Sunday, September 30, 2007


Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

Imagine six U.S. Supreme Court justices sitting in church pews as the Word of God is read, the Gospel is proclaimed and the sermon includes a pro-life message. Sound fantastical? It’s not—I saw it yesterday. I was there. It was marvelous.

The setting was the annual “Red Mass” at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle here in Washington, DC. The service, in its 54th year, is organized by The John Carroll Society, made up of lay Catholic Christians and named for the first Catholic Bishop in the U.S. (Carroll’s brother, Daniel, played a prominent role in the Constitutional Convention). It’s held on the Sunday before the First Monday of October, which always marks the beginning of a new Supreme Court term.

This year’s Bible readings at the Mass were Genesis 1:1, 26-31, selections from Psalm 104, I John 4:11-16 and John 14:23-29. (All read aloud, of course.)

The liturgy also included this musical recitation:

“Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
We worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,
You take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us;
You are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,
In the glory of God the Father. Amen.”

And these words in the Profession of Faith:

“We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God . . .
For our sake, he was crucified . . . he suffered, died and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
And his Kingdom will have no end.”

The six justices present—Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Alito, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and Breyer —definitely heard the Gospel at the Red Mass and were challenged with Biblical Truth. The first four enthusiastically embrace and practice their Christian faith; Justice Kennedy needs some prayerful prodding; and Breyer appears to adhere to a largely non-religious and quite liberal Judaism. (An interesting side note: Justice Breyers’ daughter experienced a religious “conversion” and today is an Episcopal priest.)

I know some Evangelicals and others might doubt a Catholic Mass could truly be Gospel-centered. That’s never been my experience. While a non-religious Jewish teenager, I was partly introduced to the Gospel by Catholics—and through the Catholic Mass. The Red Mass, celebrated as a “Solemn Mass of the Holy Spirit,” gets its name from the red vestments of the celebrants, symbolizing the tongues of fire that settled on the Apostles when the Holy Spirit descended (Acts 2). Sitting in the sanctuary yesterday, I thought of what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit: “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (John 16:8) The Word of God needs no help—it does its work all by itself. Yesterday the Justices had everything needed to know that reproof.

I commend the John Carroll Society, Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl and all the others who make the Red Mass possible. It’s one of the few times that some of the Justices are confronted with unvarnished Bible Truth!

Considering what’s at stake in the selection of at least two justices by the next president, Rev. Pat Mahoney and I will put even more into our customary prayers today in front of the High Court as it opens its 2007-2008 term. (See our article at I’ll let you know how it goes.

Speaking of Biblical Truth, pro-life and Judaism, this past week I met Orthodox Jewish pro-life activist “Richard Nadler, who writes under his Hebrew name Reuben-Lev ben Herschel. Nadler’s book, Feticide and the Birth Cycle (2005, Pakad Press, Overland Kansas) cites religious authority to reveal the Jewish tradition’s reverence for life. Famous Orthodox rabbi and ally of moral conservatives, Daniel Lapin, says this book “belongs in every believer’s library.” I agree.

We don’t need anything more than Biblical Truth to rest our case for Life on, but it can be helpful to come at the argument from several different angles. People get bored and distracted after they’ve heard “the same old thing” one more time. A little new information can reclaim their attention and pique their interest. This book is for serious pro-life apologists willing to do a little extra work beefing up your argument. While the book is pretty friendly to the non-Jewish reader, you’ll probably still need to do some background research to comfortably make your way through it. If you’re one of those serious students, you can get the book from Americas Majority, 8640 Travis Street, Overland Park, KS 66212.

Finally, I wish I could tell you where I was this past week, but I can’t. (Talking about certain things can tip off opponents and do more damage than good.) Suffice it to say I spent time with some of the greatest Christian leaders and moral conservatives in this country; many of them young—like me! (OK, today I cross the 49-year threshold, but I’m still this side of 50!)

I know the recent passing of Jerry Falwell and D. James Kennedy, along with the fragile health of other luminaries, has left some wondering who will pick up the mantel. I’m convinced those new leaders are already in place. If anyone knows how to manage succession challenges, it’s God Almighty. Don’t worry; He’s prepared well for the transition! (I’ll write about these emerging leaders in future posts to this blog.)

Gotta go for now. Be back soon.

Rev. Rob Schenck
Faith and Action
109 2nd St., NE
Washington, DC 20002

Monday, September 24, 2007


Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

This week begins already quite full. In fact, it got rolling Saturday as I was privileged to attend the elevation of our dear friend Pastor Wesley Cherry of Manassas, Virginia, to the seat of Bishop in the fellowship of the Full Gospel Baptist Churches, International. Pastor—now Bishop—Cherry is a great leader, a kind soul and avid supporter of our ministry here at Faith and Action. His congregation, Word Alive Church, is one of our anchor churches. They pray up a storm for us and send us their monthly missionary support. It always arrives like manna from heaven! I met the Bishop through my former administrative assistant, Mrs. Ruby Carter. When she retired several years ago, she left an indelible stamp on our critically important administrative operations. I was delighted when Ruby told me her pastor was from my native Buffalo, New York. It turned out he and I have common roots in a church back home. It is an honor for me to be among Bishop Cherry’s missionary partners. God bless him and his rich ministry!

