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10,000 Cubans Attend First Open Air Evangelical Rally

June 30, 2012 --

By Bright Hope,

Bright Hope’s church partners in Cuba held their first outdoor evangelistic meeting in recent history with 10,000 people reported in attendance. Crowds from the city of Santa Lucia located in the district of Rafael Freyre in the Holguín Province of Cuba overflowed the large public square. The sky turned black, clouds started to roll in and lightning hit the ground as the event was about to begin. Spectators opened their umbrellas to prepare for the storm, but believers started to raise their hands to the sky in worship. One Christian replied, “Our God isn’t going to let this storm happen; it’s been a long time we have waited for this revival.” His prayer was answered and the storm passed. The local pastor’s wife, Mariza Proenza, said, ‘The hand of God covered the city!”

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Catholic schools rebounded by vouchers

June 29, 2012 --

By Guest Opinion,

Catholic Schools are seeing a turnaround across the nation and also in Oregon (see article Salem Catholic school triples.). Belwo is an article from the Wall Street Journal on the impact that vouchers have on rising enrollment in Catholic schools.

“For the first time in decades, Catholic education is showing signs of life. Driven by expanding voucher programs, outreach to Hispanic Catholics and donations by business leaders, Catholic schools in several major cities are swinging back from closures and declining enrollment.Chicago Catholic elementary schools saw enrollment increase 3% this year and 1% last year—the first two-year growth spurt since 1965…But lately, Catholic schools have slowed their overall rate of decline. This year, two million children attended Catholic schools, down 1.7% from last, but less than the average yearly decline of 2.5% over the past decade.”

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OSU athletes bless Ethiopia

June 28, 2012 --

The student-athletes arrive in Silti and get the “welcome” of a lifetime.
By Robin Munro, Senior Writer
Holt International

This week Holt Senior Writer Robin Munro joins 14 Oregon State University (OSU) athletes traveling to Silti, Ethiopia. On this exciting trip, the athletes — volunteers with OSU’s Beavers Without Borders — will build homes for struggling families in Holt’s family preservation program. Initiated by former OSU football player Taylor Kavanaugh, Beavers Without Borders is an organization that gives OSU athletes the opportunity to travel to developing countries to help families in need.

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Atheist blogger embraces Catholicism, shares conversion on CNN

June 27, 2012 --

By Guest Contributor,
(CNN interview posted below)

Atheist blogger Leah Libresco surprised her skeptic community when she announced a new article entitled “This is my last post for the Patheos Atheist Portal.” In her article she shares on how she wrestled as an atheist over the issue of morality and became convinced on certain truths in the Catholic explanations. Here is an excerpt from her controversial article testimony.

“Then, the night before Palm Sunday (I have excellent liturgical timing), I was up at my alma mater for an alumni debate. I had another round of translating a lot of principles out of Catholic in order to use them in my speech, which prompted the now traditional heckling from my friends. After the debate, I buttonholed a Christian friend for another argument. During the discussion, he prodded me on where I thought moral law came from in my metaphysics. I talked about morality as though it were some kind of Platonic form, remote from the plane that humans existed on. He wanted to know where the connection was…”

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Men adrift in fake love, fake war

June 26, 2012 --

By Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministries, Sandy Oregon
Author of Heaven

I have lamented before about the large number of young men who are not readers, and who therefore are not readers of God’s Word or great books that can deepen their walk with God, and prepare them to be Christ-centered leaders of their families and churches. I have also commented on the addiction to video games, movies, TV and social media that has drained them of time and interest to discover the virtues and satisfaction of reading and sustained contemplative thought. I have also addressed the pornography problem, which has shipwrecked countless young men in our culture, and in our churches…Russell Moore has written an excellent and important article addressing some of these issues. I highly recommend that every parent, church leader, young man and young woman read it and take it to heart. We can break the chains and reverse the trend, but only if we first recognize the reality and depth of the problem we are facing among young men in our culture and in our churches:

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Oregon charities wrestle with health mandate

June 25, 2012 --

By Kathryn Hickok
Cascade Policy Institute

Fifteen million. That is the number of meals Blanchet House of Hospitality estimates it has served to the needy in Portland since 1952. Blanchet House originated as a Catholic social and service group started by University of Portland students in 1938. Today, Blanchet serves an estimated 700 to 900 people every day in Old Town/Chinatown. If fifteen million people stood next to each other, the distance would stretch from about the North Pole to the Equator.

Nearly forty years ago, a Salem priest wanted “to provide a safe and loving home” for pregnant teenage mothers so they wouldn’t believe their only option was an abortion. The Father Taaffe Foundation says: “They were given a home, not just an address. They were treated with respect, love and care, some for the first time in their lives. They were given a sense of safety, structure, and direction; an example of family life and hope for the future.”

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Catholics begin prayer vigil for freedom

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A Fortnight for Freedom in western Oregon
By Portland Archdiocese,

Catholics in western Oregon will join with Catholics around the United States and with people of other faiths to observe a “Fortnight for Freedom.” The Fortnight will be observed from June 21 until July 4, 2012. These two weeks are a time for prayer, study and discussion concerning the religious freedoms protected by the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution. In the Archdiocese of Portland, Archbishop John G. Vlazny will lead a Holy Hour at St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (NW 18th and Couch Streets, Portland) on Thursday, June 28 at 7:30 pm. Many parishes will include special prayers at Masses to pray for the preservation of religious freedom in this country, and groups of parishes in the Archdiocese will offer opportunities to join with neighboring Churches for ecumenical prayer services.

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Supreme Court rules on TV obscenity case

June 23, 2012 --

Court rules on obscenity. NBC News highlights what the court said and did not say.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Heroic rescue of Iraqi Christian peaceworker — new book

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The ‘Good News’ in Iraq — Journalist Recounts Rescue of Christian Peacemakers During ‘Shock and Awe’ and Returns Seven Years Later
Mike Virgintino,

Shortly after the bombs started to fall on Baghdad during March 2003, three U.S. peacemakers — Reverend Weldon Nisly of Seattle Mennonite Church, Shane Claiborne of The Simple Way community in Philadelphia (a New Monasticism movement) and Indiana farmer Cliff Kindy — piled into a taxi along with South Korean pacifist Ba Sang-hyun and an Iraqi driver. Several hours west of Baghdad, racing for the Jordanian border with the wreckage all around them, their taxi crashed into a ditch. All were injured, with two of the Americans severely hurt. The nearest hospital, in the Sunni city of Rutba, was only six miles away. But the town and its hospital had been bombed.

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EMO applauds Obama's undocumented children order

June 22, 2012 --

By Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced that it will provide deferred action, a discretionary form of relief, for certain undocumented young people who were brought to the United States as children. As a result of this executive order, an estimated 800,000 young people nationwide will no longer have to live with the fear of deportation. Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon welcomes this announcement.

In order to qualify for deferred action, individuals must demonstrate that they (1) came to the United States before the age of 16; (2) have continuously lived in the United States for a least five years prior to June 15, 2012, and are currently present in the United States; (3) are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; (4) have a clean criminal record; and (5) are not above the age of 30.

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