Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Teen to preach inaugural sermon Sunday at Mount Sinai Baptist Church

There is so much gloom and doom in the world today, sometimes it’s hard to see the great, little miracles that happen to us and around us all the time.

One of those miracles happened in my own extended family. My godson, Troy Adam Duffie, who is only 18, will preach his inaugural sermon 4 p.m. Sunday at Mount Sinai Baptist Church 698 NW 47th Terr.

Adam, as we all call him, is a miracle to his family and to me, too. Last spring, he graduated from high school and also earned his associate’s degree from Miami Dade College in the Advanced Studies program. And in August, Adam acknowledged the call from God to the ministry.

He now is a first-year economics major at Howard University in Washington, where his older brother, Andrew, is in his second year at the university’s School of Theology.

Adam is a member of St. John Institutional Baptist Church in Overtown (now undergoing renovation), where Bishop James D. Adams is the pastor. His maternal grandparents are the late Deacon Andrew and Deaconess Thelmarie Robinson, and his paternal grandparents are the late Brother Edward and Sister Emma Duffie.

I call Adam a miracle, not because he was called to the ministry, but because in this day, when so many of our young black males choose to take the path to destruction, he has chosen to walk a straight path.

He can thank his parents for helping him with his decision. Minister Troy and his wife, Deaconess Cecily Robinson-Duffie, are devout Christians who believe in the Bible passage that says, “Bring up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart form it.” It is a passage that all parents can bank on, because it works.

So, if you have some free time about 4 p.m. today, stop by Mount Sinai and be blessed.

Another miracle (to me, anyway) is the smoothing out of the lumps on Interstate 95 from Golden Glades to about Northwest 131st Street.

For months, I dreaded having to take that route whenever I had to drive south on the expressway. I live in Northwest Miami Dade, so taking the expressway is always convenient for me and thousand of other drivers who drive down from Palm Beach and Broward counties daily.

Anyway, one day about two weeks ago, against my wishes, I drove onto I-95 from the Palmetto Expressway (State Road 826) and I was so-o-o-o-o surprised. No bumps. Just smooth driving, like in the old days. To me,.that was a miracle. I thought I would be paying money to the auto repair shop about now, to replace the shocks in my car. Thank you, Department of Transportation. Fixing the road was truly a miracle to me.

Arts at St. Johns

Arts at St. Johns has a new project — Convivencia Miami, which according to Carol Hoffman-Guzman, founder of the arts program, celebrates the medieval period in Iberia (Spain and Portugal), which was a time when Muslims, Christians and Jews lived, created and worked together in relative harmony.

The five-month program from January through May and will be hosted by St. John’s On the Lake United Methodist Church, 4760 Pine Tree Dr. in Miami Beach; the Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr. in South Beach; Miami Beach Jewish Community Center, 4221 Pine Tree Dr. in Miami Beach, and Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr. in Miami Beach.

The reason for the five-month arts program, Hoffman-Guzman said, is because La Convivencia can be a model in South Florida for intercultural understanding and cross-fertilization, and also ethnic and religious tolerance. It will bring together scholars, linguists, poets, artists, performers, writers, religious leaders and the public to discuss and celebrate the influences these arts. The project will also consist of 12 scholarly talks and seven performances of dance, music, song and comedy.

The event will kick off at 7 p.m. on Jan. 20 at Botanical Garden, and will include food, drink and entertainment.

For more information, email Hoffman-Guzman at

YoungArts Week

While we are on the subject of the arts, YoungArts Week starts Sunday and runs through Jan. 11 at various locations.

Here is the schedule:

▪ 8 p.m. Monday at the New World Center, Main Hall, 500 17th St., Miami Beach: pop, jazz, classical voice, singer/songwriter performances

▪ 8 p.m. Tuesday at the New World Center: theater and Jazz performances

▪ 8 p.m. Wednesday at the New world Center: dance performance and film screening

▪ 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the New World Center: classical music concert.

▪ 6 p.m. Friday: writers’ readings; 7:30 p.m.: art, design, photography exhibition opening; 10 p.m.: the YoungArts Jazz Combo with Nicole Henry will perform at the YoungArts Campus, 2100 Biscayne Blvd.

To purchase tickets and for more information and/or reservations go to:

Coral Gables historic preservation

Hats off to the Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables (HPACG) which has partnered with the Coral Gables Museum to preserve local historic sites and educate the public on their historic significance as well as fostering appreciation for the architecture, urban design and plan of the city of Coral Gables.

Recently HPACG president Karelia Martinez presented a donation of $2,000 to Caroline Parker, director of programs at the Coral Gables Museum, to support the museum’s educational Weekend Tours.

Starting January, the museum will also offer cellphone audio tours of the “Creating the Dream: George Merrick and His Vision for Coral Gables’” exhibit at the Old Police and Fire Station, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, 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.