New web address for this blog!

There are no more updates to this site - please continue to follow us at our new address: http://www.prayct.org

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas from Pray Connecticut

Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2008 from Pray Connecticut!

We will resume publishing in January.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Last minute Christmas gifts



One more week to go to get that special something for that special someone! If you're stuck, here are some suggestions.

BOOKS: The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association's Bestsellers List, December, 2007:

1. Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life, Tony Dungy

2. 3:16: The Numbers of Hope,Max Lucado

3. 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life, Don Piper with Cecil Murphey

4. Between Sundays, Karen Kingsbury

5. Get Out of That Pit: Straight Talk about God's Deliverance, Beth Moore

6. Home to Holly Springs (Father Tim, Book 1), Jan Karon

7. Breaking Free Day by Day: A Year of Walking in Liberty, Beth Moore

8. Become a Better You, Joel Osteen

9. Jesus: 90 Days With the One and Only (Personal Reflections), Beth Moore

10. Facing Your Giants: The God Who Made a Miracle Out of David Stands Ready to Make One Out of You, Max Lucado


MUSIC: Praise and Worship Bestsellers, from Amazon's sales reporting

1. All That Is Within Me by MercyMe (Audio CD - 2007)

2. Remedyby David Crowder Band (Audio CD - 2007)

3. The Christmas Sessionsby Mercy Me (Audio CD - 2005)

4. See the Morningby Chris Tomlin (Audio CD - 2006)

5. Portable Soundsby Tobymac (Audio CD - 2007)

6. Coming Up to Breatheby MercyMe (Audio CD - 2006)

7. Open the Eyes of My Heartby Various Artists (Audio CD - 2005)

8. Thirstyby Marvin Sapp (Audio CD - 2007)

9. I Can Only Imagine: Ultimate Power Anthems of the Christian Faith

10. See the Morning (CD/DVD)by Chris Tomlin (Audio CD - 2007) - Special Edition

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The demonstrable falsity of Mormonism

I've been having a reasonably civil discussion in a comment thread with a lady who is apparently a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons). The recent Mitt Romney stories have threatened to bring what Mormons really believe to the forefront. But American society has so compartmentalized religious belief that it will no longer analyze it rationally. True to form, most Americans either don't care what a person's religious beliefs are (which can in a sense be a good thing) or else say that a thorough inspection of a person's religion is bigotry.

What to do then with a religion which seemingly has no basis at all in historical fact? Does it matter at all that Mormonism purports to reveal (or restore) a lost revelation about God and history for which there is no evidence? The history of North America put forward by Mormons is such a fabrication that it is actually painful to relate it. It is not worthy in this regard to be compared to the historical evidence, say, for Christianity, and for the trustworthiness of the Gospels and the Book of Acts. Witness this excerpt from the Baptist Press:

Hill Cumorah is located in New York, southeast of Rochester. Joseph Smith claimed that when Moroni appeared to him, he was told that Moroni's father, Mormon, buried the gold plates upon which the Book of Mormon was based on the hill Cumorah just before the great final battle there (Mormon 6:6). In the Pearl of Great Price, Smith writes that the day after his second vision, he went to a large hill outside of the village where his family lived (the hill Cumorah) and found the gold plates (endnote 26). This identifies the hill where Smith dug up the plates as the same hill where Mormon buried them and where the great battle took place. In Mormon 6:10-15, it is claimed that hundreds of thousands of people were killed on or near the hill Cumorah during that final battle. It says that "their flesh, and bones, and blood lay upon the face of the earth, being left by the hands of those who slew them to molder upon the land, and to crumble and to return to their mother earth" (Mormon 6:15). In other words, their bodies were left there, unburied.

To help you understand the magnitude of casualties at hill Cumorah, let us consider another major battle. During the Battle of Gettysburg of the American Civil War, 55,000 soldiers were wounded, including 6,000 of them killed on the battlefield and 4,000 more whose wounds were mortal. Eyewitnesses said that there was so much blood from the dead and injured that there were parts of the battlefield that seemed like streams of blood. So many men and horses died that all could not be buried at once and many corpses were left on the battlefield until a few days later when others were hired to do the task.

If 6,000 men died on the battlefield at Gettysburg, what would a battlefield look like with hundreds of thousands dead? Since they were left unburied at hill Cumorah, wouldn't there be some artifacts made of metal and stone? Bullets by the thousands are found at Gettysburg. Nothing, however, has been found at hill Cumorah.

University of Rochester paleontologist and stratigrapher Carl Brett has worked in the Palmyra, N.Y, area where hill Cumorah is located and is familiar with the hill and its geologic conditions. He says that if hundreds of thousands were slaughtered at the hill and not buried, there would still be skeletal remains on the surface today, even after 1,600 years. Scavengers and weather conditions would account for why much is gone, but there would still be quite enough left to look at. Metallic artifacts from weapons and armor would also be easily found (endnote 27). But nothing has ever been found at hill Cumorah.


This is just one of many things that could be cited. Is it wrong to discuss this type of information, or to discuss Mormon teachings about the spirit brotherhood of Jesus and Satan?

Not only is Mormonism not a Christian religion, it also is untrue as a matter of historical fact. We know there was a Pontius Pilate; we know that James the Lord's brother was killed in a certain manner; etc. But there was no battle at the hill Cumorah.

Do you have your "Jesus glasses" on?



If a public high school teacher were to say to his students, "When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can see the truth," you can bet the American Civil Liberties Union and others would say that the teacher was promoting Christianity, that it was a violation of the separation of church and state. And the school administration would probably agree.

But what if a public high school teacher tells his students that "When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth"? Isn't that essentially the same thing? Isn't disparaging a certain religion in a public school classroom just as legally improper as promoting a certain religion?

Interesting stuff regarding a Federal lawsuit against a high school teacher.

Flickr photo by Ben Ostrowsky; some rights reserved.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

How can you make sure people leave your church this Christmas?

question mark

Sadly, this is an all-too-common example of the rhetoric that drives people from churches. The Rev. Dr. Gary A. Wilburn of New Canaan, Connecticut says:

“When I hear language like, ‘You can’t be saved unless you accept Christ as your personal savior,’ I know that it is usually sincere and heart-felt. But what it most likely means is ‘We are on the inside and you are on the outside. Ours is the only true faith. If you do it our way, you’ll have better access to God than the followers of Buddha or Mohammed, or Mary Baker Eddy, or Charles Darwin, or the ‘inner light,’ or whatever, We welcome everyone into God’s family as long as you’re willing to become like us,” he said.

“That kind of insular theology makes Christianity a religion of exclusion, not inclusion,” Dr. Wilburn added. “A far cry from the universality of which the Bible speaks when it claims, ‘There is one God who is father of all, over all, through all and within all,” and “God is love, and anyone who lives in love, lives in God and God in him [or her].’ As a progressive Christian, I see in Jesus the true image and likeness of God. For me, Jesus is the face of God, the heart of God, the way of God. Jesus shows me what a life full of God looks like. For Christians, Jesus is our access into the realm of God. But at that same time I recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for their access into God’s realm. Because at the end of day, I believe that God is bigger than any of our ideas about God.”

