “we have become numb to it.”

HADASSAH TO HOST INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER

Inspirational speaker Miriam Moussatche-Wechsler will be guest speaker at a meeting of the Inter-American Chapter of Hadassah at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, at the home of Alma Weintraub, 7431 Miami View Dr. in North Bay Village.

Moussatche-Wechsler, who has a masters degree in educational psychology, will guide those attending in how to approach relationships and personal values to live a more positive and meaningful life.

For directions and more information, call 305-754-8374 or 305-992-6001.

HOLY CONVOCATION COMMEMORATION

The Church of God Tabernacle at 1351 NW 67th St. in Liberty City invites the community to its annual Holy Convocation commemoration, from Sunday, Oct. 18, through Oct. 25.

Service times are 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The convocation is one of two meetings held annually at the church. The Pentecost meeting is held in the spring. The revival-type services consist of preaching and testimonials each day, with music performed by the church’s Mass choir.

“Although we thank God every day, for our deliverance from sin,” Bishop Walter H. Richardson said, “This time has been set aside each year for more than seven decades, as a special celebration and thanksgiving to God for his saving grace and keeping power. And everyone is invited.” Richardson is the pastor and overseer of the church.

All services are free and open to the community.

GROVE FOR GHANA DINNER, WINE-TASTING EVENT

In 2013, a group of concerned parishioners at St. Hugh Catholic Church, started a nonprofit public charity, Grove for Ghana, which partners with the church in rural Goaso, Ghana, to support development there.

At 7 p.m. Oct. 23, Grove for Ghana will host a dinner and wine-tasting event in the parish hall of St Hugh, 3460 Royal Rd., Coconut Grove, to raise money to build more wells, schools and clinics in Goaso.

Bob Dudley, a member of the organization, said that since 2013, Grove for Ghana has built 16 wells, enabling the citizens there to have clean drinking water. “We will continue to build wells, schools and clinics,” he said.

The organization relies on donations to help provide the water wells and other support for the rural poor of Ghana, Dudley said. To keep the expenses at a minimum, Grove for Ghana is fully staffed by volunteers.

Dudley said a mechanized well costs $6,000 and a solar-powered well costs $12,000. If anyone wishes to sponsor a well and have it dedicated in their name, or the name of a loved one, church or organization, you may contact Dudley. The well would be dedicated as you desire. For more information, call 305-444-8363.

Meanwhile, tickets for the dinner and wine-tasting event are available on the website, at the church office, or at the door. Visit the website at groveforghana.org for more information on the organization and the event.

ROYAL PRIESTHOOD PROM

Did you, by chance, miss your high school prom? If you did, the Hospitality Ministry at Peace Missionary Baptist Church will try to make it up to you by sponsoring a Royal Priesthood Prom from 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct 24. The event will be at the Betty Ferguson Recreational Complex, 3000 NW 199th St. in Miami Gardens. The cost is $25 per person.

If you want to go, call Sheryl McCloud or the Rev. Dr. Tracy L. McCloud, senior pastor of the church, for more information.

CHURCH FUNDRAISING SOCK HOP

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 14260 Old Cutler Rd. in Palmetto Bay, will have a fundraising dance — a 1950s and ’60s sock hop — to raise money for needed church repairs.

If you go, you are asked to come dressed in ’50s and ’60s style clothing to channel the American Bandstand-Dick Clark era. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Music will be provided by a DJ, and food and beverages will be available at an additional cost. The event will also feature classic cars, door prizes and prizes for best costumes. Reservations are required. For more information call Steve Tangredi at 305-778-3667 or email him at tangredis@bellsouth.com

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FORUM AT MDC NORTH CAMPUS

To mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month, state Rep. Cynthia A. Stafford, D-109, will host a Domestic Violence Forum from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at Miami Dade College, North Campus, Building 3, Room 3238 at 11380 NW 27th Ave.

This will be the second community event on violence prevention sponsored by Stafford. The first event was Oct. 13, also at the college. Call 305-953-3086 for more information.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email bea.hines@gmail.com. Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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