In this New Year, I pray for the Lord to continue to give us wisdom and compassion in teaching and standing for the sanctity of human life. January is an important month for us to confess life boldly because of the unfortunate anniversary of Roe v. Wade, January 22, 1973. However, the whole year can be used to educate congregation members and others that abortion and euthanasia are moral issues and that life is to celebrated and protected.
In the month of January, you may consider the following:
- Attend the March for Life in Washington D.C. The dates are January 24-25, 2020. Many congregations have been planning a trip and are set to go. Some go every year. Ask around. There may be additional spaces on a bus.
- Observe Life Sunday on January 19, 2020. Visit www.lutheransforlife.org for bulletin inserts and sermon ideas. This year’s theme is “Did God Really Say . . . ?” For the year 2021, consider inviting a guest preacher (District V.P., Circuit Visitor, emeritus pastor).
- Attend a state or city rally for life. Or, organize your own circuit prayer rally on the state capitol steps or in your city square.
- Write letters to your state senators and congressmen on your support for abortion restrictions and bans. The real action is at the state level. Tennessee, especially, has a chance to enact a ban on abortion based on the Ninth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution. I encourage sending letters to all members of the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee since they will be ruling on this bill in January! (See my article in the September 2019 issue of the Encourager.)
Throughout the year, you may consider doing the following:
- Include in your bulletins and newsletters Life News, Life Quotes, or Life Thoughts in the Church Year. See the media tab at www.lutheransforlife.org.
- Consider starting a Life Team in your congregation.
- Regularly include petitions for the unborn/preborn, the infirm, and the elderly in the Prayer of the Church.
- Listen to a Frontline Conference Call. Lutherans For Life puts them on quarterly. This is a great way to get new ideas.
- Remember October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month. Remember October 15 as the observance day. I, somehow, did not know this and was only recently made aware of this remembrance. People are looking for this to be acknowledged, and, as Lutherans, we have the Gospel message of comfort and hope to give.
6. Host a guest speaker.
7. Get involved with a crisis pregnancy center. I know that many congregations are making a
great impact in volunteering and fund raising for clinics that help women carry their babies to
a joyful birth.
8. Contact me with your ideas. Share them with other pastors and congregations.
Rev. Philip Young
Mid-South District Life Coordinator