Jessie Childs just had time for a church committee photo shoot Wednesday before heading to Alachua to spend time with her mother, Johanna Jackson, 99.
“I spend one week a month with her,” said Childs. “My six siblings take turns making sure all her needs are met. That allows her to stay in her own home.”
Mothers, and all women who serve nurturing and mentoring roles, are being honored at Stewart Memorial United Methodist Church at events spanning over a two-week period. This morning, church members and guests are gathering for a Mother’s Day Prayer Brunch in the Fellowship Hall. Barbara Blossom, one of three co-chairwomen of the women’s weeks activities with Childs and Celestine Hinson, said the brunch will be the third event leading up to the culimination of the observance, a Women’s Day Worship Service next weekend.
First was “An Old Fashioned Gospel Fest” on April 24, featuring soul-stirring music by the voices of Rutha Sermon, Mount Carmel Youth Choir, Freddie Jones, Henry McCoy, Soterio, Deacon Frank Eberheart and others. Worship in the Yard took place Thursday, featuring Carol Coffie as guest speaker, and music by the choir from Mount Calvary Baptist Church of Palm Coast.
Today, the Mother’s Day Prayer Brunch will feature guest speaker Dr. Gwendolyn Grant, a former columnist for Essence Magazine. Grant, who attends Stewart Memorial when she is not traveling, has an extensive educational background, including two master’s degrees, a doctorate in sacred theology and a second doctorate in education.
For more than 25 years, Grant wrote a monthly advice column, “Between Us,” for Essence. She is known for her healing approach on radio and TV talk shows and is a frequent guest on the talk show circuit.
Throughout her life, Grant said she has always known that “One woman, with God, can make a difference.” The mind-heart-hand connection has been her motivation. She holds on to the belief that — “whatever the mind can conceive, heart believe, the hands can achieve,” according to her biography.
The program at today’s brunch also will feature special prayers including a Prayer for the Community At Large by Dr. Cleo S Higgins.
“We feel all women are mother figures, whether aunts, grandmothers, or others who take care of children,” said Shelia Jackson, who organized the brunch.
Jackson’s own mother, who lives in Montgomery, Ala., won’t be able to attend. But Jackson visits her during the year.
Click here to read more.
Suzy Kridner Wymes