The South Miami community suffered a great loss when Pastor Rodney James died unexpectedly last month. He was truly a beacon of hope and inspiration for so many people here. As pastor of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church of South Miami and as president of the city’s Concerned Clergy & Citizen’s Coalition, he worked so very hard at taking care of those who wanted or needed his help.
A big man by any measure, his calm demeanor put so many at ease. His preaching style allowed for his message to reach deeply into the souls of those who attended his church at 6316 SW 59th Place, where he had been privileged to serve. He also served as the volunteer Chaplain of the South Miami Police Department, an honor he truly enjoyed. He had a special place in the hearts of so many people in South Miami. Godspeed, Pastor James.
My thoughts are with his wife Carla, three children, and his mom, Mamie, made it through the holidays with lots of love and support, and that they find peace and strength as they move into the new year.
The holiday season can be difficult. It’s often filled with emotional stressors, even during the best of times – but especially for those who have suffered the death of a loved one. Navigating through that first holiday season can be overwhelming.
But it’s good to know we get to start the new year fresh, especially now that grief support groups at the Children’s Bereavement Center are getting back into gear after the holiday break. For those who need a little extra help, you might look to the CBC to help with a New Year’s resolution to take care of yourself – so that, if nothing else, you can better care for others.
Based right here in South Miami, the CBC is South Florida’s only nonprofit bereavement and resource center helping children and their families after a loss. I was surprised to learn they provide free support groups for almost 450 family members a month! Another thing I didn’t know is that the CBC doesn’t just help children and teens. They also have support services for adults, whether they have kids participating in CBC programs or not.
For information, contact the CBC by calling 305-668-4902 or visit www.childbereavement.org. There’s no magic to handling the new year. Just try to remember – be kind to yourself.
On a more sobering note, right when you think things in the political world might calm down a bit following the swearing in of President-Elect Trump, it’ll soon be time to start it all up again on the local level. Right about now you might be saying, “OMG, what?!” Well yessiree – just over a year from the date Trump takes over, the election campaign in the City of Pleasant Living will get be underway, leading up to South Miami Election Day. Up to bat this time will be City Commissioners Gabriel Edmond and Walter Harris, and Phil Stoddard who has held the position of City Mayor since 2010. Right now, it just doesn’t look like anyone will have a chance at dethroning Mayor Stoddard, as he is so very popular. Heck, he’s almost as popular as Bob Welsh, the vice mayor whose term isn’t up until 2019.
Now, as far as Edmond and Harris go, hmmm… Some observers have suggested that both these seat holders are prime for removal: one of them for doing “just about nothing,” and; the other because “it’s just time for him to move on.” If nothing else, perhaps it’s time for them to start trying to make a really big difference before their respective terms are up – so that they may go pleasantly off to greener pastures. This should be interesting to watch, as these campaigns develop.
Who knows, maybe this time a female candidate might actually step up and succeed in getting elected to the city commission.
Which reminds me… Have you noticed there just aren’t any women up there on the dais? Come on folks, seems to me that there must be at least one qualified woman out there with a lot to offer the citizens of South Miami. So, go talk to your friends and let them know that the election is coming up in some 13 months and it’s time to start figuring out how to win.
Oh, by the way, I ran into Congressman Carlos Curbelo at Casa Cuba Restaurant a few weeks ago while he was having lunch with some members of a local republican club. Gotta tell ya, he was part of a very happy group celebrating the holidays, as well as the overall success of the 2016 Republican campaign. And coincidently, School Board Member Martin Karp and local businessman Marshall Steingold were having lunch at the same restaurant, as well.
Until next time, take care.