Wednesday, May 28, 2008


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

One of the great joys I have in this post is traveling to churches around the country, sharing what God is doing behind the scenes here in our nation’s capital. Sometimes I’m the guest preacher, sometimes a speaker for a missions convention or other special event, and sometimes I simply sit down with the pastor or missions committee members to explain the mission of Faith and Action and how it compliments the ministry of the local church.

Local churches—congregations—or parishes—whatever you want to call them—are vital to Faith and Action’s success. First, it helps us to get exposure. Much of what we do here in Washington is much too sensitive to broadcast widely. We need to “contain” the information that could compromise our access to important people and places.

One way to limit exposure is by restricting my report to a local congregation, again by way of preaching or speaking to a church group. (Maybe you’ve been present in a service when I’ve awkwardly asked the sound tech to stop recording, just to be sure delicate information doesn’t travel too far!)

Prayer support is another reason I spend so much time with local churches. Prayer is our lifeline. We depend completely on the prayers of God’s people. I know it’s been the intercession of the saints that has resulted in so many open doors on Capitol Hill, so many open hearts and minds among our elected and appointed officials, and so many extraordinary opportunities to adavcne the Gospel of Christ in the halls of government. (Prayer has also literally saved our lives—I’ll blog about that some day.)

Volunteers and donors are another reason. We need help here—from stuffing envelopes to doing missionary work among federal judges! Right now, we especially need basic help—a plumber, carpenter, electrician, painter, plasterer and a water sealant expert! Our buildings are over 100 years old and they’re showing their age! (If you’re licensed in these trades and could give a week of your time in exchange for a bed and dinner each day, give Peggy Birchfield of my office a call at 202-546-8329, extension 103!)

The local church is where we also meet virtually all of our high-end donors. Our ministry is built on a three-legged stool: Individual support (average annual gift to Faith and Action is $27 per year!), churches (most send monthly support, although more and more are sending it quarterly or annually) and major donors ($1000 or more per year).

My ministry visit to a church is generally the start of all three of these vitally important lifelines:

--I go to the church to preach or speak and an initial offering is received for Faith and Action. Then (as I always pray will happen) people will be burdened to support us and will take our literature to find out how. Almost without exception, a few people, often just one or two couples, will tell me they want to be part of our work in a special way, including an unusually high level of financial support. I generally spend personal time with these folks praying with them, answering their questions and explaining in great detail how and why we do what we do on Capitol Hill.

As you can see, the local church is fertile ground for us. And all this isn’t even to mention how refreshing it is for me to get “outside the Beltway” to get my mind and soul recalibrated!

You can help Faith and Action by introducing us to your pastor and church. If I’ve already been to your church, maybe it’s time for a return visit. If I haven’t been to your church, perhaps you’d take on a project to get me invited! I love to preach. In the course of a year I’ll be in just about every Christian church imaginable. Several pastors from leading churches of every denomination have put very generous words in writing about my ministry. (Often pastors want to know what their colleagues are saying about me before they take the risk of inviting me to their pulpit!)

Here’s are a few helpful hints in talking to your pastor about Faith and Action and me:

1)      Faith and Action is an independent Christian missionary outreach. We are NOT a lobbying group and we are NOT partisans. (We do not favor a political party.) We are NOT litigators—that is, we don’t sue people in court.

2)      We ARE evangelists, proclaiming and demonstrating God’s Truth to our nation’s top government officials.

3)      Our core values are the Sanctity of Life, the Sanctity of Marriage and the Public Acknowledgement of God.

4)      We are independently audited each year and an elected board of trustees governs us.

5)      Our volunteers and supporters come from virtually every Christian tradition.

6)      We have been a legal entity for 25 years and have spent the last 15 of those years on Capitol Hill.

7)      Our ministry center is located right across the street from the Supreme Court, one block from the US Capitol and ten minutes from the White House! We’re right in the center of the action!