But what if there actually was a revelation from God that told us what God thinks about things and, particularly, about Himself, who He is and what He is like?

At the risk of sounding rude: Attention! People go to Christian churches because they want to worship God through Jesus Christ. When liberal Christian theologians stop castigating people for - well, for believing what it is that Christians believe, they may be able to reverse the trends of departure and demographic winter in their denominations.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Colorado shooter allegedly heard voices, talked with them

Colorado shooter Matthew Murray was "troubled," in today's parlance. The reality of the situation is that he was not only emotionally disturbed but under spiritual influences he could not control and, indeed, seemed to welcome. From CNN:

I-Report contributor Richard Werner, 34, said Monday he was a worker at the center in Arvada, Colorado, in 2002, the same time as Murray.

Werner said five days before Murray was told in 2002 he could not make the Bosnia trip, Murray performed a pair of dark rock songs at a concert at the mission that made fellow workers "pretty scared."

The performance -- which included a song by rock band Linkin Park and another that had been recorded by controversial rocker Marilyn Manson -- followed months of strange behavior, Werner said.

Werner, of Balneario Camborius, Brazil, said he had a bunk near Murray's and that Murray would roll around in bed and make noises.

"He would say, 'Don't worry, I'm just talking to the voices,' " Werner said. "He'd say, 'Don't worry, Richard. You're a nice guy. The voices like you.' "

Werner said he instantly suspected Murray when he heard the news of Sunday's shootings.

"I turned to my wife and I said, 'I know who did it. It's Matthew,' " he said. "It was so obvious.

"For four months, he was sleeping right next to me. Those are the things you don't imagine, but when it happened it was so obvious."


I'm sure these things will be little reported, and understood even less. In North America even Christians have a difficult time coming to grips with the reality of demonic forces.

Connecticut's crime rate low



Statistics from the FBI show Connecticut ranks among the dozen safest states in the U.S., with a below-average number of all types of crime except robberies, according to a new report compiled by state officials.

It is unclear how the report will influence the current debate on criminal justice reforms triggered by July's triple-murder in Cheshire. Gov. M. Jodi Rell's task force on parole, which requested the report, is scheduled to recommend changes by the end of the year.

The legislature's Judiciary Committee will hold a special session to debate several proposals, including a so-called three strikes law, before the regular session starts in February.

Thank God for this, although many sore spots remain. More here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Breakup of the Episcopal Church begins in earnest


Ridley and Latimer meet their end.


And so it begins, although it won't happen in our Cute Little State.

A California diocese overwhelmingly voted on Saturday to sever ties with The Episcopal Church, becoming the first diocese in the church's history to do so.

Despite warning from the head of the national church, delegates of the Diocese of San Joaquin voted 173-22 to secede and realign with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

"This is the first time, I believe, that a diocese has finally said 'enough' in terms of the liberal theology of The Episcopal Church," said Bishop John David Schofield of the San Joaquin diocese before the vote.

Can you shake the hand of a Jew?

I received this commentary from Glory of Zion:
"So they served him [Joseph] by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians" (Genesis 43:32; emphases ours).

The verse above was included in the Torah Reading for this week, and released in us a corresponding note to a bizarre happening at the recent "Annapolis" conference. Referring to her childhood as an African American girl in the segregated American South, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was quoted as saying, "I know what it is like to hear that you cannot go on a road or through a checkpoint because you are a Palestinian. I understand the feeling of humiliation and powerlessness." Yet at the conference, bowing to Saudi demands, the Americans refused to allow the Israeli delegation to enter the hall through the same door as the Arabs. The Israeli Foreign Secretary Tzipi Livni was reportedly required by Rice to instead enter the conference hall through the service entrance. At a meeting of foreign ministers, Livni was driven to explain, "Why doesn't anyone want to shake my hand? Why doesn't anyone want to be seen speaking to me?" This at a conference to which Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries had been invited for "contributions" they might have towards furthering peace between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs.

In fairness, I'm aware from other reports that Ms. Rice also drew parallels between her childhood sense of terror and the Israelis' fears of terrorism, but why should the U. S. government bend over backwards to legitimize the hatred of Jews?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Speaking of atheists...



Dinesh D'Souza writes forcefully today about why atheists are so angry:

One reason I think is that they are God-haters. Atheists often like to portray themselves as "unbelievers" but this is not strictly accurate. If they were mere unbelievers they would simply live their lives as if God did not exist. I don't believe in unicorns, but then I haven't written any books called The End of Unicorns, Unicorns are Not Great, or The Unicorn Delusion. Clearly the atheists go beyond disbelief; they are on the warpath against God. And you can hear their bitterness not only in their book titles but also in their mean-spirited invective.

Atheists in Vernon

From Channel 8:

A sign posted by Atheists in the Rockville's Central Park has people talking, prompting calls to the town hall and the local clergy.

The Connecticut Valley Atheists posted the three-sided sign, which some call a billboard, and it was the only sign in the town center marking the Holiday season. Two sides of the display feature the Twin Towers, framed by the words "Imagine No Religion."

Yawn. What is interesting here is the equation of all religions here, as if religion in the abstract, or the religious impulse in human beings knocked down the Twin Towers. What atheists and others of a liberal bent are afraid to do is point out that the impulse of some religionists is to kill all who disagree with them, and intimidate others from speaking. That religion is not Christianity.

The Colorado shootings

Dan Wooding at Assist News wonders if persecution has finally come to the American Church and, if so, are we ready?

Fox News reports: "The police chief in Arvada, a suburb about 15 miles west of Denver where the mission workers were shot, said the shootings may be related to those at the Colorado Springs church but declined to elaborate."

Trench coats, high-powered rifles and an armed female security guard taking down the shooter. What a nightmare. We pray for all involved.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Is Mormonism a Christian religion?

Utah mountains
Utah has great mountains. But maybe not such great theology.

Quite a lot of this in the news this week. Here, Baptist apologist Mike Licona talks about his investigations into the truth of Mormonism:

My second discovery was that the Book of Abraham, which is counted among the Mormon scriptures, discredits founder Joseph Smith as a true prophet. In 1835, Smith purchased some mummies that were accompanied by some ancient Egyptian papyri. Smith claimed to be able to translate the papyri because they were written in Egyptian, very similar to the "Reformed Egyptian," which Smith claimed was the language of the Book of Mormon. As he translated the manuscripts, he asserted it contained the Book of Abraham, a book written by Abraham himself.

