Sunday, March 23, 2008


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

That's right: Just before their Easter break, each and every member of the United States Congress--435 members of the house of Representatives and 100 members of the Senate--received a hand-delivered packet of materials from Faith and Action that included a full explanation of the Christian Gospel. You can see exactly what was in the packet at our website.

We hand-delivered these materials because it's really the only way to get them through to the actual recipients. Mail to congressional offices has always been fraught with problems, but since 9-11, it's almost assured that mail like ours will not reach its destination. First, it's routed off-site to a military base where it's tested for dangerous substances or enclosures. If it ever makes its way out of there, it's received by staff who use an essentially "cut and paste" process to respond. (Depending on the nature of the originating correspondence, young staffers generally pick from a menu of prepared sentences or paragraphs pertaining to the matter at hand.) Packages and printed materials are more often than not discarded.

Hand-delivery by-passes both of these steps. Generally, the package is received by the front-desk clerk and routed directly to the in-office sorter who in turn routes it directly to the member's desk. (In Capitol Hill lingo, a member of Congress--either a representative or senator--is generally referred to simply as "a member" or "the member.") Our congressional contacts confirm most of the packets do land where intended. The acknowledgment letters we eventually get from members every year indicate that, too. We'll soon post whatever notes we receive this year at our site. Some of them can be quite touching.

Over the years we've only had a few members of congress refuse the Easter / Resurrection packets--and the same goes for the similar deliveries we make just before Christmas. For the most part members are at least cordial if not enthusiastic. Our next delivery will be the Christmas package in early December. (It's not too early to pray for it's success!)

Not much more to tell you today because we were on the same Easter break as Congress last week. (Do check out the soon-to-be-posted article at our site on Rev. Pat Mahoney's success in defeating the rule banning Stations of the Cross at certain federal buildings. God bless Pat for taking on another limitation to our religious liberty!) The Easter break is one of the few luxuries our staff enjoys. Otherwise, during normal times, everyone works very hard for long days. Of course, we're back in full swing starting today. I leave tomorrow for meetings in Texas and return Thursday for the big planning session on this year's U.S. Capitol Bible Reading Marathon. More on that later this week . . .

Thanks for praying. Thanks for helping. Thanks for being a friend of this ministry!

Your grateful missionary to elected and appointed officials,

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