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A prayer for our nation:
We are a broken nation. There is fighting on the homefront as never before. The White House is awash with in-house fighting. Where we once prided ourselves on being a nation that cares, now that concern seems to have been replaced with lies, broken promises and unkind deeds that go unchecked. We don’t know who to trust in our nation’s capital.
As a nation, we have come a long way from the days of unequal opportunities, to a time when the color or one’s skin, his or her religion or origin doesn’t seem to matter. Or so we thought. Nowadays some of us wonder if past accomplishments were merely white washing. We wonder about this, because it seems that today, our nation is steeped in a whirlwind of hatefulness and greed that is tearing us apart. Haters of freedom and equal rights are coming out in bold numbers.
Some people are fighting and killing in Your name, dear God. They seem to have become blind to what is right and good. If we continue on this path, I shudder to think of what our future as a freedom-loving and caring nation will become.
For years, dear Lord, we have been the nation that other nations looked up to. We have been the land of opportunity to countless of immigrants — some of our leaders included. Now, I am afraid that we have slipped terribly on the approval poll. Nations that once looked up to us, now laugh at us. They don’t believe in us anymore.
Children are being killed by gunshots in our schools, on our city streets, on our playgrounds, in our homes, and even in our houses of worship. Why, in some areas it is almost unsafe to even go to a gas station early in the morning, or late at night for fear of a car hi-jacking.
Yet as dismal as all this sounds, we still have hope. Some of us know that you are a loving and compassionate God, and that no matter what things seem to be, You are in control and You have plan for us. That thought, alone, encourages us to keep on striving for the good that can come from us all.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” — II Chronicles 7:15/KJV
Warm congratulations to Ebenezer United Methodist Church, now celebrating its 120th anniversary. The celebration began Aug. 10-12 with its annual women’s conference at the church, now at 2001 NW 35th St.
The church started in 1898 in the UNIA Hall on Northwest Ninth Street and Third Avenue in Historic Overtown.
When my family moved to Miami when I was a child, Ebenezer was our home church. At that time, the church was housed in a frame building at Northwest 10th Street and Third Avenue. I was 9 when the cornerstone was laid for the building that is there now. Recently, the building was turned into the Overtown Performing Arts Center.
The Ebenezer congregation relocated to its present facility during the upheaval of the Overtown neighborhood due to the construction of Interstate 95, which sliced though the community, scattering its residents and causing some churches to relocate.
Anniversary-related events will include a Minister’s Circle and Gospel Concert at 7 p.m. Aug. 24, and a Women’s Day program featuring evangelist Linda Gail Ross at 11 a.m. Aug. 26.
Everyone is invited to the celebration. Call H. Leigh Toney at 786-423-8096 for more information.
Adult, youth services
Universal Truth Center for Better Living at 21310 NW 37th Ave. in Miami Gardens, will celebrate with T-shirt Sunday starting at 8 a.m. with adult Sunday school and continuing through meditation from 9:40 to 9:50 a.m.; youth Sunday school at 9:50 a.m. and worship service at 11:30 a.m.
The Rev. Charles Taylor, senior church pastor, will preach from the lesson, “If You Want to Walk on Water, Get Out of the Boat.”
Also, the church invites kids from age 4 through 18 to join its youth choir. Parents may sign up their young ones for this program, which helps increase self-esteem and confidence, and build discipline. All youth are welcome and auditions are not required. Rehearsal time is from 10 a.m. to noon every Saturday. Call Mary Smith York at 305-99-339, or simply show up for rehearsal.
Temple Judea, 5500 Granada Blvd. in Coral Gables, will have it popular quarterly healing service at 7 p.m. Aug. 28. Come if you need prayer for any emotional or physical need.
The service is organized and led by Jodi Rozental and the order of service will include spiritual and secular songs, prayers and inspirational readings, all performed by a rotation of talented singers and instrumentalists from various schools and organizations throughout Miami. The performers are culturally diverse and come from New World School of the Arts, the University of Miami School of Music, Miami Children’s Theatre, Florida Grand Opera and Temple Judea.
Call Rozental at 305-66-5657 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Key West observance
If you are up for a drive to Key West, you might want to attend the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, to be observed 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the African Cemetery Memorial Monument at Higgs Memorial Beach, 1074-94 Atlantic Blvd.
The day honors the memory of the millions of slaves who were drawn into the slave trade on both sides of the Atlantic, and the heroism of all who courageously fought to abolish the highly profitable, but criminal business of human trafficking, said Dinizulu Gene Tinnie, one of the organizers of the event.
The site of the observance is a significant historic location, because it is the burial place of about 295 African captives, mostly children and youth, who were among a total of 1,432 who were rescued from three American-owned slave ships that were bound for Cuba, before being captured by the U.S. Navy and brought into Key West in 1860.
The free event is open to the public and will include multicultural prayers, historical presentations, live performances, open “village talk,” and the placing of offerings of flowers. The event will conclude with the sharing of refreshments.
Call 305-834-2143, 305-304-1136, or 305-904-7620 for more information.
High Holy Days
Temple Israel of Greater Miami, 137 NE 19th St., will hold High Holy Day services beginning 6 p.m. Sept. 9, with Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner by reservation in its Wolfson Auditorium. Erev Rosh Hashanah services will be 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Abess Sanctuary.
On Sept. 10, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, services will be 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Abess Sanctuary. The next day, Sept. 11, a service will be held 10 a.m. in Gumenick Chapel.
Yom Kippur services at Temple Israel will be as follows:
Dinner by reservation at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18. Kol Nidre service begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. in the Abess Sanctuary.
Yom Kippur services begin 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, in the Abess Sanctuary. From 12:30 to 1 p.m., clergy quiet meditation will be in the Gumenick Chapel. From 1 to 2 p.m., clergy healing service with Karen Pincus in the chapel.
At 2 p.m., the social justice committee, social justice service will be in the Abess Sanctuary, followed at 3 p.m. by the clergy afternoon service. From 4 to 5 p.m., clergy Yizkor memorial service will be in the Abess Sanctuary, followed at 5 p.m. by the clergy Neilah and Havdallah closing services in the Abess Sanctuary, followed by a break-the-fast dinner by reservation.
For ticket and reservation information, call Isabel at 305-573-5900.