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Volume 22, Issue 4

Busch Gardens

A Free Publication from Osprey Observer Inc.

April 2018

LifeCare Network Hosts Walk For Life Fundraiser To Help Support Clinic Services

By Amanda Boston


Billy Graham Tribute Page 3

Summer Camp Special Section

“Every 20 seconds in the United States, a baby is lost to abortion,” said Jessica Rickenbach, LifeCare Network’s Development Director. “You can take action against the overwhelming devastation of abortion by joining us in our Walk for Life.” If you would like to support LifeCare’s fight for the unborn, lace up your sneakers and ‘Walk for Life’ on Saturday, May 5 from 9-11 a.m. at the Brandon High School track. The familyfriendly event will also include a kid fun run, face-painting, live music, prizes for top fundraisers and more. Local churches and organizations are encouraged to recruit walkers to raise money through sponsors. You can visit LifeCare’s website at www.LifeCareNetwork.net to register and start raising funds. All funds support the ministry and its Choices Women’s Centers. LifeCare exists to lead those they

“We pray daily to be a woman’s first choice to call or visit when faced with a pregnancy decision,” said Kristen Mosley, LifeCare’s Executive Director. “The Lord continues to overwhelm us with answered prayers, allowing us to administer about 60 pregnancy tests each month.” LifeCare is the only Each year Walk for Life draws about life-affirming pregnancy 300 participants as they come together clinic in the Greater to celebrate life. Brandon area and serve to know Ruskin. For more than 30 years, the Christ, protect the sanctity of human church and community have supported the ministry, allowing it flourish as it life and promote spreads the message of life and Jesus biblically based Christ. sexuality Rickenbach said, “This is the one according to event that we host that is truly a comGod’s plan for munity event—men, women, children marriage. and churches. Our goal is to unite the Women body of Christ—all churches and receive supdenominations coming together to port and stand for life.” services For more information, visit its webthroughout site or contact Jessica at their pregnanJessica@LifeCareNetwork.net or 654cy and up to a year after 0491. Brandon High School is located the birth. All services are free and at 1101 Victoria St. in Brandon. confidential.

Feed The Bay Returns This April Along With Dedicated Volunteers By Amanda Boston

See Our Special Pull Out Section

Hooked On Books Page 19


Faith & Footprints:

Page 5

Your Monthly Catch: Page 7 GraceNotes:

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Hooked On Books: Page 19

“My family While and I have been store voluna part of Feed teers are the Bay since essential to the very first the Feed year when it the Bay was one church mission, and one man’s other volunidea,” said Julia teer opporPickens, a store tunities are coordinator volavailable. At unteer. 2:30 p.m., This year’s the semiEvery year Feed the Bay collects upwards of Feed the Bay welcomes young children to Feed the Bay trailers 160,000 pounds of food and store gift cards. participate alongside a parent. will be held on depart from Sunday, April 15 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the participating Publix Super Markets 17 participating Publix Super Markets and head to one of the 14 participating throughout Hillsborough County. The food banks or agencies. Volunteers are one-day event collects thousands of needed to unload and sort the food at pounds of food to replenish the pantries these local agencies. of local food banks and community Volunteers must be at least 14 agencies. years old, but children are welcome to Launched by Bay Life Church in participate alongside their parents. To 2006, Feed the Bay leverages more volunteer, visit www.feedthebay.org. than 30 churches in the Tampa area. Also, the website provides a list of parThe community outreach is an illustraticipating Publix Super Markets, churchtion of the body of Christ coming es and agencies. together to be the hands and feet of “We love when volunteers bring ed food items. Moreover, after shopping, Jesus. their children to the event,” Pickens said. volunteers are onsite to collect and load Pickens continued, “We encourage If you are unable to participate, gift the food immediately onto the semi-trailers. our friends and family to stop by so they cards from any supermarket may be “Each year we look forward to serving can be witnesses to the power of God’s dropped off at the Bay Life Church office as store coordinators,” said Pickens. “My people in action.” between now and April 15. husband Dwight and I felt that involving Publix Super Market, a longstanding For questions, contact Melanie our boys, then 10 and 12, would be a partner in the effort, offers shoppers the Langston from Bay Life Church at great family activity and a way of setting an convenience of a grocery list with suggestmlangston@baylife.org. example of how we should serve others.”

Page 2 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

Rezoning Of Former St. Stephen Property First Baptist Academy Engages In Family Fun With World’s Largest Jukebox At Spring-A-Palooza Could Bring Asst. Living Community By Amanda Boston By Sharon Still

Site plan of the proposed redevelopment of the old St. Stephen Church.

The Diocese of St. Petersburg is currently in the negotiating stages to sell the site of the former St. Stephens Catholic Church, located at 5049 Bell Shoals Rd. to Bridgepoint Lifecare Group. Plans call for redevelopment of the site into a new style of assisted living for seniors that focuses on freedom, comfort, convenience and affordability. Plans for the assisted living facility call for one- and two-story villa homes, three-story residences, a building for those with special needs, a building for memory care as well as a resort pool with cabana and town center. Brian Bokor, who identifies himself as a concerned citizen, said, “I keep myself on the pulse of the community and there clearly are two sides to this issue.” He explains that the people that live in the neighboring subdivisions are opposed to the plan because of traffic, noise and other issues.

“There is a lot of opposition from local residents but a lot of support from the people from the church,” he added. While Bokor said that he is not on either side of the issue, he as well as many people who signed the petition referenced below pointed out that the alternative to an assisted living facility could turn out to be something that creates much more noise and traffic. “What is the option if it doesn’t go through,” he mentioned. A rezoning hearing (RZ-PD 180100 BR), originally scheduled for February, is being continued by the applicant and will be held on April 16. Proponents of the plan are asking for community members to sign a petition in support of this redevelopment to present at the Zoning Hearing Master Hearing. The petition can be found at www.thepetitionsite.com/512/198/810/ help-st.-stephen-catholic-church-sellthe-bell-shoals-property/.

First Baptist The festivities Christian will also include a Academy of student art show, Brandon will host entertainment from its first annual the school’s middle Spring-Aschool band and Palooza, featurother exhibitions ing a car show, from school clubs. horse rides, Ronnie Setser, the bounce houses, First Baptist Christian Academy is currently owner of Ronnie enrolling students for the 2018-19 school year. Setser’s Customs live music and entertainment, in Tampa, is hosting refreshments and multia car show on location with ple vendors. a registration fee of $20 per The fundraising car. The first 40 cars to regevent will take place on ister will receive a dash Saturday, April 14 from plaque. To register, contact 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the Ronnie Setser 601-7227. school campus. Kristal “It’s going to be an Medlin, the vice principal, open show,” said Setser. is coordinating the effort “We’ll have everything and explained that the from—antiques, classics, money raised would suphotrods, racecars and port technology needs trucks to include motorcyand other educational cles, and we’ll have a fullresources. blown trophy presentation.” The academy is a ministry of First Also on display alongside the cars is Baptist Church of Brandon, serving the world's largest jukebox. Setser plays infants through eighth grade. It seeks to music for the crowd and incorporates fun provide educational and biblical excelactivities for the kids like Hula-Hoop conlence for its students while developing tests and dancing. their faith in partnership with the home, Setser continued, “When it comes to the church and community. fundraisers and festivals, at the end of the “We look at educating the whole day, the most important thing is putting child, and it’s important for students to be money back into these schools.” engaged in the community,” said Medlin. To participate, please contact Kristal “Spring-A-Palooza is an opportunity to Medlin at Kristal.Medlin@fbcbranminister to the community and showcase donacademy.org. For more information, our school so others can see what we visit www.fbbca.org. First Baptist is locathave to offer.” ed at 216 N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon.

Page 3 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

A Humble Tribute To A Truly Extraordinary Man – Billy Graham

By Kelly Wise Valdes

When I woke up on the “Someday you will read or hear that He again brought his crusades morning of February 21, I back to Tampa in 1979 at the Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you stumbled to the kitchen to Tampa Stadium. More than believe a word of it. I shall be more 175,000 people attended, and make my first cup of coffee for the day. As I sat down and alive than I am now. I will just have approximately 6,000 people turned on the news, the changed my address. I will have became Christians. During this headline story across the crusade, a permanent street markgone into the presence of God.” ~ er was erected in downtown to nation was that Reverend Billy Graham passed away at Billy Graham pay tribute to Graham’s beginthe age of 99. As I continued nings on the streets of Tampa. to see coverage, I refreshed Graham’s third Tampa my memory of his life and Crusade took place in October legacy. Then it occurred to 1998. It broke two consecutive me—I do not know a world attendance records for any Billy Graham speaks from the podium at a Billy Graham without Billy Graham in it. I local sports facility and was the in June 2003 in Oklahoma City, OK. (Photo realized that most of us do not crusade first non-football event to be credit David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images.) know a world without Billy held in the new Raymond message and lived his life authentically. Graham. James Stadium. Listening to some of his crusades since Graham was humble, authentic, genGraham crusades are his death, I would find myself in awe of uine, and full of integrity, passion and reported to have reached an compassion. He didn’t preach the wealth- the simple yet powerful teachings. estimated 215 million people in What many people may not know is gospel. He preached the joy of the gospel live audiences in 185 counGraham’s tie to the Tampa Bay area—it’s to the people of the world who needed to tries. As of 2008, Graham’s where his ministry began. In 1937, at the hear that God loved them. Each one of estimated lifetime audience, age of 18, Graham came to Tampa and them. including radio and television enrolled at the Florida Bible Institute in I am astounded at the enormity of broadcasts, exceeded 2.2 bilTemple Terrace. He began his preaching This plaque marks the Franklin Street neighborhood from lion. Graham preached the Graham’s influence and impact on the which the 20th century's most famous preacher began his career at small churches and on street world. Since his death, I’ve been looking gospel to more people in persidewalk crusade. corners in downtown Tampa, on North through photos, newspaper articles and than anyone in the history son attention. Eventually, he went on to hold Franklin Street while attending school. It film coverage of this humble man who of Christianity. Even more astounding, an indoor and outdoor rallies with sermons was reported that he regularly spread the was often in the presence of presidents, estimated 3.2 million people became broadcast on radio and television. Word gospel message to missions in downtown world leaders, kings and queens, sports Christians through his crusades. God of his dynamic preaching spread and his Tampa and throughout the city’s jails. By stars and celebrities. a country boy who grew up on a used audience grew. One of his television the late 1930s, Graham’s impromptu Anyone that had the privilege of dairy farm in Charlotte, NC to change the broadcasts in 1996 reached an audience preaching would draw crowds of more knowing Graham described him as humlives of millions of people across the of 2.5 billion people worldwide. His cruthan 1,000 people. ble. Graham often referred to himself as world. Even though his physical body is sades ran from 1947 until his retirement After graduation from the Florida “a country preacher.” His humility was longer with us, Billy Graham’s legacy no in 2005. Bible Institute with a Bachelor's of only rivaled by his powerful messages will continue through his books, recordIn 1961, Graham held several of his Theology, Graham moved to Illinois. It about God’s salvation. He was not covings and foundation. For more information crusades in the Bay area including wasn’t long before his captivating and ered in scandal, and his goal was neither about his foundation, visit www.billygraTampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg. heartfelt sermons began to gain more wealth nor fame. He preached a simple ham.org.

