The annual September dinner and talent showcase of the Shekinah Gospel group – a church outreach and help centered ministry – held at the Community Worship Center Church of the Nazarene on Madison Street, in Brooklyn, New York, did not disappoint. It was a three-hour praise, worship and celebration of faith, a thank you to God for gifts freely given, and more. In the end, as recorded in Isaiah, it was the little children that led them.
Cases in point:
In the skit Then and Now, the father (13-year-old Justin Springer), evoked fits and stitches of laughter, when, in response to a request from his son (seven-year-old Daniel Springer) for money for a pair of Jordans, he told him a story about sacrifice, about taking time and about growing up in Barbados with one pair of shoes, and referenced: Cheez Don Bread, Scotching in the bus and Slamming tar among other things. It was a well-told father’s story that persuaded the son to continue saving his money until he could buy the shoes.
Daniel also joined three-year-old Nicole Victor and Natalie Mitchell and they thrilled the audience with innocence as they modelled African outfits and prints which were made by Jevoshia Springer.
At another time, 83-year-old Pastor Sealy, accompanied by two others, responded to an open invitation and gave a well-received spontaneous testimony with the song – It’s Alright If I Want To Praise Him – in the worship style of a small village church on a hill.
Still, at another time, to loud applause, Nicole Victor, the youngest member of the audience, met, greeted and gently hugged the oldest patron present, centenarian Evangelist Geraldine Benskin-Bellamy – a Panamanian whose grandmother is Bajan.
For the record, Evangelist Bellamy is still active offering community service at the Church Mount Zion Christian Mission of Panama, on 182 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, NY, where she worships and serves under Pastor Dr David Barrow.
Evangelist Dr Sonia Lavine, lead organizer of the event who modelled said afterwards: “As usual with every event one has challenges, but I was very happy with the way things turned out. We wanted to showcase the talent of young people and members of the audience, and it appears that we were successful. We all have gifts from God that are multiplied when we share them with others. Many people often wonder why we don’t have a home. Our ministry is a help ministry. We share gifts with other churches in many ways.”
Dr Lavine, who sews her own clothes, gave a specific message when she introduced the outfit she modelled: “I know we love to keep up with the Jones, but don’t we all have gifts from God? When you make and wear your outfits it feels better, especially when others like it.”
The members of the band who led the praise worship, including their annual tribute to the late Joseph Niles were: drummer, Josiah Jordan-Hall (nine-years-old); bassman, Joshua Selver; lead guitarist, Anthony Dyall; lead vocal and rhythm guitarist, Minister Michael Lavine – husband of Evangelist, Dr Sonia Lavine; backup vocals, Vandisha Jordan-Hall (Alto) and Dr Sonia Lavine (soprano/tenor).
Recently, the group made a contribution to two charities and a single mother of two children in Barbados who were not able to return to school due to inadequate uniforms.
Walter Edey is an author and former Science Educator who believes that Structural Thinking will be the new wave of the future.
EMAIL: werus2642 @gmail.com.