Community Voices

Neighbors in Religion: ‘Was Civil War God’s punishment for slavery?’

Bea L. Hines
Bea L. Hines

Richard Rodriguez, a doctoral candidate at Florida International University, will speak on his dissertation, “The Bible Against American Slavery” at 3 p.m. Saturday.

In his presentation, Rodriguez asks the question, “Was the Civil War God’s punishment for American slavery?”

“President Abraham Lincoln suggested as much in his second inaugural address, his last public speech before his assassination,” Rodriguez said. “President Lincoln was among many during the Civil War who used biblical principles to suggest and argue that American slavery was a national sin that would bring divine retribution. “

In his presentation, Rodriguez will explore the biblical arguments that were made by Lincoln and abolitionists against American slavery between 1776 and 1865.

The event will be at 150 Ives Dairy Rd., in the Clubhouse at 323-399 Mediteranea; Gate Code #003. It’s free and open to the public.


A celebration of the life and work of Blessed Abaslom Jones, the first African-American priest of the Episcopal Church, will be 10 a.m. Saturday at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, 1835 NW 54th St.

The Right Rev. Laish Boyd Sr. , bishop diocesan of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, will preach the sermon. The Right Rev. Peter Eaton, bishop of Southeast Florida, will be the celebrant.

The event is sponsored by the Diocese of Southeast Florida. A luncheon will follow in the J. Kenneth Major Hall, The cost of the luncheon is $30 per person. The event will also feature prizes and surprises. For more information, call Kathryne Wyche at 305-633-0407.


The Rev. John Graves, pastor of Salem Baptist Church at 2945 NW 62nd St., invites the community to Black History Month celebration titled, “A Black History and Fashion Experience,” 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the church.

The event will feature liturgical dance, musical presentations and other talents and a fashion show. Produced by June Miller, the event will feature stories about black history, food and drinks.

For more information, or to be part of the talent, call Miller at 786-712-7209.


The community is invited to join the Concordia Lutheran Church congregation in their “Lenten Journey,” which started on Ash Wednesday.

Throughout Lent, the church will have midweek soup suppers at 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday at the church, 8701 SW 124th St. During the season, the sermons will include looking into each petition of the Lord’s Prayer in depth.

For example, on Feb. 10, the service topic was “Seasons of Needing Forgiveness, Fifth Petition,” followed on Feb. 17 with the topic, “Seasons of Lifting Up the Lord, First Petition.”

On Feb. 24, the topic will be “Seasons of Wondering Who’s in Control, Second Petition”.

Other services will include “Seasons of Seeking God’s Will, Third Petition” on March 2, and “Season of Thanks for Simple Things, Fourth Petition.”

On March 16, the midweek six, the topic will be “Seasons for Standing Up to Evil,” combining the sixth and seventh petitions.

Regular Sunday worship services are at 8:30 and 11 a.m., and at 9:45 a.m. for Sunday school and adult Bible study. All are welcome.


The Bahá’í of Miami-Dade, known for their community fireside gatherings where current topics are discussed, will have another of these events at 7 p.m. Saturday. The topic will be “Health and Healing” and will be led by Misagh Dorost.

Dorost is a graduate of the University of Maryland and is currently studying occupational therapy at Nova Southeastern University. In addition to his studies, Dorost is involved in various community activities, including volunteering at local clinic s and mentoring middle school students to become agents of social change in their communities.

According to Thomas Carsey of the Bahá’í faith, “There are two ways of healing sickness — material means and spiritual means. The first is by the treatment of physicians and the second includes prayers offered to God and in turning to Him. Both means should be used and practiced, which means we should seek to find the balance between spiritual and medical treatments for our ailments.”

Said Dorost: “Being exposed to the healthcare field has made me appreciate living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle even more, seeing that more and more people are in financial, emotional, and physical stress as a result of their ailment and doctor visits.”

The event is open to the community and light refreshments will be served after the discussion. For more information, call 305-915-7247 or visit The Bahá’í Faith will also host a Community Devotional at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 28 at the Miami Bahá’í Center, Suite 209, 9300 S. Dixie Hwy.


To celebrate Jewish Disabilities and Inclusion Month, the Association for Jewish Special Education will have an open house at Temple Beth Tov Ahavat from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the temple, 6438 SW Eighth St. in West Miami. The event will feature historical photo albums and holiday booklets used to promote inclusion.

At the open house, individuals who are a part of the AJSE will be recognized for them their efforts and will make short presentations.

The AJSE is a 39-year old local organization that is dedicated to providing Jewish holiday celebrations for Jewish adults with developmental disabilities and their friends. The organization is a valuable resource for those with special needs and concerns and is supported by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

Also, another feature of the open house is the presentation by Benee Mills Paley, who will speak on her autobiography I Want to Hold Your Hand: The Will to Survive, a story about the challenge of inclusion.

The event will also include a raffle drawing, the prize being valued at $175. Everyone is invited. There is no admission charge. Light refreshments will be served. For more information call 305-205-3846 or 954-442-9624.


Ohavat Olam Synagogue at 10755 SW 112th St. (on the grounds of Kendall United Methodist Church) will have its first I Love Jewish Food Festival from 7 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the synagogue.

The food event will feature classic signature Jewish dishes and old family favorites, all prepared by Jewish cooks, to include brisket, kugel, matzo ball soup, kasha varnishkas, and rugalach.

If you plan to go, tickets must be purchased by Feb. 22 because no tickets will be sold at the door.

To reserve online to to, or call the temple office at 305-412-4240.

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