Page 4 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

Nativity Catholic Church Takes A Fresh Approach To Its Mission Work

By Amanda Boston

which results in a loss of income for their businesses." With assistance from Catholic Relief Services (CRS), an international humanitarian agency, PWLV realigned its mission to empower the people of La Victoria through education, faith and economic development. The nonprofit seeks to cultivate leaders within La Victoria to solve current issues with long-term sustainability strategies rather than shortsighted Band-Aid American educators meet with educators in La fixes. “Our roles shifted in 2015 after Victoria to share problems, ideas and solutions. realizing our efforts were hurting rather than helping the economy of “Can we do good better?” asked Victoria,” continued Fitzpatrick. La Lori Fitzpatrick, a parishioner of “Now we would like to focus on what Nativity Catholic Church. “Of course, they [the people of La Victoria] already we can,” she replied. do and teach them how to do it betFor 20 years, Fitzpatrick has been a better mixture for concrete ter—like involved with Nativity’s mission work in or better processes for operating their La Victoria, a small community, in the stores.” Dominican Republic. Monsignor PWLV was instrumental in the James C. Lara established the organibuilding of a medical clinic, nutrition zation, now identified as Partners with center and a school. Furthermore, the La Victoria (PWLV) in 1988. has maintained a longstandnonprofit "We would go down [to La ing relationship with the community of Victoria] and bring presents and would Victoria, leading to implicit trust and La have these big Christmas parties, and confidence between both parties. while that sounds great, over time, we Moving forward, Nativity would like became an ATM," said Fitzpatrick. to collaborate with other parishes. If Also acting as the vice president are interested in getting involved you of PWLV, Fitzpatrick expounded on as a parish or as an individual, please what she meant by ‘doing good better.’ contact Lori Fitzpatrick at "Handouts outside of crisis relief actually harm the local economy. If we board@pwlv.org. For more information about PWLV, visit www.pwlv.org. are shipping new or used clothing and Nativity Catholic Church is located at household items there is no reason to 705 E. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. purchase the items made in locally,

Heroic Women Of The Bible Jael – A Woman Who Made A Difficult Decision Throughout the Bible, there are many stories of strong and heroic women. In this series, we will explore a story of a faithful biblical woman each month. With their strong faith, the women of the Bible continue to teach us how to live authentic, faith-filled lives. No matter what our circumstances are, we can find ourselves in their stories. Last month we learned about Deborah, an Israelite warrior that led her people to victory in a battle against the Canaanites and their commander Sisera. During this time she foretold that, “The Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” And that woman was Jael. Jael’s husband, Heber, was a friend of the Canaanite King, who happened to be Sisera’s leader. However, Heber was also related to the Israelites, as he was descendent of Moses. Through kinship responsibilities, Jael’s heart was faithful to the Israelites and God. But her husband Heber was a businessman and therefore remained on good terms with the Canaanites. Jael and Heber were tinsmiths who made farming utensils, domestic items and weapons. They traveled where they could find work. Their campsite was close to the battlefield because they were making and supplying weapons for the army. Sisera saw the encampment of Jael and Heber as a refuge after his bloody battle that day. The Israelites had killed all

By Kelly Wise Valdes

of Sisera’s men, and Sisera was the only survivor. He was running for his life when he runs to the tent of Jael. Jael had her own tent, separate from her husband’s tent. Sisera tells Jael to stand guard and if anyone arrives to lie and say he was not there. Jael covered him with a rug, which suggests that he was afraid and wanted to hide. Then she gave him goat's milk, and he fell into a deep sleep, exhausted from the battle and fleeing. This is when one of the most graphically described murders in the Old Testament took place. Faced with a man who was superior to her in physical strength, Jael used her wits and courage. She took the wooden hammer steel tent pegs that held the tent ropes, and then with one blow, she drove the peg into Sisera’s head. Even a second of uncertainty or hesitation could have meant tragedy. Did Jael think of God’s people and of how this man had abused them for decades? Or did she think of the privilege of taking her stand for God? With Sisera gone, the Canaanite oppression was over. Peace prevailed for 40 years for the Israelites, and Jael was blessed for putting her faith in God. Many of us need to have the faith of Jael. She trusted God rather than submit to fear. You may face what seem like insurmountable circumstances in your own life, but we can put our trust in God when making our decisions.


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Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine Every Sunday, parishioners belonging to the oldest Catholic parish in the United States, file into the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, where mass has been celebrated for nearly 450 years. Its congregation, established in 1565, is the oldest Christian congregation in the United States as well as the oldest church structure in Florida. Often referred to as 'America's first parish' it attracts thousands of visitors who come to 'America's oldest city' to visit the beautiful church. In 1565, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles led an expedition that landed him on the shores of what is now St. Augustine. There were four priests with de Aviles, and they began preparing to minister to the Spaniards who would arrive at this new settlement. This began the establishment of the oldest permanently occupied European settlement in America, and beginnings of what would be the first cathedral parish in the United States. Since 1565, the church has been rebuilt many times. In 1586, the city of St. Augustine was plundered and burned to the ground, including the parish church by the English pirate Francis Drake. The citizens rebuilt the city and church, but they decided they needed more security from pirates and looters. The construction of Castillo de San

Marcos, a stone fortress, began in 1672. Its completion 14 years later allowed the town to endure a siege by Carolina Governor James Moore, who attacked and burned St. Augustine in 1702. The parish church, unfortunately, was destroyed in this attack. The building of the new church took more than five years, and it was completed in August 1797. For nine decades, this building served the growing community and was elevated by the Pope to cathedral status when the Diocese of St. Augustine was established in 1870. Another fire in 1887 almost destroyed the cathedral, but the coquina and cement walls managed to thwart total destruction. When repairing the damage, the architects used the building’s original walls and structure, except for adding a new bell tower and transepts. The cathedral received its most recent renovation before St. Augustine's 400th-anniversary celebration in 1965. It was designated as a U.S. National Historic Landmark on April 15, 1970, and then in December 1976, Pope Paul VI elevated the cathedral to the status of minor basilica. Mass is still held in the structure, and the beautiful Spanishstyle cathedral draws thousands of visitors each year. The city's Spanish roots inspired the architecture of the cathedral. There are also stained glass windows showing scenes from the life of Saint Augustine of Hippo. Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine continues to honor its founders and is one of Florida's most sacred destinations. The Basilica is located at 38 Cathedral Pl. St. Augustine, Fl. For more information, visit www.thefirstparish.org or call 904-824-2806.

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LOCAL CHRISTIAN NEWS Compiled by Michelle Colesanti Mardi Gras Masquerade Gala Benefits Nativity Catholic School

The annual Nativity Spring Gala, the second largest fundraiser for Nativity Catholic School (NCS), benefits the teachers and children of NCS. It will take place on Saturday, April 28 at 6 p.m. at The Brady Center, located at 3319 Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa. This year’s focus is on the teachers with a goal to raise $60,000, half of which is required to meet the current school year budget. The other half will be used to upgrade every teacher in the school with the newest portable technology. The gala includes dinner, fully hosted bar, dancing, live and silent auctions. Be entertained by energetic performance of hot jazz of the 20's & 30's, Dixieland & New Orleans jazz performed by The Jazz Phools, with additional music provided by Sustache Music Events. Purchase tickets at https://501auctions.com/ncsgala/tickets?type=15343. Admission ticket sales close on April 20. For more information, email Gala@nativitycatholicschool.org.

Golf Tournament at River Hills Country Club, on Saturday, April 14’ , at 1 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the winning foursome as well as for Longest Drive and Closest to the Hole Contests. There are also Hole in One Prizes and a Putting Competition. The event will conclude with dinner, a raffle and silent auction during the Awards Ceremony. For individual and foursome registration as well as sponsorship opportunities visit www.hiepiscopal.org. All proceeds will benefit the mission and ministries of Holy Innocents Episcopal Church.

