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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Connecticut Collecting Supplies for Hurricane Victims

Beginning this week, the State of Connecticut will be collecting healthcare supplies to help schools in Louisiana replenish supplies used in school nurses' offices and school-based clinics. From the Governor's press release:

The list of supplies needed by school nurses include the following: new, unopened boxes of band-aids (assorted sizes); calamine lotion; cotton balls; dental floss; flashlights and batteries; gauze and gauze rollers; Kleenex; gloves; Q-tips; liquid soap in a pump; adhesive tape; thermometers; tongue depressors; and tweezers.

“Tuesday marks the first anniversary of the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina. The images we have seen on television and newspapers remind us that the Gulf States, especially Louisiana and Mississippi, are long way from full recovery and are still rebuilding. Connecticut again stands ready to help in anyway we can,” Governor Rell said.

Governor Rell spoke with Governor Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana last week in anticipation of the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Noting how generous the people of Connecticut were last year to the relief effort, Governor Rell asked Governor Blanco how the people and businesses of Connecticut could help this year. Governor Blanco said that with the start of the school year, school nurses’ offices need to be restocked after their respective schools were decimated by the hurricane.

Governor Rell’s staff has also contacted the office of Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour to make the same offer regarding donated supplies for school nurses’ offices.

"The relief effort demonstrated by our state last year in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina showed how compassionate and generous the people and businesses of Connecticut can be in times of need. I was deeply touched by the citizens’ response. Now, as children head back to school in Louisiana and Mississippi, one way we can continue to help is by making sure school nurses have everything they need to deliver appropriate care to students on a daily basis,” Governor Rell said.

The following Connecticut National Guard armories have been designated for drop-off sites for the recommended supplies: State Armory in Hartford at 360 Broad Street in Hartford; New Haven Armory at 290 Goffe Street in New Haven; New London Armory at 249 Bayonet Street; Norwich Armory at 38 Stott Avenue in Norwich; Stratford Armory at 63 Armory Road in Stratford; and the Waterbury Armory at 64 Field Street in Waterbury.

The armories will be collecting the school health-care related supplies starting Thursday, August 31 through Friday, September 8. The armories will be closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday over Labor Day weekend. The armories will be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Please help if you can and please continue to pray for all those who continue to be affected by Hurricane Katrina.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

The "Connecticut Six" respond to Federal court decision

The Connecticut Six, a group of Episcopal parishes and their vestries (officers) has replied to the recent Federal Court decision dismissing their case against the Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut. Here are excerpts:

The Episcopal parishes and their lay leaders known as the Connecticut Six today expressed dismay over diocesan Bishop Andrew Smith's most recent mischaracterization of their pending federal lawsuit. In a press release discussing the opinion of a federal judge, Bishop Smith suggests that the lawsuit has ended, but this a misrepresentation of facts.

Significantly, the court determined only that the lawsuit lacked federal jurisdiction and pointedly left the parishes and the individual plaintiffs free to pursue state law claims in the Connecticut courts, without prejudice. Furthermore, Bishop Smith failed to acknowledge that his own motion for summary, final judgment was denied by the federal court in the process, thus leaving the basic charges against the bishop and the diocesan defendants unresolved....

The lawsuit charged that Bishop Smith had also seized investment funds from Bishop Seabury Church, Christ Church, and Christ & The Epiphany Church; converting this property to his own use and defying repeated demands by the parish vestries for the release of their assets. These assets of more than $350,000 were eventually returned to the congregations long after the suit was filed.

Accordingly, the Connecticut state courts are also now free to determine whether Bishop Smith and the remaining diocesan defendants will be required to pay triple damages and punitive, as well as compensatory, damages for claimed "violation of Connecticut's prejudgment remedy statutes, trespass, theft, conversion and breach of fiduciary duty," specifically identified by the federal court....

Bishop Smith has repeatedly refused to accept the effort of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Panel of Reference to effect reconciliation.

That tribunal has returned the applications of the parishes to the Archbishop of Canterbury, thus leaving the parties to their civil law remedies.

Accordingly, at this point the parishes will carefully consider the federal court's comprehensive opinion before pursuing their state court and federal appellate remedies.

