As you prepare for Life Sunday this month, please let me make you aware of a great opportunity for your congregation. The District now has a set of Touch of Life fetal models that you may check out and use for a month at a time.
Perhaps you have heard of the project called Owen’s Mission. It is an initiative of Lutherans for Life to give a set of Touch of Life fetal models to every Lutheran elementary and high school in the country. (That’s 1,078 schools affecting 139,000 students!). Well, our District has also been given a set of models so that congregations without schools can use them with their Sunday Schools or in other educational settings.
The fetal models are of a baby at 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 22 weeks, and 26 weeks in the womb. They are soft and life-like, and they are meant to be touched and held. They are great for tactile learners.
For the past month I have used the models at our Sunday School openings. It has been pure joy to watch the young children hold each baby model and pass it on to his or her neighbor. I have enjoyed teaching that the Almighty Son of God went through each stage of development in the womb after being conceived by the Holy Spirit and prior to being born of the Virgin Mary. My favorite moment was to hold the 26-week old model in my hands and read from Luke 1:26-45:
In the sixth month [perhaps around 24-26 weeks into Elizabeth’s pregnancy] the angel Gabriel was sent from God to city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. . . . In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”
What made this even more interesting is that the accompanying data with the fetal models teaches this about week 24 (around 6 months): “The baby will be able to hear by next week.” How delightful to have that piece of information and a life-like model when reading to the children about John the Baptizer leaping for joy in his mother’s womb!
The following is a sample letter you may consider sending or emailing to your congregation:
Dear saints of God at _____________ Lutheran Church,
For the next month we have on loan from our District a set of Touch of Life fetal models. This is a great resource to teach our children (and adults!) the sanctity of human life. The fetal models are of a baby at 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 22 weeks, and 26 weeks in the womb. They are soft and like-like, and they are meant to be touched and held.
We will be using these models in our Sunday School openings/classes/children messages so that all of our children may learn how God knits together human beings in the womb (Ps. 139:13).
Parents and grandparents, please feel free to bring your children/grandchildren by the Church and spend some extra time with the models. Read the sign board on the model case that describes each stage of development.
The Lord of Life bless our teaching about the sanctity of life and the gift of eternal life in Christ our Savior.
Please contact me in order sign up for a month. Currently, all months are open. I will send the models out right away to the congregation that is ready to receive them. All you will be responsible for is the postage to mail them back to me or the next congregation on the list.
Rev. Philip Young
Mid-South District Life Coordinator
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