Taizé Prayer Service Hosted By Saint Anne Catholic Church

As part of its Lenten devotions, Saint Anne Parish hosted a Taizé Prayer Service on Tuesday, February 27. It was an evening filled with reverence, reflection, and adoration. The

Scrapbooking Event

Holy Innocent’s Episcopal Church is hosting a scrapbooking event on Saturday, April 14 from 9a.m.-6 p.m. Registration fees include workspace, light breakfast and lunch. Bring your own supplies. There is plenty of room and great lighting. Registration fee is $35. Proceeds from this event will benefit Holy Innocents mission trips. The event will be held at Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, 604 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. Register at www.hiepiscopal.org. Any questions, please 727-365-2300.

Holy Innocents’ Sixth Golf Scramble Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church will hold its Sixth Annual ‘Best Ball’

Saint Anne Catholic Church is located at U.S. Hwy. 41 and 11th Avenue N.E. in Ruskin. For more information about the Parish, visit its website at SaintAnneRuskin.org.

St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church Introduces Saturday Night Worship

exposed Blessed Sacrament with a light that shined on it, which portrayed a ray of sunshine in the darkness. Worshipers sat in the pews as Fr. John McEvoy led them in slow, quiet, meditative prayer. In between each prayer was a time of silence for reflection followed by hymns that were sung by the Adult Choir led by Wayne Warren. At the peak of the service, worshipers had the opportunity to come to approach the altar to bow and adore before the Blessed Sacrament with their petitions. Taizé Prayer was founded in France in the 1940s by a Swiss man known as Brother Roger in a monastic community devoted to prayer and reconciliation. A Taizé worship service involves sung and chanted prayers, meditation, and a period of silence.

St. Andrews UMC invites you to experience its Saturday night Five14 worship service. The Five14 worship experience kicks off on Saturday, March 31 at 5:14 p.m. Today Sundays are not what they used to be—a sacred day of rest and worship. Instead, Sundays have become another workday, another sports day, another competition day, and the list goes on and on. St. Andrew’s believes that as the culture shifts, the church must shift with it to stay relevant. "We no longer live in a one-option world,” said Reverend Tim Machtel, St. Andrew’s Senior Pastor. “We want to offer another option to those for whom Sunday morning is not an option. We want everyone to experience God's grace.” If you would like more information, visit www.saumc.net or contact Jessica Adams at 689-6849 or Jessica.adams@saumc.net. St. Andrew’s is located at 3315 S. Bryan Rd. in Brandon.

ambiance in the sanctuary was very calming, allowing worshipers to deeply meditate on resting in the hands of God. The lights were dimmed and candles were lit. The highlight of the altar was the most beautiful display of the

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Your Monthly Catch Local Happenings In Our Community Yard Sale To Benefit Forgotten Angels

The Quinton Aaron Foundation and Forgotten Angels are hosting a yard sale to help raise money for kids who have aged out of foster care. The yard sale will take place on Saturday, April 21 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Arise Church, located at 401 Pauls Dr. in Brandon. Yard sale items may be dropped off at the church on Friday, April 20 from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. There will be a ‘Hugging Booth’ featuring actor Quinton Aaron and one other special guest. Aaron is best known for his role in the movie The Blind Side. The event will also feature former Buccaneers football players for autographs and photo opportunities. For more information, contact Cindy at 922-9250 or David at 812-0207. Forgotten Angels is nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering and educating struggling youth who have aged out of foster care. For more information, visit http://forgottenangelsfl.org. The Quinton Aaron foundation also reaches out to the youth providing encouragement and resources to those who have fallen victim to being bullied. For more information, visit http://quintonaaron.org.

Plant City Community Chorale Spring Concert

With a mission of presenting quality music performance to a wide audience, and to provide opportunities for local singers to perfect their choral performance skills, the Plant City Community Chorale is celebrating its 10th year as a premier singing group in the area. Started in 2008 with fewer than 10 members, the Chorale now averages 30-35 members for each of its four annual performances. In its fourth year under the direction of Claudia Bolano, the choir has grown in number as well as level of performance. To celebrate the beginning of its 10th year, the Chorale will present Sing On! at Eastside Baptist Church, 1318 E. Calhoun St, in Plant City, on Saturday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will include diverse music such as the

South African mining song Tshosholoza, so popular it is known as the country's second national anthem, For Good from the Broadway musical Wicked, Kyrie by Franz Shubert, a triumphant Mozart masterwork Viva! and the spiritual I Hear America Singing!. The second concert of the year will be the Chorale's annual tribute to America and its music on Saturday, June 9, also at Eastside Baptist Church in Plant City. Tickets, $10 in advance and $15 at door, are available at www.pccchorale.org/buytickets, by calling 951-5166, and from any Chorale member.

Music And Friendship Theme Of Brandon Christian Women’s Next Luncheon

The Brandon Christian Women's Connection will be hosting s luncheon on Monday April 9 to celebrate ‘Music and Friendship,’ with special friends and concert performers, Cia McKay and Nancy Unsworth. The luncheon goes from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in the special Event Center, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd in Brandon. The cost is $15. First time guests pay $10. This is a nondenominational luncheon and all ladies are invited. A reservation is requested by Monday, April 2. For more information, call Lillie at 740-0098.

Family Center. At the next meeting on April 26 will be published author and speaker Tina Yeager who will speak about Sensory Writing. For more information and guidelines for manuscript critique, visit www.BrandonChristianWriters.wordpress.com.

Calling All Pastors To The 2018 Pastors Masters Golf Tournament

Not a Pastor, No Problem! Please let your Pastors know about this exciting day just for them. This golf tournament is open to pastors only who serve in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota Counties. The annual event is being held on Tuesday, April 10 at TPC Tampa Bay located at 5300 West Lutz Lake Fern Rd., Lutz. There will be Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuits and Coffee provided by Chick-filA of Tampa beginning at 7:30 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.

17th Annual SeaGrapes Wine & Food Festival

Join The Florida Aquarium for its 17th annual SeaGrapes Wine & Food Festival fundraising event, presented by Amalie Oil, on Saturday, April 28 from 8-11 p.m. VIP ticketholder entry will begin at 7 p.m. for early access to the food and drinks, as well as a special VIP area with exclusive food and drink options. New this year, a sunset cruise will be offered as an add-on to any ticket. 100% of the proceeds from tickets purchased support Immerse yourself in a wine and food festival unlike any other. Enjoy fantastic wine and sample delicious food while strolling among more than 7,000 animals and plants, all while supporting a good cause. There will be 50+ types of wine available to sample and more than 20 different local restaurant partners in attendance. The festive atmosphere will be complemented by a variety of live entertainment throughout the Aquarium. Dress is cocktail attire. General admission tickets are $125, VIP tickets are $250, and an add-on sunset cruise for any ticket is $75. For more information about the event call 813-2734000 or visit flaquarium.org/seagrapes. WHEN: 8-11 p.m., Saturday, April 28, 2018 (7 p.m. entry for VIP ticketholders. Sunset cruise at 6:45 p.m. WHERE: The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602.

Brandon Christian Writers Meet

Do you have a story to share but don’t know how to start? Would you like to get your feet wet in the sea of publishing? Come meet with a great mix of successful and aspiring writers who get together monthly to learn the ropes, find inspiration and enjoy networking. The Brandon Christian Writers meet the fourth Thursday of every month at St. Andrews Methodist Church, 3315 Bryan Rd. in Brandon in Room 305 of the

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Page 8 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

New First Wednesday Services At Bell Shoals Bring In Great Christian Minds

Staff Report

New for 2018, Bell Shoals Baptist Church has started an evening of highenergy worship, dynamic prayer and relevant Bible teaching on the first Wednesday night of each month. Aptly called First Wednesday, these events present relevant topics in today’s culture. These special services start at 7 p.m. in the Worship Center on its Brandon Campus. “I wanted to try something on Wednesday nights that would add new energy and life to our regular programming,” said Dr. Stephen Rummage, senior pastor at Bell Shoals Baptist Church. In a What God Says About... series, Dr. Rummage will speak about loving your spouse in the month of April, giving and receiving forgiveness in September and understanding your Bible in December. Invited speakers scheduled for the rest of the year include May’s guest Al

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

Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, the largest seminary in the world. In June, Frank Page, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, will be talking about surviving grief after someone close to you commits suicide, and how God can heal you following such tragedies. Nik Ripken, a missionary and author will speak on his lifeand-death experiences revealed in his books The Insanity of God and The Insanity of Obedience in August. October brings Ronnie Floyd, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, president of the National Day of Prayer, and pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas will be talking about the importance of praying for America. In November, Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources will speak about what it means to be a church member. “We are blessed to have these speakers coming to Bell Shoals,” said Dr. Rummage. “They are some of the greatest minds in the evangelical world today.” For more, visit www.bellshoals.com, its Facebook page or call 689-4229. Bell Shoals Brandon Campus is located at 2102 Bell Shoals Road in Brandon.

