Mission Service Activity of the Month
January 2019: Sharing Jesus’ Love in Action – Every Life is Precious
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well (Psalm 139:13-14).
January is the month in which we celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Day. In 2019 that date falls on Sunday, January 20. It is appropriate then, that we should focus this month’s activities around the sanctity of human life. Specifically, we should minister to those who:
- have had an abortion
- are facing an unplanned pregnancy
The thought of unplanned parenthood can be terrifying. This month make a pledge to reach out to at least one person who may be grieving over an aborted child or who is facing an unplanned pregnancy. There are many resources available to either help you educate yourself or to provide guidance and comfort to someone who is suffering. Here are some suggested resources:
- Lutherans for Life – Provides a multitude of resources for educating people about abortion and its alternatives, including a speakers’ bureau and a link to resources available from Concordia Publishing House.
- LCMS Life Ministry – Provides additional resources and information about life issues.
- Local crisis pregnancy centers (sometimes referred to as abortion alternative centers) – These agencies can provide speakers for your LWML or congregation. And, they usually have plenty of volunteer opportunities and needs for things such as diapers and other baby items.
- Pastors and other trained counselors – If you do know someone who is grieving over a loss or who is facing an unplanned pregnancy let your pastor know and ask if he would mind if you referred that person. Or, your pastor should know of other Christian counseling resources.
- Christian adoption services – Make a point of learning about what options are available and how arduous (and costly) the adoption process might be.
Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Luke 18:15-17).
Reaching Out in the Community
- Host a baby shower for a crisis pregnancy center or group home for unwed mothers
- There is no end to the need for diapers and other baby items – this could be an annual or even quarterly activity. Perhaps partner with other churches to rotate the event throughout the year. An event held in December could be designated as a Baby Shower for Jesus.
- Holding the event at a facility instead of the church brings you closer to knowing those in need and understanding the challenges they face.
- Assemble New Mom and New Baby Toolkits to keep on hand when someone you know is expecting.
- Raise funds for local resources by holding a Baby Bottle Challenge at your church
- Distribute baby bottles to members with instructions to fill them with cash during the month of January.
- Proceeds can then be given directly to a local resource or they can be used to purchase items like diapers, etc.
- Identify single mothers (or fathers!) who may need a helping hand
- Ask them what they need most – babysitting, daycare, meals, etc. and then find a way to satisfy some of those needs.
- Help them find resources to help with daycare, continuing education for themselves, etc.
- Learn about foster parenting programs
- All too often, the young and under-educated parents who choose to keep their unplanned children are unable to achieve their goals for providing for their children. This is heartbreaking for all involved. Foster parents can help ease that heartbreak by providing a loving home for the children.
- Even if the children are in a loving foster home, the parents may need support and resources to get them to a point where they can once again care for their own children.
- Research abstinence education materials and find out what is being taught in public schools in your area
- If you search the internet for “abstinence education” there is an alarming number of results that state it is ineffective and actually worse than teaching about birth control, etc. However, if you search for “PRO abstinence education” you find the success stories! Focus on the Family is one resource available.
- The LCMS web site has an excellent section on Social Issues with a specific topic on Sexuality.
- The 2019 LCMS Life Conference will be January 17–19 in Arlington, Virginia, for LCMS members and guests. Whether or not you attend the conference, you are welcome to join fellow Lutherans for a Divine Service on January 18 before going to the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. If you are unable to travel to Washington, DC, encourage members of your congregation to participate in any Right to Life gatherings or marches being held in your area. Contact local crisis pregnancy centers for information.
The following quote is a reminder to all of us that, not only is the baby precious in God’s sight but so are its parents.
“Young women within our churches are watching how we as the Christian community treat unplanned pregnancy within our own four walls. Yes, it is very important to educate our people on the dangers of abortion and the value of life. But we will fail as life advocates if we do not demonstrate compassion for those among us who find themselves caught in the web of unplanned pregnancy.” Diane E. Schroeder, former president of Lutherans For Life – A Life Quote from Lutherans For Life • www.lutheransforlife.org
A Prayer as You Plan:
Dear Father in Heaven, how you must grieve when your sinful children take innocent lives. Please Father; help us to stand up for those who can’t speak for themselves. Help us Father, to imagine what it’s like to be pregnant and alone and to have compassion on women who have nowhere to turn. Please also be with those who serve in crisis pregnancy centers. Give these servants of yours the wisdom and the words to speak to those considering abortion. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.
You shall not murder (Exodus 20:13).
The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about, and share, your mission service activities! Please contact the Vice President of Gospel Outreach here. Thank you!