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Volume 21, Issue 3

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March 2017

Sheriff’s Office Partners With Community To Bring Resources To The Homeless

By Amanda Boston

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Watoto Children’s Choir Page 4

Homeless Initiative “If anyone has material posseswith only one deputy. sions and sees a brother or sister in Today, the program need but has no pity on them, how consists of five can the love of God be in that perdeputies whose misson?” (1 John 3:17) On Tuesday, sion is to assist the January 31 at Bay Life’s Chapel on homeless with Martin Luther King Blvd, the love of obtaining identificaGod propagated conjointly with the tion, food and clothspirit of gratitude as the Hillsborough ing, healthcare, menCounty Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), tal health care, subTampa Police Department (TPD) and stance abuse help local community united for a homeand permanent housless outreach. ing. Joshua Boyer, a The deputy with the Chapel’s Homeless Initiative parking lot The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s temporarily Office and Tampa Police Department spearheaded the held a homeless outreach in Seffner, outreach. “Our main transformed which provided individuals with a into a “one“one-stop shop” of services and com- goal is to see the homeless get off the stop shop” forts. street. It’s good to of communitered for them clothes and food, but that is give ty resource services and just the band-aide. We need to give tables disreceived them the services they need for a pensing necessities. solution,” explained Boyer. long-term clothing, hot In addition to Randi Whitney, a homeless liaison meals, housthe abunofficer for TPD considers herself an ing assisdance of urban camper travel agent. “We try to tance, material Volunteers Carol Flood, Charlene Chassee, Elisa Blair get them (the homeless) connected healthand Julie Ebert dispensed peanut butter and jelly sand- resources, with resources. I don’t have housing or screenings, wiches and hot meals to more than 100 individuals. the atmosresources, but I can help by navigating vaccinations, phere was them to those services. We all work backpacks, haircuts, identification fragrant with love, encouragement and together. That’s the way to get things cards, toiletry bags and Bibles. More hope. than 100 homeless individuals regisIn 2010, HCSO began the Continued On Page 8

Dukes of Hazard John Schneider Signs On To Movie Filming Locally, The Favorite, Based On A True Story By Marie Gilmore Interfaith Day Pages 11

Royal Family KIDS Camp

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Faith & Footprints

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Producers of the got to the hospital Clearwater based his injuries were film, The Favorite, even worse than we announced that they are had imagined. We in pre-production and set believe that his to start shooting in late recovery and the February in the greater film based upon his Tampa Bay region. Cast experience can and crew are being bring great hope to selected with John many by demonSchneider, being selected strating the power as one of the lead roles in of faith and prayer. the movie. John is known The movie will be for his roles on Dukes of released in the fall Hazard, Smallville and of 2017 or beginTyler Perry’s Have and ning of 2018. Have Nots. Shooting will be The Favorite is based focused primarily in upon the true story of Pinellas County in Luke Bernard, a local pasFebruary with 25 tor’s son, who nearly died speaking roles cast The Favorite is based upon the true John Schneider has a role in the story of Luke Bernard, a local pastor’s including: BENfrom a car accident in Los upcoming Christian based film, The son, who nearly died from a car Angeles just after he was JAMIN: Luke Favorite, which is set to start accident in Los Angeles just after he shooting locally. He is known for his cast in a new television Bernard, LUKE: was cast in a new television series. roles on Dukes of Hazard, Smallville series. Luke amazed his Matthew Fahey, and Tyler Perry’s Have and Have the film industry surgeons and nurses by DANIEL: John Schneider, ASHLEY: Nots. in Hollywood. In recovering from severe Mollee Gray and MIKE FRASER: Jeff 2016, the novelized screenplay was brain trauma in less than a year. While Hardy. published by Evergreen Press. literally relearning to walk, talk, and For more information or to interProducer Daniel Bernard, Luke’s write, he was inspired in a dream to view the author, email info@thefafather, and the founder of Somebody write a movie screenplay about two voritemovie.com or contact Daniel Cares, Tampa Bay, said, “We didn’t brothers each seeking to be their Bernard at 727-421-4132. even find out Luke had been in a near father’s favorite son. The result was a Visit www.thefavoritemovie.com for latfatal accident for three days. When we screenplay that amazed veterans of est news updates.

Page 2 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

Feed The Bay Outreach On March 26 Helps Fill Local Food Pantries

By Kelly Wise Valdes

half-finished chapel. Oddly Burrowed deep enough, Reed was not a amongst the oaks, pines religious man, but he fell and maple trees in the to his knees in the chapel Arkansas Ozarks, and prayed for an answer. Thorncrown Chapel soars The moment was a reve48 ft. into the sky. This lation that ultimately led stunning wooden and glass him to a relationship with structure is considered one Christ that would change of the “finest religious struchis life. Three days later, tures of modern times.” It Reed received a loan that boasts 425 windows and was enough to cover the over 6,000 sq. ft. of glass construction costs. and sits above 100 tons of The Thorncrown Chapel soars On July 10, 1980 colored flagstone, making 48 ft. into the sky. Thorncrown Chapel it blend perfectly with its opened. Since then over six million peosetting. Thorncrown Chapel was the dream of Jim Reed, a retired teacher and ple have visited the amazing chapel. It has won numerous architectural awards Arkansas native. In 1971, Reed purincluding ranking fourth on a list of the top chased the land to build his retirement home. The view from the property was so buildings of the 20th Century by the American Institute of Architects. amazing that people would often stop to The architecture was based on view the beautiful Ozark hills. Reed felt Sainte Chappelle in Paris. Its dimensions increasingly led and inspired to build a are 24 ft. by 60 ft. and is made with all glass chapel in the woods to give visitors organic materials to fit its natural setting. a place to reflect. The only steel in the structure forms a Reed arranged a meeting with architect E. Fay Jones, and friend and protégé diamond shaped pattern in its wooden trusses. In order to preserve a natural setof famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Jones began to design the chapel and on ting, no structural element is larger than what two men could carry through the March 23, 1979 the construction crew woods. Because of the chapel’s windows, broke ground on the mountainside. its appearance changes during each hour However, midway through the conof the day and during the different seastruction, expenses grew and soon the sons of the year. The chapel is located project came to a halt. Reed desperately tried to raise the necessary funds to com- outside of Eureka Springs, Arkansas and is free to visit. For information, visit plete the chapel to no avail. www.thorncrown.com. One night, Reed went down to the

By Amanda Boston

Feed The Bay is a multi-church effort with hundreds of volunteers uniting to feed the hungry.

Feed The Bay is an annual community-wide outreach where local churches and businesses team up with Publix Super Markets to collect thousands of pounds of food for local food agencies throughout the Tampa Bay area. This year, the event takes place on Sunday, March 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with participation from 34 churches, 14 food agencies and 15 Publix Super Markets. For more than a decade, this event has stocked the pantry shelves of local food agencies such as the Women’s Resource Center, ECHO and the United Food Bank. So how does it work? The coordinated effort offers a simple yet effective process to purchase the food items. Participating shoppers are provided a grocery list of requested items. Immediately after the shopper purchases the food, volunteers waiting outside load the donated food onto a semi-truck. At 2 p.m., the loaded food truck sets out to a predetermined agency, where another group of volunteers is waiting to unload and sort the food onto the pantry shelves.

By the next morning, the food agency is ready to serve with a replenished pantry. Melanie Langston, the event coordinator at Bay Life Church in Brandon has led the charge of this operation since 2011. “I fell in love with Feed The Bay the first time I saw it simply because it was so laser focused and so easy for the whole family to get involved....It is a teachable moment. It is simply going and being the hands and feet of Christ,” said Langston. The one-day event yields instant and visible results of replenished pantries in food agencies across the Bay, but it also spawns long-standing desirable effects in other ways. Cheryl Hickman, founder and executive director of the Women’s Resource Center of Tampa explained, “ We normally have close to 100 volunteers that help on that day. We help mostly single parent moms get reestablished with employment, housing and healthcare. Once they (the volunteers) understand that we don’t just need food but also clothes, household items, furniture, they begin to see the whole picture.” Volunteers must be at least 14 years old, but children are welcome to participate alongside their parents. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, please visit www.feedthebay.org or contact Melanie Langston at mlangston@baylife.org.