The papyri for the Book of Abraham contained some drawings with Egyptian writing that were subsequently published in Times and Seasons, a Mormon newspaper. The papyri were lost after Smith's death in 1844 but were rediscovered in 1967 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York who returned them to the Mormon church which in turn confirmed them to be the originals and published them for others to see. A Mormon academic journal named "Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought" asked three prominent Egyptologists to translate the papyri. If Joseph Smith was a true prophet, the contemporary translation would be very close to Smith's. The stakes were high, since the translations of the Egyptologists either could confirm Joseph Smith as a true prophet or expose him as a charlatan. For if Joseph Smith was terribly wrong in his translation of the Book of Abraham, it casts doubt on the Book of Mormon, too.

John Wilson and Klaus Baer, both professors of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, and Richard Parker, a professor of Egyptology at Brown University, were asked to do the task. The results were devastating. All concluded that the manuscript was a common Egyptian document buried with mummies for guidance in the afterlife and was not used until at least a thousand years after Abraham. They also concluded that Smith's translation did not bear the slightest resemblance to the actual translation. This is especially important when we consider that Smith claimed that the Book of Mormon was written in the same language. Since it can be demonstrated that Smith was gravely mistaken in his translation abilities when it came to the Book of Abraham, why should anything but the same conclusion be drawn pertaining to his ability allegedly to translate the Book of Mormon?

Read the rest here at Baptist Press.

Flickr photo by Katie; some rights reserved.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The number of same-sex civil unions in Connecticut plummets

Why have civil unions dropped almost in half from 2006 to 2007?

Is it because people are waiting for full marriage rights or is it because there really isn't that much demand for it?

I suspect the latter.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Behold The Lamb concert comes to New Milford



St. Paul's Church in Brookfield is sponsoring a concert called Behold the Lamb: The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ on December 8 at New Milford High. It will feature Andrew Peterson, Bebo Norman, Sara Groves, Jill Phillips, and many more.

For tickets, visit: www.rockthesoundtickets.com

Watch this documentary about the making of Behold the Lamb:

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cohabitation in Connecticut

Peter Wolfgang at FIC has a noteworthy piece here about cohabitation and child violence. I suppose it would be too much for people to acknowledge that the twin evils of easy divorce and cohabitation are actually evil, but perhaps crimes of violence against children will cause some people to think.

Modesty and purity dances get publicity

A look from a major U. S. paper into the modesty trend:

It was an evening for couples—girls in formal gowns, tiaras and curly updos, escorted by their dads, in tuxedos or dressy suits and ties.

They dined on roast beef and waltzed to classical music in a ballroom decorated with draped crosses and a mannequin in a white wedding gown. They listened as a guest speaker warned of the dangers of premarital sex. Then they stood at their tables, looked each other in the eye and vowed that they would remain pure.

He signed a pledge to be the protector of her purity and to live his own life with integrity. She gave her father a gold key to her heart, and asked him to hold on to it until her wedding day, when he would hand it over to her husband. They walked down the aisle with locked arms and she laid a white rose beside a cross, sealing her commitment....

For abstinence-only advocates such as Dannah Gresh, author of "And the Bride Wore White," there is no middle ground in the eyes of God. She brushes off criticism that her message is closed-minded and ineffective.

"Everyone has the right to promote their position. It seems contradictory to say you're open-minded by handing these girls condoms and not giving me the right to encourage them not to reach for them," said Gresh, the guest speaker at the Peoria purity ball. "These girls already know about condoms. We are telling them there is an alternative."

Read the rest here from the Chicago Tribune.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Shortage of priests affects Connecticut


The shortage of priests is hitting West Hartford

Despite an influx of Hispanics, the decline in the number of priests is making an impact even in heavily Catholic Connecticut:

Father Henry Cody has served at St. Timothy's Church in West Hartford for 19 years. He said that in that time, he's seen priests come and go, but lately priests have mostly been going.

"We need priests. We need them badly," he said. "People are concerned because they love their parishes -- they want them to remain whole."

Cody is the only priest at the parish, and serves more than 900 families. He said that he, like several other priests in the town, is considering retirement.

More here from Channel 3.

Flickr photo by Sage Ross; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!



A Happy Thanksgiving to everyone - and here are some thoughts appropriate to the day from our first President:

"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me to commend to the people of United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness, now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next, to be devoted to the service of that great and glorious Being, Who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or will be."

Washington's First Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1789.

Thanks to Patriot Post.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ousted Portland Selectman speaks out

Back in October we wrote about the case of one of the selectmen in Portland, CT, a Mr. Scott Adamsons, who had dared to say he was acting not just as a responsible public official but as a Christian when fighting so-called "adult entertainment." Mr. Adamsons has just left a very thoughtful comment and I wanted to run his remarks in the posts so that more of you could see his reply.

I am Scott Adamsons and I am a member of the Colchester Bible Baptist Church in Colchester, CT. Being a Christian is more than a choice, it is a lifestyle. While I do not push this lifestyle on anybody else, I do recommend it. On the flip side, I do not wish to have others (the world) push their way of life on me or my family. It is not unrealistic for a community that is comprised primarily by Christians, Jews, and some Muslims to fight against a developer opening an adult-entertainment establishment in their town. In fact, one would expect a fight if their faith is true. If a reader is caught off guard by this position, then they should consider why they have the beliefs that they do and how their daily decisions and actions are impacted by them. Most of us fall short of our beliefs in our daily walk (just being honest here), but where our hearts are directs the path that we go in. It’s a sobering picture some days. Other days are laced with victory.

Those who would use the first amendment of the US Constitution to claim a right to lewd conduct should know that Christians and those people of other faiths have a first amendment right to freedom of religion. How do lewd conduct and explicit images violate my rights? The mere presence of those types of establishments in the public arena assaults my senses, and undermines the values that I am trying to raise my children under. The advertizing of those establishments in public places accomplishes the same result.

If a vast majority of a town's population has beliefs against such behavior, then perhaps the will of the majority should prevail (for once). There are towns where such establishments are allowed. They are nearby and therefore people who have a strong desire to exercise their “right” of expression have existing outlets that they can use. Given this, for a town that has no such businesses, preventing their influx is not a violation of a developer’s first amendment rights.

Another thought: Over the past 200 years our small community has developed with business districts that are essentially integrated into the residential areas/uses of the town. There just isn’t a “good” place for such an establishment to operate in our community, not one that is far away from children anyway.

In conclusion, the comment in the article of being a "career threatening" move was more accurate than you'd think. I was not re-elected last week. As a close friend of mine has said many times over, “It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.” It is my hope that this position will encourage people in their own communities and on a personal level. What makes you a Christian and why do you have the beliefs that you do? Do your actions reflect those beliefs? It ain’t easy, but it is rewarding.

Respectfully Submitted,
Hon. Scott A. Adamsons
Selectman (out-going), Town of Portland, CT

Pray for our vets



This Veterans' Day, please remember to pray for all our veterans, young and old.

Flickr photo courtesy of Soldiers' Media Center. Some rights reserved.

