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Friday, June 30, 2006

Keep praying for America!












J. Lee Grady writes a weekly column for Charisma News which is usually very challenging. This week was no exception: Lee answers the problem of "Christian defeatism" by pointing us to signs of life and awakening in the American Church. Isn't the biggest problem we face a failure to persist in prayer? Grady shares a bit on some recent prayer efforts, then gently chides us:

Have you grown weary in praying for the nation? Have the negativity of news reports, the continual violence in Iraq or the cynical mood of so many Americans caused you to doubt that God is working?

Thousands of Christians were involved in intensive prayer campaigns during early 2006, including a 40-day effort during the spring and the massive Global Day of Prayer on June 4. This kind of collective intercession may not get the attention of the media, but we can be assured that heaven has noticed. The prayers of God’s people are collecting like water in a reservoir—and we are heading for a dramatic tipping point when those prayers will unleash unprecedented blessings—as well as judgment on our unseen spiritual enemies.

God’s Word promises us that He will heal our land if we humble ourselves and pray. I believe a spiritual dam has broken. The floodgates have been opened. We can pray together: “Lord, let it rain.”

Let's do it!

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Site's up and running again!

Thanks for your patience. We're back live at Pray Connecticut!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Site maintenance

Our site at prayct.org will be down for a couple of days - thanks for your patience!

Video report from Global Day of Prayer

Brandt Gillespie and the fine folks at Pray TV have posted this video report from the recent Global Day of Prayer event in Hartford. (This is a .wmv file.)

Be sure to calendar this very early - the 2007 Global Day of Prayer will be on Pentecost Sunday, May 27.

Continue to pray for unity among pastors and Christian workers across our State!

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Friday, June 23, 2006

I think we're in turmoil...

...but nobody seems to be talking about it yet.

The Courant reports that State legislators are preparing to reopen hearings into the Rell Administration's fundraising. Lawmakers believe that information has been withheld from them, including the possiblity that Mrs. Rell was questioned by criminal investigators.

Meanwhile, former State Chief Justice William Sullivan was subpoenaed to testify before the Judiciary Committee about his actions in connection with the withdrawn nomination of Associate Justice Peter Zarella to take his place on the State's highest court.

Sullivan in March put a secret hold on publication of a controversial ruling on public access to court dockets to further Zarella's prospects of being confirmed as the next chief justice.

Both Sullivan and Zarella voted with the 4-3 majority that computerized criminal and motor vehicle dockets were not subject to the state's Freedom of Information Act. The ruling was not destined to sit well with lawmakers who were indignant at the revelation just three years earlier that some court files were "super-sealed" to mask their very existence.

In the wake of outrage over Sullivan's actions, both Borden and Gov. M. Jodi Rell appointed separate commissions to recommend ways to increase public access to the courts.

Sullivan's conduct was discovered through a routine inquiry by Palmer April 17 into the status of the case. Sullivan retired as head of the judicial branch effective April 15 to take senior justice status; his protege, Zarella, had been nominated by Rell to succeed him.

Sullivan acknowledged holding up release of the case to benefit Zarella, but maintained that doing so did not violate the canons of judicial ethics.
While those situations remain unresolved and promise to make headlines through the summer, one situation that has drawn to a close is that of attorney and former councilman and mayor of Middletown Stephen Gionfriddo. The AP reports that Mr. Gionfriddo pled guilty yesterday in Federal court to stealing more than $600,000 of his clients' money.

Let's continue to pray for our State and all levels of its government.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

TM in Connecticut schools?

An interesting and revealing article in today's Greenwich Time about a push by some to promote Transcendental Meditation in Connecticut schools. The typical lines are given out about TM not being a religion. I find it a bit comical, however, that the article itself contradicts that proposition, giving this description of the practice:

The practice is a set of Hindu meditation techniques introduced to the Western world by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The movement began in 1956 in India and is now worldwide, with more than 5 million followers. It became famous in the late 1960s, when celebrities like the Beatles, Mia Farrow and Donovan hung out in the Maharishi's ashram.