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Local Author Pens Out of the Ordinary Fiction With Award-Winning Series

Staff Report

Kat Heckenbach, becomes best friends home school mom and with a demon named author of the awardWraith after he tells her winning young adult the truth about her herfantasy series, Toch itage. Simone wants only Island Chronicles, is not to be normal, and falls in your typical Christian love with a human man, fiction writer. Reese, but soon realizes Heckenbach writes their relationship will only speculative fiction—fanend in heartache. tasy, science fiction, Heckenbach is a horror, dystopian and graduate of the University even a touch of steamof Tampa; receiving a punk. Her stories reflect Bachelor of Science in her faith and worldview, Biology (magna cum but are rarely overt. laude) in 1997. Her art Christian themes often and science backgrounds Local author, Kat Heckenbach, pens young adult fantasy book. come through in her writrun deep under the narrative, or rise subtly ing as well. near the surface, but rarely break through She is currently president of Brandon completely. She works with symbolism Christian Writers, a local group that meets and allegory in her stories of magic teens at St. Andrews United Methodist Church on an isolated island with dragons, a talk- at 7 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each ing beetle, and an Elven rocker. Her scimonth. She is also Membership Chair for ence fiction generally has no more than the Tampa chapter of the National hints, reflecting instead simple Christian League of American Pen Women, a principles, such as kindness, forgiveness, group for professional women artists, writand taking care of those who need help. ers, and musicians. And once a year in Oddly, the clearest themes arise in her October, you can find her lurking about at darker works, which is true of her latest the Necronomicon, a Tampa-based scirelease, Relent. ence fiction, fantasy, and gaming convenRelent is categorized as paranormal tion where she participates in writing panromance, although Heckenbach els, and displays and sells her paintings, describes it as "a theologically murky, mixed media, and handmade wands in dark inspirational paranormal romance" the art gallery. focusing more on the paranormal/superFind Heckenbach's novels in print natural and less on the romance. She and ebook on Amazon.com and challenges readers to provide a better BarnesandNoble.com. Follow her on description for a story about Simone, the Facebook (KatHeckenbachAuthor) or product of an angel-human union, who Instagram( Katheckenbach).

Page 9 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

Citrus Carpet And Tile Celebrates Two Years Of Cleaning And Community


By Kate Quesada

Citrus Carpet an additional and Tile Cleaning employee to of Tampa owner work with him on Jim Hirz is proud jobs. to have been For carpet servicing the cleaning, Citrus Carpet and Tile community for uses a quick drytwo years this ing, low month. During moisture that time he has made a name for process that himself with hunnot only predreds of satisfied Riverview resident Jim vents recarpet and tile spotting but Hirz with Citrus Carpet and Tile Cleaning of Tampa is celebrating two years in also means customers and the community this month. that cusas president of tomers can fully use the area within an the Kiwanis Club of Greater Brandon. hour. All services are personalized and Hirz, who moved with his wife Carol 100 percent guaranteed. to Riverview from Atlanta in 2014, decidBut one of Hirz’s favorite things about ed that Citrus Carpet and Tile Cleaning owning a small business is the way it has would be a great fit for a new business in helped him get immersed in his commueastern Hillsborough County. nity. He has been a member of the “The company’s product, approach Kiwanis Club, a global organization of and philosophy sets it apart,” said Hirz, members dedicated to serving the chilwho ran a video production business for dren of the world and developing youth 20 years before moving to Florida. Using a special all natural formula leaders, for 16 years and states that his derived from skins of citrus fruits, the work with the group influences everything company specializes in carpet, tile and he does. grout cleaning, but also offers furniture, “I am so thankful and proud that my business has allowed me to take on an area rug and upholstery cleaning. An important role with the Kiwanis Club,” additional service Hirz feels sets his busisaid Hirz, who became president of the ness apart is grout color sealing, which is a painting process that creates an impen- Greater Brandon group last year. Citrus Carpet and Tile services all of etrable boundary to the pours grout and Hillsborough County. For more, visit allows the customer to custom pick the www.citruscleantampa.com or call Hirz at color of the finished product. 314-7800. For Kiwanis, visit www.bran“When we are done it looks like a donkiwanis.com or call 810-8584. new floor,” said Hirz, who recently hired

Shawn North, LCSW And Sabina Raymond

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BAPTIST Bay Life Church 1017 Kingsway Ave., Brandon (813) 661-3696 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 Brandon 216 N. Parsons Ave., Brandon (813) 689-1204 First Baptist Church of Bloomingdale 3303 Bloomingdale Ave.,Valrico 813-689-3847 First Baptist Church of Gibsonton 9912 Indiana St., Gibsonton 813-677-1301 First Baptist Church of Ruskin 820 College Ave. W., Ruskin (813) 645-6439 FishHawk Fellowship 15326 Fishhawk Blvd., Lithia, (813) 655-7431 Grace Baptist Temple 2909 John Moore Rd., Brandon (813) 689-7190 Journey Church 1310 John Moore Rd., Brandon (813) 699-8262 Shiloh Baptist Church 1104 Cason St., Plant City (813) 752-8345 South Bay Baptist Church 13498 US 301 S., Riverview 813-677-0721 CATHOLIC Nativity Catholic Church 705 E Brandon Blvd., Brandon (813) 681-4608 St. Anne Catholic Church 106 11th Ave. NE, Ruskin (813) 645-1714 St. Matthews Anglican Church 10701 Bloomingdale Avenue, Riverview 813-663-0334

St. Stephen Catholic Church 10118 Saint Stephen Circle, Riverview (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 • info@mygraceumc.com New Hope United Methodist Church 120 N. Knights Ave., Brandon (813) 689-4161 Riverview First United Methodist Church 8002 US Hwy 301., Riverview www.riverviewflumc.org Ruskin United Methodist Church 105 4th Ave. NW, Ruskin (813) 645-1241 South Shore United Methodist Church 11525 Big Bend Rd., Riverview (813) 649-9462 NON-DENOMINATIONAL Destiny Church 2322 11th Ave. SE, Ruskin (813) 645-3337 Centerpoint Church 1801 S. Miller Rd., Valrico (813) 689-1906 Grace Community Church 1425 N Valrico Rd., Valrico (813) 689-9781

Harvest Bible Chapel Bloomingdale High School 813-699-0517 Life Church at FishHawk 6420 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Lithia (813) 681-6503 Love First Christian Center 12847 Balm Riverview Rd., Riverview 813-671-2009 River of Life Christian Center 6605 Krycul Ave, Riverview 813-677-4453 The Chapel at FishHawk 6026 Churchside Dr. Lithia 813-661-7105 The Crossing Church - Main Campus 10130 Tuscany Ridge Dr., Tampa, (813) 626-0783 The Crossing Church - SouthShore 3058 East College Ave., Ruskin (813) 626-0580 The Palms Church 207 New Hope Rd., Brandon (813) 841-9598 True Sanctuary 6528 US Hwy 301 S., Suite 114, Riverview (813) 319-5862 PENTECOSTAL HighPoint Church of Brandon 2207 Lithia-Pinecrest Rd., Valrico/Brandon (813) 685-4827 PRESBYTERIAN First Presbyterian Church of Brandon -PCUSA 121 Carver Ave., Brandon (813) 689-4597 Redeemer Church-PCA 12404 Boyette Rd., Riverview (813) 741-1776 Westminster Presbyterian Church PCA 402 E. Lumsden Rd., Brandon (813) 689-6541

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Page 11 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

Our Residents Are Always On The Move!

Brandyn’s Angels Helps Mom Serve Homeless In Son’s Name After Loss

By Kate Quesada

Valrico resident Kimberly Wood recently started Brandyn’s Angels to help Tampa’s homeless population.

Valrico resident Kimberly Wood is turning the loss of her son into a mission to help others. Wood recently started Brandyn’s Angels, a group dedicated to helping the homeless in Tampa using restitution funds given to her due to her son’s death. Wood’s son Brandyn Preston was shot in the neck at a graduation party for his cousin in Iowa in 2011. He was 19 years old at the time and underwent treatment with his mother as his caregiver for two years until he passed away in January 2013. Wood now receives $187 a month in restitution from the Iowa Department of Corrections on behalf of the man serving a life sentence for Preston’s death. She is using that money to buy supplies for homeless people in the Tampa area. “The idea for Brandyn’s Angels came from the short life my son lived,”

said Wood. “He was always lending a helping hand to those less fortunate without looking for anything in return.” Preston, who attended East Bay and Robinson high schools while living in Florida, played basketball and worked hard in school. Wood feels confident he would want her to use the money to help the community he once enjoyed. From November 2017 until January 2018, Wood collected blankets and provided more than 200 bags of toiletries to the homeless at Gaslight Park in downtown Tampa. “My goal is to continue to give to the homeless throughout the whole year,” said Wood. She is now collecting water, chapsticks, hats and other items to help people be more comfortable during the warm weather months. “My son Brandyn was a beacon of light to many, both young and old,” said Wood. “My son believed that there was good in everybody so he basically trusted people until they gave him a reason not to.” Wood is accepting donations for the toiletries bags and funds through PayPal. For more information, call her at 409-8374 or search for Brandyn’s Angels on Facebook.


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Page 12 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

Local Celebrity Quinton Aaron Gives Back To Combat Bullying

By Amanda Boston

Bullying can happen to anyone, and today, it can happen anywhere. With unfettered access to the internet and social media, teens are frequently victims of cyber-bullying— even within the protection of their A town hall meeting held in Newsome’s auditorium for home. parents and community members offered insight to the The Centers for school’s approach toward combating bullying and how the Quinton Aaron Foundation plans to partner with the Disease Control school. (CDC) estimates that “I wish as a child I had that about 20 percent of high school students person [a celebrity] who came up to me are bullied on school property, while 15 and told me that despite what I was going percent are cyber-bullied. through, everything was going to be On February 16, actor Quinton alright,” explained Aaron. “I had my mom, Aaron, known for his role as Michael but I also had this big misOher in the movie, conception that everybody The Blind Side, visited living in the spotlight never Newsome High had any problems.” School. The TampaDuring school assembased actor blies and lunch periods, addressed students Aaron rallied the students to battle bullyand parents about bullying and presented ing by speaking up and standing up for practical guidance on the subject. one another. Later that evening, Aaron, “It was really cool to meet him,” said and his agent David Tyler along with Ciara Thanasides, a sophomore at Newsome Principal Carla Bruning, tackNewsome. “A lot of kids look up to him led the tough subject in a town hall meetbecause he’s famous, and after hearing ing for parents. his story today, I know a lot of us will try to Tyler stressed the importance of peer live up to what he said.” influence and noted, “The foundation’s Formerly a victim of childhood bullyfuture social media ambassador program ing, Aaron now wields his past experiwill give students direct access to us,” he ences and stardom to draw attention to said. “By using social media, these stuthe bullying epidemic that plagues the dent ambassadors will post positive phoschools. In 2012, he founded the Quinton tos with any new students to help make Aaron Foundation, which seeks to put a them feel welcome at the school.” stop to bullying.