Photo information:
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Kaman helps secure an area along the Pech River during a meeting between key leaders in the Kunar province of Afghanistan on Feb. 4, 2007. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss local development projects that are a combined effort of the Coalition led Asadabad Provincial Reconstruction Team and local contractors. Kaman is attached to the 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment, Connecticut National Guard. DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Gipe, U.S. Army. (Released)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

National Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church this Sunday

Come Brother Andrew speak this Sunday at 7:00 pm at Wintonbury Baptist Church in Bloomfield about secret believers on the National Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

Brother Andrew is the founder of Open Doors International and author of the international best-seller, God's Smuggler.

This event is free of charge.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The biggest story no one's talking about...

It would be smart to pray about this and what it can mean for our future:

The dollar fell to a record versus the euro and the lowest since 1981 against the pound after Chinese officials signaled plans to diversify the nation's $1.43 trillion of foreign exchange reserves.

The U.S. dollar also declined to the cheapest versus the Canadian dollar since the end of a fixed exchange rate in 1950 and a 23-year low against the Australian dollar. The New York Board of Trade's dollar index dropped to 75.077, the lowest since the gauge started in March 1973.

``The dollar is suffering a confidence crisis,'' said Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at the Bank of New York Mellon in New York, the world's largest custodian bank with more than $20 trillion in assets under administration. ``The dollar is on the ropes. Comments from China about diversification and surging oil prices pushed the dollar to new lows.''


Read the rest here. And then check out this chart showing the strength of the Euro against the dollar.

Garage bands for Jesus

...but with high production values.

Dressed in a faded black T-shirt, jeans and skateboard sneakers, he bent his shaved head. “God,” he said, “I hope these songs we sing will be much more than the music. I know it’s so difficult at times when we’re thinking about chords and lyrics and when to hit the right effect patch, but would you just help that to become second nature, so that we can truly worship you from our hearts?...”

The house bands that play every weekend in High Desert Church — there are a dozen or so — scavenge some of their musical style from the radio and television. They reflect popular taste, though with lyrics about the power of God, not teenage turmoil.

They are not aiming for commercial success. Church-based Christian rock — often referred to as C.C.M., for contemporary Christian music — does not exist primarily to compete in mainstream culture; it exists first to bring together a community.

“When you start a church,” said Tom Mercer, 52, the senior pastor, “you don’t decide who you’re going to reach and then pick a music style. You pick a music style, and that determines who’s going to come.”


Interesting look at modern worship from the New York Times.

U. S. Senate to investigate televangelists

A. W. Tozer said we needed a "baptism of clear seeing." Many will see this as persecution; many others will see it as God having to judge his house because his own people would not.

CBS News has learned Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is investigating six prominent televangelist ministries for possible financial misconduct.

Letters were sent Monday to the ministries demanding that financial statements and records be turned over to the committee by December 6th.

According to Grassley's office, the Iowa Republican is trying to determine whether or not these ministries are improperly using their tax-exempt status as churches to shield lavish lifestyles.

The six ministries identified as being under investigation by the committee are led by: Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn. Three of the six - Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar - also sit on the Board of Regents for the Oral Roberts University.

The implications are disturbing, both in terms of what we have already heard about lavish lifestyles, and in terms of increasing government supervision of churches as a result. If things go on as they are, I fully expect churches to lose the tax-exempt status they have enjoyed in the U.S.

Read the full story here at CBS News.

Follow-up story here, and video here.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Episcopal Church seeks to intervene in lawsuit against Bristol church

The saga continues:

The national church has filed papers in court seeking intervenor status in a lawsuit against Trinity Episcopal Church brought by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut. It accuses the Rev. Donald Helmandollar and church leaders of trespassing on church property.


Members of the Trinity parish voted to leave the Episcopal Church last May because of disagreement over the 2003 election of an openly gay New Hampshire bishop and the church's blessing of same-sex unions. Around the same time, Trinity members voted to join the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a self-described mission of the conservative Anglican Church of Nigeria.

Read the rest here in the Courant.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Family Fun Fest returns to Plantsville

Faith Living Church in Plantsville invites you and your family to an exciting event, The Family Fun Fest '07. This safe, exciting and fun-filled family evening will be Friday, October 26th from 6pm to 9pm. Hundreds of people attend the Family Fun Fest each year!

A 40x100 foot tent will be packed with carnival games, an inflatable moonwalk, and the back parking lot will have an awesome paintball range. Everyone wins, play a game, shoot a target or Dunk the Pastor and you'll get a prize. Guarantee you go home with a bag full of bounty! Not to mention the whole event is absolutely free, including free cotton candy, popcorn, hot chocolate, & hot apple cider.

For more information or directions call 860.621.6452 or visit the church website.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

End-times message in Bristol tonight

Bethel Christian Church in Bristol, Connecticut will host Evangelist Rev. Cecil Peasley of Living Ministries International from South Africa on Wednesday, October 17, at 6:30 pm. Rev. Peasley will be speaking on the world's Midnight Hour. The event is free and all are welcome.

For directions, please visit the church website here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New churches added to the Connecticut Church Map

We're happy to announce the following churches have been added to the Connecticut Church Map:

Church On The Move, East Haddam, and

Faith Living Church, Plantsville.

Know of other good churches? Write us at info@prayct.org!

Radio ministry profiled

The Day has an interesting profile today of the ongoing strength and growth of shortwave radio ministry around the world:

He wound the little plastic handle round and round, charging the radio like winding a watch, and soon a preacher's voice boomed across a courtyard filled with goats and turkeys. Twenty miles from the nearest paved road, Matsimbe smiled as he listened to a Texas preacher's sermons about Jesus and Saint Paul, translated into a local language spoken only in the southern African backcountry.

“I love that this person has brought us this message,” said Matsimbe, 59, a farmer with 24 grandchildren, whose native language, Xitshwa, is spoken by only a million or so people. “It makes us feel like there is somebody who cares for us.”

Read the rest here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Regional Prayer Conference with Jackson Senyonga, October 25-26



Jackson Senyonga, Pastor of Christian Life Church in Kampala, Uganda is coming to Connecticut for 2 days of transforming prayer and impartation.

Meetings will be held at The Westin Hotel, 1 Stamford Place, in Stamford, CT, each night at 7:00 pm.

Pastor Senyonga is the leader of the Ugandan prayer movement featured on the widely acclaimed Transformation 2 Video produced by the Sentinel Group.

Christian Life Church in Kampala has a membership of more than 40,000 people, with an average Sunday attendance of 22,000. The Church has also planted more than 600 new churches and is building homes for widows and orphans.

More information about Jackson Senyonga is available at www.christianlifeministries.org.

A Night To Honor Israel, October 21


On Sunday evening, October 21, Gateway Christian Fellowship in West Haven will host Connecticut's first annual "A Night To Honor Israel." The Christian community in Connecticut is invited to come and demonstrate our love and support for the State of Israel.

A Night To Honor Israel is a non-conversionary tribute to the nation of Israel and the Jewish people of the world. Its purpose is to promote esteem and understanding between Christians and Jews and to emphasize that the beliefs we hold in common are greater than the differences we have allowed to separate us.

