Tag Archives: #specialfeature

Special Feature – Supreme Court Rulings on Religious Freedom – Jeremy Samek – 07/05/23

“Ramifications of Recent Supreme Court Rulings”

The U.S. Supreme Court majority announced major rulings in the past week, deciding cases related to religious freedoms, affirmative action, and the write-offs of some students’ college loans.

Family Life News aired an extended conversation to get beyond the quick headlines — and past the partisan “spin” — and gather analysis on some of these major rulings from the the final days of the Court’s current term. Our guest is Jeremy Samek of the Independence Law Center. He was active in the lawsuits brought by a Christian postal worker in Pennsylvania and a website designer who was sued for discrimination, pushing against First Amendment rights of freedom of religious expression.

Special Feature – Dobbs Anniversary – 06/26/23

Dobbs case overturns Roe v. Wade — One-Year Later

This past Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.  By a 6-3 majority, the Court remanded decisions on abortion law back the state courts and state legislatures. The determination confirmed that any “right to abortion” is not a Constitutionally-mandated requirement related to privacy rights.

In the year since, about half of the states have enacted some restrictions and oversight of the abortion industry, while the other half are enacting ways to help doctors end pregnancies via surgical or pharmaceutical means.

For local Pennsylvania and New York perspectives on the pro-life movement a year after Dobbs, Family Life interviewed Alexis Sneller (a pro-life advocate with the Pennsylvania Family Institute in Harrisburg) and John Gramlich (board president at Caring Choices Pregnancy Centers of Rochester and Webster).






(Family Life News has also reached out to Planned Parenthood clinics in both states, for their perspectives on the anniversary of the end of Roe v. Wade.)


Special Feature – Student Loans and College Costs – Paul Celuch – 06/23/23

President Biden’s actions to write-off some of the college loans for some college students has been controversial. Some who would benefit from Executive Branch forgiveness of student debt wonder how they would add loan payments to their current personal budgets. Others though say it is unfair to force those loan costs onto people who paid up front for their education, didn’t take Federal loans, went to a Christian university which doesn’t get entangled with government funds — and anyone who never went to college.

A decision from the U.S. Supreme Court is expected any day.

A New York-based financial adviser predicts that the Court will rule that Mr. Biden had no legislative authority to simply write off some debts for some students. The wrangling has cost the government billions every month, and a ruling could through young people who haven’t begun paying off the loans they signed into financial crisis.

College loan expert Paul Celuch was a special guest on the June 23 Family Life Noon Report to discuss student loans, college costs, and options for every student and family who wrestles with debt. He talks about how higher education has relatively little reason to hold down costs, especially after a decade ago the student loan program was taken away from private lenders and solely rests with the government.


This podcast version of that interview also has some Bonus Content for students and their families, in addition to what was heard during this Noon Report.




Feature – How Often are Churches promoting Adoption and Foster Care? – 06/21/23

Christian agencies and Christian households have been, for centuries, leaders in providing care, love and nurture for children who do not have another safe home.

Where do people of faith get motivated to do so?  Often, from their congregations.

Lifeway Research surveyed American Christians about how often they hear about adoption and foster care from their churches’ leaders and programs. Executive Director Scott McConnell joins Greg Gillispie to talk about what their researchers found, plus how that promotion of unique ministry to children and teens has changed in recent years. McConnell also offers analysis of how pastors and other church leaders can use these trends to encourage more support for the next generation, whether it is a family exploring whether and how to be adoptive parents and siblings, or a foster family — or for those who need a different opportunity, options to support the young people and their new families in other ways.


This conversation is a timely companion to this week’s Family Life “Hometown Heroes”. Listen for that feature here, about a local angle on supporting foster kids and foster families. Foster Hope New York offers that kind of advocacy and encouragement in the Syracuse region and central New York.

Feature – The Shape of Campus Ministry Today – Steve Cheyney – 06/12/23

The Shape of Campus Ministry Today

Steve Cheyney tells us about the current priorities of most campus ministries, because of changes in the priorities of most college students of the current generation, often referred to as Generation Z.