How can a set of Hindu meditation techniques not be religious? Would anyone say this about the various forms of Christian mystical or "centering" prayer? I'm not espousing those forms of prayer, simply making the point that such things are always brought into public life disguised as something else.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

More blows to the Connecticut economy

Close to 300 employees at Lego in Enfield will be terminated, as industrial jobs continue flow elsewhere. And Pfizer will also phase out some 300 manufacturing jobs in Groton, beginning next year.



An interesting story is the planned Utopia facility, which will supposedly bring 22,000 permanent jobs to Eastern Connecticut starting in 2009.

Please continue to pray for the Connecticut economy.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Episcopal Church election signals final break-up is near; video from the Connecticut Six

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons." (1 Tim. 4:1)

The Episcopal Church, The U. S. branch of the world wide Anglican Communion, has selected a woman to lead it for the first time. Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was selected from a field of seven.

While her being a woman will certainly be problematic for some, her theological liberalism in our opinion signals the final break-up of Episcopal Church. Evangelical bishops around the world are ready to expel the Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion because they recognize it for what it is becoming - a new religion. From Virtue Online:

In an outspoken interview with The Daily Telegraph, the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, said that divisions between liberals and conservatives were so profound that a compromise was no longer possible.

He increased the pressure on the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to take firm action against the liberal American leadership.

"Anglicans are used to fudging things sometimes, but I think this is a matter of such seriousness that fudge won't do," said Bishop Nazir-Ali.

"Sometimes you have to recognise that there are two irreconcilable positions and you have to choose between them.

"The right choice is in line with the Bible and the Church's teaching down the ages, not some new-fangled religion we have invented to respond to the 21st century.

"My fear is that the Church of England has made a number of moves in the liberal, Protestant direction. That gives me concerns that the Bible will become less important and that the Church is moving away from its traditional Catholic order.

"If you move in that direction you become a kind of options Church, where you live by preferences."

The Pakistan-born evangelical bishop has the ear of powerful conservative leaders in Africa and Asia and his comments at the convention, in Columbus, Ohio, will be a blow to Dr Williams, who has expended much energy holding the warring factions together. But they will be welcomed by those who fear that Dr Williams will do everything he can to avoid expelling the liberal Americans from the worldwide Communion. Bishop Nazir-Ali suggested that the US Church was already beyond the pale, irrespective of how it voted on resolutions designed to test whether it was prepared to dilute its liberal agenda.

He said an unconnected decision by its House of Bishops on Friday to back civil if not religious marriages for gay couples was so significant it made issues such as gay bishops "an interesting footnote".

The Church has been given until the end of the convention on Wednesday to toe the conservative line on homosexuality or face expulsion.

A leading American conservative bishop, Jack Iker, struck a similar tone:

In a rather surprising election today, the House of Bishops chose Katharine Jefferts Schori to become the next Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. When first nominated, she was widely regarded as a "dark horse candidate" and as "the token woman" on the slate. I for one never expected that she could be elected.

Her election signals a continuation of the policies of the outgoing Presiding Bishop, namely support for the ordination of practicing homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions, practices which have divided the Episcopal Church, impaired our relationship with a majority of other Provinces, and brought the Anglican Communion to the breaking point.

The fact that her ordination as a bishop is not recognized or accepted by a large portion of the Communion introduces an additional element of division and impairment. When she becomes the first female primate of the Anglican Communion, it remains to be seen as to how she will be regarded by the other 37 primates, the vast majority of whom come from Provinces where women cannot be elected as bishops.

In one sense, we should not be surprised, at all, for this is The Episcopal Church, which takes pride in being first with every new innovation: women priests and bishops, the blessing of same-sex unions, the election of the first gay bishop in 2003, and now the selection of the first female primate in 2006. One wonders what might be next.

We urge you to pray for Episcopal Churches everywhere as the full storm is about to hit, especially the Connecticut Six. Interesting video on their site here.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Pray CT launches new Christian Events Calendar!

Got a Christian prayer event, concert, or community event you want to publicize all over connecticut? We've been busy preparing a new Christian Events Calendar for Connecticut, powered by Google Calendar and it's live and ready!





