The Ecumenical Prayer Service for the Gorsuch Family and Friends

As you know, President Trump has named Judge Neil Gorsuch of Colorado for appointment to the United States Supreme Court.

Today we held an ecumenical (whole household) Christian prayer service for Judge Gorsuch and his family at the Simpson Chapel inside the United Methodist Building here on Capitol Hill. The chapel is located exactly midway between the U.S. Senate office buildings, where the confirmation hearings will be held, and the United States Supreme Court, where the Nominee would take up his duties as an associate Justice.

Each step of the way during the Nomination Process, your Faith & Action team will be present — praying and relaying information to you, our support team, so that you can be informed and pray with us during this critical time in history.

 

Remembering Norma . . .

“Flip just baptized Norma McCorvey, you know, Jane Roe!”

It was April 1995, and I was just getting comfortable in my new ministry post in Washington, D.C. By then I knew a pro-life preaching partner, Phillip “Flip” Benham, had moved his office next door to the Dallas abortion clinic where Norma, the infamous icon of abortion rights, worked as a marketing director.

Flip was a Free Methodist minister who had teamed up with the leadership of Operation Rescue, the movement I had worked to advance from shortly after its founding by Randall Terry in the mid-1980s. “OR,” or “Rescue,” as we called it, was known for blockading the entrances to clinics with mostly peaceful, prayerful mass sit-ins. Flip had recently taken the helm of the organization. He and I had tag-teamed speaking through bullhorns on sidewalks more than a few times.

As soon as I heard of Jane Roe’s conversion, I got on the phone with Flip. He told me what happened: After bantering back and forth with Norma as the two encountered one another outside their shared office complex, Norma and Flip had started talking and even sharing lunches together. Then, the seven-year-old daughter of Flip’s office manager, a real cutie named Emily Mackay, sweet-talked Norma into attending church with her family. The result was life altering for Norma and for many of us. Following her public profession of Christian faith, Flip baptized her in a backyard swimming pool.

It took some work, but I was able to arrange for Norma to come to Washington the next January for a major pro-life event. It was our second annual National Memorial for the Pre-born and their Mothers and Fathers, an interdenominational prayer service I had founded with my twin brother and would continue to lead for 20 years. This would be Norma’s first speaking engagement in Washington as a Christian. The national media covered her appearance on the same stage with her one-time nemesis, Randall Terry, who gave her a bear hug in front of the capacity crowd at Georgetown University.

In the years that followed, Norma would return to our event several times, on one occasion placing the cherubic Emily Mackay in her lap and reading to her from a children’s book about the preciousness of life. The audience melted. That was Norma’s softer side. A former bartender and house painter, she could at times be crass and cantankerous, but she was also sweet and humble.

Over the years, Norma and I would see each other at pro-life gatherings around the country. I came to know and love her. She was consummately unpretentious. You never had to second-guess what Norma was thinking because she’d tell you—in no uncertain terms! She also struggled—with shame, with low self-esteem, with memories of the past, regrets and resentment, and with cigarettes and alcohol. If Norma was anything, it was human. She could love deeply and hate intensely. She could also be bitter—about how she had been exploited by the pro-choice people—and later taken advantage of by some pro-lifers. In short, Norma was a simple, down-to-earth person that ambled into one of the most heated and intractable controversies of modern times, was subjected to all of its slings and arrows, yet never lost who she was, whether for good or for bad.

I came to accept Norma as a very complicated person—and how could she have been otherwise? She grew up in a violently abusive home, was repeatedly raped by a relative, dropped out of school, shoplifted and was sent to a juvenile facility until she was 16. She married as a teenager and gave birth to a daughter, eventually lost custody of the baby, divorced, and later gave birth to another child and surrendered her for adoption. In 1970, Norma was unmarried and pregnant with her third child when two feminist lawyers recruited her to be the subject of their lawsuit seeking to overturn restrictive abortion laws in the state of Texas. Norma wasn’t seeking to spark any kind of social movement. She was simply lonely, broke, and addicted and saw no other opportunity to get out of her mess than to abort a child she couldn’t afford financially or emotionally. She would never have that abortion, or any abortion, though. Instead, as her lawsuit meandered through the courts, she gave birth to her third girl and gave her up for adoption, too.

And there was the most complicated element of all for Norma, her long-time lesbian partner, Connie Gonzalez. After Norma’s commitment to Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, she renounced her homosexuality and declared Connie to be simply a good friend. Nothing about that was easy, and the relationship ended acrimoniously. For some of my fundamentalist friends, even that episode in Norma’s life was understandable compared to her later decision to become a Catholic. She had been a secular, gay, pro-choice hellion—became a born-again, Bible-believing Christian—then, a devout, mass attending Roman Catholic. As uncomfortable as that move was for some, I thought she flourished in what would be her last earthly spiritual home.

Not everyone has good things to say about Norma McCorvey, but I do. She was genuine, transparent, poignant, brave, bold, dedicated, and, at times, hilarious. I’ll miss her greatly. Heaven is surely richer for her arrival, but the earth is poorer for her departure.

Norma was far from perfect, but who isn’t? If she was anything, Norma McCorvey was a sinner saved by grace—and she knew it and was thankful for it.

“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).

You can read Norma in her own words to the media here

 

Senate Confirmation Hearing for Nominee Neil Gorsuch Set for March 20

The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court Justice nomination on March 20. The hearing will conclude within three to four days.

Each step of the way during the Nomination Process, your Faith and Action team will be present — praying and relaying information to you, our support team, so that you can be informed and pray with us over this critical time in history.

