On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for the gifts that the Rev. Dr. Loren Mead brings to my life. Loren is an Episcopal priest now retired but called back into the trenches by Saint Alban’s Episcopal Church near the Washington Cathedral. He writes a blog, “The Daily Cup.” He grew up in South Carolina and served churches in Moncks Corner and Chapel Hill. In 1974 he founded the Alban Institute and served as its president. The Institute works with troubled churches. He is a graduate of the University of the South and the University of South Carolina. I met him in the summer of 1996 at the Chautauqua Institution where he gave a series of five lectures on, “The Once and Future Church.” I had the great unexpected pleasure of talking with him. He assured me that the Southern Baptists were not the only group being ravaged by fundamentalism. Then he offered me the most profound advice concerning our own local struggles. “Mitch, stay as long as it nourishes you.” Where could you find more sage advice? I followed his recommendation and continue to be nourished by a great and wonderful fellowship. We have reconnected recently and he has given his thumbs up to Say Something Nice Sunday. His latest book is the, Financial Meltdown in Mainline?  He is also an ardent swimmer. On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for the influence of Loren Mead in 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.