Everything your pastor needs to know about Faith and Action or about inviting me to the church can be found at our website ( One thing to keep in mind: Most pastors don’t want to be pressured into having a guest they don’t know. (This is understandable, as one of the pastor’s primary responsibilities is to protect the “sheep.”) Instead of insisting the church should invite me, try to show how such a visit will compliment the pastor’s own ministry and satisfy the needs of the people of the church. I’ve met thousands of pastors and the majority of them care deeply about taking care of their flock. Yet, if enough people in the congregation want the kind of message and information I bring (which is also hopeful and uplifting), and you can demonstrate how Faith and Action can meet that desire, I’ll probably get the invitation from your pastor to come!

Arranging a visit for me to your church is really helpful to Faith and Action. Please prayerfully, sensitively and urgently work on this with your pastor and home church!

If you have any questions about this, write me at


Rev. Rob Schenck

Faith and Action

109 2nd Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002


Monday, May 26, 2008


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

(Wrote this yesterday but was late posting. 24 hours hasn’t changed much—so here it is.)

I’m back in an airline terminal awaiting my flight home after a fabulous three days with my long-time extended family at the equally fabulous Christian Assembly in Columbus, Ohio. Pastors Torry and Marlyn Gligora warmly received me, as did Pastor Paulette Farina. Paulette’s late husband, Pastor Sam Farina, went home to the Lord six months ago. He had pastored this extraordinary church for 41 years and left a towering legacy. This was a bittersweet reunion for me because it was my first return visit since Sam’s death.

Pastoral transitions are always difficult times for churches, but Christian Assembly is virtually unique. Pastor Torry was Sam’s close associate, confidant and friend of 33 years—remarkable by any standard. It’s made the transition of leadership much smoother. Still, while Pastor Paulette has for years exercised a stunningly successful ministry in her own right, especially in music and arts, she was still one with her husband. It’s a hard time for her to go it alone and she asked for your prayers.

Every visit I make to Christian Assembly, Columbus, is special and yields up delightful surprises but I saw something this time I hadn’t seen before. It was right in the front row—vivid and beautiful. It was four couples, two with their little children beside them. All four were interracial couples. What made this so unusual is that nothing is ever said about it. It simply doesn’t command special attention; it’s just part of the everyday life of this extraordinarily diverse congregation. Black, White and Asian not only easily and comfortably mix with each other, they actually blend with each other.

This is the ideal of the colorblind church. It’s the realization of Martin Luther King’s dream. More importantly, it’s the realization of the promise inherent in the Gospel: The creation of a new people, a new community—dare I say a new race. It is the formation of the People of God among whom there is no Jew or Greek. (See Galatians 3:28) Even the most cursory read of history will bear out the animosity between Jews and Gentiles in the ancient near east. The Day of Pentecost erased those institutional differences. There would be no “preferred” ethnicity. All those in Christ would be one.

Considering humankind has been vexed for so long by the enormous tensions between races, tribes and nationalities, the Gospel offers a tremendous gift! Imagine a world where race was invisible. Such a world would be free of a huge class of human conflicts. To get a glimpse of it, visit Christian Assembly. While some churches lecture on race, brag about what they intend to do about racial divides or rant and rave about how incurable racism is, the people of Christian Assembly just live out their lives free of race consciousness. They are brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of color or ethnic origin—and their sincerity jumps out from the first row!

God bless the beautiful and loving body of believers at Christian Assembly. As much as anything else, it stands as a testament to the man who knew no boundaries to Christ-like love, Sam Farina.

Thank you, Christian Assembly, for allowing me to be part of your blended community!

Your grateful missionary to elected and appointed officials,

Rev. Rob Schenck

Faith and Action

109 2nd Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002


Friday, May 23, 2008


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

I decided to go with a video blog today because I'm on the road in Columbus, Ohio, being hosted by the wonderful people of Christian Assembly on Karl Road. I've been coming and going from this church for 20 years and it never gets old! (Of course, that's how I feel about them. You'll have to ask them how they feel about me!)