For a number of reasons, we've moved away from the existing calendar. I'm sure Google will add more features in time which will make this a great service for area Christians. Here are some of the features we have at the date of launch:

  • Google gives us an agenda view and a regular month-at-a-glance view.
  • Items open up when clicked to provide more details.
  • If you're already a Google calendar user, you can add the calendar to your own Google set-up.
  • If you use a feedreader, there are a number of ways to get a feed from this calendar: you can use a regular XML feed reader or add the calendar's feed into Newsgator, Bloglines, My Yahoo! and others.

We offer this free as a public service to the Christian community, and we'll even host your event flyers or documents on our site. Just e-mail us here with info and flyers, or go to our website and use the event submission form.

Thanks and enjoy the calendar!

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Godless in Connecticut?

An old joke says that the most religious people on earth are the Indians, and the most irreligious are the Swedes. The punch line is that America is a nation of Indians ruled by Swedes. The Washington Times tells us that this is still true in 2006.

Eight out of 10 Americans believe God guided creation in some capacity. A Gallup Poll reveals that 46 percent think God created man in his present form sometime in the past 10,000 years, while 36 percent say man developed over millions of years from lesser life forms, but God guided the process.

Only 13 percent of Americans think mankind evolved with no divine intervention.

"There has been surprisingly little change over the last 24 years in how Americans respond," pollster Frank Newport said.


Apparently, Creation and even the "creation-lite" concept of Intelligent Design, are alive and well - although I suspect more than 13% of Connecticut residents come down on the side of Darwin.

We may not care for the sharpness of tongue of conservative commentator Ann Coulter, but I believe she has done us a service in her new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, Coulter devotes a large amount of space to refuting Darwinian evolution. Significantly, this includes a discussion of the actual science from an intelligent design viewpoint, including the complexity of life on the cellular level - a complexity unknown to 19th century (and much of 20th century) science.

This may be the first time that a wide cross-section of society - Ms. Coulter's milliions of readers and critics - will be exposed to the science of Creation.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Jesus - still the most controversial figure

Two things floating around in the news remind me that Jesus remains the most controversial world figure.

Entertainment Weekly, which for the record I don't read, has come out with a list of the most controversial movies of all time. Among them are three movies about Jesus - or which at least claim to be about Jesus in some way. Topping the list was The Passion Of The Christ. Also on the list were The DaVinci Code and The Last Temptation Of Christ.




Another interesting item: the State of Kentucky's schools just decided not to drop the terms B.C. and A.D. in favor of the supposedly "less offensive" B.C.E. and C.E. A large e-mail protest campaign helped to ensure that in Kentucky, at least, we are still in A. D. 2006. As we watch antichristian and revisionist forces continue to try to erase all traces of our Christian heritage, we should remember that revolutionaries have always found it necessary to make "re-calendaring" one of their first official acts.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Crime down, but violent crimes spike

The FBI has released its preliminary annual crime report, sending news outlets spinning all over the US as they rushed to compare local trends with the big picture. Here in Connecticut, results were mixed.

In Hartford, the Courant's analysis showed that murders there were up 56%, but that if murders and assaults were excluded, the capital would have seen about a 5% drop in crime. Sadly, the Hartford's 2006 trend seems to be terrible.

Meanwhile, in Stamford, there was a significant jump in violent crime - about 16% as opposed to a 2.5% figure nationwide. Bridgeport saw a slight increase and Waterbury a slight decrease in violent crime.

Table of data for these four cities also available at Channel 8's site.

Rounding out our "Big 5" cities, there did not appear to be data immediately available for New Haven. The full FBI report is due in the Fall.

Please continue to pray against crime and pray for the youth of our State.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

When a church dies...

I read with sadness this piece in the New London Day about a church that will have to close. Faced with declining membership and outrageous insurance premiums, the church can no longer afford to keep its doors open.

Adding insult to injury, the United Church of Christ of Oakdale was victimized by vandals serving a different master:

On Sunday morning, two weeks before the Old Colchester Road church will close its doors because of declining enrollment, its leaders discovered that vandals had struck overnight.