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collaborating with Newsome as it launches its social media ambassador program. Also in the works is Aaron’s documentary titled, Best of Me, which will feature Newsome High School students. Aaron and Tyler traverse the country to engage with students, teachers and parents at school assemblies and town halls carrying a message of encouragement and offering resources to those who have fallen victim to being bullied. The foundation accepts donations for travel costs. To learn more or to donate, visit http://quintonaaron.org.

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Page 13 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

Bringing Baby Home Parenting Workshops Come To The Tampa Bay Area

By Amanda Boston

counselor, will be teaching the workshops. Carver is also the co-founder of the Family God’s Way organization. "We're a faithbased organization, so we're doing this based on a biblical perspective," said Carver. "The great thing about the Geno and Lindsey Papantoniou attended the workshop and Gottman material is appreciated the knowledge they garnered from it and its practical approach. it’s congruent with the biblical foundaAre you a parent of tion.” a toddler, infant or Geno and have a child on the Lindsey way? Would you like to Papantoniou enhance your relationcompleted the ship and parenting workshop while skills? Good news— Lindsey was Bringing Baby Home pregnant with educational workshops their first child. are coming to the Today, they both Tampa Bay area. sit on the Board of Directors of Family The two-day educational workshop God’s Way. is intended for parents with children “The training definitely helped out under the age of four or expecting couwith communication within my marples. The program is presented by riage,” explained Lindsey. “It made me Family God’s Way, a local nonprofit realize that my husband and I need to organization whose mission is to grow be intentional with working on our relastrong and healthy families based on tionship.” biblical principles. The Children’s Board of The Bringing Baby Home workshop Hillsborough County is funding the proseeks to improve the quality of life for gram to include all materials and lunch. babies and children by strengthening Upcoming classes will be held on the the bond between the parents. following dates and locations: Saturday, Relationship experts, Drs. John and April 21 and May 12 at El Bethel Baptist Julie Gottman of the Gottman Institute, Church in Tampa; Saturday, April 28 and developed the program based on years May 19 at Cornerstone Baptist Church of research. in Brandon; Saturday, May 5 and June Couples will be imparted with the 2 at First Baptist Church in Lutz. life skills needed to handle the many Although the workshop is free, prechanges and challenges of a new baby registration is required at while also learning about child development, co-parenting and conflict manage- www.FamilyGodsWay.com/events/BBH. More information is also available at the ment. Family God’s Way Facebook page. For Vickie Carver, a Gottman Certified more, email info@familygodsway.com. Educator and licensed mental health

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Page 14 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

Sports Connection Story by Nick Nahas

Cambridge Christian School Hosts Kicking Camp For Rankings Cambridge Christian School in attendees will also be ranked in the Tampa, was the site of a National state of Florida and in the Tampa Bay Kicking Rankings camp in March. area. This gives them three different Coach Brian Jackson of Team chances to get an impressive accoJackson Kicking, from Alabama, Chris lade for their recruitment resume, all Husby of Special Teams Football, in just a one-day camp!” from Minnesota, and Coach Tom The first NKR took place in Feely of Feely Athletics from Florida December 2017 in Pearl, Mississippi had teamed up to launch a new rankand subsequent camps have been ings platform for kickers, long snapheld in Alabama, Minnesota and pers and punters. Orlando. The camp included in-depth Students received expert training instruction on effective strategies for and were evaluated for the NKR getting recruited and advice on topics National Ranking, and had the opporsuch as developing the mental skills National Kicking Rankings camp photo. tunity to get ranked localneeded by football spely. cialists. Legendary kicking Coaches Jackson, coach Tom Feely hosted Husby and Feely have the camp. Fifteen of decades of coaching Feely’s students made it experience with great to the NFL, most notably, success. Each has develJay Feely, who played for oped a stellar reputation 14 seasons in the league of integrity and all three and is now a football are highly respected in commentator and analyst the field of coaching. for CBS. Other students There will be future include current NFL punNKR camps all over the ters Matt Boscher and country. Brad Pinion and kicker For information on Cody Parkey. Most when those camps will recently, one of Feely’s take place, and everyCoach Tom Feely and his students posing for a photo. top students, and the thing NKR, visit nationalA student practicing snapping the ball. “Our goal, nationally, is to provide enable number one ranked punter in the kickingrankings.com. To a way for high school and junior coltheir recruitment campaign to get a nation, Aiden Swanson, committed to register for the camp, contact Coach lege kickers, punters and long snappowerful boost,” said Feely. “To me, play football for Clemson University. Tom Feely at pers to get effective exposure to the most important thing is that the Tom@FeelyAthletics.com.

Page 15 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

Hot Off The Christian News Wire cruises are differentiated from standard sailings by the addition of enrichment programming and shore excursions dedicated to the teaching and exploration of Christian themes, which may include the history of Christianity, the works of significant Christian figures, important biblical sites and more. Visit http://www.pilgrimtours.com/fellowship/ or

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Many Christian pilgrimage sites can be reached by cruise, making it an ideal option for travelers who would like to visit several different sites on one trip. While excursions to the Vatican and sites throughout the Holy Land can be arranged independently without much fuss, there are also agencies dedicated to organizing pilgrimage theme cruises for Christians complete with group shore excursions. It's even possible to find sailings with offerings to smaller, obscure pilgrimage sites, such as St. John's monastery in Patmos, Greece. There are also river cruises that take passengers throughout the European villages where the likes of Martin Luther and John Calvin launched the Protestant Reformation. These theme


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Former Football Player Danny Wuerffel Speaks At 48th Annual Leadership Prayer Breakfast

On Friday, April 13, beginning at 6:30 a.m., the Annual Leadership Prayer Breakfast is being held at the Florida State Fairgrounds. This year’s keynote speaker is Danny Wuerffel. Wuerffel is executive director of Desire Street Ministries and a former American college and professional football athlete who played quarterback for the University of Florida and the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. After his football career, Wuerffel joined Desire Street and became executive director in 2006. Hosted by CBMC (Christian Business Men’s Connection), this co-ed event has blessed the lives of local leaders and business people for 47 years. For registration and ticket information visit https://tampabayprayer.com.

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But several American Idol hopefuls have not been afraid to showcase their faith on stage this season. One such contestant is 17-year-old Garrett Jacobs, who credits his grandmother's prayers for helping him get through the singing competition. Jacobs’ grandmother told him he has "a Godgiven talent." And when he sang This is a Man's World during auditions, the judges were compelled to agree. When he got through, the first person he called was his grandmother. "Praise God I knew you would do it!" she said. Another 17year-old, Thaddeus Johnson tried out in the competition back in 2010. He almost made it to the live rounds before he was cut. The rejection dealt him a heavy blow, and he got so depressed that at one point, he even considered committing suicide. The next contestant, Kenedee Rittenhouse, is already being dubbed as ‘the next Carrie Underwood.’ But they have something in common apart from their country roots and singing talent and that's their faith in God. Underwood


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Page 16 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

Bell Shoals Baptist Volunteers Make It Their Mission To Help Puerto Rico Hurricane Victims

By Tenetia Faircloth

to people in great need and giving The people of Puerto Rico have out the good news of the gospel. a saying, ‘Puerto Rican strong.’ We traveled an hour southeast Although proud and strong, more of San Juan in Punta Santiago, than five months after category 5 Humacao, the area hardest hit by Hurricane Maria hit the island, people the storm. Everywhere power poles are still struggling. Large parts of the leaned at awkward angles with island are still without electricity, and dangling power lines dangerously the power companies are telling low over homes, sidewalks and the these people that it will be June street. Broken power poles, before power is restored in some downed trees and piles of debris areas. Supplies sit in warehouses lay everywhere. instead of reaching the people in Our team worked all day with need as distribution is a problem. Rick and Diane, volunteers from Bell Shoals four chainsaws, cutting and removDue to primitive conditions, it has Baptist Church work to remove gigantic tree from Volunteers from Bell Shoals Baptist Church and ing trees and debris fallen in the been difficult to send volunteer a small home in Puerto Rico. Alexandria, Virginia deliver food to hurricane yard of an elderly couple as well groups to help. victims in Puerto Rico. as the house next door. After the In February, a group of 10 volunjob was finished, the couple fed us all a teers from Bell Shoals Baptist Church hot meal of chicken, rice and beans. flew to San Juan for one week, joinFrom what little they had, they made ing the Southern Baptist North sure to show hospitality. What a blessAmerican Mission Board’s (NAMB) ing it was to pray with each family as disaster relief team, Send Relief. Its we completed the task for the day. mission in Puerto Rico supports existWe walked through the neighboring churches on the island ministering hood delivering food. At each home we to the community after Hurricane visited, the people gladly received the Maria. With four locations on the food and told us their stories. One lady island, NAMB has 80-100 volunteers showed us shelves on her wall where on the island on any given day. she displayed beautiful figurines. “I When we arrived, we were Volunteers from Bell Shoals Baptist Church join found my dog, [a Chihuahua], up on relieved to find both the municipal Send Relief in Puerto Rico as they feed the this shelf,” she told us. Her family saw electricity and water supply working community and distribute FEMA boxes. the roof fly off of the church next door at our location. and watched its furnishings fly out. After We cleaned and painted buildings eled to the La Perla district in Old San we heard their stories, we prayed with and assembled and set up wooden bunk Juan to visit Pastor Ivan. Although there Send Relief volunteers Tom and Tenetia each family, letting them know that God beds for Send Relief’s mountain camp to are many worldly influences all around Faircloth ready to help Puerto Rico. knows and cares for each of them. house groups of 60-130 college students his small church, Pastor Ivan chooses down walls. He stopped in front of a What a blessing it was to go. during March spring break. to live right next door to his church to small crumbling block home where he Bell Shoals Baptist Church is conOn Sunday, we split into two teams best understand the needs and to minplans to build an art center where chiltinuing with its Puerto Rico efforts. to worship in local churches, joining them ister to his flock. He led our team on a dren can come to enjoy creative activiContact the church for details and let’s after church as they fed a hot meal to the walk through La Perla, praying for the ties and learn of God’s love for them. It remember to pray for our neighbors, community and passed out FEMA boxes people of Puerto Rico. Many buildings was a challenging day, seeing these the people of Puerto Rico. to each family. Sunday evening we trav and homes had no roof and broken young pastors going out, reaching out