The Confirmation Process to Becoming a Supreme Court Justice
Learn More About Confirmation Process Here

The Confirmation Process to Becoming a Supreme Court Justice

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch was nominated a couple of weeks ago by President Trump to fill the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court – a position that was held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.  

The next step in the nomination process, which started last week, is that Judge Gorsuch will meet with as many senators as possible within an allowed time frame. Usually, the nominee meets with the opposing senators first, something that we have witnessed first-hand on Capitol Hill this past week!  

Sometime soon, Judge Gorsuch will face a series of hearings in which both the nominee and other witnesses make statements and answer questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is often a grueling experience for the candidate, which can last hours each day.  Though Faith and Action does not endorse a nominee, we are actively praying with and for the judge as well as the senators and everyone involved in the process. Our team will be present at the confirmation hearings and report back as they move forward.

Once the Senate Judiciary Committee finishes their inquiry, they will report out to the entire Senate who will then consider and vote on the nominee. A simple majority vote is required to confirm or to reject a nominee, but a successful filibuster could threaten the vote. If a filibuster occurs, 60 votes are needed in favor of cloture, which would allow debate to end and force a final vote on the confirmation.

Once the Senate confirms the nomination by an affirmative vote, the Secretary of the Senate attests to a resolution of confirmation and transmits it to the White House. The President then prepares and signs a commission, and affixes the Seal of the United States Department of Justice before the new Supreme Court Justice can take office.

A ceremony is held in which the Justice must take the Constitutional Oath. The final ceremony is when the Justice appears at the U.S. Supreme Court with the President and the rest of the Justices on the High Court to take his seat.

Each step of the way during the Nomination Process, your Faith and Action team will be present — praying and relaying information to you, our support team, so that you can be informed and pray with us over this critical time in history. 

Celebrating Black History Month – Thurgood Marshall & Justice Clarence Thomas

As we celebrate Black History Month here at Faith & Action, we decided to make this awesome video of our good friend Justice Clarence Thomas. Clarence Thomas serves as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Thomas was nominated by George W. Bush in 1991 and is the second African-American to serve on the Supreme Court after the late Thurgood Marshall.

Faith and Action Is an Evangelistic Ministry

Faith and Action​ is an evangelistic ministry, taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nation’s top elected and appointed officials. We are not a lobbying organization, trying to change laws or policies, and we’re not lawyers, suing in court.

Our mission is simple: To bring the Word of God to bear on the hearts and minds of those that make public policy in America.

Watch as our Vice President of Operations, Peggy Nienaber, brief you on our annual programs and events.

Learn More About Our Programs & Events HERE:

Judge Neil Gorsuch Visits the Senate

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has been meeting with both Senate Democrats and Republicans during his confirmation process. Today Gorsuch will be meeting with Jeff Flake (R-Ariz), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).

As Judge Gorsuch proceeds through the arduous confirmation process, our team will be praying and seeking tangible ways to be of assistance to him and his loved ones. The confirmation hearings are very public and often overwhelming, so we personally try to serve the nominee by offering a pastoral presence as well as a voice of moral encouragement.

Aglow International Luncheon – Pursuing Him with Purpose

Our ministry team was invited to attend a special Aglow International Luncheon at the Capitol Hill Club. We had an amazing time in prayer and in fellowship. 

The “Back Prayer Room” Behind the National Prayer Breakfast

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).

The room was full – fuller than I had expected, and fuller than past National Prayer Breakfasts of recent memory.  

No, I am not speaking of the Grand Ballroom where the dignitaries, congressional members, pastors, and the President of the United States gathered for prayer and inspiration. Rather, I am speaking of the “back prayer room” at the National Prayer Breakfast – a room separate from the ballroom and down the hall where our Faith and Action team provides, watches over, and engages in constant prayer before, during, and after the Prayer Breakfast.  

This year, it was an especially blessed time of interaction. The Faith and Action ministry team prayed for and with prominent national and international dignitaries that attended the breakfast – both as a group and also in private. Something that always warms my heart is when we are joined by the people behind the scenes at the Prayer Breakfast – the staff, the security officials, the assistants, the congressional staffers, the interns, and even the hotel kitchen staff! It was a full crowd of people offering and needing prayer.

It was also an honor to witness my dear friend, Rev. Dr. Barry Black, Chaplain to the U.S. Senate, deliver the keynote speech during this year’s National Prayer Breakfast. His powerful and impassioned speech implored us to prioritize prayer in our lives and to understand the opportunity that we have in communicating with God – that our voice and petitions can be heard in heaven! Dr. Black rightfully reminded us that it is the power of prayer that changes people, situations, and nations. He proclaimed the Gospel of Christ boldly to a riveted audience. It was a marvelous time of conviction, inspiration, and unabashed commitment to the glory of God.  

Some people dismiss events like the National Prayer Breakfast as meaningless exercises in civil religion, but Faith and Action does not see it that way. To us, this event and others like it give our nation’s top elected and appointed officials a reason to pause and give their attention to something much larger than themselves—namely, Almighty God.

This week, we would like to give you a copy of the Special Edition Inaugural Gospel of John and Book of Romans booklet with your gift of $50 or more. And to make the process easier, you can DONATE HERE or even call us at 202-546-8329 to donate $50, $100, $250, $500 or more. Of course, if you prefer, you can also send a check or money order made out to Faith and Action and mailed to 109 2nd St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002.  

Thank you for walking beside us in our efforts to minister to all those on Capitol Hill.  

Your missionary in Washington, D.C., 

Rev. Rob Schenck