Gretchen was a heroin addict Print E-mail
Written by Matthew Everhard   

Devastated womanGretchen was a heroin addict. Her face showed the wear and tear of a twenty-something who had spent some hard nights on the streets of Akron. Homeless and despondent, Gretchen was one of those people who—if I’m really honest—is sometimes tough to be around. She’s difficult to love. Her once intelligent and amicable personality hid behind a mask of bawdy drug abuse.

It wasn’t infrequently that she called me, a pastor, long past midnight to rescue her from some precarious situation. Well do I remember the night that she called me around 1:00 am to pull her drunk husband off of her. It had gotten violent. A meth addict, Jeff was unpredictable and vicious. I arrived just before the police and stood between the two of them until the sirens came.

Board of Pensions’ response to GA referral lacks remedy for Relief of Conscience concerns Print E-mail

 The 219th General Assembly (2010) urged the Board of Pensions:

 "to develop a plan to ensure that funds from any Relief of Conscience churches do not go to fund abortions through any avenue."

Unlike their serious consideration of a similar "urging" related to the extension of benefits to same-sex domestic partners of Plan members, the BOP brushed off the concerns of Plan members who find the Plan's abortion coverage an affront to their Christian conscience. 

The action of the GA was an alternate resolution to a Commissioner's Resolution (Item 18-12) urging the Board of Pensions to "discontinue paying for induced abortion as a covered benefit in its Medical Benefits Plan (unless a licensed physician documents that it is necessary to preserve the physical life of the mother)."

Even as the response may meet the formal criteria of a GA referral to one of its agencies, it fails to meet the standard of decent consideration of the underlying concerns and exposes weaknesses in the wording of the GA approved alternate resolution.

Ministry IDEAS: Baby Quilts Print E-mail

Bellefield_Quilts_2Bellefield Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, PA has a Quilt Ministry has begun its third year making quilts to celebrate and welcome every baby born in to the church family. We meet monthly in the church building to work together on these quilts. (Each is machine sewn and quilted to stand up to serious use and regular trips into washers and dryers.) We also send out especially colorful quilts to babies that come across our prayer chain, celebrating those whose lives begin with additional challenges.

This is an inter-generational effort—students, mothers, daughters, grandmothers working and learning together.

How does your congregation affirm the lives of the unborn and the vulnerable and minister to individuals and families in the sometimes difficult circumstances that surround pregnancy, birth, and death? PPL would love to share your ideas and pictures. Email ideas.

Presbyterians Pro-Life Blog Print E-mail
Written by Marie Bowen   

Want to comment on a post? Click here to go to PPL's blog

Pregnant and Single Print E-mail
Written by Marie Bowen   

I’m a single mom”, she said. “I had a baby when I was 17.” “He’s 7 now. It’s hard, but he’s worth it.”baby_Elih2

I really don’t know why this young mother shared so personally with me. She was the receptionist, no make-up, speaking in the muffled tones of a someone with a head cold. I was paying my bill. Some everyday comment prompted her to open a window into her personal life. It was clear to me that she is committed to parenting her son. She readily acknowledged that her schedule was crazy—“He’s into sports now.”

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