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Page 3 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

A Door Of Hope Opens To Provide Much-Needed Foster Parent Training

By Amanda Boston

A Door Of Hope’s Executive Director Godly Daniel and Licensing Specialist Kissandra Collins assist families with the process of becoming licensed foster parents.

In the Tampa Bay area, an average of eight children are removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. A Door Of Hope is a Christ-centered foster care agency that recruits, trains, licenses and supports foster families. Its name originates from John 10:9 where Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved...” In 2011, Tom Teel, a pastor and foster parent and Godly Daniel, formerly the Director of SafePlace, opened A Door Of Hope, previously known as 4KIDS Tampa Bay. Daniel said, “We (Teel and Daniel) bumped into each other at a time when he (Teel) was being asked to do things in foster care he didn’t feel was in line with his faith. So we talked, and he asked me, because of my past experience, if I would

... “Relax ke a t l ’l we it.” care of

help start a Christ-centered foster care agency here in Tampa Bay. And so I said I would love to, and we dove into this adventure.” A Door Of Hope’s mission is to provide hope for every child in crisis in the form of a safe home. The Tampa Bay area desperately needs foster families for children as young as two days old until 18 years old. The state requires foster parents to have 21 hours of “Professional Parenting” training. At A Door Of Hope, the training is biblically focused and shares God’s heart for the orphans, which is expressed in James 1:27. Depending on class scheduling and the timeliness of required paperwork, the agency can license foster parents in about 60 days. Kelley Klein, a foster parent from Brandon said, “My husband and I chose to license through A Door of Hope because our goal is the same: share the love of Christ through the mission field of foster care. Having a support group of people that knows your name and prays over your family is probably the biggest reason we are still foster parents.” The next parent training is scheduled for March and April at First Baptist Church in Riverview, located at 8626 USHwy. 301 S. Childcare is provided during the training for ages 0 to 10 years with a reservation. To sign up, visit www.adoorofhope.com or call 727- 322-7640.

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Page 4 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

Watoto Children’s Choir Sing A Story Of Hope In The Tampa Bay Area

By Amanda Boston

The Watoto Children's Choir will perform in the Tampa Bay area from Thursday, February 23 to Wednesday, March 8. As the choir traverses the globe, this energetic group of 18 Ugandan orphans act as ambassadors for The Watoto Children’s Choir will perform in the Tampa Bay area the millions of from February 23 to March 8. orphans in Africa. The Oh, What Love concert is based on 1 John 3:1, “See what kind of love the father has given us, that we should be called children of God, and so we are.” The performance is a musical testimony of the hope these orphans have found in God’s love despite their circumstance. The animated production incorporates singing, clapping and dancing to distinct African drumbeats. The Watoto Children’s Choir is based out of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. In 1994, Gary and Marilyn Uganda and travels annually to six Skinner, the Watoto Church continents to convey awareness of founders, established the ministry in Africa’s needs. The choir is part of response to the millions of children the Watoto Church’s Child Care orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic Ministries, which uses a holistic and civil wars. approach to raise orphans as leadEdwin Naijuka is a Watoto ers and rebuild the nation of

testimony of where God has brought them from. It’s a testimony of God’s love for them. It’s a message of hope to those who feel hopeless—to let them know there is actually a God who cares for them and that he can bring them out of whatever situation their life is in and turn it around.” The Watoto choir is comprised of seven independent choirs each perTriplets, (12) Thomas, Theodore and Timothy were once for a six-month forming orphans but are now thriving with Watoto ministries. period at different locations around the world. The seven choirs are made up of nine boys and nine girls—all parentless through death or abandonment. The Watoto ministries provide these disadvantaged children with a loving family environment and an education. With African beats and tales of transformation, the Watoto Children’s Choir is not a show to miss. The 90minute concert is a free event and is opened to the public. For a complete tour schedule of dates, times and locations, please Destiny (9) is a Uganda orphan performing with the visit www.watoto.com/choir/. Watoto Children’s Choir. If you would like to support Church member and one of the the Watoto’s ministries, please visit choir directors. He described the the choir website at concert as a message of hope, “It is www.watoto.com/give/sponsor/.

Page 5 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

North Brandon YMCA Boosts SilverSneakers Program With New Leadership


Staff Report

Brandon Family The YMCA located at SilverSneakers a 3097 S. premier fitness Kingsway Rd., in program for those Seffner. ages 65 and up “The current has been a staprogram at the ple at area YMCA Brandon Y is facilities that are going well, but I especially proud am working on of keeping seniors physically Members of the Brandon Family YMCA Silver adding additional Sneakers fitness program work out during a classes and active and menrecent class coordinated by long time YMCA tally sharp. Active Older Adult coordinator Kavita Marballi. activities to fit our seniors needs,” While Marballi said, adding that besides the SilverSneakers need no introduction physical activities, members can also its success at local YMCA facilities enjoy social events such as senior tea including the Campo Family Y in parties, pot lucks and senior birthday Valrico, and Camp Cristina in Riverview is largely credited to its long parties, health education seminars and other events that promote the benefits time Active Older Adult Coordinator of a healthy lifestyle. “My goal is to Kavita Marballi. “The program has been a success keep our seniors healthy, physically and socially.” and is appreciated by many in the The Brandon Y currently hosts its community as each customized hour-long, SilverSneaker classes on SilverSneakers class is designed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at exclusively for older adults who want 11 a.m. A class is also held on to improve their strength, flexibility, balance and endurance,” Marballi said Saturday starting at 12:15 p.m. Marballi said that the class focusadding that each Silver Sneaker class es on upper body strength with nonat the various YMCA locations are impact aerobic choreography. Chairs well-supported by senior citizens, who are available for seated and/or standdesire a fitness program specifically ing support and for head to toe designed for them. To increase awareness and partic- stretching and complete relaxation in a comfortable position. ipation by senior residents living in The Y’s Silver Sneakers program Brandon and Seffner, Marballi, who has been in charge of coordinating the can be covered through insurance or at a reduced cost. YMCA membership Active Senior Adult programs at the Y is not required to join the program. for more than a decade, was selected Visit www.tampaymca.org. to oversee SilverSneakers at the North Dr. Amir Boules





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Page 6 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

Troop 61 Eagle Scout Does Exceptional Garden Project At Lopez Elementary

By Kate Quesada

Bloomingdale High School student Christopher Hackbardt has found a way to help others while achieving one of the greatest honors of the Boy Scout organization, the rank of Eagle Scout. Hackbardt, a member of Boy Scout Troop 61 with the Presbyterian Church of Bloomingdale, built a raisedbed garden for students at the Lopez Exceptional Center in Bloomingdale High School Student Christopher Seffner, where his sister teach- Hackbardt with Lopez Exceptional Principal Amanda Keel and Teacher Melanie Younglove. es children with special needs, grow.” as his Eagle Scout project. The garden took approximately two To become an Eagle Scout, students need to come up with and execute a proj- months from the start of the proposal to the completion of the project and ect that helps a group outside of the Boy Christopher, who is 15 years old, credits Scout organization. They are responsible his success to “having a good plan and for planning and following through with following it.” the project, including coordinating volunChristopher developed the plan for teers if necessary. the garden, figured out what was needed When researching his Eagle Scout for its construction, how the volunteers project, Christopher spoke to his sister who suggested he build a raised bed gar- would be used and tracked the costs against his budget. den for the students at her school. He Other requirements for scouts to wanted a project that would be lasting reach the Eagle rank include being active and helpful to people and felt that this in their troop and serving in a position of garden met his requirements. responsibility for at least six months, com“One of the goals of the Lopez Exceptional Center is to help the students pleting at least 21 merit badges and being less than 18 years old. learn life skills,” said Eileen Hackbardt, Lopez Exceptional School is located Christopher’s mother. “As part of the sciat 315 W. Old Hillsborough Ave. in ence lessons they wanted to have a garSeffner and can be reached at 744-8008. den for the students to learn to plant, For more information on Troop 61 which grow, harvest and possibly sell their meets Monday evenings from 7:30-9 p.m. crops. Providing a garden for the school at 710 Bloomingdale Ave. E. in Valrico, would last for many classes of students visit www.bstroop61.com. and give them the skills to help them

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Local Happenings In Our Community

Brandon Christian Women’s Connection Luncheon Will Make You Smile The Brandon Christian Women’s Connection March luncheon “Irish Eyes are Smiling” welcomes all ladies on Monday, March 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will take place in Bell Shoals Baptist Church Special Event Center, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. Luncheon and entertainment cost $15. First time guests pay $10. No membership is required for this nondenominational event, but a reservation due to limited seating is requested by Friday, March 3. Please call Lillie at 740-0098 for reservation.

