How will your church celebrate life Sunday? PDF Print E-mail

SOHLS2017 web Page 1Sunday, January 22, 2016 is the 44th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court Decision known as Roe v. Wade which effectively legalized abortion in all 50 of the United States wiping out state legislation that had previously protected unborn human beings in many States.

Since that time approximately 58 million unborn children have been surgically aborted in American and many more worldwide. Millions more fall prey early in pregnancy to chemical abortions and the advent of "emergency contraception." No war, disease or violence has brought such a catastrophic loss of human life as abortion.

The question arises, "Why has no one stopped this violence against the tiniest humans among us?" If , as polls show, 51% of Americans describe themselves as pro-life, why is there no progress at the federal level in legislation to protect the unborn. While progress in many states has placed limits on abortion in late-term pregnancy and increased regulations for abortion clinics better protects the health and safety of women seeking abortion, still the stubborn and morally bankrupt idea that abortion is somehow a right of choice for women persists.

Even more disturbing is the question, "Where is the outcry from the Christian church?" And then, "Why do so many women feel alone and unsupported in pregnancy to the extent that they seek abortion?" "Where is the evident and tangible care of the Body of Christ?"

While those questions haunt us, it is not particularly productive to speculate about the answers, but rather it is helpful to provide an answer to a better question, "What can churches do to help abortion-minded women choose life and find Jesus Christ to be sufficient in their lives?"

Presbyterians Pro-Life has written much on this topic over the years, but let me just give you three ideas and drill down on one. The three things a church can do to begin to address the problem of abortion with solutions that will make a difference are:

  • To educate the members of your congregation with a robust theology of life, knowledge about the problem of abortion in your own community, and how to engage in conversation about it with others who may not agree that abortion is morally wrong.
  • To provide tangible and practical help for women who are pregnant and abortion vulnerable. Through the already existing ministries of your congregation to provide material support, encouragement, job training, and everything she needs to assist her in choosing life and nurture for her child.
  • To begin a ministry of abortion recovery healing for those silent members of your congregation who have abortion experiences in their past and need to discover God's grace and forgiveness.

One way to begin to educate your congregation is to observe life Sunday. This year it is especially appropriate to do so because the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, January 22, 2017, falls on a Sunday. By planning a worship service that uplifts God's gift of human life and his love for human beings of all sizes, shapes, colors, abilities, and stages of development, you have an opportunity to also grieve those lost to abortion and commemorate their lives in a time of confession and lament. PPL has resources here to help you do that. You will find there free downloadable bulletin inserts like the one pictured on this page, an idea sheet to help you plan a whole church celebration of life, and a sample order of worship for a Life Sunday service. Also under the Ministry Equipping tab are sermons which you are free to adapt for your own use.

If you have never before commemorated Life Sunday (also known as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday) I hope that you will take this first simple step toward becoming a church that is making a difference in addressing abortion in your community and in our nation.

For resources to help your church promote the care and nurture of orphans, adoption, end of life ministry, and more, browse PPL's webpage. Sign up to receive emails and ministry equipping resources directly from Presbyterians Pro-Life and click the "Contribute" button to make a donation. Your support will equip individuals for leadership of congregational life teams.



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