If you're within driving distance of Columbus, come out to join us:

Christian Assembly
4099 Karl Rd.
Columbus, OH 43224

I speak at a nearby Christian school this afternoon at 2:00 (Tree of Life Academy) and then at the church tomorrow for a forum on the upcoming presidential election. But the big day is Sunday when I give the message and missionary field report at the morning service, 10:00. Check out their website at

Hope to see you at Christian Assembly, Columbus!

Your grateful missionary to elected and appointed officials,

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

Monday, May 19, 2008


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

The question hanging in the air after the California Supreme Court’s recent grenade lob into American family structure is, What do we do now? For an answer, I turn to nothing less bizarre than a Martin Scorsese film. Remember Gangs of New York? It was the unsettling and exceedingly violent film of five years ago, about the turf battles between mid-19th century Irish immigrants and long-established Nativists in Manhattan’s notorious Five Points slum. Like the recent There Will Be BloodGangs was another tour-de-force by actor Daniel Day-Lewis. In Gangs he plays Bill “The Butcher” Cutting, a brutal born-American warlord literally hell-bent on exterminating the newly arrived waves of Irish potato famine refugees. While the conflict was principally cultural and political, Scorsese casts it as religious since the Irish were very Catholic and the Nativists very Protestant. Ironically, the solution to the vexing and bloody feud would, in reality, be a religious one.

The film follows a compelling true story (albeit with great artistic license) that unfortunately ends romantically but frustratingly unfinished. What really happened to close this miserable chapter in New York’s story? (If I‘ve lost you, please rent the movie. Believe it or not, you can get a lot of meaning from it, including some fairly good theology—or perhaps I should say, harmartiology –from the Greekhamartia, "missing the mark" or "sin." Once you’ve seen it, you’ll know why I keep focusing on, What really happened in the end?)

What really happened to end the Five Points’ turf war wouldn’t play well in Hollywood. First, it didn’t happen overnight. Idealists, artists and poets want peace and harmony over a single campfire. That doesn’t happen in the real world. What did happen, though, was none-the-less amazing. It’s best summarized in the words of then New York Catholic archbishop and Irish-born John Hughes. He was asked what he would do about the mess and answered curtly, “We are going to teach them their religion.” That, in fact, is what happened. Both priests and ministers were brought in to teach their respective co-religionists what the Gospel of Christ really commands. This spiritual reformation became a moral reformation. The results were dramatic—not only did the violence and hatred abate, but the enormously disadvantaged Irish would quickly rise from humiliating abasement to prominence in the community.

Why am I telling you this tale? Because the same solution applies now in the aftermath of the California High Court order on so-called “same-sex marriage.” What we are witnessing is the delayed evidence of a great demoralization in American culture. Supreme Court justices, whether on the state or federal level, reflect the general condition of society. We got the dreadful Dred Scott decision 150 years ago because American society was so morally degraded it would abide slavery and the dehumanization of blacks. In 1944, we got Korematsu because the culture would permit internment camps for Asians. Now we get Consolidated Marriage Cases out of California because the Justices, like the people of California, are ignorant of what marriage really is.

What’s the solution? “We will teach them about marriage.” Marriage is a sacred, time-honored and time-tested, universally beneficial institution involving a man and a woman pledged to each other in a unique covenantal relationship that includes physical, emotional and spiritual union with a view towards the raising of children as father and mother, respectively. Marriage is the foundation for what has proven over and over to be the best possible environment for child development: the married, two-parent of opposite-sex family structure.

Could it be that California’s Supreme Court justices don’t know this about marriage? You betcha! And could that be because California’s citizens don’t know this about marriage? Absolutely!

What then do we do? TEACH THEM ABOUT MARRIAGE! The most important and effective teaching tool is, of course, role modeling, but theory is also important. Who best to handle this material? Preachers, Bible and Sunday school teachers and religion instructors; parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles; even newlyweds! Our churches, synagogues and other houses of worship must become platforms for critical information about-- and joyous promotion of--Holy Matrimony.

It’s time for your church to have a special “Celebrate Marriage Sunday” that includes renewal of marriage vows--and a class on the joy and challenge of life-long marriage. It’s overtime for your home group or Bible study to take on this critical subject. What about your book club or discussion group? We need to pass around good material on marriage via E-mail and the Internet. And, let’s bring back anniversary parties—they’re showcases for enduring marriages.