Among the guests will be: Ambassador Asaf Shariv, the Consul general of Israel in New York; Roz Rothstein, the National Director of Stand With Us; David Brog, the Executive Director of Christians United For Israel; and Robert Stearns, Northeast Director of Christians United For Israel and Founder and Director of Eagles' Wings Ministries.

More information can be obtained from Christians United For Israel's Connecticut chapter (click here.)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New church added to Connecticut Church Map

We're happy to announce that we've added the Branford Evangelical Free Church to the Connecticut Church Map.

Got a church you'd like us to add? Write us at info@prayct.org.

Litchfield County prayer meetings make an impact

Good news from the northwest corner:

For the past 18 months, many local churches have been working together to bring another awakening to Litchfield County.

"When Greater Litchfield County Prays - A United Celebration" was the culmination of three weeks of prayers at every town green in the county, Pastor Ron Boratko of Torrington Foursquare Church said. The celebration was held at Coe Memorial Park late Sunday afternoon.

"This is the result of 18 months of churches getting together," Boratko said.

Boratko lamented that many churches have stuck to their denominations and prayers and have not worked with other churches in spreading the word of God. He said that people have been stuck in their own worlds, only concerned with themselves.

"No one church will bring an awakening to a city," Boratko said.

Another great awakening will come when the church gets on its knees and repents its sins and when churches come together to preach live and love Jesus Christ, Boratko said.

Amen. More here from the Torrington Register-Citizen.

America: Christian or Secular?



Michael Medved, who is no shrinking violet, is out with an op-ed piece claiming that the Founders intended a Christian America, not a secular one. Although this would have been obvious to anyone born prior to 1900, his historical review is instructive for us who live in this benighted latter day:

In fact, the same Congress that approved the First Amendment gave a clear indication of the way they understood its language when, less than 24 hours after adopting the fateful wording, they passed the following Resolution: “Resolved, that a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States, to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceable to establish a Constitution of government for their safety and happiness.” It never occurred to this first Congress in 1789 that their call for a government sponsored day of “thanksgiving and prayer” would conflict with the prohibition they had just adopted prohibiting “an establishment of religion.” Not until the infamous Everson decision of 1947 did the Supreme Court create the doctrine of a “wall of separation between church and state,” quoting (out of context) from an 1802 letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association. President Jefferson created the image of the wall in order to reassure the Baptists that government would never interfere with their religious life, but he never suggested that religion would have no role in government. In 1803, in fact, Jefferson recommended to Congress the approval of a treaty that provided government funds to support a Catholic priest in ministering to the Kaskaskia Indians.

Three times he signed extensions of another measure described as “An Act regulating the grants of land appropriated for Military services and for the Society of the United Brethren for propagating the Gospel among the Heathen.” Jefferson also participated every week in Christian church services in the Capitol Building in Washington DC; until 1866, in fact, the Capitol hosted worship every Sunday and, intermittently, conducted a Sunday school. No one challenged these 71 years of Christian prayer at the very seat of federal power: given the founders' endorsement of the positive role of organized faith, it hardly inspired controversy to convene worship at the Capitol. In fact, at the time of the first Continental Congress, nine of the thirteen original colonies had “established churches” – meaning that they each supported an official denomination, even to the point of using public money for church construction and maintenance. These religious establishments – clearly in contradiction to the idea of a “secular government” – continued in three states long after the adoption of the First Amendment. Connecticut disestablished its favored Congregational Church only in 1818, New Hampshire in 1819, and Massachusetts in 1833.

Amazingly enough, these established churches flourished for nearly fifty years under the constitution despite the First Amendment’s famous insistence that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

Read the whole thing (and comments if you can tolerate it) here.

Photo by Joey Gannon; some rights reserved.

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Christian hangs a bullseye on his back to fight adult entertainment


But Portland First Selectwoman Susan Bransfield
Expresses First Amendment Concerns

A professing Christian in Portland, Connecticut has taken the career-threatening step of using the "C word" - "Christian" - in his role as a public official. In a Middletown Press article about the possibility of adult entertainment in that small town (pop. 10,000 approx.) we learn that:

The town presently has no adult entertainment venues. However, there have been persistent rumors that one may be in the offing.

The town restricts adult entertainment from being established closer than 500 feet from schools, churches, public parks, etc.


Deanna L. Rhodes, the town's planning and land use administrator, has proposed increasing the boundary to 750 feet.


But Selectman Scott A. Adamsons is pressing for a wider boundary.


When the selectmen discussed the issue earlier this week, Adamsons initially proposed a 3,000-foot barrier; however, he was persuaded to reduce that to 1,000 feet. But in a subsequent written communication, Adamsons said his real intent to is "take a stand on principle and ask for a three-mile buffer."

"As a responsible Christian and public official, it is my duty to bring this concept before the board and the community," Adamsons said.


First Selectwoman Susan S. Bransfield cautioned Adamsons that an effort to enact more stringent regulations could run afoul of court rulings that have designated adult entertainment as "protected free speech."


Adamsons was unmoved, however, saying that is a fight he would welcome. He said he wanted to "protect kids from doing things they probably shouldn't be doing." And, he said, adult entertainment is one of three of what he called "the fatal vices," the other two being gambling and alcohol.

We don't know Mr. Adamsons, what church he attends, or anything else about him. But we do applaud his willingness to revive the antiquated idea that there are things probably "shouldn't be doing." To some, this sort of rhetoric makes Christians look like the Taliban. To others, it just marks a call for a return to sanity.

Read the whole thing here.

Religious people are the happiest

Despite the recent disclosures about Mother Teresa's spiritual struggles, the data suggest that religious people are happier than the somewhat religious and the nonreligious alike:

Americans can be divided into three groups when it comes to religious practice. Surveys indicate that about 30% attend houses of worship at least once per week (I will call them "religious"), while about 20% are "secular"--never attending. The rest attend sometimes, but irregularly. These population dimensions have changed relatively little over the decades: Since the early 1970s, the religious group has not shrunk by more than two or three percentage points.

How do religious Americans compare to the secular when it comes to happiness? In 2004, the General Social Survey asked a sample of Americans, "Would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?" Religious people were more than twice as likely as the secular to say they were "very happy" (43% to 21%). Meanwhile, secular people were nearly three times as likely as the religious to say they were not too happy (21% to 8%). In the same survey, religious people were more than a third more likely than the secular to say they were optimistic about the future (34% to 24%).

The happiness gap between religious and secular people is not because of money or other personal characteristics. Imagine two people who are identical in every important way--income, education, age, sex, family status, race and political views. The only difference is that the first person is religious; the second is secular. The religious person will still be 21 percentage points more likely than the secular person to say that he or she is very happy.


