Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Get a lift, give a bit at Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Nov. 24

ST. PETERSBURG — Jane Trocheck Walker tells the story of a family trying to subsist after their water and electricity had been turned off.

They caught fish for meals when their food stamps ran out and gathered sticks for cooking on a barbecue grill. They disposed of their human waste in plastic bags.

"This family is here in Pinellas County, living in that type of situation," Walker, executive director of the Daystar Life Center, said in the wake of recent disasters in the Philippines and the Midwest. "What people don't understand is that we have these disasters in our neighborhoods."

Today Daystar and other agencies that assist the poor will benefit from offerings collected at St. Petersburg's annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. Beginning at 4 p.m., it will be hosted by Congregation B'nai Israel.

The Rev. Janel Miller-Evans, president of the St. Petersburg Interfaith Association, said the service will include leaders from Muslim, Baha'i, Jewish and Christian faiths. Readings and prayers from each faith tradition will be part of the program, she said.

Besides Daystar, offerings of food and money collected during the service will benefit Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services, Operation Attack and the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.

"Many faiths care for the poor, and Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all that we have and to give back to the community by helping those who are hungry," said Miller-Evans, chaplain at the Westminster Palms Retirement Community.

Rabbi Jacob Luski of Congregation B'nai Israel said the interfaith group has held the Thanksgiving service for more than 30 years.

Imam Askia Muhammad Aquil, another longtime member of the association, said he would like to see more young people involved in the annual gathering.

"I am hoping that the facility will be filled to overflowing" today, he said.

Walker suggests that those who attend make donations of money, which can be used to help the needy with utilities and rent, and canned and dry goods such as peanut butter, tuna, fruit, vegetables, cereal, rice, pasta and dried beans.

Many residents continue to struggle, despite a thriving downtown and improving economy, Walker said.

"Mostly people have not caught up. The numbers have not gone down for any of our services. I keep being hopeful, but we still have a lot of people that are underemployed and we always have the folks that are on fixed income, the elderly the disabled," she said.

"We are still getting a lot of families just trying to stay in their homes in a safe way."

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at or (727) 892-2283.

if you go

Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

4 p.m. today, Congregation B'nai Israel, 300 58th St. N, St. Petersburg. Thanksgiving message by the Rev. Russell Meyer, executive director of the Florida Council of Churches.

Donations of money and canned and dry goods will be given to Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services, Operation Attack, St. Petersburg Free Clinic and Daystar Life Center.

For information about the St. Petersburg Interfaith Association, call the Rev. Janel Miller-Evans at (727) 776-6445.

Get a lift, give a bit at Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Nov. 24 11/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 22, 2013 2:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politica

  2. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory dies at 84


    The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

    Dick Gregory, a comedian, activist and author, died Saturday. [Tribune News Service, 2011]
  3. Winter Haven police investigating armed robbery at Dollar General


    WINTER HAVEN — Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday night of a Dollar General store on W Lake Ruby Drive.

  4. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  5. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.