Author Archives: Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield
BURLINGTON, Vt., Oct. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF) began deliberations today in Burlington, Vermont in advance of issuing a report to President Obama and Congress on a national strategy to eliminate child abuse and neglect fatalities. The meeting took place one day after the Commission heard from local, state and tribal stakeholders from the Burlington, Vermont region.
The Commissioners met as a body for the first time to begin deliberating on key questions related to how federal, state, and local governments define and count child abuse fatalities. Some of the key questions they reviewed include:
- What are the purposes of counting child abuse and neglect fatalities?
- What data on child abuse and neglect fatalities are currently collected?
- What are the limitations and economic impact of our current data collection efforts?
- What strategies could be implemented to improve the counting of child abuse and neglect fatalities?
- Does defining child abuse and neglect fatalities need to be standardized?
According to Dr. David Sanders, Chairman of the Commission, “We are beginning our deliberation process with a focus on counting, because we all agree that we cannot solve a problem this complex until we agree it exists. And that begins by defining exactly what constitutes a child abuse or neglect fatality. When we understand how these deaths occur, we can develop more effective strategies to prevent them. It is not enough to agree that a death occurred. Information about the circumstances around that death shows us which risk factors were present. These risk factors can then be used, in conjunction with real-time data, to identify other children who are at increased risk of harm — and to prevent future deaths by offering timely services to their families or moving the children to a safe environment.
Commissioner Teri Covington summarized the data that the Commission has received to date on how to quantify child abuse and neglect fatalities. “It is estimated that the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), which defines cases of child abuse and neglect based on state-specific statutes, currently undercounts the number of fatalities by as much as fifty percent, according to numerous studies,” she noted. “There is little consistency in which fatalities are being counted, which affects both the validity and reliability of the current system. Our challenge is to identify ways not just to more accurately count fatalities, but to verify data through multiple sources and a multi-disciplinary approach that is standardized across states and localities.”
The Commission discussed the contention that while most instances of “physical abuse” were readily identifiable, it was the category of “neglect” deaths that was more difficult to define and classify. They also discussed the recommendation suggested by many experts and stakeholders who presented to the Commission that the development of uniform, operational definitions for child maltreatment fatalities based on a public health model would be an important step to more accurately counting those deaths. They concluded their initial day of deliberations with a focus on the issue of confidentiality and the challenges it presents to a more cohesive system of data sharing.
CECANF was established by Public Law 112-275 (112th Congress), the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012, and has spent the past six months gathering detailed information and insight related to federal policy, research, and practice associated with child abuse and neglect fatalities. To date, the Commission has hosted public meetings in San Antonio, TX; Tampa, FL; Detroit, MI; and Denver, CO. One more public meeting is planned for 2014, to take place in Burlington, VT on October 23-24, 2014.
The commission is charged with the study of:
- The use and effectiveness of federally funded child protective and child welfare services
- Best practices for and barriers to preventing child abuse and neglect fatalities
- The effectiveness of federal, state, and local data collection systems, and how to improve them
- Risk factors for child maltreatment
- How to prioritize prevention services for families with the greatest needs
The legislation mandates that the commission submit a report to the president and Congress on these issues within two years (with the potential to extend the deadline by an additional year). The report will detail specific recommendations for strategies to better track and eliminate child abuse and neglect fatalities.
About The Commission
The Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities is a federal agency established by legislation to study and make recommendations on eliminating child abuse and neglect fatalities. The Commission was formed as a result of the “Protect Our Kids Act” and is made up of six Presidential appointees and six Congressional appointees. For more information, please go to http://eliminatechildabusefatalities.sites.usa.gov.
SOURCE Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities
THIS ARTICLE PROVIDES SOME INTERESTING INSIGHTS ON ISLAMIC THOUGHT GOING INTO NEXT MONTH’S ELECTIONS. NOTE THAT THE STATES POLLED ARE SIX OF OUR LARGEST ! -PASTOR CRUTCHFIELD
WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released the results of a survey indicating that 69 percent of registered Muslim voters will go to the polls on November 4 and that more than half will vote for Democratic Party candidates. Domestic issues like the economy and health care continue to top the Muslim voters’ list of priority concerns in this election. Growing Islamophobia in American ranked as the third most important issue for Muslim voters. CAIR’s poll of more than 1500 registered Muslim voters in California, New York, Illinois, Florida, Texas, and Virginia was conducted using an independent automated call survey provider and asked three questions:
- “Do you plan to vote in the November 4th midterm election?”
- “Which political party do you support in the upcoming election?”
- “What is the most important issue to you in this upcoming election?”