Good Samaritan Mission’s 2017 Family Salsa Fest

This year the annual Salsa Fest at the Good Samaritan Mission in Wimauma will be held in conjunction with its monthly Saturday Farmer’s Market on Saturday, March 4 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m This is a celebration of its community and all things Salsa. Come and join in to sample the cuisine offered by the food vendors. Move

your toes or your whole body to entertainment with a Latin beat. There will be a lot of games and activities for the whole family. Shop at craft vendors and learn about local businesses and non-profit organizations. Entrance and parking is free. The Good Samaritan Mission and the Family Salsa Fest is located at 14920 Balm Wimauma Rd. (Corner of Balm Rd. and Balm Wimauma Rd.) in Riverview. For more info, call 6347136 or email gsmission1984@gmail.com.

Second Annual St. Anne’s Golf Tournament

Saint Anne Catholic Church is building its 2017 Community Outreach Funds with its Second Annual St. Anne’s Golf Tournament. A “Best Ball Golf Tournament” will be held Saturday, April 1 at Apollo Beach Golf Course, 801 Golf and Sea Blvd. in Apollo Beach. Registration opens 7 a.m. with an 8 a.m. “Shotgun Start.” The entrance fee is $75 per player, or $300 for each foursome. This fee includes prizes for Hole-in-One, Greatest Putt, Longest Drive, Most Accurate Drive, Closest to the Pin (all

Par 3s) and a fun awards luncheon with great food and prizes following the Tournament. The luncheon will be hosted at the South Shore Falls Ballroom located at South Shore Falls in Apollo Beach. A Hole-in-One contest will have a grand prize of $10,000. Tournament registration forms are available at Saint Anne Parish Office Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-12 Noon. Forms are also available at Apollo Beach Golf Course Pro Shop. Completed forms can be dropped off at the Parish Office or sent to Keven Hagan., 5326 Loon Nest Ct., Apollo Beach, FL 33572. For more information, contact Keven at marne411@yahoo.com. All proceeds benefit Saint Anne Catholic Church Community and Outreach programs, including the weekly Food Pantry, St. Vincent DePaul, and Catholic Charities’ Mobile Medical Bus ministering to the health needs of rural poor in southeastern Hillsborough County.

Eastern Hillsborough Community Band Spring Concerts

The Eastern Hillsborough Community Band will perform three concerts as part of its 2017 Spring Concert Series in the Brandon area and Sun City Center. Performance dates and locations are: Thursday, March 30, 7 p.m. at Logan Hall, New Hope United Methodist Church, 115 Knights Ave., Brandon; Thursday, April 27, 7 p.m. at Strawberry Ridge Clubhouse, 3419 State Road 60 East, Valrico; and Thursday May 4, 7 p.m. at United Methodist Church of Sun City Center, 1210 Del Webb Blvd. W., Sun City Center. A $5 suggested donation is asked at the door. Reservations are not required for any concerts. EHCB is a full-sized concert band that has been entertaining the Tampa Bay area since 2009. For more information about the band, email info@ehcb.org, visit www.ehcb.org or call 569-1771.


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Page 8 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

Superior Residences Andrew Brings Home Sherriff’s Brotherly Love...Cont. From Page 1 International Award For Product Creativity By Amanda Boston comeback to his co-work-

By Kate Quesada

Do you have a side was that you friend or loved one had to open the lid to who suffers with determine how much dementia? If so, the had been consumed, product that recently thus agitating the won Superior patient. Also, straws Residences of can be a challenge. Brandon, an award We wanted a way to from Promotional determine the Products Association amount of consumpInternational (PPAI) tion without disturbmight be of interest ing the patient.” to you. McNeill found Superior the solution to her Residences Senior problem with a mood Jill Andrew of Superior Residences of Brandon and Jerry McNeill with Vernon bottle provided by Solution Expert Jill Promotions recently won first HIT. The bottle starts Andrew submitted a MacGraves place in the Health and Wellness categowater bottle provided ry of the PPAI Pyramid Awards for cre- out clear white and ative use of a promotional product. to her by Jerry turns red when cold McNeill of Vernon MacGraves or ice liquid is used. Promotions, Inc. to the PPAI Pyramid “The white bottle turned red to the Awards, which recognize creative use of level of the contents so it was easy for promotional products because she the caregiver to see from afar how much noticed it changes the lives of patients was consumed,” said Andrew. with dementia. Andrew and McNeill’s collaboration “I needed a product that would was enough to impress the judges at the ensure that patients with dementia were PPAI Pyramid Awards. They gave the consuming adequate liquids and that use of the bottle first place in their award had ease of use,” said Andrew. recognizing creative use of a promotionAndrew did some research and al product. found a study from a group at Boston “This has turned into tremendous University that determined that someone spin-off for both of us,” said McNeill. “Jill with Alzheimers, which is a type of now uses the bottle for her trade show dementia, will eat 25 percent more food giveaways, her gifts to residents and off a red plate. She went further and caregivers and a show and tell item durfound that a patient with dementia will ing guest lecture events.” drink up to 87 percent more out of a red For information, contact Andrew at cup. 657-8587. Superior Residences is locat“We originally used a red cup with a ed at 1819 Providence Ridge Blvd. Visit lid and straw,” said Andrew. “The downwww.superioralf.com.

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Joshua Boyer, a deputy from the Homeless Initiative organized the outreach providing more than 100 individuals with resources and services.

er’s kindness and support. He continued, “I know what it takes to bring the dignity back to the homeless...That’s why I jumped in with both feet. I get a little misty just seeing the outpouring of help the homeless get at these events.” The next Homeless Initiative outreach is on Tuesday, March 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Target Plaza by Bruce B

done—by bringing organizations and communities together,” explained Whitney. The Brandon Elks Lodge, Brandon Moose Lodge and Salvation Army combined forces and resources to distribute 200 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hot meals, toiletry bags, blankets and clothing. Bob Blair, an officer The Women’s Resource Center along with community of the Elks Lodge said, “I am volunteers distributed clothing to those in need. now retired, and my wife and I Downs Blvd. and Fletcher Ave. If you donate all the time we can to help out or your organization would like to get the homeless.” involved, contact Deputy Boyer at Thirty-eight years ago, Blair was jboyer@hcso.tampa.fl.us. homeless and sleeping in his car. He For more information about the held a job, but was unable to afford HCSO Homeless Initiative, visit its housing. Thankfully, a co-worker disFacebook page at HCSO Homeless covered his plight and offered him Initiative. room and board. Blair attributed his

Page 9 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

Great Food, Wine And Music Await You At Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival Staff Report

