Thursday, November 29, 2007

Religion Communicators Council Accepting Wilbur Award Nominations

29 Nov 2007 17:35 Africa/Lagos

Religion Communicators Council Accepting Wilbur Award Nominations

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) is seeking nominations for the annual Wilbur Awards recognizing excellence in communicating religious issues, values and themes produced by the mainstream media.

Wilbur Award categories include newspapers, editorial cartoons, magazines, photography, books, television, radio, feature films and Web-based communications. Entries are currently being accepted through Feb. 1, 2008. Details and entry information are available at

This year's Wilbur Awards recognize outstanding work performed in 2007. Entries are eligible if released or distributed through non-religious medium or general circulation during the year. The work entered must be intended for general public consumption, with full or partial production and/or funding by the medium of distribution.

Recipients will be honored April 5 at the Wilbur Awards banquet in Washington, D.C. during the annual convention of RCC.

The Wilbur Awards started in 1960 and are named for Marvin C. Wilbur, a pioneer in the field of religious public relations. The highly regarded competition is judged by media professionals in a jury process.


NOTE TO EDITORS: Additional information about the Wilbur Awards is
available by contacting Scott Collins at Buckner International in Dallas,
758-8061 or
First Call Analyst:
FCMN Contact:

Source: Religion Communicators Council

CONTACT: Scott Collins, +1-214-758-8061,, for
Religion Communicators Council

Monday, November 19, 2007

Russian Doomsday Cult Waits For the End of the World

Michelle Carlile-Alkhouri reports

Nov. 19 - At least 30 members of a Russian doomsday cult have barricaded themselves in a remote cave to await the end of the world.

The cult members are hidden inside a snow-covered hillside in the Penza region of central Russia. They are near the village of Nikolskoye, some 400 kilometres southeast of Moscow. They are inside a cave and are threatening to blow themselves up with about 400 litres of stockpiled gasoline if police intervene.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

When It Comes to Defending the Faith, There is No 'Plan B'

When It Comes to Defending the Faith, There is No 'Plan B'

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

"As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops gathers this week for its semi-annual meeting, we hope the bishops will give serious attention to the crisis our Catholic hospitals are facing," said American Life League president Judie Brown. "That's why we took out a full-page ad in the Washington Times and other publications, asking the bishops to oppose laws that require Catholic facilities of any kind to violate Church teaching."

Passage of Connecticut legislation demanding that Catholic hospitals act contrary to church teachings is only the latest in a series of attacks by abortion proponents on Catholic healthcare institutions' constitutionally protected freedom of religion. The law that went into effect October 1 forces Catholic hospitals to provide the abortive drug, Plan B, to victims of sexual assault. Similar measures have been proposed in other states. "Planned Parenthood and its minions are determined to introduce bills in state legislatures that would force Catholic healthcare providers to take actions contrary to Catholic teaching," said Brown. "This attack on the freedom of religion is unconscionable. Would Planned Parenthood also endorse efforts to force synagogues and mosques to serve pork?"

Plan B, a so-called emergency contraceptive, can act after fertilization to prevent a newly-formed human embryonic person from implanting in the mother's womb. "Pro-abortion wordsmiths insist this is not abortion," said Brown. "However, the Plan B regimen mode of action can result in the taking of a human being's life prior to implantation. That is abortion. The Catholic Church forbids the use of any form of artificial contraception, and thus a Catholic institution facing a government mandate regarding the use of this deadly chemical must refuse to comply with such a law. Even if it means that such hospitals must shut down due to lack of funding, no state should be able to force Catholic institutions to violate Church teaching."

American Life League is leading the charge to protect Catholic institutions from outrageous laws and judicial decisions. The ad, headlined, "When it comes to defending the faith, there is no 'Plan B,'" can be viewed at

Source: American Life League

CONTACT: Michael Hichborn of the American Life League, +1-540-226-9178,

Web Site:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI to Visit United States and United Nations

12 Nov 2007 18:26 Africa/Lagos

Pope Benedict XVI to Visit United States and United Nations

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Pope Benedict XVI will come to the United States with visits to Washington and New York City on a six-day trip which includes an address at the United Nations.

The visit is slated for April 15-20.

Among venues during the visit will be the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where Pope Benedict will meet with the Bishops of the United States.

"This is a blessed moment for our nation," said Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). "Pope Benedict is not just the leader of Catholics, he is also a man of inspiration for all those who work for peace."

Cardinal Edward Egan of New York voiced the delight of the people of New York.

"When our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, told me last July that he would be visiting New York this coming April, I was delighted with the news and shared it with the People of God of the Archdiocese of New York and the entire community of greater New York. The response of all was both rejoicing and thanksgiving to the Lord for the great grace of the presence of the successor of St. Peter in our midst. I have assured the Holy Father of a warm and prayerful welcome. We all look forward to his visit with pleasure and anticipation."

Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington spoke of "faith-filled joy and enormous enthusiasm" in the Archdiocese of Washington.

"Personally, and in the name of all of the clergy, religious and faithful of the archdiocese, I express our warmest welcome while renewing our sentiments of love and loyalty to our Holy Father. We all look forward to his visit as a time of renewal of our faith and pastoral ministry and an opportunity to confirm our solidarity with the Church universal made visible among us by the successor to Peter, Pope Benedict XVI," Archbishop Wuerl said.

"It is an enormous privilege for the Church of Washington to host our Holy Father. We pledge to do all that we can to make his presence among us a moment of true spiritual renewal and a vibrant manifestation of God's kingdom at work among us."

Msgr. Walter Rossi, rector of the national Shrine, noted the Shrine's importance in the nation.