Survey Results: Do you plan to vote in the November 4th midterm election? Plan to Vote 69% No Plan to Vote 16% Decline to Answer 14% Which political party do you support in the upcoming election? Democrat 51% Republican 15% Libertarian 2% Green 5% Other 4% Decline to Answer 23% What is the most important issue to you in this upcoming election? Education 7% Civil Liberties 10% Islamophobia 15% Health Care 17% Economy 24% Foreign Affairs 5% Other 5% Decline to Answer 16% “American Muslims continue to play a key role in our nation’s elections, with 69 percent of registered Muslim voters planning to turn out in the midterm election – compared to the 37 percent of all voters who went to the polls in 2010,” said CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw. “The more than half of Muslim voters who express support for Democratic candidates reflects that party’s greater openness to the Muslim community and its issues.” McCaw said Republican candidates and officials should take note of this data. CAIR will release survey results for each state beginning tomorrow. CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
I was checking headlines, and emails getting ready for this morning’s service when I saw a picture of the cruise ship which departs from Galveston about 50 miles from here. My first thought was “what an ugly ship !” Its outward appearance didn’t appeal to me at all. It was kind of disappointing because I love boats, and ships and such.
My second thought was ” I bet its absolutely beautiful on the inside.” The ship’s designers were likely thinking more about capacity, than beauty. It was then that I was reminded that too often we do the same with people. If we cannot look past outward appearance, we will miss many, many people who are absolutely beautiful on the inside. The loss would be ours, not theirs. Think about it, would you rather marry someone drop dead gorgeous that treated you like garbage, or someone plainer who treated you like a king or queen ? Outer beauty fades, inner beauty can sustain you for a lifetime ! How many people who could help us have a happier, more prosperous life are we missing out of through this mistake ?Even worse, how many times EVERY day are we doing this ?
We must not forget, we are all made in God’s image. Maybe the person you are looking at had a rough night, or a rough life. Either way they could have more to teach us than we realize ! Maybe their designer (God) had other things on his mind than how “cute” he could make them.
In our world we place a lot of emphasis on making a good first impression, and we intend to expect the same from others. As Christians we stand to loose out on a lot if we fall into that trap !
Message of the Synod Assembly on the pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation
Twitter Blocks New Faith Driven Consumer Campaign Supporting Subpoenaed Houston Pastors Minutes After Launch
After famously blocking Faith Driven Consumer’s #IStandWithPhil campaign earlier this year, Twitter is back at it again – blocking the group’s new petition drive #HoustonWeHaveAProblem at HoustonProblem.com minutes after launch this afternoon
RALEIGH, N.C., Oct. 15, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Faith Driven Consumer™, the group that emerged on the national stage last year with its #IStandWithPhil campaign that played a leading role in Phil Robertson’s return to Duck Dynasty, continues to serve as an advocate for more than 41 million consumers who spend $2 trillion annually.
Today, the group launched a major petition campaign,#HoustonWeHaveAProblem, using the website HoustonProblem.com – demanding that the City of Houston immediately “cease and desist all bullying and other offensive actions” against a group of pastors who are victims of an aggressive harassment effort at the hands of the city government. The city is demanding that a group of pastors turn over any sermons – including personal correspondence such as emails – “dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor” as reported by Fox News.
Minutes after its launch, Twitter blocked the campaign—meaning that supporters cannot Tweet the petition.
“There is a deeply troubling pattern of censorship with social media companies when people of faith speak out. From Kirk Cameron, to Mike Huckabee, to our own #iStandWithPhil campaign earlier this year, faith voices have curiously been blocked during critical times as they seek to be heard. We are asking Twitter to immediately unblock thousands of people who have already flocked to our petition and want to spread the word from coast to coast,” said Chris Stone, Founder of Faith Driven Consumer.
Faith Driven Consumer’s new #HoustonWeHaveAProblem petition campaign reminds everyone that “pastors have been at the very center of American society since even before our founding as a nation, and they remain an integral part of the lives of untold of millions of Americans today,” that “our First Amendment protects freedom of speech and religion” and that “we…live in a society that values equality, including the notion that everyone has the right to publicly express deeply held beliefs without fear of persecution or reprisal.” Signers at HoustonProblem.com desire that “the City of Houston, in their quest to provide protection for LGBT citizens, to equally and explicitly acknowledge and ensure the equal rights of people of faith to live and express openly their deeply held religious beliefs.”
Read the full petition at HoustonProblem.com.