A world of taste Heightz, Justin awaits you at Busch Quiles & Milly Gardens Tampa Bay’s Quezada; third annual Food & Sunday, April 30: Wine Festival, returnTribute Bands (Jimmy ing this spring for an Buffett, Queen, Bon extended nine weeks Jovi and Prince). of chart-topping artists The festival and culinary masterreturns with signature pieces. The popular dishes and exciting Tampa Bay food and new cuisine, including the flavor of more than 65 fine tacos, lobster wine festival is includ- Uncork duck wines, an expanded lineup of over 70 ed with any Annual craft brews and a variety of featured ravioli, bacon mac & cocktails at the Busch Gardens® Food cheese, brown sugar Pass, Fun Card or & Wine Festival. daily admission to the rubbed pork belly, park and runs Saturdays and Sundays, banana foster panna cotta, gator bites, March 4 through April 30. and cabernet-filled chocolates, as well as The biggest names in entertainment an expanded selection of wines, craft will take the stage every weekend with brews and cocktails. the headlining act starting at 7 p.m. on Food and beverage is not includGwazi Field. Artists kicking off the festival ed with park admission and is availinclude: Saturday, March 4: - Daughtry, able for an extra fee. Guests must be Sunday, March 5: Andy Grammer, 21 years of age or older to consume Saturday, March 11: alcoholic beverages. Goo Goo Dolls; Sunday, March 12: For a limited time, if you buy a Kool & The Gang; Saturday, March 18: Busch Gardens Fun Card, get an Young the Giant; Sunday, March 19: Adventure Island Fun Card for free. Jason Isbell & John Hiatt Trio; For those that want even more Saturday, March 25: NBC’s The Voice VIP offerings, the Annual Pass offers finalists Craig Wayne Boyd & Adam unlimited admission all year, free Wakefield, Sunday, March 26: parking, no blackout dates and speEl Gran Combo, Saturday, April 1: cial benefits totaling more than $300. DNCE; Sunday, April 2: Walk Off The With EZpay, Annual Passes start at Earth, Saturday, April 8: Hunter Hayes; just $14 per month for one park, and Sunday, April 9: Daya and Matt $16 per month for both Busch Nathanson; Saturday, April 15: The Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Band Perry; Sunday, April 16: Island. Visit Newsboys; Saturday, April 22: Gilberto seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardensSanta Rosa; Sunday, April 23: Lynyrd tampa/food-and-wine/event-info for Skynyrd; Saturday, April 29: Bachata more on the Festival.

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Page 11 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

St. Stephen School Holds Successful Interfaith Day For Students

By Julianne Gonzalez

St. Stephen Catholic daily prayer, School Principal, Linda the connection Umoh, dreamed of hosting of the faiths an Interfaith Day from the through the moment she accepted her prophet role as school principal in Abraham and July 2016. Today more that working than ever, Umoh sees a for peace, need to eradicate fear and unity, underignorance among standing, and Americans and knew that respect for all an Interfaith Day would be people is an a strong step in that direcunwavering tion. intention of In September, Umoh each religion. enlisted the help of Interfaith Religion Coordinator Day 2017 was Julianne Gonzalez to put a resounding together a guest list and success. A an agenda for an Interfaith Giving Tree Inc. hosted the student highlight of the day, the drum circle. Students grandmother Students joined an interfaith small group and Day. Catholic Schools came together through rhythmic drumming led by Steve and “Ice”. They took turns were given the challenge to represent an inter- who chaperfaith theme in sidewalk chalk using a parking oned her Week seemed like a great leading the rhythms, worked together to create one beat and even played on each other’s instruments. stall as their canvas. Some of the themes were time to host the Interfaith faith symbols, holy days, prophets, holy sites, grandson from welcomed its long awaited interfaith the Hillel School, Day, as “Catholic” means “univerplaces of worship and faith rituals. the Universal guests. Many students entered with and Imam Hassan sal”. Wednesday, February 1, 2017 Academy of Florida told Gonzalez, smiles and some with a trace of hesitaSultan from the Universal Academy of was marked on the calendar as “Thank you for doing this. My grandson tion on their faces. After Gonzalez Florida answered questions from the Interfaith Day. Now all the two had to needed this. Our children need this. warmly welcomed the schools, the students. Questions such as: “What do was figure out how to celebrate it. Our country needs this.” The school Taoist Tai Chi Society from Brandon does Easter celebrate?”, “Do Muslims St. Stephen reached out to eight administrators and staff thanked Umoh began the day with a historical follow the lunar calendar?”; “Why do area schools of Christian, Islamic and and Gonzalez numerous times for prooverview of Tai Chi and led a sample Jewish men wear a yamaka?”; “At Jewish faiths. Three accepted the invividing the opportunity for their stuclass of movements for all students. In what age do Muslim girls wear the tation: The Hillel Academy (Jewish), dents. A group of Muslim girls thanked silence, 185 students moved with medhijab?”; “How does an exorcism work?” The Universal Academy of Florida Gonzalez for the opportunity.” Echoed itative intention, along with some gigwere among the many questions that (Islamic) and The American Youth again and again, the eighth graders gles peppered in as they struggled to the religious leaders answered. At the Academy (Islamic). The guest list from St. Stephen agreed this should be imitate the relaxed nature of the comend of the session, it was clear to the included 185 eighth grade an annual event. plex movements. students that Christianity, Judaism, and students: Islamic (140), Jewish (17) Interfaith Day 2017 is in the books The Interfaith panel of religious Islam ,although distinct from one and Catholic (28). and now Interfaith Day 2018 is in its leaders was the pinnacle of the agenanother, share so many similarities: the On Wednesday, February 1, St. planning phase. For more information da. Father Bob Schneider of St. practice of fasting, following a Stephen Catholic School opened the on St. Stephen School, visit www.sscsStephen, Rabbi Jason Rosenberg from monotheistic belief, reading scripture, doors of the Family Life Center and fl.org/.

Page 12 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

GriefShare, Grief Recovery Support Disney On Ice Presents Newest Show, Worlds of Enchantment Groups Offered Locally Staff Report

By Amanda Boston

A list of “The local LORD is churches close to the participatbroken-hearting in the ed and saves GriefShare those who program are crushed can be in spirit.” found (Psalm below. For 34:18) When further a loved one GriefShare is a 13-week program offered by churches supinformapasses from porting those grieving the loss of a loved one. tion, please this earth contact the church directly or for a more those who are left behind confront an array of intense emotions. Oftentimes, the comprehensive list, please visit www.griefshare.org. deep feeling of hurt debilitates a person’s Bay Life Church, located on 1017 ability to accept the death and move forKingsway Rd., Brandon offers a group on ward in everyday life. While a period of mourning is healthy, the griever will even- Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.baylife.org. tually need to mend their broken heart. First Baptist Church Plant City, Thankfully, many churches have located 503 N. Palmer St., Plant City adopted GriefShare, a 13-week program offers a group on Wednesdays from 6 specifically designed to assist individuals p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information, through the grieving process. GriefShare visit www.fbcpc.com. is a ministry developed by Church FishHawk Fellowship, located at Initiative, a nondenominational, nonprofit 15326 Fishhawk Blvd., Lithia offers a organization equipping churches worldgroup on Mondays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. wide with a biblical support group minFor more information, visit www.fishhawkistry. The weekly meeting consists of fc.org. three segments: a video seminar with Southside Baptist Church, located experts, a group discussion and personal study and reflection. Each meeting is self- at 425 W. Lumsden Rd., Brandon offers a contained so the program may be started group on Mondays from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit at anytime within the 13-week cycle. www.southsidebrandon.org/griefshare/. Although grief is not limited to death, St. Andrew’s United Methodist GriefShare is exclusively for individuals Church, located at 3315 S. Bryan Rd., mourning a death. Whether the death is recent or from the past, the support group Brandon offers a group on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more informais available for those searching to restore tion, visit www.saumc.net/. hope and in need of encouragement.

Enter the dazzling world of Disney magic LIVE ON ICE! Rev up for non-stop fun with four of your favorite Disney stories at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment at Amalie Arena on Friday, March 24 at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen and the crew of Disney® Pixar’s Cars race across the ice. Dive into adventure with Ariel and The Little Mermaid’s undersea kingdom. The toys are also back in town with heroic action when Buzz, Woody, Jessie and the Disney® Pixar Toy Story gang escape Sunnyside Daycare in their most daring adventure. Plus, enter the wintery world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa and pals Olaf and Kristoff from Disney’s Frozen as they learn that true love comes from within. Prior to the performance, get warmed up for the show and be your best with exclusive moves taught by the mouse that started it all at Mickey’s Dance-Along Pre-Show. The backstage warm-up will

be brought to the ice. The skating athletes of Disney On Ice will remind everyone that getting active can help you to be your best. Your whole family will dance and laugh as Mickey Mouse and the Disney On Ice performers teach the audience a new dance routine you will only learn LIVE at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment. From wheels to waves, icy wonderlands to infinity and beyond, your family’s favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment. Ages Two and older require ticket. Costumes are not permitted for guests 14 years and older. Show times vary and will be noted on your ticket, so make sure you arrive a few minutes early so you don’t miss a minute of this exciting way to get ready for the show. Amalie Arena is located at 401 Channelside Dr. in Tampa. Ticket prices start at $18. Purchase tickets at www.disneyonice.com/worlds-ofenchantment, Ticketmaster or by phone at 800-745-3000.