All this to say that this is a wake-up call! Of course, if you live in California, you must immediately participate in the movement to pass a marriage amendment to the state constitution preserving the sanctity of this bond as between one man and one woman. That goes, too, for citizens of every state—because if this decision is allowed to stand, it will further encourage more states to do the same.

There’s a lot to do here—but the specter for success is good. Remember, people often need to reach rock bottom before they look upward. California and some other states have hit bottom on the holiness of marriage. There’s nowhere to go now but up!

I’m working with the team that used this same strategy in Hawaii 15 years ago and successfully overcame their morally corrupt court by passing an airtight constitutional amendment. The most important outcome, though, is what 19th Century British activist Sir William Wilberforce called, “the reformation of manners.” For him it meant eradicating the slave trade, caring for the poor and even protecting animals from abuse.

Today we might call this, “The reformation of lifestyle.” For our times this means welcoming into life and protecting every human being, from the very youngest to the very oldest. It means watching out for the sick and disabled. And, of course, it means preserving and protecting the incomparably magnificent and enormously beneficial estate if marriage.

Are we up to the challenge? May God find us faithful!

Your missionary to elected and appointed officials,


Rev. Rob Schenck

Faith and Action

109 2nd Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002


Friday, May 16, 2008


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

"And tidal waves couldn't save the world
From Californication."
-- From "Californication" by Red Hot Chili Peppers

My play on words is actually a hijacking of an album title by the alternative rock-pop band Red Hot Chili Peppers. (They released "Californication" in 1999.) Not only couldn't tidal waves save the world from what four justices of the California Supreme Court did yesterday when they ordered their state to issue so-called "same-sex marriage" certificates, but the act itself is, in fact, the beginning of a tidal wave. This decision is far more significant and consequential than the more predictable (and unappealing) but similar ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. California is the largest state in the Union. In this case, the majority of the Justices are Republican appointees. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is a Republican and has promised to obey the order. As one court watcher observed, this has completely changed the legal--and I'd add, political--landscape when it comes to same-sex marriage.

Now, before you jump to conclusions and accuse me of simply gay bashing, please read my reflections on homosexuality and homosexual relationships soon to be posted at my other blog: I think you'll be surprised. For now, though, this posting deals with the California Court's opinion and its consequences there and around the country. So, I continue:

What the Court did in this case was redefine "marriage." Marriage is universally understood to be a ritual formalization of the intimate complimentarity between a man and a woman with a view toward procreation and / or the raising of children. Children need male and female role models to understand how human beings and human society work. Of course, as Christians, we understand and believe strongly that this is God's will and design, and that anything else is violative of this rule. You don't need to go that far, though. Marriage as between one man and one woman has been practiced by virtually every civilization since time immemorial. Its supreme benefit to individuals, to families and to culture is undeniable. The severely negative consequences of ignoring or deliberately rejecting conventional marriage and family structures is painfully obvious and can be seen from the anguish of plural families around the world to the single-parent homes of innercity neighborhoods in the U.S.

Marriage is not a legal arrangement of convenience. It is a recognition that men and women are different and in that difference improve one another. They each bring unique contributions that are uniquely strengthened and maximized through the marriage covenant and subsequent marital relationship. There are some things men do better than women and many things women do better than men. I know absolutes aren't in vogue but there are some things men can only do and some things women can only do. (Think anatomy here!) So, what four judges did in this opinion was to engage in a grand exercise of pathological denial. They said two men or two women can have exactly the same relationship that a man and woman can have. That's patently false.

A tidal wave (more correctly, a tsunami) can be powerfully destructive to anything in its path. The ruling of the California Supreme Court on same-sex marriage is a cultural tsunami, but here's a little fact of earth science: The backwash of a tidal wave is more powerful than its initial swash. A tidal wave-tsunami deposits material when it comes ashore, but its backwash removes more material than it deposits. The California Court's tidal wave decision awaits the inevitable backwash of the citizenry. As was the case in Hawaii a decade ago, when citizens there reacted to a similar court opinion by passing an airtight constitutional amendment preserving traditional marriage, this California ruling may just be the Big Wave moral conservatives have been hoping for!