Speaking of great ministers and churches, the weekend was a two-for! I also had the joy of preaching again for Dr. Kenneth Barney of the extraordinary New Antioch Baptist Church in nearby Randallstown, Maryland. (It’s a rare thing for me to be at local churches period—but two leading churches in the metropolitan African-American community was twice as significant.) Dr. Barney is just one of the most capable pastors I know. His burgeoning congregation—built from scratch into one of the largest churches in the Greater Baltimore Area—is a warm, spiritually vital, evangelistic, discipling and service oriented body of committed and mature believers. New Antioch has for years hosted classes of the Capital Bible Seminary, lending an unusual depth to the Biblical education of its members. I was honored to preach their annual ushers’ anniversary service. God gave me a word from 1 Chronicles 9:17-21 on the importance of ushers as the doorkeepers of the House of the Lord. It’s their duty to actually usher souls to the Savior! The message was a bell-ringer and the Lord helped us to send those ushers—young and old—out to do their important jobs. They were impressive in every way, and unforgettable for the intricately choreographed march down the aisles that bedazzled the congregation!

Finally for today, I want to remind you—no, urge you—to come to our November 17 Silver Celebration 25th anniversary here in Washington! My brother Paul and I want to share this milestone with you. God by His grace has allowed us to enjoy a quarter century of uninterrupted fruitful ministry and we want to mark it with you in attendance! If you haven’t already read about the 25th Anniversary Celebration, please visit our website now: Scroll down to the banner. Your presence with us will be more than just sentimental; it will send a strong signal to the government officials we minister to that we are all quite serious about this mission. Your attendance will be a show of strength for the ministry of Faith and Action and will get their attention in a way nothing else can!

So please, make your plans now to visit your nation’s capital city, pray for this nation, and join Paul and me for an unforgettable evening. You’ll meet movers and shakers from Capitol Hill, see a side of Washington, DC few people ever see, and hear what God is doing behind the scenes in answer to your prayers. Our keynote speaker will be long-time friend and Faith and Action ally Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice. Glorious music will be provided by the choir of the New Antioch Baptist Church. The venue is the elegant Marriott Renaissance Hotel, located mid-way between the White House and the US Capitol. Click here now to order your tickets to the Faith and Action 25th Anniversary Silver Celebration, Saturday, November 17!

Back soon with more . . .

Rev. Rob Schenck
Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital
109 2nd St., NE, Washington, DC 20002

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rev. Rob Schenck, reporting:

I’m a little late posting this. Normally I do a week-in-review on Fridays, but last week was just too busy. I flew out Friday for a conference in Nashville, and then from there to Columbus, Ohio, to minister at a wonderful church called Trinity Family Life Center. (It’s actually in a town called Pickerington.) As I’ve told you before, one of the great joys of my ministry is visiting different church pulpits throughout the year. Trinity was very special for two reasons: First, it is a dynamic, Bible-based, Spirit-filled, born-again missionary-minded and evangelistic fellowship that, believe it or not, is part of the United Methodist denomination! For more than 30 years, Pastor Kelso has been a leader in spiritual renewal among United Methodists. Which leads me to the second point: This church has the same name as the United Methodist Church where my brother, Paul, and I first heard the Gospel and responded publicly to an altar call 34 years ago. (Our Trinity United Methodist was in Grand Island, New York, just outside Buffalo.) Visiting Trinity in Pickerington brought back a lot of wonderful Buffalo memories.

Paul and I look forward to soon hosting a group from Trinity Pickerington. I invited Pastor Kelso to bring a busload to Capitol Hill. You’re also invited to bring a bunch from your church. We enjoy showing Christian hospitality and consider it a ministry in itself. It’s important for Christians to see their nation’s capital at work—especially from a ministry perspective. We enjoy greeting brothers and sisters in Christ and telling you what God is doing behind-the-scenes among our country’s top elected and appointed officials. For our Capital Club members, we’ll also arrange special VIP tours of our own ministry center and the nearby Supreme Court, U.S. Capitol and even the White House. You’ll see things from a perspective no tourist group ever gets to see! Just contact Allyson Black, our supporter relations director, at or call her at 202-546-8329, extension 104.

