Florida leads the nation in exoneration of innocent persons sentenced to death at 27 since 1973. More than half of them are Black – an indisputable sign of racism working in the state criminal justice system. We’ll spend close to a billion dollars trying to execute the nearly 350 on death row, while the courts reduce or set aside many of death sentences because of legal irregularities or mental impairment of […]

Recent Research Reports in the Field of Criminal Justice Compiled December 2016 for The Florida Council of Churches     Civil Citations 1.        “Stepping Up: Florida’s Top Civil Citation Efforts: 2016 Study.” ACLU of Florida.  a.       Publication Date: Sept. 2016. b.       Type: State-specific study c.        Florida is mentioned 142 times. 2.       “Stepping Up: Florida’s Top Civil Citation Efforts: 2016 County Report.” ACLU of Florida.  a.       Publication Date: Sept. 2016. b.       […]

Orlando Massacre Statement On Friday, June 17, 2016, we commemorate the first anniversary of the Charleston Martyrs. In response to that unimaginable attack on the very sanctuary of God in order to incite a race war, we drafted the statement for the national network of state councils of churches. The Christian Action Council of South Carolina adopted the statement as their own. It is published here for remembrance. Download Charleston […]

After USF Dr. Erin Kimmerle and team released the initial report on the victims that were found at the Dozier School for Boys, Dale Landry of the Florida NAACP contacted the Florida Council of Churches. The Council was invited to bring together faith representatives statewide to assist in advising state authorities in the appropriate manner for the victims of Dozier to be re-interred and memoralized. The Interfaith Commission for Florida […]

These are my remarks at Moral Monday Florida, March 3, 2014, sponsored by the NAACP and 18 partner organizations. The Rev. Dr. Russell L. Meyer, Executive Director.

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Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

Greetings to my interfaith colleagues, to Rev. Barber, to Sister Adora and the NAACP leadership, and to all of you gathered here today on Moral Monday in Tallahassee. This is the Day that the Lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it!

St Petersburg Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, November 24, 2013
The Rev. Dr. Russell L. Meyer

ta-iroquois-640px-641x360Let me begin by thanking the Planning Committee of SPIA for inviting me to speak tonight. I was asked for a title in advance, and not being enamoured much with titles, I gave the generic “Of Grace and Gratitude” for this talk. The two words come from the same root word. Grace is a favor and gratitude is how we accept the favor in the spirit in which it is given. Though I won’t use the terms grace and gratitude much more in what I’m saying now, I think you’ll see the connection come through clearly enough.

Here’s what I want to do in this time together. First I begin with the logic of Christian thanksgiving. Then I will show how it reflects the pattern of thanksgiving generally found across religions in most cultures. I’ll note how this pattern is baked into our humanity, and then conclude with the often forgotten wisdom that the religions continue to remind us of.

A personal commentary by the Rev. Dr. Russell Meyer

As the full U.S. Senate begins to consider the bipartisan S.744 immigration bill, the light is shining on Sen. Marco Rubio to lead enough fellow Republicans to support modernizing our immigration system. The stakes are high for all involved.

The last elected predecessor in his Senate seat, Mel Martinez, resigned from office after fellow GOP members refused to support his immigration efforts. Being chair of the national party at the time did not help Martinez. Rubio’s future aspirations may be equally problematic now as an often-named front-runner for 2016.

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  Today (May 1), I head off to the Assembly of the Florida-Bahamas Synod. It starts tomorrow in Orlando, and I’ll be overseeing the audio and visual again. The Assembly will elect a new bishop. For the ELCA in Florida, this is a “change year.” In my various capacities with the synod and ecumenically with the Florida Council of Churches, I’ve learned a lot about church life beyond the congregation. […]

By Alicia Shurter Occupy Tampa 15 January 2012 MLK Interfaith Prayer Service I was asked to speak today about the events that led me here and what continues to keep me here. Two years ago I left my home in Nashville. I was sitting in my apartment after work and realized there had to be more. More to experience, more to learn, much more beyond the boundaries of this place […]