Uniting for Life
Preparing for a Pro-Life
Memorial for the Preborn
Jesus Loves Children
Miracles in United
Emphasis to be "The Year of the Child"
The Perfect Balance
Harvesting Baby Body Parts in
Abortion Clinics: Can We Accept This Barbaric Activity?
How to Work with Your Pastor
NPRC Seeks New Members
Preparing for a
By Rev. David L. Adams, NPRC President
In this year 2000, the second millennium since the birth of Jesus Christ is
completed. We know that a fifth-century monk named Dionysius Exiguus missed the
mark in establishing the calendar we use so that the third millennium and the
21st century should actually have begun a couple of years ago. Nevertheless, the
change on the calendar provides a convenient milestone at which we can pause to
evaluate how far the pro-life movement has come and where it needs to go in the
The first thing we need to recognize is that the pro-life movement is a very
young thing. This may come as a surprise to some. I was recently at a pro-life
gathering where one of the workshop speakers expressed some frustration at the
pace of progress and how long it was taking to establish legal protections for
the unborn. Like so many in the pro-life movement, the speaker was reflecting
the "burnout" that most activists experience after fighting the good fight for
such a long time.
And that's the problem.
You see, we have not really been at this all that long. Consider that ours is
the first generation of the Christian era that has seen the technical ability to
divorce sexual activity from procreation proliferated so widely, the open
promotion of legalized abortion-on-demand and of physician-assisted suicide, and
the manipulation of the human genetic code to produce a better human being
become more than a mad scientist's pipe dream. Now, as we face the new century
and new millennium, it its time for us to recognize that we are only at the
start of the pro-life movement.
However many battles we win or lose in Congress and in the courts, the war
for a pro-life society will continue until Christ returns. It is literally a
life-and-death war between God, the creator and sustainer of life, and the
devil, the hater of God and the bringer of death.
For the Church, the pro-life movement is not a single fight over abortion,
euthanasia or eugenics. Indeed, it is not a fight at all; it is a confession of
faith. By grace we stand with the Creator of life rather than the bringer of
death. By grace we shall continue to stand and confess the message of the
Creator of life no matter how many battles we win or lose, for God has not
called us to win battles, but to be witnesses of the truth and confessors of the
Christians did not begin to be pro-life on the day that the Supreme Court
decided Roe v. Wade. God's message has always been the message of life, and
God's people have always proclaimed it. Likewise, none of today's challenges to
life are going to go away. Some will rise and fall while others transform over
the years as advances in technology expand the horizons of the possible, but the
fundamental issue of how society values human life is here to stay, from now
until Christ's second advent.
Recognizing that the pro-life movement is one facet of the spiritual war
should help us to understand that our race is a relay and not a sprint, or even
a marathon. While continuing to run our race, we must mature in the way we think
about our task. This means integrating the message of life into all that the
church does and says, so that we can not only be a witness in our generation but
just as importantly prepare the next generation of the faithful to face the
challenges to life in the next millennium and beyond.
Memorial for the
By Rev. Rob Schenck, National Clergy Council
Members of the NPRC Board, including Rev. Benjamin
Sheldon, Fr. Frank Pavone, and Georgette Forney will be participating in the
sixth annual National Memorial for the Pre-born and their Mothers and Fathers.
This will be held on Capitol Hill on Monday, January 24, 2000, 9:00 AM to 11:00
AM, in the prestigious U.S. Senate Hart Building, Room 216.
This moving two-hour liturgy of remembrance draws clergy and laity from all
Christian traditions including, Evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.
The service is open to the public.
The former Jane Roe, Norma McCorvey and several members of the House and
Senate will also participate. Music will be provided by the Music Department of
the Christian Assembly, a large Charismatic Evangelical church from Columbus,
The National Memorial for the Pre-born and their Mothers and Fathers was
founded in 1995 by Evangelical ministers and twin brothers, the Reverends Paul
and Rob Schenck. It is sponsored by the National Clergy Council, an association
of ordained individuals whose common mission is to bring historic Christian
moral instruction to bear on the hearts and minds of those in elected and
For information, directions or group reservations please call 703-257-5593.
Jesus Loves Children
Lutherans for Life Witness to the Sanctity of Human Life
By Rev. Dr. James Lamb, Executive Director of Lutherans
Under God's grace, National Lutherans for Life (LFL), a pan-Lutheran
organization, continues to carry out its mission to "witness to the sanctity of
human life through education based on the Word of God." They strive to produce
Bible-based and Christ-centered educational materials on all the life issues for
The theme LFL will be highlighting in 2000 is "Jesus Loves Children" based on
Mark 10:13-16, where Jesus takes the children in His arms, puts His hands on
them, and blesses them. A bulletin insert carrying this theme is a painting of
Jesus, with nail scarred hands, holding a little baby close to His face. This
insert is available for Life Sunday observances. Also available are worship
services, sermons, a children's bulletin insert, music, and more. You can
receive a free sample pack by calling 888-364-LIFE.