Did you get your tickets yet? Speaking of visiting Washington, why not time your visit to coincide with our 25th Anniversary Silver Celebration Gala this November 17? We really need you here to mark this watershed year—and to prayerfully look to the next quarter-century of outreach to the leaders of our land! Paul and I will review where the Lord has taken us these last 25 years together with you, our extended missionary team. (Our “EMT” for short!) More importantly, we’ll look to the future—the Lord willing and delaying His return. Our good friend and ally of many years, Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, will be our featured speaker, along with many others VIP guests. Please order your tickets on line—and consider sponsoring the event. Click here to do it now!

I know there’s a lot of concern for the future direction of our country. Christians are worried, but we ought not to be. God is sovereign and His will cannot be thwarted. Of course, we get what we deserve. Last night’s Values Voter Forum in Fort Lauderdale reminded all the candidates of what’s important, especially to Christian Americans. The Sanctity of Life topped the list. Our good friends “Ten Commandments Judge” Roy Moore of Alabama, Phil Jauregui of the Judicial Action Group (which meets regularly at our ministry center) and former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenshmidt, played major roles in last night’s questioning. (You can read about the forum at our site: Of course, I was disappointed that our friends did not get to question the “leading” candidates. Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mitt Romney had other engagements. I’ve met and talked with all but Giuliani, so there wouldn’t have been anything new for me, but I’d hoped others could see what I’ve seen in these candidates. There’s no mystery in why Rudy found an excuse to skip the Values Voters Forum—he just doesn’t share our values in the least bit. But Thompson is a mystery when it comes to his faith, McCain has a love-hate relationship with moral conservatives and Mitt Romney has so much more to say on all the paramount issues of concern to us. Too bad they missed this advantage enjoyed by Mike Huckabee, Tom Tancredo, Ron Paul, Sam Brownback, Duncan Hunter and newly declared candidates Alan Keyes and businessman John Cox. Still, these so-called “second tier” candidates play mainly a “prophetic” role in the campaign by holding the first tier candidates’ feet to the fire on the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage and the family and the public acknowledgement of God. I don’t expect the second tier to rise to first tier, but stranger things have happened in political campaigns, of course. Remember the unknown Arkansas governor who spent two terms in the White House?

I’ll talk about the Values Voter Forum on my Faith and Action Live Report available at our website each Wednesday. Oh, and while I’m on Wednesday events, let me tell you about last Wednesday and every Wednesday evening between now and November 14: I’m teaching at the New Antioch Baptist Church in Randallstown, Maryland, at the invitation of Pastor Kenneth Barney. This is an outstanding church and one that’s making a big difference for the Gospel in their city and in the world! Pastor Barney has hosted me in his pulpit a number of times, and we’ve traveled together to Africa twice. New Antioch is one of America’s truly great African-American congregations, and I’m delighted and humbled to serve them in ministry. My subject is “Thinking Biblically,” on how to form a worldview shaped by the Word of God. You’re invited to join us! Check out the church’s website at

For all the stuff that’s happening in Washington, watch our website. It’s a very active season of ministry for your missionary team at Faith and Action. Be back soon!

Rob Schenck
President, Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital
109 2nd Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Friday, September 07, 2007


The week began with intensive meetings to prayerfully map out our fall outreach. We’re also getting a lot of questions about presidential candidates. I know you’re wondering about Fred Thompson. My short answer is I’ve met him only twice. He’s congenial, compatible with conservatives, but unknown when it comes to personal faith. He was baptized in the church of Christ, a traditional, Bible-centered movement. Not-with-standing, Thompson has said little about any personal relationship with Christ. I’ll say more later today when I guest host the Adam McManus Show on KLSR Radio out of San Antonio. (3-6 PM Central - I’ll be remote in a studio here on Capitol Hill) You can listen online. I’ll talk about Thompson the third hour, 5-6 PM central.

This week included a visit from Bill Murray, president of the Religious Freedom Coalition and author of The Pledge. (I’ll also talk to Bill on KSLR today—2nd hour.) Bill brought three executives from AMG Publishers, the communications arm of AMG International, an evangelical missionary organization. These are important alliances, as the task of evangelizing is beyond any single ministry.

We also had a visit from Dr. James Hutson, chief of manuscripts for the Library of Congress. Dr. Hutson is one of America’s premier historians. He's been with us for the Reese Roundtable. Dr. Hutson spends his days prattling through original documents related to virtually every American president and an endless number of other luminaries from our country’s past. His groundbreaking work analyzing the original draft of Thomas Jefferson’s famous letter to the Danbury Association of Baptists has completely debunked the prevailing notion of the so-called “separation of church and state.”

This week I was back with our regular Thursday morning breakfast group that had been evicted from the US Capitol by the new congressional leadership. This assemblage of God and Country heroes (literally—many are war heroes) was unceremoniously kicked out of the room they had met in for over 35 years. No one was really mystified though. Our group was “notorious” for opening meetings in prayer and with the Pledge of Allegiance to “one nation, under God.” After a Herculean effort, the group is back, but only once a month.