More later . . .

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

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


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

Last night I had the time of my life. No, it wasn’t some swank soirée on the Hill with movers and shakers—it was a night with the worn and weary men of the Central Union Mission.

The “mission men” have long and tragic stories. They wear those stories in the deep crevices of their leathered faces and in their rumpled clothing. Many of them suffer from alcoholism, drug addictions, violence and mental illness.

My responsibility was to preach their evening service in the chapel. It’s a bit of a raucous group, but only because of half the men. These are the ones who “call out” to the preacher in typical black church style, or yell and even complain. The others keep silent—utterly silent—and stoic or asleep.

I’ve gone to the mission before and I’ll do it again for two reasons:

One is, the Lord commands it (see Matthew 25:36). He instructs us to visit those in prison. The “mission,” of course, is only sort of a prison—but a very gracious one. Of course, anyone can leave if they wish. Some are put out prematurely for flagrantly violating the stipulated rules upon entrance. Yet, for the most part, the mission is a tough-love, regimented environment for broken human beings. Some feel trapped there because they have no other recourse.

Second is because I love being with these guys. They often have intriguing life stories and I collect those stories like stamps! (Others have sagas you don’t even want to ask about!)

Suffice it to say, the Central Union Mission is a wonderful collection of humanity that is delightfully transparent, genuine and humble. In other words, they are “real people.” The world is made up of a lot of pompous, pretentious people impressed with themselves, so, it does me good to get out with the “real people” and continue to experience the world from their perspective.

Because I don’t have a lot of money to give away (beyond my tithe, outgoing missionary support and my own little outreach project to a homeless woman at the Union Station rail depot), I try to offer something of intangible value to these men, but something that will last forever. I offer them God’s love through His Word as I preach it. More importantly, I give them respect and acknowledgment of their human dignity because they are made in the image of God.

What does it really cost us to show a person respect? A deferential handshake, a “Sir,” or “Madam,” a simple compliment: “You’re looking good my friend!” “Man, what a handsome smile you have!” “With that voice, you could sell anything. That’s worth money, man!” “God bless you, Sir!”

When somebody’s used to being blown off, ignored, insulted, demeaned, treated like a child or as if they don’t matter or don’t even exist, these simple verbal affirmations go a very, very long way.

Last night, one man, a disabled Viet Nam vet, cried when I addressed him as Sir and thanked him for donning the uniform and risking his life in service to our country and me as a citizen.

Earlier in the evening, as I had made my way over to the mission, my cab driver had asked, “Why would you go there?” It was clear he thought it highly unusual—maybe even improper—for a man in a coat and tie from Capitol Hill to go to such an unseemly place.

“Because Jesus is there,” I explained. Then I gave him a preview of my sermon. For my text, I took St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 2, verses 5 – 10. Part of that passage reads, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”

I told the cab driver, and later the men in chapel, “When I read these verses, I think of the lady at the US Supreme Court I call my ‘Kitchen Mama.’ She cooks up the best eggs you’ll ever eat, but she’ll never have a title beyond ‘cook.’ She’ll never wear a fancy robe, sit on a high mahogany bench or have reporters and photographers chasing after her, but she’s more like Jesus Christ than the Chief Justice of the United States. The Bible says Jesus emptied himself of his reputation and took on the form of a servant. That’s where you’ll find Jesus, among the servants!”

I got much more out of last night than I know those men did. A visit to a mission, especially after a day on Capitol Hill, centers me spiritually and in every other way.  I love the Central Union Mission!

All this has made me think about the mentally ill homeless lady outside Union Station. When I passed her yesterday, she looked up from the broken magnifying glass she uses to read discarded newspapers and said, “Hi, Honey. You got anything for me today?”