You can read the entire press release at Virtue Online.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Megachurches in Connecticut

The Danbury News-Times carried a large and positive feature story today on megachurches in Connecticut, spotlighting two large and well-known Western Connecticut churches: Faith Church in New Milford, and Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel.

From the article:

The growth of such megachurches here reflects a regional trend in the blue states of the Northeast. More than 70 of these massive structures -- scrapping hymnals and organs in favor of multimedia shows and jam sessions -- are based in this part of the country.

That's twice as many as in 2000, and 6 percent of the national total, according to a study by Hartford Seminary and the Dallas-based Leadership Institute. It's also a higher growth rate than what's been seen in the West, though not as high as in the South. Both Faith and Walnut Hill say their membership figures have increased by about 400 in the past year -- that's 400 in each church.

Read the whole thing.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

One Heart Festival in Danbury tomorrow

A nice write-up in the Danbury News-Times for this year's One Heart Festival, billed as Connecticut's longest-running Christian music festival. It's always a pleasure to see Christian music portrayed in a positive light in our large newspapers!

There may still be some seating available for this event at the Ives Concert Center featuring Salvador, The Afters, and Vicky Beeching.

For ticket information, you can call Rock the Sound at (877) 261-ROCK (7625).

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"Connecticut Six" Federal case dismissed

Federal Court District Judge Janet Bond Arterton has dismissed the lawsuit filed by the so-called Connecticut Six against the Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut, the Andrew D. Smith.

The Courant summarizes:

The lawsuit, filed in 2005, claimed that Smith had violated the civil and property rights of the six priests and the churches they led, which had sought to break away from Smith's authority because of his support for the election of an openly gay bishop.

It also claimed that Smith acted illegally when the diocese seized control of St. John's Episcopal Church in Bristol in July 2005 after its priest, the Rev. Mark Hansen, was stripped of his duties by Smith. Six months later, Smith removed Hansen from the priesthood.

"Whether Bishop Smith acted contrary to or outside of the Diocese's own rules is a question of canon law, not a question of constitutionality of the challenged Connecticut statutes," Arterton wrote in Monday's ruling. "A declaration of unconstitutionality by the court would not redress the plaintiffs' actual grievances or their theological disputes with" Smith.

In essence, the Judge ruled that the Federal Court could not hear matters related to church canon law. The priests still can pursue their claims in Connecticut State Court.

A complete copy of the opinion can be seen here.

Please continue to pray for all those who are struggling to stand for biblical truth in historic denominations.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

5 great Bible study resources - all free!

There's a surprising amount of high-quality Bible study material and helps available online nowadays, and with just a little effort your library can exceed what once would have required literally yards of bookshelf space. Let's look at five of these, each one of which has its own unique flavor.

Christians haven't ignored society's increased reliance on the Web, and are also taking note of the "Web 2.0" phenomenon, where web applications can replace, or nearly replace desktop software. A new entry in the online bible study field,, consciously takes a Web 2.0 approach by allowing you tag verse and save bookmarks. Several different Bible versions are available and they seem to be adding features. Note: this is a beta release.
This site boasts an impressive number of Bible resources and free commentaries, and also hosts a lot of articles, audio resources, pastoral and worship resources, etc. Visually, this site is a litle cluttered, but I can excuse that because they are packing so much into it. It's a great place to poke around.
Those who want to do a little more theological digging should try out This site also seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, probably capitalizing off the interest in their NET Bible translation. If you want to read a deep, exegetical commentary on the Book of Nahum, this is the place for you! Another bonus: the organization not only enables you to freely download their translation, but to use it without fear of copyright infringement.

Blue Letter Bible
I've had this one bookmarked for a long time - and for good reason! It has some great features, including easy phrase searches. If you still rely on Strong's Concordance, you'll find it a joy to be able to search phrases like "Kingdom of God" without going blind in the process. Lots of study tools round out the picture, including audio and video from preachers past and present such as J. Vernon McGee, Ray Stedman, and many of the well-known Calvary Chapel pastors.