More here from the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal.com.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Attorney Admits Guilt in Church Pornography Case

Back in February we blogged about the case of Attorney Phil Russell, who was accused of obstructing justice by destroying a church computer containing child pornography. Yesterday, Russell pled guilty in a case that lawyers think will hinder their ability to represent people effectively. From the Courant:

After signaling for months that he intended to fight the charges, lawyer Philip Russell disclosed in federal court that he had reached a negotiated settlement with prosecutors. He then pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misprision of a felony, which means he was aware that a felony had been committed, but did not report the crime to authorities.

Russell had been charged with obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence. He was accused of destroying a laptop computer after his clients, officials of Christ Church in Greenwich, found the computer and determined that it contained pornographic images of children. The computer was the property of Robert Tate, the church's former longtime choirmaster.


The problem here for lawyers:

The Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association argued that Russell learned of the computer's contents in a confidential conversation with his client, the church. To turn the computer over to authorities would violate that confidence [creating potential problems for Russell with the Bar]; to retain it would violate federal child pornography laws.

(Read the full story here.)

Not a good choice - ruin your career or be be prosecuted for violating child pornography laws! In any case let's continue to pray for Christ Church in Greenwich and all the persons involved.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Episcopal bishops continue to defy the worldwide Anglican Communion

If nothing else the current crisis in the Anglican Church has showed us that some Christians, mostly concentrated off our shores, are still ready to uphold the historic faith. They are doing so reasonably and graciously, to be sure, but uphold it they will, in the face of all the weasel words and agitprop the American Left can muster. From the BBC:


The head of Kenya's Anglican Church has rejected a compromise over gay bishops by US Episcopal Church leaders.

They have said they will halt the ordination of gay bishops and public blessings of same-sex relationships to prevent a split in the Anglican Church.

"That word 'halt' is not enough," said Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi....

Last month, Archbishop Nzimbi presided over the consecration of two US bishops, Bill Murdoch and Bill Atwood, who left the US branch of the Anglican Church - the Episcopal Church - after it consecrated an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in 2003.

The Kenyan archbishop said the US church leaders' comments did not go far enough.

"What we expected to come from them is to repent - that this is a sin in the eyes of the Lord and repentance is what me, in particular, and others expected to hear coming from this church," he said.


My goodness, he used the R word - repent! How backwards. Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria explains it for us (thanks to TitusOneNine):

Instead of the change of heart (repentance) that we sought what we have been offered is merely a temporary adjustment in an unrelenting determination to “bring the rest of the Communion along” as stated by a bishop at one of the press conferences. We also note that while we have repeatedly asked for a moratorium on same-sex blessings –across the Episcopal Church the clergy have continued with these blessings with the full knowledge and support of the Diocesan bishops even if not technically authorized.


So I ask: without this repentance, in what sense can the Episcopal Church be called a Christian body?

The rise of the nonbelievers

People continue to fall away from the faith once delivered to the saints:

The majority of nonbelievers say they are speaking out only because of religious fanatics. But some atheists are also extreme and want, for example, people to blot out the words “In God We Trust” from every dollar bill they carry.

Gaining political clout and access to television and radio airtime is the goal of many of these groups. With a higher profile, they say, they can, for instance, lobby for all religious rooms in public hospitals to be closed, as a response to Muslims demanding prayer rooms because Christians have chapels.

Associations of nonbelievers are also moving to address the growing demand in Britain, Spain, Italy and other European countries for nonreligious weddings, funerals and celebrations for new babies. They are helping arrange ceremonies that steer clear of talk of God, heaven and miracles and celebrate, as they say, “this one life we know.”


Click here for more from The Day.

Ballet Magnificat to perform "The Hiding Place," Saturday, September 29



This Saturday, Ballet Magnificat will perform an adaptation of Corrie ten Boom's classic true story, "The Hiding Place." Enjoy this marvelous retelling of a Christian family's struggle to survive under Nazi occupation and the price they were willing to pay to safeguard the Jews of Holland. Performance will be held at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.

Tickets are available at the Box Office, (203) 837-8499, or at www.wcsu.edu/tickets. Regular Seating is $28.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Faith and Science at Yale

An interesting look from the Yale Daily News at creation, evolution and intelligent design. (Note the term "worship team" in quotes. A good reminder to Christians that people really don't know us.)

A “worship team” sang praises of the Lord, while professor Fred Sigworth prepared do his best to reconcile the demands of faith and the demands of science.

“God of wonders beyond our galaxy / You are holy, holy / The universe declares your majesty / You are holy, holy,” the crowd intoned.

After the introduction by the Yale Christian Fellowship’s worship team on Friday, Sigworth launched into a lecture that stressed the compatibility of science and faith by focusing on the idea of the “unexpected vista,” the discovery or witnessing of a unique occurrence, a phenomenon which he said was common to science and religion.

Sigworth’s talk spanned the foundations of modern science and the debate over evolution and intelligent design, with ample reference to philosophy and the Bible.

“Being a Christian is good preparation for work as a scientist, and science can help prepare you for being a Christian,” he said.


Click here to read the rest.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Fulton Street Revival: 150 Years



This month marks the 150th Anniversary of the Fulton Street Revival, a work of prayer that reshaped American society in the 19th century and beyond.

To commemorate the event and to pray for an awakening in the New York City region, New York Concerts of Prayer is promoting a conference from September 21- 23 featuring tours and numerous prayer events with well-known Christian leaders such as Jack Hayford and Henry Blackaby.

If you can't attend, please take some time to pray for New York that weekend. No other city has such an impact on our nation and certainly the one-fourth of our State who lives in Fairfield County is heavily affected by what happens in the Big Apple.

For more information, visit New York Concerts of Prayer here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Series of Prayer Meetings in Litchfield County this month

From Connecticut House of Prayer:

WHAT IS GOING ON IN LITCHFIELD COUNTY?

A coalition of pastors called When Greater Litchfield County Prays is organizing a series of open-air prayer meetings taking place on their town greens, starting on Saturday, September 15. Following is a listing of the prayer meetings. Please uphold these pastors as they pour out their hearts in intercession for their towns. If you’re able, plan to attend some of these marvelous prayer meetings to show your support!

Vision: Pray for “repentance, reawakening & release of God’s grace and power in Greater Litchfield County.

Prayer Sites: The Town Green.