She always asks so innocently. (Don’t worry, I’ve shed all my naiveté about homeless people—there are most certainly victims and victimizers among them. I have an almost airtight method for identifying the con artists, but that’s for another blog post.)

This time I said what I always do, “Of course, Madam, you’re my favorite spiritual partner.”

“How’s that?” She responded this time with a big smile.

“Because Jesus said there’s two things that really matter. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and the second is like it; you shall love your neighbor as yourself. When I take care of you, my neighbor, it’s like loving God Himself, and I like to do both.”

“Thank you, baby,” she said matter-of-factly, putting the $5 bill I gave her into her frayed bag. Then she went back to reading.

Of all the stuff I experience here with presidents, members of Congress and Supreme Court Justices, the men at the mission and the lady at Union Station bring me closest to God. They are the things that keep me focused and centered.

Gotta’ go now—I’m taking a small group to the Chinese Embassy to pray for the victims of the recent earthquake. Please pray our presence and our words will be a witness to this atheist communist regime—and more importantly—a sign of God’s love in Christ for the Chinese people!


Back later . . .


Rev. Rob Schenck

Faith and Action

109 2nd Street, NE

Washington, DC 20002


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


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

You may have been with us last November for the 25th anniversary of our ministry. It was a very special occasion for my brother, Paul, and me.

Among the guests that evening were Charles and Belinda Nestor, long-time friends, soul mates and allies. (He was the minister in the wheelchair who spoke so eloquently.) Paul and I met Charles and Belinda when he was pastor of a church in Niagara Falls, New York, near where we grew up. A short time later, Charles was elected president of the organization I served back then, a church-sponsored residential program for recovering drug addicts. We’ve worked together on one thing or another ever since.

When Cheryl and I accepted the call to minister in the nation’s capital, we moved to Manassas, Virginia, almost 40 miles from Capitol Hill, principally because Charles and Belinda lived in Manassas. By then he was pastor of the burgeoning Manassas Assembly of God, one of the truly great churches in the Washington metropolitan area.

Charles and Belinda helped my family and me immensely as we settled into a strange and extremely demanding place. They offered encouragement, love, prayers, information and money—yes, lots of money! (And we needed it—we arrived here in Washington from Buffalo, New York, and were in constant sticker shock over everything from the cost of a house to the cost of dry cleaning!)

A great sadness came when Charles, who had long suffered from multiple sclerosis, was forced to retire by his disease. They went to Florida, which had always been a second home to them.

By then I was so used to having Charles by my side whenever we had a big event or challenging situation in Washington, that I was disoriented by his absence. I missed him terribly. Over time, we would see each other once or twice a year, but it would never be like it was before.

Charles has done so much for me over the 31 years we’ve known each other. He has a brilliant mind, is a consummate preacher and is a terribly realistic guy with both feet planted firmly on the earth. (Well, not really anymore—MS has forced those feet to be firmly planted in a wheelchair.)

Charles is now the Senior Fellow for Public Policy at the National Clergy Council, the group my brother and I helped to form in the late 1980’s. From that “platform,” Charles now gives sharp, biblically informed insight and commentary on the crucial issues of our day. He does a lot of media; maybe you’ve seen him lately.

In any case, it’s now my turn to help Charles. Life has become much more complicated and difficult for Charles and Belinda as his MS has advanced. She is no longer able to help manage his weakened body. He’s had a number of falls that have become more and more dangerous with each episode.

One of the solutions to Charles' deteriorating physical condition—and one both he and his therapists have demonstrated will improve his life, his health and his ministry productivity—is a specially equipped van. Transportation in an electric wheelchair is problematic. Getting in and out of a conventional vehicle is downright dangerous for him. Knowing this, Manassas Assembly of God, the church he served so well for so many years, has raised $20,000 toward the nearly $50,000 cost of this equipment. I want to match their $20,000 so we can speed Charles toward the van he needs.