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Grace Notes

Above and Beyond

By Debora Coty

My friend’s mom passed away this week. The funeral is today, over an hour’s drive away. Should I go? Well, let’s see. I have an appointment on my calendar for this afternoon and a work to-do list as long as my arm. Leaving would mean loss of income. Is this wise? I’m tired. Bone tired from a crazybusy week, no, make that month, on top of restless nights with too little sleep. I had no personal relationship with the deceased. I only met her twice. Ever. So am I going to drop everything, waste the day, and attend the funeral of this woman I don’t even know? You bet I am. All because of the actions of someone 45 years ago. I was 14 and my grandfather had just died at his home in Waycross, GA. I’d never seen my parents in such a state of grief before and I felt overwhelmed by the viewing that took place the night before the funeral. The shock of seeing living, breathing Granddaddy dead – my first time ever; having to say good-bye to a cold corpse in a coffin; standing for hours on end to greet people I’d never seen before as they came and went, paying their respects. My mother’s tears. My father’s pain. It was awful. Awful.

And then the morning of the funeral, there they were. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I found myself smiling through my tears. Amidst the sea of strangers, appeared the warm, familiar faces of our next-door neighbors from home. We weren’t expecting them. But they’d gotten up before daybreak driven all that way to lend their support. My parents lit up like stars on a cloudless night. I could see them drawing strength from the mere sight of these friends who’d gone above and beyond to simply show up. To offer their presence. So I’m going to the funeral today. “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12 NIV). Is there someone you feel led to go above and beyond to simply offer your presence to this week? Trust me, it will mean the world to them.

Debora M. Coty is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of over 100 articles and 13 books, including Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate, More Beauty, Less Beast, and Too Blessed to Be Stressed. Debora also teaches writing workshops. Visit www.DeboraCoty.com

Live Like You Mean It Even in Tragedy, Hope Never Disappoints By Derek Maul If you follow the news at all, or if you’re even vaguely awake, it’s impossible to miss all the noise and the angst still surrounding last month’s mass murder at the Parkland high school. The unrelenting persistence of shootings like this is like a noise that won’t go away. You know something is broken, but you keep chugging along hoping it will go away. All the while you know it’s not going away, it’s just that the people responsible are not yet willing to bear the cost. So I’m looking for some serenity. Not to avoid the important conversations but to replenish my spirit. Here in North Carolina it’s not really winter any longer, but – other than a few daffodils and a hint of early budding in a few trees – it’s not spring yet either. We’re in a kind of transition, waiting for the trees to blossom and for something beautiful to happen. Sometimes it’s exactly that sense of ‘in-between’ that makes things beautiful, and that’s what happened when my morning walk was shrouded in mist. It takes both warm and cool to create conditions like this, and it reminds me I don’t always have to be

in picture-postcard scenes for my spirit to be nurtured and my soul replenished. So take pause today, take a long deep breath, let the anger and the disappointment and the sadness be redirected, and invite the good news and the promise of light and grace to wash over you and bring you hope. I’m not suggesting we pretend nothing is wrong, but – instead – that we marshal the appropriate resources. Nothing is going to change outside of spiritual transformation and the constant reshaping of daily discipleship. Darkness will never recede until it is replaced by light. There is no other way forward other than to follow Jesus. Because I believe in hope and promise; and, always, because of love.

“And this hope will never disappoint us. We know this because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts through the Holy Spirit he gave us.” – Romans 5:5

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 18 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

Family Sells Dipped Strawberries For Mission Trip Fundraisers

By Michelle Caceres

Riverview out in her memory as particuresident Rose larly impactful. Conte loves par“There was a lot of love ticipating in misthat was poured out from our sion trips and local community,” she said. serving people “Once I announced I was in other coungoing over and taking suptries. She also plies, people that I didn’t even loves working in know were showing up and the kitchen. donating food, health supplies Rose, Tori and Christian Conte sell Since misand money for the people of large chocolate-covered strawberries sion trips are Puerto Rico.” to support their mission trips. not cheap, In Puerto Rico, residents Conte combined were grateful for the muchher two passions to needed supplies. They brought form Tasty Berries, a satellite phone so residents a service selling, could make a call to worried rellarge, fresh, decoatives. rated Ghiradelli “It was such a humbling chocolate-dipped experience,” she said. “I’m so strawberries. thankful that I was able to go Proceeds from the be His hands and feet and and The Conte family runs Tasty Berries, providing chocolateberry sales help represent our community.” dipped strawberries for parties fund mission trips “If I can impact someone’s and events to fund mission work for herself, her life it brings me great joy,” said to other countries. daughter Tori and her son Christian. Rose. “Transformation or life begins at The family caught the mission bug in the edge of your comfort zone and going 2013, when her son was trying to earn on these trips proves that God provides enough money to go on a mission trip to the opportunity but it’s up to us to take Brazil with his church. That same year them. they decided to start selling chocolateOne dozen chocolate-covered strawcovered strawberries to help pay for the berries start at $25. Customization of trip. It was so successful that they have orders is possible; berries can be continued to offset the cost of the trips wrapped in gift boxes or displayed on with money earned from the berry sales. platters, perfect for weddings, bridal Christian has been on four mission showers and parties. Pick-up or delivery trips. Rose and her daughter have been is available. on two trips to Brazil and one to Puerto To place an order, visit www.tastyberRico after Hurricane Irma. ries.org, by email at The Puerto Rico mission trip stands rose@tastyberries.org or call 501-2036.

Driven Church— A Place Where You Belong By Amanda Boston

Joon and then attended Tavarez, a Tampa seminary. After gradnative, was uating from Asbury raised in the Theological church, but he Seminary, the young revealed, “I preacher felt God wasn’t into calling him to plant a church—it was church. more about what Driven is a my family diverse, non-denombelieved and me inational church that being a part of a centers on knowing social club.” God and finding Today, Pastor Pastor Joon Tavarez with his wife Elizabeth your purpose in Him Tavarez sheprather than practicand their children from left to right Isabella, Lucas and Bethanie. herds a church ing religion and that gathers at Brandon High School— adhering to rituals. Its casual atmosphere quite the paradox some would say. With coupled with an emphasis on relationships radiates acceptance and a sense of his ‘dream team’ of 35, he launched belonging. Sunday services are held at Driven Church on January 24, 2016. The 10 a.m. with a separate children’s prochurch seeks to reach people far from God and lead them into a growing relagram for infants through fifth grade. tionship with Jesus Christ. In accord with the high value placed So how did an unenthusiastic on fellowship, small Bible groups meet churchgoer emerge as a church-planting throughout the week in local homes. pastor? After years of tiptoeing around Driven Church also pours into the comGod, Tavarez finally encountered the true munity with teacher appreciation breakand living God. fasts and adoption entrustment cerePastor Tavarez explained, “God monies. made Himself real to me, and the church Along with making disciples, Pastor wasn't a social club to be apart of, but Tavarez and his wife Elizabeth, a graduinstead, it became an invitation into a ate of Durant High School, are raising relationship with Him. From then on, I three children all under the age of four. decided to follow Jesus.” For more information, visit Finding his purpose in Jesus, Pastor www.driven.church or its Facebook page Tavarez desired to make a difference Driven Church. through the hope of the world—the local For questions, call 586-0571 or email info@driven.church. Brandon High church. In his third year at the University School is located at 1101 Victoria St. in of Southern Florida, he changed his colBrandon. lege path from psychology to theology

Page 19 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

Reverend Billy Graham- The Author

By Kelly Wise Valdes

The Reverend Billy Graham, who passed away on Wednesday, February 21, was best known for his ministry, preaching and crusades. It has been said that Graham was the most influential evangelist since the days of the early apostles. However, preaching was not his only impact on the world. Beginning in 1947 and spanning over six decades, Graham published 33 books that addressed a variety of subjects including salvation, angels, Heaven and Armageddon. He also wrote an insightful and fascinating autobiography. Below is a sampling of his works, many of which were best-sellers and award winners.

Peace With God – published in 1953 Searching for some nameless thing that is more important than anything in life? You are not alone. In this book, Graham shares God’s gentle, reassuring promise of spiritual calm, of authentic personal peace amidst a personal life filled with too much stress, too many burdens, too great a heartache.

Angels: God’s Secret Agents – published in 1975 In this classic book, Graham combines the fascinating experiences of those who are certain they have been attended by angels with what the Bible says about angels. There is a reassurance to Christians that through angels God is present. We can take comfort in the fact that, with the host of angels at God's call, we are not alone.

Facing Death and The Life After – published in 1987 Our culture trains us to prepare for almost everything but death. Fear and denial are common human responses to the subject but what awaits us beyond this life? It is a journey into the unknown, or a glorious, spiritual pilgrimage to eagerly anticipate? In this book, Graham answers these questions and more objectively and compassionately.