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eating problems. Recently, a According to Akers, baby, Layton "The external arms Pedrosa, born on were taken off September 30, before Layton was 2016, underwent discharged from the life-saving surgery NICU. We went at Brandon through an 11-week Regional Hospital consolidation phase (BRH) in Brandon. in which the bone Layton was born grew and hardened with Isolated Pierre before the internal Robin Sequence hardware was (PRS), a rare set of Layton Pedrosa, shown here with his abnormalities that mother, Ricki Ackers, suffered from a rare removed on affect the head and condition known as Isolated Pierre Robin January 4." Sequence. Dr. Mitchell, face where there is who is with Tampa Children's ENT and is a small lower jaw (micrognathia), a affiliated with BRH said, "Children with tongue that is placed further back than severe PRS and failure to thrive are fortunormal (glossoptosis) and obstruction of nately fairly rare. Additionally, not all chilthe airway. dren have to undergo mandibular distracAccording to Ricki Akers, Layton's tion as Layton did." Dr. Mitchell added, mother, "My pregnancy was perfect. It "Layton's degree of micrognathia was was completely shocking when my son pretty impressive along with the width of was born with PRS. When he was born, he was not breathing well and was imme- his cleft palate. However, he has been a great healer and has a good family supdiately taken to the NICU (Neonatal port system, along with the fantastic pediIntensive Care Unit). I was absolutely atric anesthesia and NICU nurses and devastated." physicians at BRH. This is why he is getLayton was treated by Dr. Joshua R. ting such a great outcome." Mitchell, M.D. Layton had to undergo a Akers said, "It was a hard month, but mandibular distraction. This is where a I am thankful for all the great doctors, precise incision is made in both sides of nurses and of course Dr. Mitchell. They the jaw bone. Both an internal and extersaved my baby's life. He went from strugnal distractor hardware are placed. Over the course of a nine-day period, the exter- gling to breathe and eat, not being able to be on his back at all, to being able to do nal arms were turned a small amount everything a normal baby can do." each morning and night. This creates a BRH is located at 119 Oakfield Dr. in gap in which new bone can form thus Brandon. For information, call 681-5551 expanding the jaw, bringing the tongue or visit www.brandonhospital.com. forward. This fixes both breathing and


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Page 14 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

Royal Family KIDS Camp Coming To Tampa: Caring For Foster Kids

By Amanda Boston

Sadly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that more than 3.6 million referrals of child abuse and neglect are reported annually to child protective agencies. In an effort to reverse the negative effects of abuse, Scott Mulhollen of Lithia is launching a Royal Family KIDS Camp in Tampa Bay. The camp’s mission is to provide a week of life-changing memories for children ages 6 to 12 that have experienced abuse, neglect and abandonment. The faith-based camp will operate from Sunday, June 4 through Sunday, June 9. For 20 years, Scott and Kris Mulhollen have been a powerful voice for abused children as foster parents and founders of the Modern Orphans Ministry at Bay Life Church in Brandon. Still, the couple dreamt of opening and operating a one-week camp for foster kids. Scott said, “It seemed like a daunting task, but literally two weeks after announcing that The faith-based camp provides a safe and we were going to start the process of loving environment for children of abuse and neglect. doing the camp, a visitor at our church approached us. She said she was The weeklong camp offers overnight looking to bring a camp to Tampa.” lodging in cabins in a safe and loving Visiting the church was Megan Jetter, environment with a ratio of one adult to a family coordinator with Pinellas County one child. Each volunteer undergoes an Housing Authority. She has been a camp extensive background check, a face-tocounselor at the Royal Family KIDS face interview and two days of volunteer Camp in Ocala and wanted to start a training. The training takes place at Bay camp in Tampa. The encounter was more Life Church in Brandon on Saturday, April than just a coincidence—it was a bless8 and Saturday, May 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 ing. Since that fortuitous meeting in p.m. October 2014, Scott, Kris and Megan For an event of this caliber to be fruithave trained as camp directors and have ful, it will require 50 adult volunteers. worked non-stop to turn their dream into Volunteers may serve as counselors or in a reality. other supportive roles in areas of music,

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five foster homes. In addition to counselors, the camp needs financial sponsorship and donations. David Longspaugh, the owner and broker of Re/Max Across the Bay has stepped up as a corporate Royal Family KIDS Camp is the Nation’s sponsor. leading network of camps for children of Moreover, abuse, neglect and abandonment. Longspaugh drama, sports has designated the Re/Max office in and outdoor Lithia as a collection point for donaactivities. tions and supplies. Donations may be On dropped off at the office Monday Saturday, through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 March 4 and Sunday, March 5 from 11 p.m. The office is collecting boy and a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Re/Max Across the girl gifts valued at $25 along with necBay, located at 5664 Fishhawk Crossing essary camp supplies. Blvd., Lithia will open up its office to regisFor more information on how to ter volunteers, answer questions and volunteer, donate or sponsor, please accept donations. Volunteers may also visit www.TampaKidsCamp.org. Also, register at www.TampaKidsCamp.org. you may contact the camp director, Lisa Dean, a realtor with Re/Max Scott Mulhollen at Scott@rfkctob.com Across the Bay and key organizer for the or 641-4141. Royal Family KIDS camp said, “Volunteers are what we need Camp Tampa Bay is a 501(c)(3) taxmore than anything.” The premise of the exempt public charity under the name Royal Family KIDS Camp is near and Tampa Foster KIDS Camp – FEIN 81dear to her heart. From 11 years old, she 1735611. All donations are tax spent a good portion of her childhood in deductible.

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Page 15 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

CLS Golf Tournament Supports Funding For New Youth And Children Ministry Facility

By Michelle Colesanti

Iglesia Cristo La Senda (CLS), an institution with strong Christian values, will host its third annual Golf Tournament on Saturday, March 18 at Bloomingdale Golfers Club, 4113 Great Golfers Place in Third annual CLS Golf Valrico. Tournament on Saturday, March 18 at The entry Golfer’s fee is $100 per Bloomingdale Club. person. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. with unlimited free range balls. Golf starts at 1 p.m. Meet special guest, former Yankee Pitcher Ramiro Mendoza, a five-time World Series champion. All golfers will receive 18 holes of golf, grab bags featuring a golf shirt from Mendoza’s company, MENDOZA55. There will be a Hole-in-One for $10,000. Enjoy snacks throughout the event. Included is an awards ceremony, dinner, contests, raffles, sport memorabilia, prizes and more. “This activity is very close to my heart, it is not only my church, but it is also a project that is focus towards the Youth and Children Ministry. It will also bring our community together keeping in mind that our youth and children are our future, said Mendoza.” Pastor Sergio Peralta said, “Recently we had the blessing to finish a new con-

struction for our new sanctuary. That has increased the assistance of families with young children and youth. For that same reason, we need a new facility for them so they can be able to do their activities and spiritual growth.” All the funds from the Golf Tournament go toward the new building and will benefit not only the children and youth, but also the community with free family and marriage counseling, free music classes for children and adults, computer classes, English classes and spiritual. “We will also have the space to have a complete food bank; right now we do serve on Sunday to the less fortunate,” Pastor Peralta added. You can register online at www.iglesiacls.com or pay by check to: Iglesia Cristo La Senda, 3104 Bryan Rd., Brandon, FL 33511. Deadline to enter is Friday, March 10. The church is also looking for sponsors for the tournament. A hole-inone sponsorship is $200, Gold sponsorship-$1,000, Platinum-$3,000 and Diamond-$5,000. More information on each sponsorship level can be found at www.iglesiacls.com. Cristo La Senda Church is located at 3104 Bryan Rd. in Brandon. For more information, call 571-7174.