Will you help me help Charles and Belinda in their urgent need? If each of our supporters gave just $1 to the cause, we’d actually exceed the goal. Of course, as you and I well know, that won’t happen. Not everyone will, or even can, participate. So, would you kindly make up the difference? Would you make a tax-deductible contribution right now online at our website——of maybe $30, $50, even $100 or more? If you simply add $1 to any amount you give (e.g., $31, $51, $101) we will immediately know you want it to go to Charles' van (it's like a code) and your money will go 100% toward the purchase of this much-needed vehicle.

I can’t thank you enough for helping me to help a friend. Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Well, this is hardly laying down my life, but I would for Charles if I could. Raising some money is cheap in comparison.

Once we get the van for Charles, I’ll send you a photo of him in it!

Thanks for taking this request prayerfully and seriously.

Your grateful missionary to elected and appointed officials,


Rev. Rob Schenck

Faith and Action

109 2nd Street, NE

Washington, DC 20002

Friday, May 09, 2008


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

Well, not exactly all over Creation, but I will be at Creation—Northeast, that is. If you’ve been there, you know Creation is the biggest, best and oldest Christian music festival in the world. If you haven’t been to Creation—you need to go! Make this year your year to be at Creation!!

You actually have two choices: Creation ’08 Northeast (where I’ll be, in Mount Union, Pennsylvania) and Creation ’08 Northwest, in Moses Lake, Washington. (I call Moses Lake’s gorgeous gorge the Grand Canyon in miniature!)

Creation co-founder Harry Thomas is a great friend to Paul and me, and a trustee of Faith and Action. Harry and his wife Margery are two of the most wonderful people in our universe. Besides being a talented musician himself, Harry is a retired pastor, missionary leader and Christian humanitarian—building orphanages and schools in Ghana and Haiti, and singularly boosting Compassion International’s child sponsorship program to exponential levels.

The Creation festival lasts four days, Wednesday, June 25 – Saturday, June 28, with an optional Sunday morning worship for stragglers who stay on. Creation is fabulous—but rustic--very "outdoorsey!" It’s a true camping experience. As you crest a hill outside the tiny hamlet of Mount Union, PA, you suddenly come upon a gigantic open field that always looks to me like a Christian refugee camp. (But much cleaner—yes, there are modern showers and bathrooms.) More and more people seem to be bringing RV’s. If, like me, that’s your style of camping, Creation can accommodate your machine.

In any case, I hope you’ll at least come on Saturday because that’s when I’m doing my seminar. This year I’ll address the sanctity of life in a session entitled, “It Has Fingernails!" I'm aiming it at young people (the vast population group at Creation) but more mature adults will like this message, too.

My seminar's at 3:00 in the afternoon and lasts about 45 minutes. I’ll also have a booth in the artists’ area (though I am hardly an artist) where we’ll feature the official launch of two new weblogs: and While this blog will continue to deal mostly with happenings here at Faith and Action, “” will allow me a forum to fully explore deeper subjects. My prayer is you’ll be helped and even delightfully surprised by what you find there. It’s not up and fully operative yet, but you can get a look at the framework at

Please check out all the reports on recent Faith and Action events at our website: There’s been a lot going on lately. And, if you happen to be a pastor in town for Watchmen on the Wall, please come by today (Friday, May 9) at any time, 9-9, for a quick tour of our ministry center and a conversation about what’s going on behind the scenes—especially with the presidential campaigns and at the Supreme Court. (Which, of course, is just across the street, so you can see that, too!)

OK, I’ve typed enough. Please pray for us—these are very intense days in Washington. We’re grateful for your partnership and support!

Your Missionary to elected and appointed officials,

Rob Schenck

Faith and Action

109 2nd St, NE

Washington, DC 20002


Tuesday, May 06, 2008


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

Until Rev. Jeremiah Wright came to Washington, I was busy doing the following:

- Working the National Bible Reading Marathon on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol

- Developing legal strategies for the two big cases surrounding the public display of the Ten Commandments and the impending ruling against “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

- Continuing our efforts at ministering to the Supreme Court justices

- Prayerfully framing my talk for next month’s huge Creation Music Festival in Mt. Union Pennsylvania where I’ll speak on the Sanctity of Marriage

But now, in the Post Wright world everything is overshadowed by his much too memorable theological and polemical thunder. (Though all the above projects continue apace.) Jeremiah Wright has indeed taken the country by storm. He was the leading news story for more than a week, an absolute eternity by journalistic measure.