Just As I Am – published in 1997 In this account of his life, Graham shares how he came from ordinary beginnings to have an extraordinary life of - all derived from his unshakable belief in Christ. This is a look into Graham's life from the evangelist himself. Graham wrote this book when he was 79, so he had the majority of his life to look back on and reflect on what he had accomplished through his walk with Christ.

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2018 Summer Camps Offer Many Options To Keep Your Kids Active It’s only the start of spring, but before you know, the dog days of summer will be upon us. What can you do to keep the kids entertained? Where can they go to try new things, learn how to swim, meet new friends and have great adventures and even learn about places and cultures far away? There are many options to choose from locally that will fit the bill. The staff at the Osprey Observer has collected the top recommendations for local summer camps and created this special pull out section. Maybe your kids would like to spend the summer ‘horsing around.’ R&R Ranch offers just that opportunity, and not just to learn to horseback ride, but also about the care of the horses. At Music Showcase, music and theatre take the stage and so can your child. Musicals such as Mary Poppins jr. and Fiddler on the Roof jr. will be offered, and your child can hold starring roles in these and other popular musicals offered from the Florida Academy of Performing Arts for chil-

dren ages 5 and up. For your actor or musician, check out Firehouse Cultural Center and Patel Conservatory also offer fun and exciting ideas. The local YMCAs will offer many types of camps which mix fun along with great learning experiences. With plenty of choices, there is something for everyone. Mathnasium is the place to help give them a strong start in the fall. For dates, prices and registration information on these and more, turn the page and enjoy this special section and have a great summer. Do you have a child interested in cooking? Check out Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium’s Cooking Camps for Kids through Teens. With weekly themes utilizing agespecific activities and field trips that make BSAC unique, your kids will enjoy every moment of summer camp. Did we miss one? Let us know by e-mailing subject line “Summer Camp” to michelle@ospreyobserver.com and we will be sure to add our full listing online and in future editions.


Brandon Sports & Aquatics (BSAC) impacts lives and the community as a whole by providing over 10,000 swim lessons per year, in conjunction with its mission to prevent youth drowning. It also provides quality affordable childcare for working families. There is programming for the special needs population with its Team Trident Program, which is focused on three main areas: active recreation, proper socialization and interpersonal skills, and independent life skills. There is something at BSAC for every child. Over the past 55 years local families have counted on BSAC to provide year-round, quality sports, recreation and educational experiences for their children. We are a favorite of working parents who want to feel good about where they are leaving their kids every day; that the kids are safe, are learning valuable athletic and social skills and are practicing good leadership. Summer Camp at BSAC is a place for all children to be active, exploratory, creative, independent, playful, friendly, and confident. Join in for BSAC’s Passport to Adventure where your child will experience food, games and culture from all around the world. Both full day, half day and drop-in options at an affordable rate are offered. There are field trips weekly for all ages too. Every week the children will ‘travel’


to a new region of the globe, earning passport stamps as they go. They will dazzle you with the stories of their daily adventures as they bring out their inner Beast Mode in Africa and Seas the Day exploring the Islands. Along with the Summer Camp Experience, additional programming, such as swim lessons are offered. The Learn to Swim Program is the most comprehensive swim lesson program in our area, working with ages six months and up. These are conveniently offered during your child’s Summer Camp day.


Bricks 4 Kidz Tampa is back with awesome LEGO® Summer Camps being offered all over the Brandon, Riverview, and Valrico areas. Join in for a different theme each week such as Star Wars, Minecraft, Ninjago, and much more! Each week our campers will be building signature Bricks 4 Kidz robotic LEGO® models, very popular LEGO® mosaics and 3D LEGO® sculptures, as well as playing

fun games and creating arts and crafts projects they will get to take home. At the end of each week, every camper will get to take home their very own LEGO® mini figure. Each day and week will be a brand new LEGO® adventure you won’t want to miss. Below is the schedule for the camps being offered at nearby locations: We Rock The Spectrum in Valrico, Monday to Friday, June 1822: LEGO® STAR WARS Camp; July 9 – July 13: LEGO® Movies Camp and July 30 – August 3: LEGO® Superheroes and Villains. Livingstone Academy Campuses in Seffner, Riverview, and Bloomingdale: May 29 - June 1: LEGO® STAR WARSMincraft Mashup Camp (Seffner

Campus); Monday to Friday, June 25 29: Autism Spectrum LEGO Club

Brandon Area LEGO Camp Morning Session (Bloomingdale) and July 23-July 27: LEGO® Mashup Camp (Riverview Campus). Sign up today at www.bricks4kidz.com/florida-tampa or call 545-4282.

Musical Theater And Much More Offered At Firehouse Cultural Center

The Firehouse Cultural Center will be offering Summer Camp through the summer. It is located at 101 1st Ave. NE in Ruskin. Week 1: June 4 – June 8 - Musical Theater I; Week 2: June 11 – June 15; Musical Theater II Week 3: June 18 – June 22; Musical Theater III; Week 4: June 25 – June 29; Musical Theater IV Week 5: July 2 – July 6; No Camp on Wednesday, July 4; Week 6: July 9 – July 13; The Art of Printmaking; Week 7: July 16 – July 20; Cartooning & Animation; Week 8: July 23 – July 27; Robotics-Materials Fee for Robotics: $50; Week 9: July 30 – August 3; Robotics -Materials Fee for Robotics: $50. For more information, call 645-7651 or visit www.firehouseculturalcenter.org.

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Dance, Music And Theater Camps Take Center Stage At Patel Conservatory

Registration is now open for Patel Conservatory dance, music and theater summer camps and classes, which begin the week of May 29. Nearly 70 camps and classes are offered, most with performance opportunities, for students of all ages and abilities. Some camps and classes require auditions. Theater auditions will be held March 29, April 19 and May 18 and music auditions will be held April 7 and May 5. Auditions for Patel Conservatory Popular Dance (PCPD) classes will be held April 7. Registration for auditions is required. Additional information about the Patel Conservatory, including audition scheduling, is available at www.patelconservatory.org and by calling 222-1040. Nearly $200,000 in scholarships will be awarded for Patel Conservatory camps and classes this summer. Scholarship applications are available online and the priority deadline is April 16. The Patel Conservatory offers classes in dance, music and theater for students of all ages and experience levels. Each year, the Patel Conservatory and the Straz Center’s arts education programs enrich the lives of more than 70,000 students in our classrooms, on our stages and through the

community. The Patel Conservatory is located at the Straz Center, 1010 N Macinnes Pl. in Tampa. Visit www.patelconservatory.org.

Busch Gardens Offers Exciting And Educational Camp Programs

Busch Gardens’ Summer Day Camp is a time to make new friends, try new things, come face-to-face with a giraffe and challenge North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower. For more than 25 years, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has provided children with inspiring, exciting and educational experiences with some of the best Tampa summer camp options found anywhere. A variety of Summer Day

Camps to fit your student’s grade level and interest are offered. Different programs are offered for kids in grades K through 8th. Day Camps include daily lunches, snacks

and drinks, a Camp Tshirt and a water bottle, complimentary photo with a Busch Gardens animal ambassador and complimentary admission to Busch Gardens following camp each day for camper For students in grades 9-12, Busch Gardens offers Counselor in Training. If you are looking for something fun to do this summer, that will provide you with valuable career experience, then the Busch Gardens Counselor in Training program (CIT) is the summer camp program for you. This weeklong program offers a real opportunity to learn from the best. Expert educators will share their experience and knowledge with you on topics from child development to zoo careers and environmental awareness. Complete a specialized orientation and participate side by side with camp counselors during the summer day camp programs. Application required. Information is available at https://buschgardens.com/tampa/summer-camps/day-camps/. If your child is looking for a homeaway experience, Busch Gardens Summer Resident Camp offers this chance for students. Busch Gardens

Math Help

Summer Resident Camps have combined nature and thrills to create a unique one-of-a-kind experience. Based out of a secure onsite dormitory, Mzinga Lodge, camper’s grades 5 through college are provided with an all-inclusive camp experience from start to finish.

Come Experience The World With Kids R Kids

Some of the fun summer programs taking place at Kids R Kids this summer include: Kid Power Explore heroes around the world to create an unforgettable superhero story of your own that combines STEAM concepts with special powers. Epic Escape – Solve ‘the-who-doneit’ cases from favorite children’s liaterature and global mysteries throughout history. Use secret code detective work, teamwork and problem-solving to reveal the plots of epic literature. Melting Pot – Get involved in making the world a better place by visiting new cultures, exploring unique languages, cooking up new recipes using math and science and creating new traditions for your family. Mind Blast – Build an original, interactive game using recycled materials found in your community. This is a funfocused week that fuses innovation, imagination and conservation.

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Pay it Forward – Create a lasting impression on the world by expressing your kindness and goodwill through community-focused projects and cooperative games that will unite everyone involved. Other fun weeks include Creative Destination, Steam Revolution, Cloud Exploration, Habitat Hunters, Globe Trotters and Our Town. Kids ‘R’ Kids has two locations: Kids 'R' Kids Learning Academy of Valrico is located at 4321 Lynx Paw Trail in Valrico. Call 657-6200 for more information and Kids 'R' Kids Learning Academy of Circa/FishHawk, 5815 Kids Crossing Dr. Call 654-7000 for more information. Visit www.krkvalrico.com/programs/2018-summer-camp

Spend The Summer At R&R Ranch Horsin’ Around

Summer Campers will enjoy riding and caring for horses at family-owned R&R Ranch. It specializes in safe enjoyable horse experiences. The name stands for ‘Rest" and "Relaxation’ and also offers pony parties, trail riding lessons, horse boarding, playgroups and horse camps. Summer Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Monday to Friday. Early and late pickup can be arranged.

