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BP Ledger: Jan. 11 edition

EDITOR’S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities. The items are published as received.

Today’s BP Ledger includes items from:
Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
North Greenville University

Catholic board forfeits
United Way funds over Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON (ERLC)–The Catholic Community Services board in Eugene, Ore., has dissolved its affiliation with United Way because the network of service organizations provides funds for Planned Parenthood.

The December decision, which took effect immediately, came after Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon began distributing the abortion drug RU 486, according to The Eugene Register-Guard. That Planned Parenthood affiliate does not provide surgical abortions.

In making its decision, Catholic Community Services forfeited funds it received from United Way to serve the poor. Last summer, United Way designated $71,000 to the Catholic organization to help provide for such needs as food and shelter for the homeless and low-income citizens, The Register-Guard reported Dec. 27.

Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon uses money from United Way for education and a health center, not for abortions, said Cynthia Pappas, the affiliate’s chief executive officer.

That use of United Way funds does not make a difference, said Bud Bunce, spokesman for the Portland Archdiocese.

“Catholic Community Services could be seen to raise money in their promotional efforts for United Way and could be seen as raising money for Planned Parenthood in that way,” Bunce said, according to the newspaper.
RU 486, also known as mifepristone, is used as the first part in a two-step process in the first seven weeks of pregnancy. Mifepristone causes the lining of the uterus to release the embryonic child, resulting in his death. Misoprostol is taken two days after mifepristone and causes a woman’s uterus to contract, expelling her baby.
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.
Rabbis urge
abortion opposition in Israel

WASHINGTON (ERLC)–The leaders of two Jewish groups in Israel have urged local rabbis to persuade women not to have abortions.

Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar, the chief rabbis of the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, respectively, wrote to rabbis in several cities, neighborhoods and communities, referencing a two-year-old study that reported 50,000 abortions were performed in a year in Israel. Of those, 30,000 violated government rules, according to Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper.

In their letter, the chief rabbis said those figures reflect “a real epidemic, as tens of thousands of Jewish souls are being lost each year. . . . In addition to the enormity of the transgression, it is also delaying redemption,” Haaretz reported.

The rabbis’ concern about the delay of redemption apparently is a reference to the belief that the birth of Jewish babies brings nearer the coming of the Messiah. Christians believe Jesus is the Messiah who already has come.

Ashkenazi Jews are from France, Germany and Eastern Europe. Sephardic Jews are from Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East.
NGU Mourns the Loss
of Former President Neely
TIGERVILLE, S.C. (NGU)–Dr. Thomas L. Neely of Ridgecrest, NC, former North Greenville president, died at his home on Wednesday, December 23, 2010.

Neely came to North Greenville Junior College in 1958 as the administrative assistant to the president, Dr. M. C. Donnan. He remained in that position until 1962 when he became president. Neely served as president until 1970.

Born in Greenville, South Carolina on September 11, 1915, Neely was the eldest of nine children. He was a graduate of Spartanburg High School, North Greenville College, Wofford College, and Southwestern Seminary. He received an honorary doctorate degree from Furman University and a second honorary doctorate of divinity from North Greenville College in 2002. He also did graduate work at the Central University of Venezuela, in Caracas, Venezuela.

Neely pastored in Texas for three years and in South Carolina for seven years. He served as a foreign missionary in Columbia, South America for six years and was the first Southern Baptist Missionary to Venezuela, where he served for four years. Neely was president of the Southern Baptist Convention in Colombia, South America in 1947, vice president of the SC Baptist Convention in 1957 and president in 1968. He served six years as a SC member of the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board. He has traveled extensively in the Caribbean, South America, and Central America as a missionary evangelist. Neely and his wife Audrey Reasbeck Neely were licensed by New Life Ministries, Inc. in Middlebury, Indiana and served in Jerusalem, Israel for three years.

Neely is survived by his wife, Audrey, two sons, Charles Henry “Harry” and his wife Patricia, Timothy Switzer and wife Janice all from Roebuck, SC; daughter, Carol and husband Steve of Roebuck, SC; two step-sons, Charles William Sorren and Daniel Timm Sorren; nine grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren; and a countless number of spiritual children.

Neely brought the keynote address for NGU’s December 2002 commencement.

“I love this hill. I spent fourteen years of my life here. Two years as a student and twelve years in administration. Many changes have occurred at North Greenville, but one thing has not; its love for Jesus,” Neely said During his commencement address.

The family requested that memorials be made to North Greenville University and designated to the Tom L. Neely Scholarship Fund. The proceeds of all donations will be used to establish a scholarship for foreign exchange students seeking a Christian education in the United States. Mail your memorial gift to NGU, PO Box 1892, Tigerville, SC 29688, or you can use NGU’s online form at giving.ngu.edu. (Declare your designation in the comments box at the top of the form.)

A memorial service was held at 2pm on Sunday, December 26 at Penland and Sons Funeral Home in Swannanoa, NC. A celebration of his life will be held at North Greenville University at a time and date to be determined.

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