I have received hundreds of E-mails on Wright and his liberation theology. Dozens of reporters, editors and producers have called me. I’ve done several interviews about both for television, radio and print media.

Of course, if this were simply about theology the story would have quickly been relegated to the dusty, musty halls of academia. What’s really keeping this story alive is the question surrounding Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s relationship to Wright. This is a legitimate question, but for me it takes a little bit of a different turn.

I do think this is all about theology, the church and specifically, the black church. From my vantage point, these are the things that really matter. Partisan politics is predictably tempestuous, rancorous and filled with combat. Any weapon is fair to use, including one’s church affiliation, but for me, the critical questions are what Wright actually preaches and teaches and how that affects those formed under his religious tutelage.

I explore a lot of this in a series of recorded phone conversations with experts on the subjects of theology and the black church. They are posted at and (More installments will go up soon.) Please listen to these brief exchanges; I think you’ll find them enlightening.

As far as what we will do going forward on this: 1) We will continue to track and expose Reverend Wright and liberation theology, 2) We will continue to counter this “poison” (as one African-American scholar called it) and 3) We will continue to put forward the positive message of Christian faith.

My essay, “Why We’re Concerned About Wright and His Theology” (again, at explains the reasons behind giving so much attention to this subject. Please read it and pass it along to concerned family, friends and fellow church members.

While I’m on this, let me set one thing straight: I do not disrespect Jeremiah Wright. He is an obviously intelligent, accomplished individual who is extraordinarily savvy about dealing with the media. He is also a man my senior in years and in ministry experience, so I will continue to be be deferential and civil in my challenges to him. I will also pray for him, his family and all those affected by him.

I do believe Wright is wrong. (I love that play on his name!) He is wrong on his understanding of God, the Christian faith and biblical religion. He is also supremely wrong on the paramount moral issues: The Sanctity of Life (he is for wholly unrestricted abortion and passionately defends Roe v. Wade) and the Sanctity of Marriage (he performs so-called “same-sex” weddings).

Barack Obama’s inexplicable long and continued close association with Wright will keep interest in liberation theology alive for a long time to come. Should Obama win the presidency, it will light Wright’s afterburners. The result will be an ever-greater interest in his peculiar brand of theology and ultimately a wider embrace of it—including here on Capitol Hill. This takes Wright, his black liberation theology and his ultra-liberal church from a religious sideshow to the religious main stage.

The concerns of others about Wright and the danger of his theology have led to some unlikely back-room conversations among Christian leaders concluding it would be better for Democrat-leaning Evangelicals, Catholics and other religious conservatives to vote for Hillary Clinton in the upcoming primaries. The reasons they give me for saying so: She doesn’t help propel Wright to national religious stardom and his heresy with him.

I never thought I’d hear pro-Hillary talk in religiously conservative circles, but I am now. I think I’m having a Roger Poger upside down day!

Be back . . .

Rev. Rob Schenck

109 2nd St, NE

Washington, DC 20002


Thursday, May 01, 2008


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

I'm thumb-typing on my Blackberry hand-held as I sit in the stately Caucus Room of the US Cannon office building adjacent to the Capitol here in Washington.

In just a few moments Shirley Dobson will open the gathering and we will do what we we're here to do: Pray!

I've participated in these gatherings for several years now in addition to my usual pilrimage to the US Supreme Court where I lead the only National Day of Prayer observance at the seat of the Judicial Branch.

This is a wonderful exercise and I have no doubt God is pleased with it. As I sit here I think what this country would be like if it were to ban such prayer gatherings. We've teetered on the edge of that abyss more than once. God help us in His mercy to remain faithful to Him!

They're calling us to order so I better go. I'll be back to you later in the day. I go immediately from here to close the Bible Reading Marathon at the Capitol and then immediately to the Court to pray there.

Stand by for a full report at end-of-day!


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