Tuesday, May 22, 2007

May 22, 2007

[ ] PRO-Life Groups Ask For Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Enforcement
[ ] Baghdad Christians Flee Forced Conversion In Iraq
[ ] New Mission Partnership Funding System


Without follow-up, they contend the gruesome procedure will continue. Life advocates went to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to make it clear that the U.S. Supreme Court decision last month to uphold the federal law banning partial-birth abortion will mean nothing if it isn't enforced. In a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Paul Schenk, director of the National Pro-Life Action Center, along with other advocates for the preborn, warned that "without aggressive federal enforcement, partial-birth abortions will continue.""While, today, partial-birth abortions are illegal in the United States, they continue in places like New Jersey and Kansas," Schenck told Family News in Focus. "The question is, 'How will the law be enforced and when will the penalties apply?"

Pat Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, said the Justice Dpartment needs to enforce the ban, because lives hang in the balance."It could be months, maybe over a year," he said, "if there is not an aggressive move by the people of faith, the American public, to see that this ban is actually enforced."

+ Christian Defense Coalition, 4019 Duke of Gloucester St., Fredericksburg,Virginia 22407


Iraqi Christians fled their homes over the weekend after armed Sunni extremists threatened to kill them if they did not convert to Islam within 24 hours, Christian sources said. Six Christian families from the Mualimien neighborhood of Baghdad's Dora district have relocated to a church elsewhere in the city, said a Baghdad source who requested that the families' location and identity remain anonymous. Armed Sunnis told the families on Saturday (April 14) that an amir (independent Muslim prince or ruler) had issued afatwa against Dora's Christians, the source said. "They called the Christians infidels and told them, 'If you don't convert to Islam or leave your homes in 24 hours, we will kill you,'" the source told Compass after speaking with a member of the church helping the displaced Christians.

+ Compass Direct News, PO Box 27250, Santa Ana CA 92799-7250


Change is imminent for the system that allocates funds to Presbyterian Church (USA) synods from unrestricted revenue of the General Assembly. It won't happen overnight. But the process - outlined in a proposal presented during the recent Synod/General Assembly Council National Mission Partnership Funds Consultation - is under way, pending approval from the General Assembly Council. "The whole group made it (the proposal) its own document, its own direction," said the Rev. Jan DeVries, synod executive and stated clerk of the Synod of the Southwest. "It made it clear that change had to occur, but that change needed to happen in a strategic and planned way in which we understood the context in which all the synods work." "Until we understood that, we really couldn't be engaged as partners," she said.

Synod and GAC representatives met for the consultation April 18-20 in Kansas City, MO, to carry out their regular process for distributing mission partnership funds. The group approved 2008 allocations for the nine synods that receive funds -Alaska-Northwest, Lakes and Prairies, Living Waters, Pacific, Puerto Rico, Rocky Mountains, South Atlantic, Southern California and Hawaii, and Southwest - based on a formula of 10.447 percent of 2006 unrestricted General Assembly receipts, which were US$29,032,881 (excluding a special gift of US$9.54 million). The other seven synods opt not to receive the funds.

The total amount for distribution is US$3,033,065, which includes US$303,307 set aside for four synods that receive Mission Funds Development (MFD) project grants. The group agreed to end development grants in 2008. The largest distribution amount goes to the Synod of the Southwest, which will receive a total of US$702,582; followed by the Synod of Alaska-Northwest, which will receive US$507,181. Both also receive MFD grants.

+ Presbyterian Church (USA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202