About Faith Driven Consumer
Faith Driven Consumer™ leads a movement of more than 41 million Americans, 17% of the adult population, who spend $2 trillion dollars annually. The group educates, equips and motivates Faith Driven Consumers to action in the marketplace of goods, services and ideas—offering resources for making more faith-conscious decisions, including reviews of companies and entertainment products. Recognized for its #IStandWithPhil, #OpenZilla, #FlipThisDecision, #IStandwithHobbyLobby and #NoahMovie campaigns, the organization continues to serve as an advocate for people whose faith informs their daily decisions in the marketplace. For more information go to: www.faithdrivenconsumer.com.
NORFOLK, Va., Oct. 15, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Bishop E.W. Jackson, Harvard educated Attorney, Minister and last year’s Virginia Republican Nominee for Lt. Governor has launched a national movement to protect Christians from “growing hostility, discrimination and anti-Christian bigotry.” He has produced a video addressing the issue: youtu.be/oIl2O9SzzoA.
As a first step, today Jackson officially launched the UNITY PETITION FOR RELIGIOUS AND CIVIL RIGHTS. This effort is inspired by increasing concern that pastors, churches and Christians who believe marriage is a union between one man and one woman, face violations of their First Amendment rights.
He points to incidents involving Christian business owners who ended up in court and in the national news because they refused to participate or provide service for same sex ceremonies. Elane Photography of New Mexico was ordered to pay $7000 in legal fees to two lesbians who sued to force them to photograph their gay ceremony. Says the Bishop, “The First Amendment rights of Christian citizens are being trampled to validate same sex relationships. The subpoena of Pastors’ sermons by the gay Mayor of Houston this week is just another example of the gross violations of Christians’ Constitutional Rights.”
The fight to protect marriage is unifying Christians in “an unprecedented way,” says the Bishop. “The Unity Petition is gaining support in Catholic and protestant communities and bringing together traditional black Pastors, Hispanics and evangelicals.”
Every signer is asked to take the “Pledge to Vote.” Christians are being urged to vote for candidates who uphold traditional marriage, the sanctity of life, the First Amendment right of religious conscience and “the Judeo-Christian values which are the foundation of our nation.”
The effort is being sponsored by STAND, and supported by a Coalition of organizations called “Christians Vote.” The petitions will be presented to the new Congress as a message that Christian voters have had enough and expect their rights to be protected.
This article from the Episcopal News Service is worth reading by anyone interested in how churches can work with their community on economic development issues. It shows how the church and businesses in the community can work together and both come out stronger.
It also shows the down-side of the “Not invented here” attitude. As this article shows we can all learn from each other. Not only did the Province IX bishops learn much from what they saw in the Philippines, but we in the U.S. and the rest of the world could learn a lot from them as well.
Like the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, we should look for new and unique ways to reach out to, and build the communities we serve.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — On October 9, 2014, Rob Schenck (pronounced “Shank”), an ordained evangelical minister who did his doctoral work in theology of church and state and is founder of Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital, will celebrate 20 years of continuous ministry to America’s top elected and appointed officials in Washington, DC.
In the summer of 1994, Schenck relocated to Washington from his native Buffalo, New York, to organize the National Community Church on Capitol Hill. So he could turn his full-time attention to ministering to members of Congress, White House officials, and federal judges, Schenck soon recruited Rev. Mark Batterson to take over the new church planting.
Schenck arrived in Washington with the blessing of a hand-full of churches and some 300 financial supporters. Twenty years later the organization he built with his twin brother and fellow minister, Paul (now a married Roman Catholic priest) has grown to a network of more than 200 churches and 30,000 supporters spread across the country. The ministry operates out of two buildings located immediately behind the Supreme Court, a block from the U.S. Capitol, and ten minutes from the White House.
Over his two decades of missionary service, the Schenck and his brother established the National Memorial for the Pre-born and their Mothers and Fathers, Washington’s largest annual indoor pro-life gathering, opened the National Ministry Center where Bible studies, prayer meetings, and other Christian functions are held, formed the National Pro-Life Center to inspire and educate lawmakers and jurists on the sanctity of life, and erected the only Ten Commandments monument fully visible in the nation’s capital city.
Schenck’s most memorable experiences include leading a suicidal congressman to forgiveness in Christ, extending an evangelistic invitation to a room full of federal judges, and doing emergency chaplain work in the aftermath of a fatal shooting at the Capitol building and following the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack at the Pentagon. Apart from his regular duties, one of the honors he has found most meaningful is officiating numerous funerals at Arlington National Cemetery.
Schenck is currently working on a memoir of his 20-year odyssey for publication some time next year. Beginning October 9, Faith and Action will feature a 20-year retrospective on its website, www.faithandaction.org, and on its Facebook page, Faith & Action. Over the next several months Schenck will also post “Memorable Moments of Ministry in Washington” at his website, www.revrobschenck.com.