Media Watch

Americans Re-examine Their Lives After Attacks

CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Oct. 3 — Since Sept. 11, more and more people are re-examining their lives and reconsidering their careers, the Chicago daily reported.

Some who find little meaning in their jobs or an overemphasis on making money are looking into volunteering or getting into professions that have more of an impact on the world, such as teaching. New York Giants fullback Greg Comella is reported as saying, “For the first time in my life, I questioned what I do for a living.”

Can Anonymous Prayer Aid Pregnancy?

ABCNEWS.COM, Oct. 4 — A Columbia University study has found that prayers by others appear to help women conceive, the television network's online news service reported.

In a study of 199 women at an in vitro fertilization clinic in Korea, a group of strangers in the United States, Canada and Australia were asked to pray for the women as they began treatments.

The women did not know about the prayer request. Fifty percent of the women who received prayers became pregnant, compared to only 26% of a control group who did not receive anonymous prayer.

The Church condemns in vitro fertilization which separates the parents’ love from reproduction and has had disastrous consequences in lost lives and custody battles.

ABC News medical editor Tim Johnson, who is also assisting minister of the Community Covenant Church in West Peabody, Mass., warned that the “benefits of prayer have by no means been conclusively proven” by the study.

And, Johnson said, a danger exists that women who hear of the study and do not get pregnant will conclude that they do not have enough faith or did not get enough people to pray for them.

Texas Churches Buck Economic Trend

THE AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL, Oct. 5 — The American economy has been slowing down for some time, but in Austin, Texas, there is a church construction boom, the business weekly reported.

Austin has experienced a population spurt since the 1990s, and churches, synagogues and temples are spending more than $67.5 million to catch up. For example, to keep up with swelling church attendance and membership rolls, the Diocese of Austin has overseen 13 projects at a cost of more than $20 million in the past four years.

Currently, the diocese has more than $17.5 million in projects under construction, including a new student center at the University of Texas, a multipurpose building at one parish and an activity center expansion at another.