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LOCAL CHRISTIAN NEWS Compiled by Michelle Colesanti

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You could own a brand new Corvette Grand Sport for as little as $5. The red Corvette Grand Sport will be raffled off on Sunday, March 12 at 5 p.m. at Stingray Chevrolet's vehicle display on the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds. This 2017 model, valued at about $70,000, includes the following features:

* 8-speed Paddle Shift Automatic Transmission * LT1 Engine, 6.2L V8 DI/VVT * Grand Sport Black Aluminum Wheels * Carbon Flash Badge Package * Bose Premium 9-Speaker Audio System * "Torch Red" Exterior

Tickets for the drawing are $5 each and are available for purchase through March 12 at https://stingraychevroletraffle.com and at the Stingray Chevrolet dealership located off exit 22 on I-4 in Plant City. Tickets can also be purchased all 11 days of the Florida Strawberry Festival at Stingray Chevrolet's vehicle display on the event grounds. This opportunity is made possible by Steve and Susan Hurley of Stingray Chevrolet, who have donated a vehicle for this raffle for the past eight years. All

fit Unity in the Community, a Plant City organization that contributes to local youth organizations and other groups who provide assistance to underprivileged families.

Guardian ad Litem Program Seeks Volunteers

How can you help over 3,600 abused and neglected children? Start with one. Hundreds of Child Advocates are urgently needed. These children need a caring person to stand up and be their ‘voice’ in the courtroom and to advocate for them in the child welfare system. As a child advocate, the Guardian ad Litem visits the child/children every month, becomes familiar with the circumstances regarding the family, and makes recommendations to the court to help ensure the child/children remain in a safe and stable environment. Attend an information session at one of the following locations: Thursday, March 2 at 3:30 p.m. at

the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, 330 Pauls Dr., Ste. 100 in Brandon and Thursday, March 16 at 10:30 a.m. at the Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. For more information, call 272-5110 or visit www.galtampa.org.

Lenten Morning of Retreat - ReDiscovering Jesus Through Prayer

Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Sun City Center will be hosting a Lenten Morning of Retreat on Wednesday, March 8, following the 8 a.m.Mass in the Conesa Center. Fr. Joel M. Kovanis and Fr. Brian McColl will present a teaching followed by prayer and discussion, including the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross. The retreat is free of charge and open to the public. For more information, please visit www.popcc.org or call 634-2328.

Enjoy Inspirational Country Music At Rugged Cross Youth Ranch

Come out for some inspirational country music on Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m. at Rugged Cross Youth Ranch, located at 21 Corbett Rd. in Lithia. The concert will featuring Mike Holmes, Nashville recording artist Jayc Harold, Country Music Hall of Fame Richard Kiser, Travis Lewis, Jack Cooper, David Speagle, Paul Bovee, Dan Sullivan, Comedian Juanita Lolita, God's Company and K'lyn. For more information, call 967-3046.

Spirited Toastmasters Open House

Spirited Toastmasters meets on the first and third Tuesdays of every month at 7 p.m. at Saint Stephen School, 10424 St Stephen Cir, in Riverview. Anyone can drop in to see how Toastmasters can help improve your speaking and leadership skills in a friendly and supporting environment. Visitors are welcome to attend Spirited Toastmasters’ Open House on Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. More information can be found at http://1529878.toastmastersclubs.org/. • Water, Fire, Smoke & Mold Remediation and Restoration • Residential & Commercial Buildings • 24/7 Emergency Service • Licensed and Insured • Trained and Certified Technicians • Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed • Locally Owned & Operated

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Compiled by Michelle Colesanti Impact Hosts Auditions for Impact’s Got Talent

Teen Impact Accepting Applications For Summer Staff

The third annual Impact’s Got Join the Teen IMPACT Talent 2017 will be held on Friday, Presentation Team where you will May 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Bloomingdale learn and present educational skits on High School. the benefits of healthy relationships. Grades K-12 are encouraged Students may earn Bright Futures to audition for this fun-filled event. Hours for participation. Applications Singers, dancers, musicians, theater, are available at soloist, groups are all welcome. Grand www.whatisimpact.com/events. prize is $250. Trophies will be awardApplication deadline if Friday, March ed to 1st & 2nd place in each catego31. Teen IMPACT is a group of high ry as well as prizes school teens committed to for certain awards. saying YES to healthy relaActs must be tionships and a positive three minutes or future by saying NO to preunder and you marital sex, drugs, tobacco must audition with and alcohol. the act you would Whistle Stop Crop be performing the Scrapbooking Event night of the event. Earn Bright Futures for You may audition a participating as summer staff Holy Innocent’s cappella or with a for Teen IMPACT Episcopal Church is hosting track. Contestants its Whistle Stop Crop on selected for the event will be asked to Friday, March 31from 6:30 p.m.-10 pay a registration fee of $15 per perp.m.& Saturday, April 1 from 9 a.m.- 4 son (solos & duets), $10 each person p.m. Registration fees include workfor groups of three or more to help off- space and for Friday dinner at 6:30 set the cost of trophies and prizes. p.m. and snacks. For Saturday, a light Auditions will take place on Sunday, breakfast, lunch and a dessert buffet. March 26 at 1 p.m. You must bring your own supplies. Visit www.WhatIsImpact.com or conRegistration fees for both days is $55 tact Ali Kagey at 454-9125 or alik(Friday only $25, Saturday only $30); agey@whatisimpact.com for an Early registration (by March 24) is appointment time. $45. Proceeds from this event will Teen IMPACT is a group of high benefit Holy Innocents summer misschool teens committed to saying YES sion trips. It will be held at Holy to healthy relationships and a positive Innocents Episcopal Church, 604 N. future by saying NO to premarital sex, Valrico Rd. in Valrico. Register at drugs, tobacco and alcohol. www.hiepiscopal.org. Call 689-3130.

Grace Notes Asking The Hard Question

By Debora Coty

One morning while swallow, but I’d never staying with friends at seen one so persistent. their Alabama lake Or verbal. That silly bird house, I felt my way in kept it up – circling and the darkness before screeching – for the next dawn onto their dock to thirty minutes, ruining my snag a photo of the peaceful sunrise experisunrise. ence. I got there early – 5 When I finally got so a.m. early – granola bar annoyed I could spit, it hit in hand, camera ready, me: Hey, that’s me up and waited. Patiently at there. Papa God’s showfirst. Then … not so ing me a mirror of my much. worst self: going around Tree Swallow in flight Checking my smart and around in circles, getscreeching and circling phone, I learned sunrise reminds me of my worst self ting nowhere, complaining wasn’t until 5:48. Aargh. at times it’s “hard to swallow” the entire time. I had to and move forward. So I grumped laugh. Touche. It was so around a bit, complained to the fish, true. argued with the turtles, did a few angry How so like Him to use His marcalisthenics and paced the dock. Oh velous creation to point out something well, at least I could drink in the early I really need to work on: my complainmorning peace and quiet as the sky ing. My grousing. My squawking. gradually lightened. So okay. I get it. That’s my next Suddenly, an incessant screeching goal. To become less of a grouse and noise assaulted the silence. I could not so hard to swallow. And I don’t barely see a black dot in the sky, but mean the feathered kind. there it was off toward the east, cir“When I observed intently and cling high over the water, moving considered, I saw … birds of the air.” toward me until it was directly over(Acts 11:6 NKJV) head. A bird just kept circling round and round unproductively for the longest time, squawking constantly. Debora M. Coty is an inspirational speaker I had nothing else to do but ponand award-winning author of over 100 der: What was this crazy bird doing? articles and 13 books, including Fear, Faith, Who was she shrieking to? What was and a Fistful of Chocolate, More Beauty, she trying to accomplish? Nothing logiLess Beast, and Too Blessed to Be Stressed. cal like fishing or scoping out breakfast Debora also teaches writing workshops. Visit – she flew way too high for that. www.DeboraCoty.com I could tell by her cry she was a

Page 18 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

Area Church Directory

BAPTIST Bell Shoals Baptist Church 2102 Bell Shoals Rd, Brandon (813) 689-4229 Bell Shoals - Apollo Beach Campus 6414 Golf and Sea Blvd, Apollo Beach (813) 641-2222 First Baptist Church of Bloomingdale 3303 E. Bloomingdale Ave, Valrico (813) 689-3847 First Baptist Church of Brandon 216 N Parsons Ave, Brandon (813) 689-1204 FishHawk Fellowship 15326 Fishhawk Blvd, Lithia, (813) 655-7431 Journey Church 1310 John Moore Road, Brandon (813) 699-8262 Bay Life Church 1017 Kingsway Ave, Brandon (813) 661-3696 CATHOLIC Nativity Catholic Church 705 E Brandon Blvd, Brandon (813) 681-4608 St. Anne Catholic Church 106 11th Ave. N.E Ruskin (813) 645-1714 St. Stephen's Catholic Church 5049 Bell Shoals Rd, Valrico (813) 689-4900 CHURCH OF GOD Boyette Springs Church of God 12114 Boyette Rd, Riverview (813) 671-0086

