Community Voices

Neighbors in Religion: Souls of My Sisters to present women’s conference

Bea L. Hines
Bea L. Hines

It will be all about the women and girls April 8-10 at the annual women’s conference presented by the Souls of My Sisters Women’s Ministry at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church, 10701 SW 184th St., Perrine.

The conference theme: “Celebrating the Journey From Girls to Womanhood.”

“The process of becoming a woman can be joyous, but also full of anxiety, especially for girls and young women yearning for role models,” said Beverly Counts Rodrigues, a spokeswoman for the church.

This is why, Rodrigues said, the church “wants to help pave the way for girls on the road to womanhood.” The ministry will address the issues women face in all stages of life, she said.

The conference will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 8, with a night of praise and worship concert featuring gospel singer Gia Wyre, who is no stranger to gospel music lovers. She has toured the country singing with gospel music greats Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond and Vicki Winans.

The service will also feature several other churches in the South Dade community that will minister in song, praise dance or the spoken word. The Night of Praise and Worship is free and the community is invited.

The conference officially opens at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, April 9, with breakfast, guest speakers and breakout sessions that are designed to address the “road to womanhood,” Rodrigues said. “There will something at the empowerment session for girls and women in every stage of life.” The day will include a panel discussion on issues faced by Christian women — to include being married, single and the importance of sisterhood, she said.

In addition, the topic of mental illness in the church will be addressed, with a physician on hand to answer questions.

Speakers for the day will include co-authors and sisters Shenikwa Bailey Cager and Cokiesha Bailey Robinson. The sisters are co-authors of the book, The Inheritance, and each has a background in ministry to women.

Local youth mentor Barbara Boliere will speak to teen girls about abstinence and how to deal with issues they are confronted with daily. Boliere is the development coordinator for the Abstinence Between Strong Teens International.

The cost of Saturday’s event is $15 for girls 11 to 17 and $30 for women 18 and over. The fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch, all sessions, and a conference tote bag and T-shirt. If you go, register by Wednesday, April 6.

The conference will end with services at 7:30 and 11 a.m. Sunday, April 10, and will feature the Women’s Choir and guest speakers.

To register, go to or call 305-251-5753 for more information.


The Rev. Scott Boghossian, the spiritual leader at St. Basil Catholic Church, invites the community to the annual St. Thomas Day picnic, which starts at noon Sunday, April 3, on the grounds of the church, 1475 NE 199th St., North Miami Beach.


The “Anatolian Fantasy — It’s All About the Guitar,” is a concert to be presented by Arts at St. Johns at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at St. John’s on the Lake United Methodist Church, 4760 Pine Tree Dr., Miami Beach.

According to historical information from Carol Hoffman-Guzman, founding director of Arts at St. Johns, the concert is named for Anatolia, the name of the ancient Near East, and has a history that extends back to the 24th century B.C. and included most of present-day Turkey.

The concert is the creation of guitarist, composer and FIU Professor Mesut Ozgen, who is fascinated with the history of the guitar, which originated in the Middle East (probably among the Babylonians or Hittites), and which later influenced music in Spain, Portugal, Europe and eventually the Americas — from Mexican mariachi bands to the hillbilly music of Appalachia and the Ozarks.

“The influence of guitar music ranges from gypsy music and folk music of the countryside to classical music of royal courts and palaces,” Hoffman-Guzman said.

She said the Anatolian Fantasy concert will reflect many of these sounds and traditions, including songs from Ozgen’s CD’s Anatolian Fantasy and Troubadour, which have compositions by Ozgen with influences from his homeland, Turkey.

Hoffman-Guzman said the concert is part of the Places We Call Home season at the Arts at St. John’s. “The title refers to the many places that residents in South Florida call home.” She said Ozgen’s personal diaspora somewhat mirrors the historical journey of the guitar. He traveled from his home in Turkey to Cordoba, Spain; Santa Cruz, California; New Haven, Connecticut; Tempe, Arizona, and now, Miami.

The concert will include guest artists Celso Cano on guitar (Peruvian) and Cuban-American soprano Rebecca Benitez.

Admission is $30 for VIP tickets; $20 general admission; $15 for seniors and students; and free to those in the military and their families with ID, and children under 10.

To purchase tickets visit, call 305-613-2325 or email


Inspirational author and speaker Panache Desai will be the special guest at Unity on the Bay for the “Access Your Vibrational Awesomeness” event on April 9 at the church, 411 NE 21st St.

Once named by Oprah Winfrey as a “new thought leader,” Desai will share a message of personal energetic transformation in a two-hour interactive program that is designed to teach attendees how to access their “vibrational awesomeness.”

“When you change your energy, you change your life,” according to Desai. He said one must be empowered to create the life of his/her dreams.

Desai will deliver a personal hands-on activation of spirit to everyone attending. According to a news release, he has helped thousands of people throughout the world shift their perspective on life.

Tickets are $45, general admission and VIP tickets are $75 and include a meet and greet with Desai and premium seating. Tickets can be purchased at or at The Source Bookstore and Gifts at Unity on the Bay.

Everyone is welcome, regardless of beliefs and/or faiths.


“Do You Know Who You Are?,” a question many of us ask ourselves, will be answered, at least in part, at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 3, at Temple Beth Tov Ahavat Shalom, 6438 SW Eighth St., West Miami.

The event will feature a panel discussion about genealogical research. Panelist will include members of the Greater Miami Jewish Genealogical Society: Genie Milgrom, Marcia Finkel and El Savaira Grangeiro.

As an added feature, a poster displaying Grangeiro’s research, which follows his lineage to the Bible’s King David, will be exhibited.

The event is free but donations will be appreciated. Light refreshments will be served.


Worship services on 8:30 a.m. April 9 at Aventura Turnberry Synagogue, 20400 NE 30th Ave., Aventura, will be sponsored by Hadassah. The guest speaker will be Dr. Michal Lotem, head of Hadassah Medical Organization’s Center for Melanoma and Cancer Immunotherapy.


The Rev. Harvey Lockhart, pastor of First Church of North Miami, UCC, wanted to create a service and ministry that speaks to the needs and interests of teenagers and young adults, ages 20-30. He created “The Dynamic Praise Experience” and after-party that begins at 7 p.m. April 8.

Kicking off the first service will be recording artist Canon, who will perform at the church’s first contemporary worship service. Also, there will be a band playing Christian hip-hop and contemporary Christian music. The after-party will include refreshments and a live DJ spinning contemporary Christian music on the church campus.

“We purposely decided to do the service on Friday evenings to give young people a safe, wholesome alternative to [the usual] Friday night entertainment,” Lockhart said. “My sermons are going to be customized to speak to the needs, concerns and interests of our young people and families.”

Canon, said Lockhart, is a “dynamic young artist,who truly loves the Lord. His music is fresh and innovative, but most importantly, young people love his songs.”

Aaron “Canon” McCain was born in Chicago in a lower-middle class area. Violence and crime forced his parents to journey throughout the United States, looking for a safe environment for their family.

Canon’s mom worked at Moody Bible Institute and she introduced him and his siblings to the Lord. His religious surroundings often kept him from turning to a life of crime, which was common to some of the youngsters in his neighborhood, and he attended his grandfather’s church. As he grew more curious about God, he wanted to merge his growing faith with his desire to rap, and later started attending a church called The House, where hip hop shaped the culture and the service.

The worship service, performances by Canon and the after-party are free and open to the public. The church is at 1200 NE 135th St. in North Miami. For more information call 305-354-2236.

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