Someone entered through a ground-floor window of the church building, tore apart a Bible, partially burned the American flag and scribbled obscenities and satanic images on another Bible. While the damage was minimal and nothing of any value appeared to be stolen, the break-in was yet another reminder of the church's decline.

“As if this poor church hasn't seen its share of heartaches,” said John Carboni, its pastor.

With barely five members remaining, the 34-year-old church can no longer pay its bills or have a viable missionary presence in the community, Carboni said. It will close for good at the end of this month, the victim, or symptom, of what Carboni said is an ever-fragmented society, one where weekend pastimes such as sports, shopping at the mall and part-time jobs have become more important to families than gathering together to hear the word of God.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Orthodox Episcoplians take root and flourish in Fairfield

We've blogged frequently about the struggles of Episcopalians in the State and the ongoing controversy between Connecticut's Episcopal bishop and the Connecticut Six. So it was interesting to read in Virtue Online about the Church of the Apostles in Fairfield.



The Rt. Rev. Thad Barnum and his wife, the Rev. Erilynne Barnum.

The Church of the Apostles is under the leadership of Bishop Thad Barnum, and is part of the Anglican Mission in America, which the church's website describes as:

A direct missionary outreach of the Anglican Province of Rwanda. We exist to glorify God and to serve, grow and multiply dynamic churches that love Jesus Christ and to reach the world He died to save.

Short translation: they probably don't believe in some of the things that many Connecticut Episcopalians believe in. You probably know which things it is of which I speak.

Virtue Online tracks their progress to date:

Bishop Barnum is hoping that many more will experience the transforming power of life in Christ, as Church of the Apostles grows into a strong place from which to launch other churches in New England. Six families are already meeting together with monthly worship in Danbury, about 45 minutes to the north, and fellowship dinners are being held in Stamford, New Haven, and other Connecticut towns. Church of the Apostles is also part of an emerging network of Anglican Mission churches in the North East, led by the Bishop, with churches in Pennsylvania, New York, Washington DC, Massachusetts and Maine. "We're joining people whose heart has been to see vibrant, healthy, strong congregations that lift up the name of Jesus Christ," asserted Bishop Barnum. "We're looking at places like Boston, Providence, and New York City."

Where this will go only God knows. Continue to pray!

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Twenty People Shot in Hartford in 2 Weeks


Please pray for Hartford, where 20 people have been shot in two weeks. City officials are now receiving help from State and even Federal authorities.

WTNH reports.



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Photo:
Michael Czaczkes

Believing in Christ is a strong thematic element, now rated "PG"

The Motion Picture Association of America has given a PG rating to a movie with "strong thematic elements." That's not what's unusual -what's unusual is the reason. Facing The Giants has a strong evangelistic message, and apparently fear of "prosyletizing" resulted in the rating.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Report on the Global Day of Prayer

Barbara Lachance, President of the Connecticut House of Prayer, gives this report on Sunday's Global Day of Prayer meeting in Hartford:

Greetings in the Name of Jesus:

The Global Day of Prayer at the Connecticut Convention Center on June 4, was a tremendous success. Approximately 4500 were present and the worship was wonderful. Cultures and denominations were represented and the unity far surpassed anything we have ever seen. THIS WAS A HISTORY MAKING EVENT.

There are so many who were responsible for making this event successful. First I want to thank all the Pastors and their churches who donated funds. Secondly, Danna Lichanec who worked endless hours to organize all the details. The Prayer Leaders and Worship Team led us into the Throne Room of God. The bowls were filled and I believe that our prayers were a sweet incense to God.