This last one is a real gem - the most powerful free Bible software you are likely to find in the English language. This is not a website, but a free software download for Windows and Pocket PC. Developer Rick Meyers believes in "freely you have received, freely give," and he demonstrated it here. He compares E-Sword to $500 packages that the typical layperson finds inaccessible - and he's not bragging. A number of additional "modules" can be downloaded to add extra dictionaries, concordances, and other well-known works. There are powerful note-taking features and basic word processing for your own writing. A fuller feature list is available here.

Whether you're looking for a good daily devotional or are up to your elbows in serious study, even sermon preparation, these free resources will prove to be a great blessing.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

God's Airtime

Because of "wars and rumors of wars," there's a nervous, quasi-religious mood on the airwaves this month. It seems to be creating a lot of opportunities for Biblical truths to be taken more seriously and put out before a wider audience:

A much-circulated, much-discussed article by Professor Bernard Lewis of Princeton explores the possibility that Iran has something apocalyptic up its sleeve for August 22 (this coming Tuesday).

Former Palestinian terrorist Walid Shoebat has been very visible on television talking about how he came out of the jihadist mentality.

Two programs of interest tonight on television (Sunday, August 20):

"Purpose Driven Life: Can Rick Warren Change the World?"
Fox News Channel, 8:00 Eastern

"The Exodus Decoded"
History Channel, 8:00 Eastern

I admit, I've been suckered many times by this type of show. The producers actually believe in the Exodus, and place it at a very early date. Of course, there is a naturalistic explanation in that they tie it to a volcanic eruption that occurred at that time. They'll report, you'll decide. You can watch a preview video here.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

New churches added to the Connecticut Church Map

We've added some churches to the Connecticut Church Map recently, including:

The Church Map is a great resource (and fun besides) and is also by far the most visited page on our website. If you have a church you'd like to see listed on it, please use our contact form here.

Have a great day in God's house this Sunday!

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Salvador in concert August 26, with The Afters and Vicky Beeching

The One Heart Festival is returning to Danbury!

Salvador returns to Danbury's Ives Concert Center on August 26th with the 2006 Best New Artist Dove Award winning band The Afters, and Vicky Beeching!

Ticket prices: Gold $38; Reserved $30; Lawn $20.

For more information or group discounts visit or or call (877) 261-ROCK (7625).

See this and other area Christian events at the Pray Connecticut Christian Events Calendar. When you visit, be sure to submit your own events, too!

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dennis Cramer meetings in West Haven this week

Prophetic minister Dennis Cramer will be ministering at Gateway Christian Fellowship in West Haven this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings (August 17-19) at 7:00 pm.

Founder and president of Dennis Cramer Ministries, Dennis preaches, teaches, and prophesies nationally and internationally to numerous local churches and regional conferences.

For additional information and directions, call Gateway Christian Fellowship at (203) 934-0880.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Family Institute of Connecticut barred from intervening in Supreme Court case

The State Supreme Court has issued a ruling denying a request by the Family Institute of Connecticut to intervene in a civil suit brought with the intention of legalizing same-sex marriage. The FIC sought to present to the Court the harm that could arise to children in such unions.

The Courant reported, "The Supreme Court upheld a trial court ruling that barred the institute from intervening in the case, but did permit the group to file a friend-of-the-court brief stating its views that the children of same-sex couples 'are disadvantaged at every level of growth and maturation.'"

The FIC's Peter Wolfgang commented, "New York's highest court ruled last month that it is rational to consider the harm that same-sex "marriage" will do to children. Connecticut's Supreme Court refused today to even consider the argument..."

Please continue to pray for traditional marriage in Connecticut.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Tommie Zito meetings in Westport

Evangelist Tommie Zito returns to Connecticut with a week of meetings at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Westport. There will be daytime meetings Monday, August 14th through Saturday, August 19th at 10 am as well as evening meetings Monday, August 14th through Friday, August 18th at 7 pm. Tommie's meetings are powerful and there's a great impartation of an evangelistic anointing to the entire congregation where he and his team minister.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Connecticut in Iraq

Posting's been light lately, as our crack staff has been on vacation. We'll be picking up again soon, so thanks for your continued support!

