For the week of September 2, 2004
Appreciation of wives
The Louisiana Baptist Womens Missions and Ministry Division has set Sept.
19 as the second annual Ministers Wives Appreciation Day in churches across
the state. In celebration of that day, leaders have suggested that churches
ask Sunday School classes to write notes of appreciation to minister wives,
that church recognize the wives during services and that congregations either
host a luncheon honoring the service and dedication of the wives or treat them
to a nice dinner. In conjunction with the emphasis, the state convention division
also has announced plans for the annual Ministers Wives Retreat on Oct.
22-23 at Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center in Woodworth. Speakers, musicians
and dramatists are scheduled, as are breakout sessions for participants. Cost
is $35 per person. For details on either the upcoming emphasis or the retreat,
persons may call (800) 622-6549 or (318) 448-3402.
Parents of the Year
Alvin and Pat Oney have been honored as Cottage Parents of the Year by the
Louisiana Baptist Childrens Home. The annual award is voted on by staff
members and is based on a couples total contribution to the homes
ministry during the year. The Oneys came to the home in January 2000 after serving
for 27 years in pastorates in Texas and the Shreveport area. “God definitely
led us here,” Alvin Oney said. “We look back now and see so clearly
how he laid out this plan for us.” The Oneys say being a cottage parent
can be both rewarding and challenging. “But seeing one child make a positive
step forward makes it all worthwhile,” Alvin Oney said.
Value of family meals
A study by the University of Minnesota has validated what some parents have
known all along – sharing regular family meals may enhance the health and
well-being of adolescents. The study in the August edition of the Archives of
Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine surveyed nearly 5,000 Minnesota teenagers
about how often they had eaten with their family in the previous week, whether
they thought their parents loved them and whether they could talk to their parents
about problems. Researchers also asked teenagers about grade-point averages
and behavior such as drinking, smoking and thoughts of suicide. “Each additional
family meal per week had some benefit to kids, (especially girls),” said
Marla Eisenberg, lead author of the study. Results showed that about half of
the girls who had not eaten with their families in the previous week reported
smoking cigarettes, compared to only 17 percent of girls who had eaten with
their families each day. The spread was less for boys, at 36 percent and 22
percent respectively. The more times teenagers reported eating with their families,
the less likely they were to report substance abuse, mood disorders or poor
A recognized state political columnist has suggested legalized gambling in
Louisiana has reached its limits. In a column published Aug. 25, columnist John
Maginnis noted that efforts to move gambling outlets in Louisiana have met resistance
in recent days, even from legislators and others who supported it in the past.
“The economic development and tax-revenue song of the casinos no longer
sounds as sweet,” Maginnis writes. Indeed, to critics, an attempted expansion
of gambling in a Metairie neighborhood simply meant little new money and cutting
an “old pit a little thinner, while adding to traffic congestion.”
The expansion was stopped by those who have supported gambling in the past.
In addition, relocation opportunities have disappeared in the state, Maginnis
says. “Waterfront markets have become saturated, and land-based competition
from Indian casinos and slots at racetracks have increased,” he notes.
Even the development of new truck-stop casinos is meeting resistance, Maginnis
adds. “For years, riverboats and video poker truck stops rolled over the
Louisiana landscape, but now, in their quest for growth, they are running into
a more formidable obstacle called NIMBY – Not in My Back Yard,” he
concludes. “Its got to stop somewhere.”
A judge in New York City dealt a serious blow last week to hopes that a ban
on partial birth abortion might survive the federal judiciary. Federal Judge
Richard Casey declared the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional.
Supporters of the law had expressed hope Casey might uphold the prohibition,
which bars an abortion on a nearly totally delivered baby. Advocates of the
ban now have lost two court cases and hold out little hope they will win in
the only remaining case in Nebraska. In commenting on the recent decision, Southern
Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Richard Land targeted
the Supreme Court, rather than Casey. He insisted partial birth abortion never
would be eliminated “until we change the makeup of the current Supreme
Court.” Casey seemed to indicate in his ruling that the nations high
court left him with no option, based on its decisions in the 1973 opinions legalizing
abortion for essentially any reason throughout pregnancy and its 2000 opinion
invalidating the Nebraska partial birth abortion ban. Casey did say he found
that testimony “establishes that (partial-birth abortion) is a gruesome,
brutal, barbaric and uncivilized medical procedure.” He also said “credible
evidence” exists that “(such) abortions subject fetuses to severe
pain.” Caseys ruling invalidates a law President George Bush signed
On-site assessments have identified 32 Florida Baptist church buildings that
were destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Charley. The buildings of three churches
were destroyed, all in the Peace River Baptist Association in the rural area
of Arcadia. The remaining 29 church buildings sustained damage that was classified
between minimal to heavy. In addition, two homes of pastors have been reported
with damage. No dollar figure has been assigned to the damages and losses experienced
by churches. Meanwhile, assessment teams continue to visit every church within
the area affected by the storm.
Did you know?
Forty percent of American adults say it is important to consider the religious
beliefs of political candidates in deciding who to vote for, a new poll indicates.
The Barnabas Institute survey found that 56 percent of Protestants and 31 percent
of Catholics believe faith should be considered. “The poll results send
an important message to all politicians,” a Barnabas Institute spokesperson
said. The poll also found that 62 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of Republicans
say they are actively involved in some faith at this time.