EPISCOPAL Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church 604 N. Valrico Rd, Valrico (813) 689-3130 LUTHERAN Immanuel Lutheran Church 2913 John Moore Rd, Brandon (813) 689-1787 Living Savior Lutheran Church 2650 Lithia Pinecrest Rd, Valrico (813) 681-2375 METHODIST First United Methodist Church of Seffner 1310 South Kingsway Rd., Seffner (813) 689-3513 Grace Community United Methodist Church 5708 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Lithia (813) 661-8858 New Hope Methodist Church 120 N. Knights Ave., Brandon (813) 689-4161 Riverview First United Methodist Church 8002 US Hwy 301 South, Riverview www.riverviewflumc.org Ruskin United Methodist Church 105 4th Ave. NW Ruskin (813) 645-1241 South Shore United Methodist Church 11525 Big Bend Road, Riverview (813) 649-9462 NON-DENOMINATIONAL Destiny Church 2322 11th Ave Se, Ruskin (813) 645-3337 Life Church at FishHawk 6420 Lithia Pinecrest Rd, Lithia (813) 681-6503


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Page 19 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

By Kelly Wise Valdes Pastor Who Made History in the Indy 500 in 2016 is Back for the Race in 2017 with a Unifying Message

Last May, Rev. Will Marotti became the first active pastor in history to lead a team to the Indianapolis 500. In 2016, The Marotti Racing car #77 qualified 10th for the 100 year. anniversary of the Indy 500 and eventually finishing 12th. Now Marotti is entering the 2017 running of the Indy 500 with a special car and a special message. Considered the most famous race, the Indy 500 takes place on Memorial Day Weekend each year and has over 400,000 in attendance with upwards of 8-10 million viewers who watch live on television. This large audience is why the racing pastor wants to use his special car and message for God’s glory. Recognizing the great division in America following the most recent presidential election, Marotti wants to bring unity to the United States. He is seeking traditional sponsorships to help with funding and also is launching a national crowd funding campaign with through IndieGoGo. Supporters will receive anything from commemorative shirts, to a private dinner with the team and driver to actually waving the green flag for the qualifying attempt of the car. For

more information, visit www.MarottiRacing.com.

Hot Off The Christian News Wire

Several Christian Artists Recognized At Grammys

A number of Christian artists received awards during the recent Grammy Awards, including gospel singer Kirk Franklin, country gospel singers Joey and Rory Feek, and Chance the Rapper.

Provides.” The album “Hymns” by Joey and Rory Feek won a Grammy Award for Best Roots Gospel Album. The award was bittersweet for Rory Feek as his wife and music partner Joey passed away last March from cancer. She was 40.

Tim Tebow Hosts Night to Shine, Impacting Thousands of Disabled Young People

Christian athlete and philanthropist Tim Tebow recently took part in the third annual Night to Shine, an event that provides a special night for 75,000 young people with disabilities. The event was sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation and took place in February.

Chance the Rapper won an award for Best New Artist and in his acceptance speech, Chance said, “Glory be to God. I claim this victory in the name of the Lord!” Gospel singer Kirk Franklin also won at the Grammys. He was awarded for the year’s Best Gospel Album for “Losing My Religion,” and with Best Gospel Performance Song for “God

The foundation’s Website describes the event as “an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older.” A number of locations around the world held these special prom night events, including one in Haiti, Albania, Canada, Ecuador, New Zealand, the Philippines, and one in all 50 U.S. states. Tebow was busy flying all over the U.S., as well as Haiti, to attend as many of these events as possible. He made it to five proms, including one in Clermont, Florida where he interacted with a young lady named Abby Dowell, who has Down Syndrome. For more information, visit www.timtebowfoundation.org.

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BRANDON Every Monday from 7:45am until 9:15am Golden Corral, Providence Road Contact: Dr. Dee Franks 813-714-8562 cd1franks@aol.com

FISHHAWK Every Tuesday from 7:30am until 9:00am Latin Grill, 3318 John Moore Rd Brandon Contact: Chris Caito 813-695-2338 chris@impactwellness.com

SOUTH BRANDON/VALRICO Every Monday from 7:45am until 9:15am Recipe Box, Bloomingdale Avenue Contact: Mike Magnant 813-417-6196

Brandon Chapter Membership Directory

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Airway Systems

Dale Parker


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Charles Graham


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Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

Brian Schaffnit


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Damsel In Defense

Kim French


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Carole Mayner


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Sandi Meadows


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Jorgie Franks


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Kathy Shalosky


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Dr. Degrando Franks


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Tax Accounting

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Loren Potts


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Edwina Reddick


Technology Consulting Technology Win!

Henry Burronphs


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Bauer Handyman Services

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Insurance, Auto/Home L&M Insurance Group, Inc.

Lynn Buice


Youth&FamilyCharacter Made Wonderfully

Page 20 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

Allegria Italiana Offers Authentic Family Recipes In Welcoming Location

By Michelle Caceres

Nestled at the intersection of Oakfield and Corner Drives near Brandon Regional Hospital, Allegria Italiana Ristorante brings the culture, food and feel of Italy to Brandon. The restaurant is owned by the Dragoneti family, who share their decades of Vito Dragonetti’s Allegria Italiana Ristorante in experience and Brandon serves up passion to the authentic Italian cuisine. creation of Italian cuisine. Many of the items on the menu are authentic recipes passed down through generations of Italian families. Matriarch Mamma Rosa’s sauce recipe graces the menu in several dishes. It’s not just her recipes that can be found at the restaurant. The 85-year-old can be found most nights sitting in the dining room, enjoying the overall atmosphere and ready to chat with customers. “She brings some of that Italian authenticity to the restaurant,” said owner and son Vito Dragonetti. From their roots in Italy, the Dragonetti family began their restaurant venture in New York in the 1970’s, where they owned pizzerias, trattorias and steakhouses. A commercial broker, Eddie Arnold,

told Dragonetti that Brandon had a need for a family-owned Italian restaurant with great food. The New Yorker left the Big Apple and moved to Florida. Allegria has been open almost three years. “We have lasted because we know how to take care of our customers,” said Dragonetti, who emphasizes

the importance of the entire dining experience at his restaurant. “We are a small restaurant and take pride in our food,” he said. “Plan to spend an hour and a half eating and enjoying good food, the atmosphere and good conversation with your dining companions.” Dragonetti is doing something right. TripAdvisor ratings are extremely favorable and the restaurant earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2015 and 2016. Allegria is open Monday – Thursday 3:30 p.m.–9 p.m., Friday 3:30 p.m.–10 p.m., Saturday 4:30 p.m. –10 p.m. and Sunday 4 p.m.–8 p.m. Reservations are required on the weekends and lunch may be added soon. Visit www.allegriaitaliana.com, or call 651-1166.