Things wrap up today with another one-on-one with a leading US senator—then guest hosting the McManus show. Tomorrow I'll convene a ministers’ fellowship here at the ministry house. Monday will be very busy with an all-day prayer and fasting retreat only interrupted for me when I sit in on US Commander David Petraeus’s Iraq Report to Congress. At night I’ll help lead a vigil of prayer in front of the White House for threatened Iraqi Christians. If you haven't signed our petition , please do so before Monday!

See you next week!

Monday, September 03, 2007


Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

The summer is a difficult time for your team at Faith and Action. We enjoy our vacations as much as anyone, but it gets a little frustrating when some of us are on, some are off and the people we engage in ministry are doing the same! You may know that the entire US Congress goes on break in August, the Supreme Court justices leave town (and often the country) and even the President leaves for Camp David or Crawford, Texas. (That is, if he isn’t flying to Iraq—as he did this past week.)

Everybody’s back starting Tuesday, though, and that means we go into full swing here on Capitol Hill. Most of the day hours will be filled with meetings—getting back on track and up to the minute on all major developments, tracking ongoing ministry efforts and launching new ones. Most importantly, we will kick off our fall season with two major prayer emphases: All day Monday, September 10, for national repentance beginning in the church—with the people of God. Then, the same night, I will join Rev. Pat Mahoney outside the White House to lead a vigil of prayer for the situation in Iraq, our troops and especially the small community of Christians in that land.

Speaking of prayer, please remember Senator Larry Craig and his family. He did the right thing Saturday when he announced his resignation effective the end of this month. I hope he did it for the right reasons. In my public statement on the matter last week, I advised the Senator to seek help. Anyone struggling with this besetting sin, and who doesn’t understand its nature, is sure to fall again and again.

Unlike other sexual transgressions, this one is particularly harmful to spouses and other family members. Above all else, the Senator needs to give careful, prayerful attention to his interior life and family. While he emphasized that the country needs the full attention of a senator, I say he and his family need his full attention to resolve this very damaging behavior. The Senator needs spiritual and psychological help, while his family needs restorative pastoral counseling. All this takes a lot of time; years, not weeks or months. So I hope and pray that’s just what Senator Craig will do after he leaves office.

On this same subject, there’s been quite a lot of commentary on whether the set-up of Senator Craig by police was legitimate. Some have asked whether it’s even proper for police to be skulking in bathrooms. I see it differently. I think the police acted appropriately. Men hitting on strangers in public restrooms is far more than a nuisance. I don’t know about you, but I would find such cavorting in the stall next to me deeply disconcerting. Worse, let's say I was a teen-aged boy and the foot of a much older man crept under the stall wall and bumped mine, followed by the flash of a hand, I might be terrified. Given the compromising circumstances, it wouldn’t be so easy to “tell the guy waving his hand under the stall to buzz off,” as Slate national correspondent William Saletan wrote.

None of this is to mention the other dangers involved in restroom cruising, from irate “wrong hits” to sexually transmitted diseases. And again, I emphasize, all this in a bathroom—a place where people need to feel relatively safe, private and clean. (On that last point—well, I won’t even go there!)

I publicly asked Senator Craig to do the right thing. Whether that contributed in any part to his ultimate decision to step down, I don’t know. But since I asked him, I will also thank him: Thank you, Senator, for doing the right thing in this instance. You have my prayers and the prayers of countless others. Our greatest hope is that you will find freedom from whatever has you in bondage, that you will no longer perpetrate harmful acts, and that any who have been hurt by you will find healing and wholeness.

‘Nuff said. Let’s move on.

Two exciting opportunities to bring to your attention:

1) It’s unusual, but on Wednesday evening, September 12, I will begin teaching a ten-part weekly series of classes on “Thinking Biblically: How to Conform Our Lives to God’s Word.” (I’ve done this once before, for our friends at the Come Alive New Testament Church in Medford, New Jersey.) This time the venue is the dynamic New Antioch Baptist Church in Randallstown, Maryland. Senior Pastor Kenneth Barney is a dear friend and ministry partner with Faith and Action. I’m delighted to take on this vital subject in the context of such a vital church. If you’re within driving distance, please join us—Wednesday evenings, September 12 – November 14, 2007, 7:30 – 9:00 PM, New Antioch Baptist Church, 5609 & 5616 Old Court Road, Randallstown, Maryland 21244.

2) I’ll say it over and over—You, your family and friends are invited—no, urged—to join my brother and me and our families as we celebrate 25 years of uninterrupted service to our Lord Jesus Christ, Saturday, November 17, 2007. Special guest will be Jay Sekulow. Location is the Renaissance Hotel, downtown Washington, DC. See our website for details: Be there or be square!

That’s all for now. Over and out!