PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, November 16, 2015

Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, Nov. 24th A community celebration of the diversity of faiths“>

Desmond Tutu has said, “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” In today’s shrinking global village where so many inter-religious tensions exist, it is increasingly important to sit side by side and celebrate the diverse gifts of each religious tradition. We will give thanks for our shared humanity and our common goals for peace in a community Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday, November 24th, at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church.

Participating in the Interfaith Service will be representatives of the Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Unitarian, Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions. The service will feature an Interfaith Choir. In order to allow participation from the greatest number of faith traditions, all worship music in the service will be sung without instrumental accompaniment.

This year’s guest speaker is Rev. Douglas J. Miller Ph.D, who for twenty years was the chair of Social Ethics at Eastern Baptist Seminary in Philadelphia, and is also the former Senior Minister of the First Baptist Church of Santa Barbara. Dr. Miller is the author of Jesus Goes to Washington: His Progressive Politics for a Sustainable Future, a study of the political ethics of Jesus. Presently he serves as the co-chair of HEAL Goleta (Health, Empowerment, and Love), a project of the Interfaith Initiative of Santa Barbara that serves and advocates for the houseless, as well as General Manager of Showers of Blessing, a mobile hygiene outreach.

A free-will offering will go to Direct Relief, whose stated mission is to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations by mobilizing and providing essential medical resources needed for their care. Direct Relief provides resources to community-based institutions and organizations in more than 70 countries, including the United States. There will be a light reception following the service.

The Greater Santa Barbara Area Clergy Association (GSBAC), sponsor of this event, includes clergy and religious leaders from over 100 local faith communities and is dedicated to fostering mutual understanding, tolerance and appreciation among all faith communities.

The community is invited to join in this educational, inspiring and meaningful celebration! The historic First United Methodist Church is located at the corner of Anapamu and Garden Streets, one block from the SB Courthouse. Parking is available behind the church with the parking entrance off Garden Street. For more information call 963-3579 or visit the website


Rev. Dr. Mark Richardson, Senior Minister, First United Methodist Church of SB
(963-3579); Email:

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