Region:

I. MA: Ashley Falls, CT: North Canaan, Canaan, Norfolk / Salisbury, Sharon, Cornwall, Goshen.
Date/Time: Saturday, September 15th / 22nd - 9:00AM
Contacts: Pastor Ed Eastman - 413-229-8560
- Pastor Ron Boratko - 860-496-1580

II. Colebrook, Winchester, Barkhamsted / New Hartford, Canton, Harwinton.
Date/Time: Saturday, September 22nd / 29th - 10:00AM
Contacts: Pastor Jim Wheeler - 860-693-6333
- Pastors: Jeff/Lynda Brewer - 860-738-8675

III. Plymouth, Thomaston, Litchfield / Watertown, Woodbury, Bethlehem, Morris,
Date/Time: Saturday, September 22nd / 29th - 8:30AM
Contacts: Pastor Tim Olsen - 860-286-9146
- Pastor Ron Boratko - 860-496-01580

IV. New Milford, Bridgewater, Roxbury / Kent, Warren, Washington.
Date/Time: Saturday, September 15th / 29th - 9:00AM
Contacts: Pastor Chris Sakis - 860-335-3719
- Pastor Ron Boratko - 860-496-01580

V. Torrington/County Wide Prayer - Coe Park Torrington.
Date/Time: Sunday, September 30th - 4:00-6:00PM
Guest Facilitator: Pastor Frank Mwebasa - Uganda, Africa

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Writer Madeleine L'Engle dies

A favorite of many schoolkids back in the day, including yours truly, Madeleine L'Engle passed away in a Litchfield nursing home yesterday. Wonder if they still read her?

The Newbery Medal winner wrote more than 60 books, including fantasies, poetry and memoirs, often highlighting spiritual themes and her Christian faith.

For many years, she was the writer in residence and librarian at the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City.

Although L'Engle was often labeled a children's author, she disliked that classification. In a 1993 Associated Press interview, she said she did not write down to children.

"In my dreams, I never have an age," she said. "I never write for any age group in mind. ... When you underestimate your audience, you're cutting yourself off from your best work."

"A Wrinkle in Time" - which L'Engle said was rejected repeatedly before it found a publisher in 1962 - won the American Library Association's 1963 Newbery Medal for best American children's book. Her "A Ring of Endless Light" was a Newbery Honor Book, or medal runner-up, in 1981.

In 2004, President Bush awarded her a National Humanities Medal.


More here.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Music festival this Saturday in Middletown


Siloam

Eternal Perks Coffee House is hosting an outdoor Music Festival with food, crafters, exhibits, and playground on their 14-acre property. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, picnic and coolers for a fantastic day. The following New England artists will be featured:

Raging Grace – Blues Rock (www.raginggrace.com)
Undue Favor – Pop (www.unduefavor.com)
Siloam Band – Pop Rock (www.siloamband.com)
White Stone – Contemporary (www.whitestonemm.com)
2 Plus Change – Folk (www.myspace.com/2pluschange)
Grace Worship Band – Eclectic

Tickets are $8.00 in advance and $10.00 day of festival. Children under 12 are free.

Advance tickets can be ordered by check from Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Attn: Festival Committee, 1055 Randolph Road, Middletown, CT 06457. For more information call 860-346-2641 or visit www.GraceMiddletown.org

Directions from Route 9: Exit 11 Randolph Road/Route 155. Turn left at end of exit ramp onto Randolph Road/Route 155. Drive 1.8 miles. Free parking is on the right. Festival is on the left behind Grace Lutheran Church.

Pastoral counseling classes available

Christian Community Outreach Ministries in Danbury is announcing that it will be the site of a Pastoral Counseling Training Class beginning this month in Danbury. This is an excellent course and opportunity for evangelists, missionaries, lay ministers, pastors, or others interested in ministry.

The Pastoral Counseling Training Basic Class will begin September 11th through October 9th from 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. The Advanced Pastoral Training Class is for the Graduates of the Basic Class and will start October 16th.

For more information, visit www.pastoralcounselingtraining.com.

Dr. D. James Kennedy, RIP

Headlines are reading today that a "megachurch pastor" has died. In the current climate that tells most people all they need to know, I suppose, but it's hard to overemphasize the impact of the ministry of Dr. Kennedy over the last several decades. An unfriendly-to-Christians article in Rolling Stone a couple of years ago called him "the most influential evangelical you've never heard of."

That pretty well sums it up. The scourge of leftists and squishy Christians, Dr. Kennedy upheld without fear or compromise a Christian vision of America at a time when it was vanishing from memory. In this regard he held the fort for the next generation of believers, which seems to be less ashamed of what made America great and will certainly advance that vision.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

New Church Added to Connecticut Church Map

We're happy to announce that we've added New Life Christian Center in New Hartford to the Connecticut Church Map.

Know a good church that should be on the map? Write us at info@prayct.org!

Friday, August 31, 2007

What does Connecticut believe?



Apparently we're not in Kansas any more:

It's not that people in the state aren't religious - 62 percent said religion was an "extremely important" or "very important" part of their lives.

But even the state's most devout residents draw a clear line between religion and politics: 51 percent of those who said religion was "extremely important" to them said religious leaders should stay clear of politics.

"One of the things that make Connecticut distinct is that even the most religious residents believe that religious leaders shouldn't get involved in politics," said Monika McDermott, research director of the center and an assistant professor of political science at UConn....

The survey provides further evidence of just how different Connecticut's political culture is from that of the bulk of the nation. A Newsweek poll of 1,004 Americans conducted in March found that only 32 percent of the respondents said religion has too much influence on public policy - and 31 percent believe it has too little influence. Only 17 percent of Connecticut respondents said religion has too little sway.

The results don't surprise David A. Roozen, director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research at Hartford Seminary. Though evangelical Christians are the dominant voice of religion in American politics these days, their views are sharply out of step in a socially liberal state such as Connecticut, he said.

"Here in the Northeast, we're blue states," he said. "The perception of religion in politics is that it's this conservative, reactionary evangelical Christian movement. ... That's not our religion."

I hadn't noticed! See more here at The Courant.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

More on Connecticut's abortion clinics

Peter Wolfgang at FIC graciously quoted our story yesterday about Planned Parenthood and has done an admirable job digging further into the netherworld of Connecticut's abortion clinics and what happens after the "procedure" is over.

People seldom have the taste for a real examination of all the various businesses that surround the trade in abortion. This is understandable. But reflexive politics shouldn't keep the public and its representatives from looking again - and looking hard.

Read the rest of the FIC Blog story here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Will States ever prosecute Planned Parenthood facilities for violations?

Disturbing and yet apparently all too common:

Police investigating a kidnapping and sexual abuse case in Connecticut have confirmed that a Planned Parenthood abortion business did an abortion on a 15 year-old girl who is the victim. The news is the latest in a string of cases across the country where abortions have been used to cover up cases of sexual abuse.

That sad saga continues, complete with the revelation, gruesome to me, that abortion centers apparently keep remains long enough to allow DNA testing, but another large question is whether statutory rape statutes are being taken seriously enough by officials and electorates. Does the value they assign on easy abortion on purely ideological grounds outweigh the State's interest in protecting teen (and pre-teen) girls from predation?

Will anyone draw the proper conclusions from the circumstances of the Gault case?

For more on the problem, read this story from the National Catholic Register.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"Under the Fire Of God" in New Haven


Carlos Annacondia

New Haven will be the scene of the annual Evangelical Parade on Saturday, September 8, with the theme Under the Fire of God. This is beyond a bilingual event - it's a multilingual event, with prayer being offered in 10 different languages! Pastor Jose Champagne of Holy Mount Church of God of Prophecy says:

This is completely a community and family event. This event commences with a March lead by the leaders and ministers of God in unity and it culminates with a Great Concentration in the Green Park of New Haven in front of the City Hall with a free concert and a powerful message from the Word of God.

