On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for the gifts that the Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell brings to my life. Dr. Campbell is currently the Director of Religion at the Chautauqua Institution in New York State. She is formerly executive director of the US office of the World Council of Churches and former general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. She holds ordination in both the American Baptist Churches and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ.) She encouraged me greatly in the writing and editing of, Christian Civility in an Uncivil World. She has shown remarkable leadership in her role as chaplain at the Chautauqua Institution. She has demonstrated such an understanding and acceptance of people of different faith traditions. Because of her influence my religious and spiritual boundaries have been broadened and deepened. She has brought religious leaders into my life that I would have never heard any place else. She encourages young ministers and reinforces experienced ones. When our visits to Chautauqua have coincided with the annual ecumenical communion service, I have hardly been able to contain my joy at such a moving, meaningful service. She has gathered a devoted staff around her. She is a player on the world stage, but when she is in her role at Chautauqua, her humanity and her humility shine through.  She is the author of, Living into Hope: A call to Spiritual Action for Such a Time as This. In 2010 she received the Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award. Her daughter, Jane, is the first woman elected mayor of Cleveland. On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for the gifts that Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell brings to my life.

Thankful Thursday is a day set aside to recognize the importance of someone to our lives and to let her or him know of our gratitude. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter. You will be glad that you did.