This was our second Global Day of Prayer but not our last. Next year I believe we will have many more. Thanks to all who attended and made this meeting such a wonderful, blessed time. Below are the testimonies of several people who attended:

  • Last Sunday evening as we were praying I kept thinking of the Vision Statement for the CT House of Prayer....how the vision was to raise up an army of 5,000 intercessors crossing denominational, cultural and color lines to pray for the transformation of the state of Connecticut. This was fulfilled Sunday night! PRAISE GOD!!!
  • Everything was sooooo good. The attendance (more next year), the people were serious about praying (not a lot of distracting behavior), the music was very well selected I thought, the sensitivity to the Spanish community was definitely there, the respect for the One Body of Christ and the intrinsic diversity in that Body, the pray-ers were VERY good, not drawing attention to themselves, but really praying for His glory. The little girl slayed me (she was the best). I liked the program very much, liked having a printed format to follow. I think that helped keep the distractions down, because it gave people something to focus on. Very good. ALL my family came and they all liked it. I know you will get thousands more next year because everyone will tell someone how GOOD it was. And we need it so much in our country and for the world.
  • It was wonderful seeing the Church gather for worship, praise, prayer & repentance & a call for God to unleash His power in the State of CT - everything "appeared" to run smoothly & God's presence prevailed in the venue.
  • The global day of prayer was God fab! Real freedom in the spirit. Great prayers. Unity. Glorious worship.
Let's all make this day a marker every year and believe God for a doubling or even tripling of the event's attendance!

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"Prayer in the Park" cries out for Hartford this Thursday

"Prayer In The Park" will take place at the Thomas G. Harris Pavilion in Bushnell Park (Hartford) at 6:30 pm Thursday, June 8.

Please note: this brave band of prayer warriors meets every Thursday night in Hartford's Bushnell Park for prayer, rain or shine. The only times this prayer meeting is cancelled is if it is too dangerous to be outside because of severe thunderstorms or state emergencies.

For information, contact the Connecticut House of Prayer - Hartford.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

When Connecticut Prayed... who noticed?


















Someone heard every word that was uttered, indeed every thought that passed through the minds of the thousands who attended Sunday's Global Day of Prayer event in Hartford. It was not the press, or the great body of Connecticut's citizenry. But this means nothing. The people praying had the full attention of the One who matters most.

Still, I was amused to see Channel 3 refer to the crowd at the Connecticut Convention Center as comprised of "hundreds of Christians." Their brief, weirdly-angled shots could not disguise the fact that the worshippers were far more numerous.

Indeed, even the Hartford Courant, not known to be an ardent supporter of evangelical religion, confessed to a crowd of 4,300. Yet, unless they are planning a spot later in the week, they, too, are relegating this story to the nether regions of the Web. I give credit where it is due, as they did post a lovely photo - but it was alongside a story about the success of the new Convention Center! (To be completely fair, an earlier story was both positive and informative.)

There's a sign of growing maturity in the fact that most Christians of evangelical stripe no longer care as much whether the Courant or Channel 8 gives them good press. Those who gathered in Hartford yesterday were there to pray and seek the favor of God, not the favor of Web or TV pundits.

If the Connecticut press can't be moved at the sight of thousands coming to our troubled capital on a Sunday night with no agenda but prayer, so be it. We draw our strength from knowing Him who is moved by the devotion of lovers of His cause. We know that there are great stirrings all over our State and, as the old revivalists would have said it, there is a sound of an abundance of rain. Churches all over are reaching out, seeing conversions, and partnering together to bring in a great harvest of souls. There is an anticipation of an Awakening the likes of which we have only read about!

The fact that 1 out of every 800 or so Connecticut residents came into Hartford for the sole purpose of praying on Sunday night could make some policymakers do a little rethinking about the size of some constituencies. But more important than any possible political ramifications is the truth that when Connecticut prays, God hears...

Photo: (C) 2004, Matthew Trump

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Connecticut Church News Launches!

We've launched out first sister blog, the Connecticut Church News!

Connecticut Church News will meet a real need and help us to specialize by creating a space for church news and events as opposed to this blog, which is more devotional and is centered on prayer, revival and outreach.

If you are a pastor or church leader and want to have your event or your news featured on the Connecticut Church News, please contact us. Take advantage of the power of blogging!

The new blog has e-mail subscription ability as well as RSS.

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Global Day of Prayer - largest prayer event in history!

Christians in nearly 200 countries participated in Global Day of Prayer events yesterday, including belivers from across Connecticut who gathered in Hartford to ask God's blessing on our own State.

Thank God for what He is doing in the nations of the earth!

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