The featured speaker is renowned evangelist Carlos Annacondia.

For more information, write: connecticutparacristo@hotmail.com.

Seven Great Resources for Connecticut Homeschoolers



Should you homeschool? Maybe this young lady's parents should have...
Hat Tip to Judy Aron

Even though it has taken off like a rocket in recent years, the very thought of homeschooling can still be very intimidating. And lack of information can breed paralysis, too. There are lots of questions. Am I capable of teaching my kids? How much will it cost? What are the legalities? Do homeschoolers sit around in calico dresses watching Anne of Green Gables? What are all the pros and cons?

If I were interested in homeschooling, where would I go for dependable information? Here's a list of some top resources for Connecticut homeschoolers and those wondering whether they should take the plunge:

Monday, August 27, 2007

Gay marriage hearings at the Connecticut Supreme Court

Listen here to the story, and continue to pray for the Supreme Court to exercise godly wisdom.

What do teenagers really want?



As we head back to school many are touting as good news the results of a recent MTV/AP poll showing what teens really think and want:

Religion and spirituality are an integral part of happiness for most American young people. 44 percent say that religion and spirituality are either a very important or the single most important thing in their lives, with more than one in ten reporting the latter. And those for whom religion and spirituality play a bigger role in life tend to be happier. 80 percent of those who say spirituality is the most important thing in life say they are happy with life in general, compared with 60 percent of those who say that spirituality is not an important part of life at all.

This is comforting, and Christian groups should take heed:

Bob Waliszewski, director of Focus on the Family's Plugged In magazine and Web site, said teens want sustenance for their souls.

“It’s no surprise to find out that kids are searching. Many of them consider themselves ‘spiritual’ – I say that in quotation marks. It doesn’t say that they are Christians or evangelicals. But they are wired by God to seek after a Creator.

“I think one of the things that this study could help lead to is more openness, especially on campus, for student-led groups exploring Christianity.”


Read more here from Citizen Link.

Our 500th post

To hit 500 posts is a big milestone for us, especially when so many blogs start every day - something like 175,000.

Most blogs have precisely the same number of posts before dying a lingering death on the Web: 1!

So thanks for your support! Continue to support the growth of the "Christian Web" and pray that God's people continue to find creative ways to reach people in this technological age.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rally for Liberty in Hartford on September 12

From the Family Institute of Connecticut comes this notice:

On Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. FIC will hold a Rally for Liberty on the east grounds of the state capitol in Hartford. Please come to show your support for marriage protection and for self-government! Please also forward this message to every pro-family state resident you know and encourage them to do likewise!

We want to encourage the Supreme Court to do the right thing. The Court should not take it upon themselves to undemocratically impose a radical redefinition of marriage-our most precious social institution-on all of society. They should let the people decide!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Church Map update: map is fixed

Thanks for your patience. By the way, to submit a church, just drop us a line at info@prayct.org.

Map update

We're experiencing a problem with our Church Map not showing pointers, which we will try to get squared away as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience - we know it's the most popular page on our site and we'll try to have it fixed straightaway.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

State Senate votes to investigate one of its own

From Capitol Watch:

The Senate unanimously voted today to create a bipartisan committee that will recommend if Sen. Louis C. DeLuca of Woodbury should face disciplinary action for conspiring with a trash hauler to threaten his granddaughter's husband.

DeLuca, a Republican who pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to commit a threat, was one of three senators who spoke during the brief, solemn debate. He left the chamber before the vote, barred by Senate rules from voting on a measure that directly affects him.

“The course of action that we take today is not easy, but it is necessary, and we do not embark upon it lightly,” said Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn.


No indeed. Equal time from a leading Republican by way of Channel 8:


One of DeLuca's Republican colleagues, Senator David Capiello of Danbury, has called for his resignation for the good of the Senate.

"Frankly, I'm concerned about Senator DeLuca and his family and what he will be going through. This is not going to be a good time for anyone involved," said Capiello.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Senator Lieberman speaks before Christian Zionist organization

I'm not sure how this one got past me (especially because it was heavily blogged by the political left) but I have been mighty busy since returning from vacation...

CNN has an interesting profile of an Orthodox Jewish woman named Sondra Oster Baras who speaks to Evangelical groups to raise support for Israel - part of Christiane Amanpour's upcoming series called "God's Warriors." Noted there was Sen. Lieberman's support for Christians United for Israel. From the article:

A recent poll found that 59 percent of American evangelicals believe Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates 85 million evangelicals believe God tells them to support Israel -- more than six times the world's Jewish population.

One of the most successful Jewish fundraisers, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, raised $39 million last year from Christian Zionists to fund human services and humanitarian work in Israel and the settlements.

Christian Zionists often converge on Washington by the thousands to lobby members of Congress in support of Israel.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut, was among the speakers at last month's convention of Christians United for Israel.

"There are a lot more Christian Zionists in America than Jewish Zionists," the former Democratic vice presidential candidate told the group. "The support of Christian Zionists today is critical to Israel's security and strength and to America's security and strength."


I think this is becoming one of the key issues of the next several years. Are there many real Zionists left in American government? By that I mean are there any who are willing to publicly base their support for Israel on Zionism of any kind?

New church added to Connecticut Church Map

We've happy to announce that Huntington Chapel of Shelton has been added to the Connecticut Church Map!

Check out the map here.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

More on Trinity Episcopal Church in Bristol

Thanks to the sharp-eyed anonymous reader who alerted us to the fact that the Episcopal Diocese lawsuit against Rev. Helmandollar and church vestry members was mentioned today in the Bristol Press. (Link unavailable.) Other folks are now picking it up as well:

Hartford Courant (an AP story which was also picked up by Channel 3 and some newspapers)

Channel 8

Channel 30

I'm sure we'll be hearing about this one for months to come. I'll be interested to see just how deeply the Connecticut courts want to enmesh themselves in matters of church governance. Oddly, there are actually sections of our State statutes (see Sect. 33-266) dealing with the polity of the Episcopal Church:

The manner of conducting the parish, the qualifications for membership of the parish and the manner of acquiring and terminating such membership, the number of the officers of the parish, their powers and duties and the manner of their appointment, the time of holding the annual meeting of the parish and the manner of notification thereof and the manner of calling special meetings of the parish shall be such as are provided and prescribed by the constitution, canons and regulations of said Protestant Episcopal Church in this state.


Here's my short list of questions:

  • Will the State follow this statute, and is it even constitutional for Connecticut to have legislated in this manner?
  • What if the Episcopal Church has severed itself from the Anglican Fellowship worldwide?
  • What if Bishop Smith has acted improperly in taking this step?
  • In other words, should a Connecticut Superior Court judge be deciding this or should the Episcopal or Anglican bishops?