Student’s ages 6 to 12 years are invited to attend. Campers will enjoy: a daily trail ride or lesson, pony painting, hay rides, lots of games, snowball fight, learning how to care for horses and farm animals, bounce castle, Lunch and disco in the air conditioned camp house. There is a petting zoo with baby bunnies, chicks, ducks and baby pigs. Kids will also get to enjoy arts and crafts and more. Campers should wear closed toe shoes and comfortable clothes. They will also need a swim suit if they want to participate in the water activities. Campers will need to bring their lunch and lots to drink. Sunscreen and bug spray are also recommended. Safety helmets will be provided. R&R Ranch is located at 9805 Bryant Rd. in Lithia. Visit www.rrranchlithia.com.

Improve Math Performance Over The Summer At Mathnasium Brandon

Incorporating math studies into a student’s summer routine brings other significant benefits. “Take advantage of the more relaxed environment of sum-

mer break as a golden opportunity to improve math performance,” suggests Becky McDaniels, Center Director at Mathnasium Brandon and Mathnasium @home. Mathnasium’s new @Home tutoring program will also help students keep up on their math skills from virtually anywhere. “During the summer, children have a lot of unstructured time, allowing them to unplug their busy minds and begin making different connections. These are ideal conditions for effectively absorbing new information and having a sudden ‘aha’ moment when concepts click into place. McDaniels has found the summer months to be a great opportunity for students to work on mathematics and have seen children make great strides with a serious commitment of just two to three hours a week all while having a great time. Call 655-MATH or visit online at

www.mathnasium.com/brandon to schedule summer sessions at your neighborhood center or at home using its Mathnasium @home program and combat the summer slide from virtually anywhere. Mathnasium will also be offering a coding/robotics camp this year on Sunday, June 17 and July 15. More dates to be added based on enrollment. Mathnasium of Brandon is located at 1048 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico in Plaza Bella.

Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium Is Cook Up Some Summer Fun

Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium’s Summer Camps are a great way to learn new skills in the kitchen, create tasty recipes, and meet lots of new friends. The only things you need to be prepared are closed toe shoes and a restraint for shoulder length hair. All the ingredients, tools, and even the fun is included. Students are taught how to properly use real kitchen tools, knives, and appliances safely under adult supervision. Students come away with the confidence to prepare dishes that are age appropriate and tasty. The goal is to encourage your child to be a help in the kitchen and to have fun while building a lifetime of good skills. Cooking Camps for kids ages 6-9

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will take place from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. daily and the tween’s and teen’s Summer Camps, ages 10-15) will take place from 24:30 p.m. Camps will take place weekly for four days and run from May 29 through August 2. Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium is located at Brandon Crossroads, 2080 Badlands Dr. in Brandon. Call 653-2418 or visit www.rollingpinonline.com.

Your Kids Will Enjoy Their Best Summer Ever At YMCA Camps

The area YMCA’s offer a lot of options for summer camp fun. With the full day camp experience, campers enjoy days full of themed camp fun like arts and crafts, swimming games and more. Specialty Full Day Camps include time throughout the week spent engaged in activities specific to the specialty chosen. If your camper is looking to spend an entire day immersed in something they are passionate about, the Aquatics, Sports, Teen or Gymnastics camps may be for them. Is your camper looking for a unique adventure? Two camp options may be

YMCA Camp Cristina or The First Tee of Tampa Bay. Preschool and Adaptive Camps are offered at a few locations too. For more information at some of the local Y’s, call North Brandon Family YMCA at 685-5402, Campo Family YMCA at 684-1371, YMCA Camp Cristina at 677-8400 and Spurlino Family YMCA at Big Bend Road at 2289622.

Enjoy The Summer Scene 2018 At The Florida Academy Of Performing Arts

Full and half day camps are available for kids ages 5 and up at The Florida Academy of Performing Arts (FAOPA) at Music Showcase. Kids will enjoy music, acting, guitar and drums, field trips, singing and games and more. Musical Theatre productions of Mary Poppins jr., Seussical, Fiddler on the Roof jr. and Junie B. Jones The Musical jr. will all take place this summer. Daily themes will include Wicked, The Greatest Showman, Frozen, Hamilton and more. For more information, call 490-2787 or visit faopa.org.

Second Annual Family-Friendly Summer Camp Expo

The FamilyFriendly Summer Camp Expo (Tampa Edition) will kick off on Saturday, April 7 from 4-7 p.m. at the George M. Steinbrenner Field in connection with the Tampa Tarpons MLB team Inaugural Home Opener. When families pre-register online, they can take advantage of discounted $1 admission tickets to the Expo and the game. The Summer Camp Expo will offer a onestop shop to local summer camps, summer activities, special needs camps, family products and services. The first 250 families will receive a free swag bag. Kids can run the bases, get player autographs, enjoy a fun Kids Zone, live entertainment, and so much more. There will be lots of giveaways and prizes up for grabs. Make sure to stay for the post-game fireworks. Visit FamilyFriendlyTampaBay.com for ticket

Learn Baseball From The Pros At Ostingers Academy Baseball Camp

Ostingers Academy will hold Baseball Camp this summer to give your child a better understanding of the game of baseball, through instruction, drills, and games. Having a good time while

learning the fundamentals will be the main focus of this camp. Ostingers staff is made up of all former professional players who instruct, teaching the game from the ground up. The camp is not a full day camp with video games and indoor activities. Jim Osting is a Baseball Instructor with 120 years of professional baseball playing experience including two years of Major League Experience (Padres and Brewers). Patrick Ryan is a Baseball Instructor with eight years professional pitching experience. Kris Wilken is the Head Baseball Coach at Bloomingdale High School and has six years of professional playing experience College and high school players trained by Ostingers Academy will assist your child throughout their camp experience. Additional help is provided from Ostinger players current and past to make the campers experience one of a kind. Camp weeks run Monday to Friday, June 4-8, July 9-13 and July 23-27. Camps run half days from 8:30 a.m.12:30 p.m. Camps are held Monday to Wednesday at Ostingers Academy and Thursday and Friday at the FishHawk Sports Complex. The cost is $175 (multi week/multi camper discount). For more information or to register, call 737-3000 or visit www.OstingBaseball.com.

TechPlayzone Offers Hands-On Technology Enrichment In Fun & Safe Environment

TechPlayzone has led the charge for engaging young people in science, technology, engineering, and math since 2005. With an increased demand for hands-on technology enrichment, TechPlayzone has continued to provide families with excellent curriculum, and fun in a safe environment for all kids. Give your child a high-tech advantage at TechPlayzone this summer. TechPlayzone is pleased to offer 4 weeks of STEM Camp for beginning and returning TechPlayzone campers in 2nd-5th grade. TechPlayzone is honored to partner with FIRST LEGO League at Hillsborough Community College to power the FIRST LEGO League Camp. We also offer engineering enrichment specifically for 6th - 8th grade students. Using TechPlayzone's formula of hands-on project-based learning with

cutting edge technology, students can work at their own pace or work as a team with the assistance of facilitators and staff members to complete one of the engineering projects each week. For information, visit techplayzone.com, call 684-7329 or email techplayzone@gmail.com.

Find Fun Activities For Your Budding Artists At Center Place Fine Arts

Who knew that art could be so much fun? This summer, you can sign up your budding artists, ages 7 to 16, for workshops at Center Place Fine Arts. Learn about painting, drawing, pottery, modeling and more. Workshops include Art Mural, Be Your Own Beautiful, Creative 3-D Masks, Discover America, Paper Sculptures, Recycled Art, Space Art, Wet & Wild Canvases, Drawing and more. Center Place is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B in Brandon. Classes are offered from Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register today by calling 685-8888 or visit www.centerplacebrfandon.org.

Mathnasium Of Riverview Makes Summer Math Fun

Summer time is ideal for having fun and at Mathnasium of Riverview, they understand that and have put

together a comprehensive summer math program that makes math sense and they have fun doing so.

The programs range from helping to stop finger counting to Calculus. Summer is a perfect, no-stress time to stay in tune with math. With Mathnasium being the ‘Math’ in STEM, Mathnasium knows how to teach math. Text LEARN to 57711for your first pre-enrollment special discount. Mathnasium of Riverview is located in the Publix shopping center on Symmes Rd. and 301. Call 844-667-6284 or email Riverview@Mathnasium.com.

Award W inning STEM Camps Since 2005 Where Bright & Creative Kids Play to Learn

Our instructors have 30 years combined professional playing and coaching experience.

Session 1 June 4-8 (M-F)

Session 2 July 9-13 (M-F)

Session 3 July 23-27 (M-F)


M-W Ostingers Academy Space is Limited Th-F FishHawk Sports Complex Register Early Age Group: 7 - 14 yrs to hold your spot! Time: 8:30 am to 12:30 pm Cost: $175/camper **(Second Child $125) **Multi week discounts

Daily Instruction • Games • Pitching/Catching Fundamentals Addressed • Drills For More Information:

Call 813.737.3000 or visit our website at www.OstingBaseball.com

A Charming Victorian Farmhouse Nestled on 8 Acres in Lithia Visiting Relatives Romantic Weekends & Much More! Gift Certificates Available

“Our Guests Are Family” - The Palmers

(813)654-0961 2221 Hinton Ranch Street, Lithia Florida 33547

(behind Fish Hawk Trails)


Page 28 • christianvoicemonthly.com • April 2018

Profile for Osprey Observer

Osprey Observer 2018-4 Christian Voice Monthly  

Osprey Observer 2018-4 Christian Voice Monthly