2011-02-02 / Columnists
Amityville & More
Our Piece of the World
On December 5, the second half of Bethel Copiague’s 195th Anniversary celebration brought the Rt. Rev. Bishop Richard F. Norris to our community for the morning service. He offered the sermon and gave the prayer of Consecration. “God has promised great things for us” was his theme, and he was welcomed with open arms.
The Rev. Henrietta S. Fullard, the Presiding Elder in the A.M.E. Church circuit, offered the prayer of Humiliation.
The afternoon Service at 4 p.m., welcomed Rev. Robert Burgess and the Grace Community Church congregation of North Amityville, with all of their congregants. This included the Mass Choir, under the direction of his daughter Alexis, and the Grace Liturgical dancers.
Rev. Stanley Gordon Smith, Bethel’s Pastor, who has only been here three years but has steadily made great strides for the people in this community, came to our Friendly Village from Philadelphia by the way of Niagara Falls.
This Church environment gives us a God that we can feel and see in the warmth that is extended to the visitors. The hospitality committee serves as if it were Thanksgiving every day, because it is. This year alone, Pastor Smith offered a forum for the Police, Clergy and Concerned Citizens to come together to stop the violence in North Amityville and vicinities. He orchestrated an open tent service bridging the gap between the Hispanic Community and the African-American Community and now the African and Native Americans who have been here for generations but were not acknowledged for their efforts. The Missions and Welfare departments are always on hand to give food and clothing to families in need, and the Music Department will make you think you are at Radio City Music Hall. In addition to helping the incarcerated, homeless or abandoned, giving advice to married, shut-ins and the youth, he encourages people continually.
The events of this year have gotten the attention of people outside of this area and most recently, HBO came on that weekend to find one of our angels, Mrs. Mary Linda Hart. She was in the hospital at that time, but, was released to serve again. She has battled breast cancer for 17 years and still maintains her family, Class Leader position and advisory to the Sisters of Greater L.I. Breast Cancer Survivorship group, which she founded several years ago. When they found Mrs. Hart, HBO sent a crew to tape the December 19 Christmas Concert. It will air, as part of a documentary that they are doing concerning cancer survivors but a date has not been set. I will keep you informed.