If you've been reading a while, you know that we try to keep it non-political around here, but I've been reading The Charlie Company blog written by First Sergeant Ben Grainger of C Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines, which is based here in Connecticut. First Sergeant Grainger and his men have had some amazing experiences and he's put up some really great posts.

Why is any of this political? Because the First Sergeant has a lot to say about how war is conducted in the current political climate. Read this:

We had a Marine get hit square in the chest by a sniper shot the other day, but he was able to get up and run for cover. Yes, they knock you down for some reason, but the ballistic protection does its job. Stopped it cold. Of course the Marine has a big bruise in the middle of his chest, but he is great shape. The sniper, you ask? He ran into a mosque to hide because he knows we don’t go into them. Why don’t we go into them, you ask? Because we would be insensitive -- there’s that word again -- to them if we did. Why are we sensitive to them, even after a known shooter ran into it? Because there are a few people back home, who are not getting shot by snipers, who are upset and are throwing tantrums about us being insensitive. Why are they not here, you ask? Well, I guess they are too busy burning our flag. We did call the local police, so we could be sensitive, who had six guys search the entire place in about, umm, 30 seconds and came out and said they found nothing. Now how do you suppose he got out when we had the place surrounded?

Then there's this jewel, which no doubt implicates some of our fellow Connecticut residents:

The packages and mail continue to raise morale and make the job at hand that much easier. Which leads me to one more topic: a few people have said they can’t send the Marines a package because they don’t support the president. Then don’t put the president's name on the box -- put one of my Marine's names on the box. I have supported every president since 1984 and have not cared who was in office, he was the President of the United States! The president doesn’t live here and I promise not to give him any of your junk food if he shows up, if that will make you happy.

Can't we support these men and women who are in harm's way?

If that's political, so be it.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

What the media knows - and doesn't know...

"The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision." (Ezek. 12:23)

New England Concerts of Prayer sends this report on a recent crusade in Boston, of all places, that drew 18,000 people:

Curiously (but not surprisingly) there was no mention in the Boston Globe. In Sunday’s Ideas section, there was a front-page article on the abortion-rights movement rediscovering religion, but not an inch on what happened at the Garden.

It is reminiscent of New York City in the fall of 1857. Jeremiah Lanphier’s Wednesday Noon prayer hour had become an underground phenomenon. His church, “Old North Dutch,” could not hold all the people who came to pray. Neither could all the other churches in lower Manhattan – or the firehouses and police stations, the restaurants and theaters.

Word reached the uptown editorial offices of that city’s two great newspapers: Something extraordinary was going on downtown. “Nonsense!” scoffed James Gordon Bennett of the Herald. “If it was news, we would have heard about it!” His arch-rival, Horace Greeley of the Tribune, had exactly the same response.

Nevertheless, on the remote chance that something might be going on, they each sent their best man to cover it. When their ace reporters came back born-again and praising God, the astonished editors realized something significant was afoot. They began to cover it, and word began to spread of the Great Prayer Revival of 1857, which eventually went around the world and sparked revivals in both the Union and Confederate Armies.

When the one who controls secular media does not like a newsworthy event, he renders it a non-event by withholding coverage. That happened in Washington in 1980. Other than couple of photos of bizarre fringe elements and two column-inches of copy, the Washington Post ignored the fact that a family event of epic proportions had taken place on the Mall. But other newspapers did cover it, and the further west one got, the wider and deeper the coverage.

Twenty-six years later, there are many more vehicles to get the word out – ipods, live-streaming video, Christian radio and television networks, email, and the Internet itself. All who should know, will know.

Indeed they will. Something is stirring in New England (and in Connecticut and Massachusetts in particular) that cannot be hidden or ignored by the media much longer. We know that if there had been a gathering of 18,000 people for nearly anything else in Boston, the press would have covered it extensively. But that's not the point. The point is that the Word of God is not bound and Christians are only bound or limited if they choose to be limited by seeking the approval of men.

The Church is re-learning the great lesson that the weapons of her warfare are not fleshly but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Because of this the great movements of prayer and unity are getting ready to break forth into a great revival in New England. Some reporter somewhere, perhaps at the Boston Globe, perhaps at the Hartford Courant, is missing a great story in the making.

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