"The Shrine was established by the Bishops of the United States as our nation's tribute to Mary Immaculate and so it is appropriate that the Bishops of our country meet with the successor of Peter in the house they established to honor the Mother of God," he said.

Information on media credentials will be forthcoming.

Source: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

CONTACT: Sr. Mary Ann Walsh of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,
+1-202-541-3200 (office), +1-301-587-4762 (home), +1-301-325-7935 (mobile)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Desmond Tutu: God Has A Dream for The Middle East

Desmond Tutu speaks out on the Middle East: * A powerful word from one of the greatest Christian leaders of our time. Reminiscent of Dr Martin Luther King.Jr, Tutu says, "God has a dream for the Middle East"

Professor Marsh of Virginia on the American church: * Marsh fears that American Evangelicals have exchangedfaith for nationalism! This is a brilliant critique ofhow easily religion can become an 'opiate of the masses':

My sermon on the 'Deserving Poor'?: * At the risk of sounding arrogant, I think this may be oneof the most important sermons I've come out with for some time. It's on Jesus' story about Lazarus and the rich man;

Please take time to read these articles. You won't regret it!

What to do with Retired Politicians?

An interesting little chat has opened up between Stephen andmyself over the key role being played by retired politiciansnowadays as advocates for social justice. I've been very impressed by the work of Jimmy Cater in the US, and now former Aussie Prime Minster, Malcolm Frazer, seems to be following in his footsteps! My question is, what contribution do we see the current headsof state in both Oz and the US, making after they retire from public life?
Dreaming of a new form of Church!

Stephen continues to push the boundaries of our imaginations,looking for a new form of church that goes beyond literalismand is truly inclusive. He's set up another survey, asking, "Is it time to drag thechurch into the 21st Century?" Should we be sticking with the fundamental truths passed down to us by our forebears, or adapting our faith to the world as it is. And is this really the key question we need to face ifwe want to make our churches more inclusive?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Moms Looking for Spiritual Outlet Online

Moms Looking for Spiritual Outlet Online

New Website From Precious Moments Provides Interactive Community Celebrating Life Events

CHICAGO, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ --

Today's mothers value their spirituality as an important part of their family life. In a recent study distributed to over 2,400 moms nationwide, 67.4% of moms named spirituality their most important priority after their family. These moms are concerned about instilling a sense of values into their children and 75% of those surveyed responded that they are actively seeking ways to integrate spirituality into the everyday lives of their families. The study was conducted by Precious Moments in conjunction with Mom Talk Radio, a BSM Media company, and illustrated the strong desire moms have to integrate their spirituality into everyday family events. Precious Moments(R), the gift company known for their faith-based figurines and products, recognized the lack of such a resource on the Internet and have responded by creating a website designed to connect mothers of like-minded beliefs and morals.

The site,, is set to launch on November 1, 2007 and will feature celebration planning tools, inspirational messages and advice from real world like-minded moms. Visitors to the site will be able to download invitations and recipes, send blessings to their loved ones and interact with mothers across the globe. Many well-known "mom bloggers" have teamed up with Precious Moments(R) to help mothers chronicle the precious moments in their own lives. These contributors are the authorities on subjects from expanding children's dietary horizons to keeping a positive outlook while juggling work and family.

"For years, Moms have looked to Precious Moments for gifts for their loved ones and to commemorate life events," said Bret Moore, Vice President of Marketing for Precious Moments. "It was a natural fit to create a site that is a resource for all their spiritual needs -- everything from celebration tips to an opportunity to interact with Moms of a similar mind-set."

Precious Moments(R) began in the early 1970's as a gift card and poster company. Created by Samuel Butcher to share his messages of faith through art, the company introduced its first collection of original figurines in 1978. In 2005, a new chapter in the Precious Moments story began, as the collection "came home" to join the rest of the Precious Moments family at Precious Moments, Incorporated. The company remains committed today to its original purpose of creating art which combines heartfelt emotion and abiding faith.

For more information, please contact Amy Shiman at or 954-943-2322.

Source: Precious Moments

CONTACT: Amy Shiman, +1-954-943-2322,, for Precious

Web site:

Hold Tight

Friday, November 2, 2007

Hold Tight

"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, unto which you are called."1

I checked the following story on but it wasn't listed, so I can't confirm it either way. At any rate it makes an excellent parable. According to the story: "On a commuter flight from Portland, Maine, to Boston in 1987, the pilot heard an unusual noise near the rear of the plane. Henry Dempsey turned the controls over to the co-pilot and went back to check it out. As he reached the tail section, the plane hit an air pocket, and Dempsey was tossed against the rear door. He quickly discovered the source of the mysterious noise. The rear door had been improperly latched prior to take-off, and it flew open. Dempsey was instantly sucked out of the tiny jet.

"The co-pilot saw the red light that indicated an open door. He radioed the nearest airport requesting permission for an emergency landing. He reported that the pilot had fallen out of the plane and wanted a helicopter to search the area. After the plane landed, the ground crew found Dempsey holding on to the outdoor ladder of the aircraft. Somehow he had caught the ladder and held on for ten minutes as the plane flew 200 mph at an altitude of 4,000 feet, and then, when landing, he kept his head from hitting the runway, which was only 12 inches away. "

In today's pressured world it is very easy to be "sucked into" all sorts of temptations—which, if we give in to them, could easily destroy us. So we need to hold on tenaciously to eternal values and the eternal life that God has given to all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Suggested prayer:

"Dear God, please give me the strength and courage to hold on to you, to my faith, and to eternal values no matter what trials and temptations may come my way. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. The Apostle Paul (1 Timothy 6:12).