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Singing, Acting, Photography And More Are Offered At Music Showcase In Brandon

By Kathy L. Collins

Music Showcase February 20 and and the Florida running through Academy of the April. Performing Arts offer Performances will area residents the be held on April 21, chance to experience 22, and 23. Cost is some fun and unique $200. classes, workshops JR Showcase and Players, for stumusidents ages nine cal and and up, will meet If you have wanted theatre on Thursdays from to try your hand at groups. 6-8 p.m. beginning photography, singing or All on February 16. decorating, Music classes take place at This will run Showcase and the Florida Academy of Music Showcase locatthrough April with the Performing Arts have something! ed at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. performances on April 28, 29 and 30. Do It Yourself Interior Decorating is Cost is $200. led by Interior Design Specialist, Charlena Showcase Players, for middle and Beacom. Classes will be held on either high school students, meet on Saturdays Mondays from 7-9 p.m. or Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. beginning on February 18 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Monday classes and run through May with performances begin on February 13, March 20, April 10 on May 19, 20 and 21. Cost is $150. and May 1. Wednesday classes begin on All Musical Theatre classes are February 15, March 22, April 12 and May directed by Miguel Oquendo. 3. Cost for the three weeks is $90. For students ages seven and up who Next, Beacom will lead a Digital like to sing, they should try Show Choir. Photography Class. Classes are on either This group combines music from all Tuesday morning from 9:30-11:30 a.m. or genre and decades with choreography. Thursday evening class from 6:30-8:30 Rehearsals start on February 21, and it p.m. Session one begins February 7 or 9, meets for eight weeks from 5-6:30 p.m. session two April 4 or 6 and session three Performance will be held on April 18. May 2 or 4. The cost is $120 per fourCost is $150. week session. Beacom said, For children ages 4 to 10, Music “Photography creates a memory and tells Makers is a free workshop offered for a story.” mini musicians on the second Saturday of Musical Theatre is offered for stueach month through May from 9:30-11 dents in varying age levels. For students a.m. To register for any of the above, ages five to nine, Acting Up! meets on please call 490-2787 or visit Mondays from 5:30-7 p.m. beginning on www.faopa.org.



Page 21 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

Ladies Night Out Promises Fun Evening With Christian Comedian Amberly Neese

By Amanda Boston

On Thursday, March 23, Christian comedian Amberly Neese will share her gift of humor and passion for Christ at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon. Armed with comedic flair and candor, Neese will tackle everyday stressors and scenarios from a biblical perspective. Neese said, “I am stoked to speak at this event and cannot wait to meet each of you there. Grab a friend and a Depends undergarment and get ready to giggle.” The food and fun kicks off at 5 p.m. with a shopping EXPO and a sweet supply of chocolate confectionaries and delicious desserts. The main event begins at 7 p.m. when Neese takes center stage to treat the ladies to a time of encouragement and enlightenment in the faith. As a little girl, Neese was known for her sidesplitting storytelling. Yet, it wasn’t until her first speaking engagement at a women’s retreat almost 25 years ago that she realized she could use humor to point others to Jesus. After the retreat, she came home changed. Neese discovered her calling—to remind others of the joy that is found in a life abiding in Christ. “It is his (God’s) design for us to live a life of joy,” said Neese. Renowned as the “joy” lady, Neese’s infectious laugh and humor delights her

audiences all over the country. In addition to her speaking engagements, Neese has written two devotionals books: Fragrance of Faith and Treasure of Trust. She has also been featured in Desiree Carter’s Remarkable Women of Faith, a book of testimonies from godly women. Currently, Neese resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and two children. She serves as an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University. She is crazy about her family, the Food Network, and all things Star Wars. If you would like to attend, tickets are $5 per person and available at www.letstalkfaith.com/LadiesNightOut. The event is at Bell Shoals Baptist Church, 2102 Bell Shoals Road, Brandon. FaithTalk 570 & 910 WTBN is sponsoring Ladies Night Out. For more information, please visit the Website above.

Apostle Bartholomew Witnesses The Ascension of Jesus By Kelly Wise Valdes Apostle Bartholomew, originally from Cana in Galilee outside of Jerusalem, is reported to have been at the actual ascension of Jesus Christ. There has been some skepticism surrounding the ascension, however, it has been reported that Bartholomew was on the scene as a documented eyewitness during the event. As of now, little is known about Bartholomew. It has been reported that he was originally from a long line of farmers and through farming he became acquainted with Disciple Philip during a commodities trade. His name “Bartholomew” means “son of the furrows” because his father was a well-known farmer. Sources close to Bartholomew also state that the Disciple Philip originally introduced Bartholomew to Jesus. Bartholomew’s initial reaction to Jesus was skeptical because it is thought that people from Nazareth are unfit for the work of God. Bartholomew was overheard asking, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip invited Bartholomew to come and see for himself. Other eyewitness say that when Bartholomew asked Jesus how he knew him, Jesus said, “I saw you

while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Jesus added, “ You will see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” As previously reported, after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, several eyewitnesses say that Bartholomew was present when Jesus ascended into heaven. Some sources even indicate that Bartholomew also saw Jesus after He was resurrected. After the ascension, Bartholomew, like the majority of the other apostles, are now on several missionary trips, including some travel to India and Armenia. His close friends also report that he left behind a hand-written copy of the Gospel of Matthew. ******************************** Jesus inspired 12 ordinary men to leave their old lives behind and become followers of Him. Among these new followers were fishermen, a tax collector and a revolutionary. The Gospels record the failings, struggles and doubts of these twelve men who followed Jesus. This series will document one of the disciples each month in a fun way in order to learn more about how God turned each man from ordinary to extraordinary.

Hooked On Christian Books

Page 22 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

By Kelly Wise Valdes

To Give Or Not To Give...Up

The season on Lent begins on Wednesday, March 1 and ends on Easter Sunday, 40 days later. We all associate Lent with giving up something we enjoy, but Lent can be a fantastic opportunity to grow spiritually. This year we invite you to do something different. Take this time to start a family tradition and spend each day of lent having a family devotion. Maybe decide as family to all give up the same thing, such as television, desserts, or electronics. Use this season of Lent to reflect on the upcoming Easter celebration. Some of the books listed below can provide more insight in how to approach Lent 2017.

Give Up Something Bad for Lent: A Lenten Study for Adults By: James W. Moore

During Lent many people give up things they love. But what about going deeper and banishing bad habits such as envy, jealousy, gossip and negative thinking? In this book, readers will find Scripture verses, personal readings, reflection questions and prayers empower positive personal changes.

Lenten Survival Guide for Kids: I am Supposed to Do What?! By: Peter Celano

Religious traditions may confuse kids, especially if they don't understand the meaning. Instead of focusing on what you might give up, take time to consider why you are doing it. This book includes great tips, including 40 days of survival tactics and practices that are helpful for making the most of Lent. Recommended for ages 7 to 11.

Give It Up! A Lenten Study for Adults By: Dottie Escobedo-Frank

Engage in spiritual practices and grow in faith during Lent. This book will prepare your heart as you move through the Lenten season and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each study includes a brief reflection related to the theme, discussion questions, a focus for the week and a prayer.


Bring Lent to Life: Activities & Reflections for Your Family By: Kathleen M. Basi

Don’t just give something up for Lent. Gather your family and enjoy this Lent. Embark on the adventure of practicing Lent in new ways. This book will outline crafts, family outings, recipes and other activities to help reveal the meaning of Lent.

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Page 23 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

Live Like You Mean It

Your Witness to Light is Exactly What the World By Derek Maul

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and selfcontrol. There is no law against such things.” (Galatians 5:22-23) Wow! What a spectacular weekend here in North Carolina! Clear skies, sunshine, temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s, a little Saturday golf, a long walk in the Piedmont, a wonderful dinner party, then a beautiful morning of worship with our church family at WFPC. At church we enjoyed seeing gaggles of children all over the place, we received new members at both services, the buzz of excitement to be in church was palpable, and my wife, Rebekah, wrapped up her series on The Fruit of the Spirit with a provocative message on “gentleness and self-control.” She turned the traditional self-control equation upside down by sharing a story about how – when she tried but failed to conjure up love for a difficult person – her eventual surrender to God made all the difference. Because, while self-control is all about us, surrender turns out to be all about God. While self-control is all about us, surrender turns out to be all about God. We have to understand that we cannot by sheer will command love, joy,

Needs Today

peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness - and certainly not self-control. However, when we cultivate our relationship to Jesus, when we place ourselves in more intentional proximity to God, then the fruit of the Spirit becomes not our obligation but our opportunity; gentleness and self-control are not our responsibility, but our response to Jesus. The fruit of the Spirit becomes not our obligation but our opportunity; gentleness and self-control are not our responsibility, but our response. If there is anything this world needs a lot more of right now, it is more committed followers of Jesus, living love out loud. We need to become the kind of disciples who tell the truth about the Gospel, simply by the way that we live. I’ll take a large helping of that – DEREK Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at www.derekmaul.wordpress.com

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Page 24 • christianvoicemonthly.com • March 2017

Profile for Osprey Observer

Osprey Observer 2017-3 Christian Voice  

Osprey Observer 2017-3 Christian Voice