St Petersburg Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, November 24, 2013
The Rev. Dr. Russell L. Meyer
Let 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.
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. […]
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Address to the Annual Conference of the Florida United Methodist Church Lakeland Civic Center Lakeland, Florida 15 June 2012 The Rev. Russell L. Meyer Download PDF. Jesus prayed: “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, … that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me […]
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For the first time, I attended Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington DC (www.advocacydays.org) this past weekend and visited congressional offices to speak up for issues I have come to believe in. While I’ve often supported advocacy in principle and even admired some people for taking strong stances, I’ve not really embraced it as a proper church activity. Too many examples of brazen partisanship by a few have made me shy […]