Church Lady: Sharing is the week’s theme

There were several instances of sharing the podium and sharing the space at Marco houses of worship.

The Jewish Congregation of Marco Island (JCMI) shared its podium with Ambassador Max M. Kampelman Friday evening and Saturday morning as part of their Scholar in Residence Program.

The Tea Ladies hosted their Garden Tea Party March 7 in the Fellowship Hall of Marco Presbyterian Church.


The Marcia Stern Education Foundation sponsored the Ambassador as part of JCMI’s Scholar in Residence Program

The ambassador addressed the congregation in lieu of the traditional Torah Study. Kempleman, author, attorney, counselor to many presidents, statesman, recipient of our countries highest civilian award the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Clinton, and recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Reagan shared his passion for complete nuclear disarmament and the role of diplomacy in pursuit of peace.

Kempleman served as ambassador to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe from 1980 to 1983; Ambassador and head of the United States Delegation to the Negotiations with the Soviet Union on Nuclear and Space Arms in Geneva from 1985 to 1989; and counselor of the Department of State.

Friday evening, Kampleman explained how he along with former Secretaries of State George P. Shultz and Henry A. Kissinger along with former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sam Nunn, are working together to urge our government to take the lead in “working towards zero.”

“We are living in a world today, a strange one, a dangerous one, and we are moving towards deeper waters,” said Kampleman.

“We need to get the civilized world to agree that the development and possession of nuclear weapons as crimes, punishable crimes.” He likened the United States possession of nuclear weapons to a school principal lecturing on the dangers of cigarette smoking, while puffing away.

JCMI’s Rabbi Edward M. Maline, D.D., commended Kampleman’s pursuit for peace, “ … which is an utopian dream which is consonant with Jewish faith, which teaches time will come, hopefully in the future, when nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more. And everyman will sit under his vine and fig tree and none will make him afraid.”

Kampleman addressed the congregation a second time on Saturday morning. Before moving onto his topic of the potential diplomacy, he said of the JCMI Shabbot services, “I am impressed by the merger and beauty of orthodox, conservative, and reformed in unity.”

President Carter had asked him to represent the United States in negotiations with Canada, Western Europe, the Soviet Union, and its satellites as the Head of the U.S. Delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe which met in Madrid from l980 to l983.

“As far as the United States was concerned the most important issue was human rights in the U.S.S.R. and the treatment of Jews,” said Kampleman. He had the full cooperation of the United States government and arranged to have press conferences every evening. He would mention the names of Soviet Jews in prison. These meetings were aired on radio and television. Years later, while in New York City, Kampleman met a man who said with tears in his eyes, “When you were in Madrid, I was in the jails. We would listen to your press conferences every night. One night I heard my name.”

Upcoming at the JCMI is the third and final event this season for the JCMI’s Saul I. Stern Cultural Series. Speaker, author, Constitutional lawyer, former chief clerk to Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, David O. Stewart will discuss his book “The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution,” 7:30 p.m., Sunday. See details under highlights this weekend.

Tea Ladies

The Tea Ladies are an outreach of New Life Community Church of God, formally New Life Community Church. This is their 10th year of service to the community. By the end of this season they will have served over 10,000 women.

The March Tea is their biggest tea of the season. The theme of Saturday’s tea was “A Garden Tea Party.” The walls of Marco Presbyterian Church’s Fellowship Hall were festooned with giant paper flowers and sayings such as “like life few gardens have only flowers; “gardening grows the spirit;” and “nature is the handiwork of God.”

“Like life few gardens have only flowers” applied to the speakers. The first were Athena and George Pappas. They shared a portion of their life and their passion for the developmentally disabled.

“We have a wonderful marriage and have been married for nearly 49 years. She does all the talking and I do all the thinking,” said George.

Athena, a native of Greece, and George are the parents of a developmentally disabled adult daughter, Cleo. She is the flower of their life and was not expected to live but thankfully the family was able to get help they needed in the United States.

Multitudes of volunteers helped with patterning the infant Cleo. Today Cleo works at McDonalds, studies the Bible, and hopes to learn to play the guitar.

About eight years ago the Lord laid it on the Pappas’ heart to provide a safe haven, a Christian care home for the developmentally disabled. Plans for the first Protected Harbor Home are underway. There will be a groundbreaking ceremony 11 a.m., Saturday, at the property on Camino Real Way, adjacent to McGregor Baptist Church, 3750, Colonial Boulevard, Fort Myers.

Protected Harbor, a faith-based, non-profit organization hopes to raise funds that will pay for the construction and on-going maintenance of Group Homes for Developmentally Disabled Adults. Six residents will occupy each home. Each home will also house two sets of caretakers. The overall management of group homes will be administered by Florida Baptist Children’s Home. Activities will be available each day and occupational skills will be taught to the residents. Some of the residents will have regular jobs and will earn a wage. Every resident will be helped and encouraged to reach their full potential in life.

A second speaker, Carol Lackland from Hanging Dog, North Carolina, shared her life story. She said her life was like one of the slogans on the wall, “like life few gardens have only flowers.”

Lackland was a flower child of the 60s, whose mother was on the verge of killing herself and her children. The mother plead with God for help. If God helped, she promised she would put her children in church.

Her mother got her life under control and Carol and her siblings attended every church function. Lackland grew up religious, but did not know God and she rebelled against the church’s teaching in high school. At the age of 19 she became engaged to an older artist and became an airline stewardess. Her fiancé died tragically. At that point in her life, she said, “God if you do exist I hate you.”

From that point on she lived life in the fast lane. She married and had children. Yet she knew something was missing, and wanted her life to have meaning. She was open-minded about everything but Jesus.

Her husband had a friend whose father was a minister. He had also lived a wild life, but had moved away and got his life together. The friend began to write her husband about God. Her husband longed to believe in something and soon the friend and his wife came to visit.

“I saw peace in their continence. Yet I had no peace,” said Lockland. The friend’s wife asked her, “Do you like the emptiness you feel? Would you like something real?”

Growing up in the church she realized what they were saying was true but she felt it was too late. However, God had taken hold of her heart.

Tea Lady Daryl McCulley summed up the purpose of the teas, “We are not here because of church or religion. We love you because He loves you.”

The next tea, “Teapots and Toppers” will be 2 p.m., April 18, in the Fellowship Hall of Marco Presbyterian Church. There will be prizes for different categories of hats. The guest speaker will be Charla Bansley, from Ellsworth, Maine. Anna Schilling, vocalist for the First Baptist Church of Marco Island and co-owner of Schilling Jewelers, will provide the music.

The teas are free but reservations are required call 642-1406.

Share yourself with the family of faith. Visit one of the nine houses of worship on Marco or the three others nearby. For information see the listing under Houses of Worship.

The greater Marco community wants to know what’s happening at your house of worship. Please send your updates to Be sure to include, who, what, where, when (both date and time and when it concludes), cost if any, and contact information for publication.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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