A Call to Prayer Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Lowell Avery   

Prayer-graphic March16sq"Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He delivered them out of their distresses."
– Psalm 107.6

Sometimes our troubles are of our own making, plain and simple. Sometimes the root lies elsewhere. Frequently it's a mixed bag. Accordingly, I find it is almost always appropriate to include some time of reflection before opening my mouth in prayer, and to make sure I not only praise and thank God and talk to Him about folks' needs, but also to confess whatever sins the Spirit brings to my attention.

When praying about Pro-Life matters in our congregations, our denomination, and our world, my temptation is to think of such issues in terms of "them" – the folks who openly advocate for abortion, the ones who try to hush those of us who speak of fetuses as children, the people in the church who are indifferent to what the Holy Spirit has clearly said about human life in the womb. But when I reflect on my own life, the Holy Spirit has a way of reminding me that I do not approach God without my own baggage.

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Should we talk about Abortion in the Church? Print E-mail

These words from Terry Schlossberg & Elizabeth Achtemeier (1994) ring true for the Church today. Excerpt from the introduction of Not My Own: Abortion and the Marks of the Church, p. 7-8

©imabase - Fotolia.comThe Centrality of the Subject

The heat generated by the abortion issue in our culture has led many pastors and lay people to consider it an inappropriate subject for the church. They believe that discussing abortion is like deliberately setting a torch to the church because, in their minds, it divides believers and diverts their attention from the primary role of the church to preach the gospel, pastor the sheep and teach the faith. "Let us put this abortion debate behind us," urged the wife of one pastor, "and get back to what the church is supposed to be doing."

That is sheer blindness to what is happening, because abortion expresses our society's increasing cheapening of and careless disregard for human life.

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Abortion will not help victims of Boko Haram’s violent rapes Print E-mail

Boko-Haram-720x320Orignal post on A Christian Manifesto, June 11, 2015

Few things have wrenched my heart like the plight of the young women and girls abducted from their Nigerian school by Boko Haram and violently and repeatedly raped and impregnated by terrorists. I have not written about it because the horror these girls have experienced leaves me wordless, stunned, grieving. But, now many of those girls have returned, pregnant, and are once again facing victimization by those who would use them to further the cause of abortion rights.

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What are Presbyterians saying about Planned Parenthood? Print E-mail
Written by Marie Bowen   

Fotolia 81617626 MNothing! I searched half a dozen Presbyterian and Reformed denomination websites and found no articles or statements responding to videos implicating Planned Parenthood (PP) in the illegal sale of baby body parts. PP has long been involved in abortion—the evil, horrific, but legal ripping apart of tiny human beings.

I have read social media responses to the videos exposing PP's callous disregard for unborn humans by individual Presbyterians, and I know a few pastors who have made references to PP in recent sermons. There are some Presbyterians speaking on behalf of the unborn, but those who hold denominational leadership positions that grant an amplified voice (and who often speak against injustice and evil threats to human life) have chosen to be silent about the atrocities perpetuated against the tiniest human beings by PP.

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Living well at the end of life Print E-mail

Generations Fotolia 39593370 M prtNotes from a sermon by Dirk Lesnett, Elfinwild Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), June 14, 2015, Glenshaw, PA

Text: Leviticus 19:32 "You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD."

"White haired persons are to be respected and honored."

That's what the Leviticus text means says Dirk Lesnett, Pastor of Elfinwild Presbyterian Church, Glenshaw, PA. He referenced a phrase coined by Tom Brokaw during NBC's coverage of a D-Day memorial, "The Greatest Generation." Brokaw's book by that title describes a generation united by a common goal and common values of duty, honor, economy, courage, service, love of family and country, and responsibility for self.

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