Cheyney calls the mental health circumstances of many of these young adults a current “crisis”. The causes, he says, are related to the ways students relate to each other and to other people, mostly via their devices. They want to impact society, improve the world, and find themselves often unable to connect.

That shapes ministry to college students, with a focus on counseling and pastoral care. That also means that campus ministries — and local congregations near a university campus — will miss the boat if they focus on traditional Bible studies, Sunday morning worship, or other “religious” events. The veteran of more than two decades of campus ministry says there are many great ways that churches and organizations can provide positive Jesus-centered influence particularly for this generation.

Listen to this podcast with leaders of your congregation.

The Rev. Dr. Steve Cheyney is university pastor at UNC-Charlotte and leads the Niner United ministry there. He also is on the faculty of the Honors College at Charlotte.


Feature – Dr. Ingrid Skop – Mifepristone in Federal Court – 06/01/23

A popular Abortion Pill on trial

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering a case regarding FDA approval of Mifepristone two decades ago.

Texas OB/GYN Dr. Ingrid Skop has provided expert testimony in trials involving Mifepristone, based on her medical research. On the June 1 Family Life Noon Report, Bob Price had an extended interview with Dr. Skop, about what she sees as dangers of the abortion-inducing drug, not only (obviously) to the fetus, but also for a significant number of the women who have taken the pill. There is question about how the FDA studied and reported on Mifepristone’s side effects, as well as how much of the national discussion misnames abortions as a women’s health issue.

Whichever way the appeals court ruling in New Orleans comes out, likely during June, the case is expected to return to the U.S. Supreme Court.

For further information:

A Special Edition of the Noon Report – “Memorial Day in Pennsylvania and New York” – 05/29/23

Join Family Life for special coverage of

“Memorial Day in Pennsylvania and New York”

Our Noon Report on the national holiday includes stories from military veterans, how the armed services support gold star families, and first-person stories from a bugler who sounds “Taps” at military grave sites and from the National Cemetery in Bath, New York.

This special 30-minute Memorial Day Tribute is also available for listening and downloading from the News Podcasts page at FamilyLife.org.

Leading the conversations with local people from our listening area are Greg Gillispie and Abigail Hofland.

“Memorial Day in New York and Pennsylvania” – A Family Life Special – 2023

“Memorial Day in New York and Pennsylvania”

Originally called Decoration Day, the occasion was first marked three years after the end of the Civil War. On May 5, 1868, John Logan, head of the major Union Army veterans association, issued a proclamation from his Washington, D.C., office inviting Americans to celebrate “Decoration Day” on May 30. He urged them to decorate Civil War graves with the “choicest flowers of springtime.” He spoke at the first official commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery that year.

Congress and Presidents ever since have made proclamations which urged remembrance and tributes of those who sacrificed themselves to serve the causes of their nation. Memorial Day is now observed on the last Monday of May.

This year, Family Life News has gathered stories from current soldiers and veterans from our listening area. Hear about “Taps”, volleys, Gold-Star Families, and memorable services at Bath National Cemetery. A pastor offers encouragement, whether you visit a cemetery to decorate the grave of a civilian, or as you memorialize a service person who has died, be that at war or in peacetime.

Feature – Beyond Mother’s Day – Jenny Coffey – 05/16/23

Mother’s Day was Sunday.

We talked with family counselor — and mom of four preteens — Jenny Coffey about what most moms might really like for Mother’s Day.  Her answer for the weekend was “rest” and balance.

Those are still gifts which can bless mothers the other 364 days of the year.

Coffey gives us advice for families, including stories from what is working for her own household. She also has encouragement for moms themselves — how to avoid the internal and external pressures and stereotypes can improperly focus women on unattainable accomplishments and unrealistic status.

Also in this extended version of the feature we aired at noon, she shares additional insights for women who are parenting alone (either as single moms or without good support from others), as well as ways congregations can adapt their families to be better supportive of mothers (and fathers). Coffey sees this as an important evangelistic tool too, because older church leaders may not realize how parenting styles and family patterns have changed for today’s young adult generations.