Of particular note this past year is the positive reception of LFL's Campus
Life Project. LFL brings various speakers onto a college campus over a period of
two or three days in an effort to interact with the students in a variety of
settings. This has proved to be a very enlightening couple of days, not just for
the students, but for the LFL speakers as well.
One of the goals is for LFL to leave in its wake a core group of students to
continue to promote pro-life activities on campus. This has happened on several
campuses and there was a very good showing of college students at LFL's National
Convention in November. Everyone should take heart in the fact that there are
some very fine and dedicated pro-life young people on college campuses
throughout this country.
The Lutherans for Life website (www.lutheransforlife.org)
is now the largest religious pro-life site on the Net. Most of LFL's educational
materials and publications are there to read and use. The site also provides an
abundance of links to other helpful sites.
Lutherans for Life pledges to continue to strive to do their part in
promoting the sanctity of human life and is thankful for all the other pro-life
groups that God is using to bring about His victory FOR LIFE.
By Rev. Paul T. Stallsworth
It is a miracle, an actual miracle, that the witness for life is alive and
well in the United Methodist Church. After all, many forces and voices are
presently arrayed against the faithful witness for life.
First of all, bureaucratic United Methodists are, for the most part, abortion
advocates. Two agencies of the denomination, the General Board of Church and
Society, and the Women's Division of the General Board of Global Ministries, are
actually affiliated with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC)
and anchor the denomination on the side of abortion advocacy. RCRC, based in
Washington, DC, is a political lobby for legalized abortion. Since the United
Methodist General Conference, which convenes every four years, has refused to
withdraw these agencies from RCRC, the official structures of the United
Methodist Church are linked to a pro-abortion ideology.
Not surprisingly, these structures and their leaders set throughout the
entire denomination an ethos favoring legalized abortion. Among United
Methodism's leadership types and in its bureaucratic quarters, it is considered
cool to defend legalized abortion. Pro-life is not.
Then there is fence-sitting United Methodism. This is the group that cries
"Peace! when there is no peace. It wants issues related to abortion set aside
because they are too "divisive." Most bishops, many pastors, and many lay
leaders just say "No thanks" to any discussion of abortion. Again, they believe
the issue to be church dividing, and therefore they do their best to avoid it.
So they silence, or turn away from a witness for life.
Finally, there are a few pro-life advocates who do not know the best way to
approach others about the life and abortion issues. As a result, they sometimes
turn off the very people they are trying to convince.
All these approaches are failing to provide a consistent witness to the
Gospel of Life. However, they have not silenced it. In the conferences and
congregations of United Methodism, a pro-life witness continues to be offered
here and there. This is a miracle, a gift of the Holy Spirit.
In May of 2000, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church will
convene in Cleveland, Ohio. The signal issue of the conference promises to be
homosexuality. Therefore, in preparation for the conference, many delegates were
elected because they stand with traditional Christian teaching on homosexual
conduct. It is safe to say that many of these delegates, who were elected on the
basis of their opposition to United Methodism legitimizing homosexual activity,
will also be pro-life. Therefore, it might well be that General Conference 2000
will take a stride or two in the pro-life direction. For example, the conference
may declare the United Methodist Church opposed to the legality of partial-birth
abortion. That, too would be a miracle.
[Rev. Stallsworth is pastor of Rose Hill United Methodist Church in Rose
Hill, North Carolina. He is also the editor of Lifewatch, a quarterly newsletter
which concerns United Methodism, life, and abortion.]
Millennium Emphasis to be "The Year of the Child"
By Rev. Ben Sheldon, NPRC Executive Director
The Presbyterian Church (USA) is planning to make "The
Year of the Child" the major emphasis in the new year 2000, using the theme:
Children: God's Gift to the World: Christ's Call to the Church. Several
evangelical and pro-life groups within that denomination have called on the
entire church "to resist all teaching and practices that place children in
jeopardy." In a news release dated December 1, they have affirmed again their
unanimous protest of "both the practice and the approval of the killing of
vulnerable and defenseless children as a clear violation of Jesus' teaching."
The statement, issued by Presbyterians Pro-Life, the Presbyterian Renewal
Network, the Presbyterian Coalition, and Voices of Orthodox (Presbyterian)
Women, called special attention to the views of Dr. Peter Singer, recently
appointed to an ethics chair at Princeton University. [Dr. Singer is a
bioethicist who advocates killing certain disabled babies within the first
months of their lives.] Singer's views lend credence to the legal practice of
abortion, which now extends to include infanticide of babies in the process of
being born [partial-birth abortions]. The Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1997
expressed its "grave moral concern" regarding the practice of partial-birth
abortion which continues largely unabated in our country.
The statement further says, "We affirm that the protection of the lives of
children is a primary concern that we raise up as we approach the Year of the
Child. We affirm that Christian faith calls all of us in the Church of Jesus
Christ to respond to the crisis of infanticide, including partial-birth
abortions, in our country by providing support and care as well as tangible
Sadly, several other entities within the Presbyterian Church (USA) have
declined to sign on to this affirmation.
For further information, call Mrs. Terry Schlossberg of Presbyterians
Pro-Life at 703-569-9474.
The Perfect Balance
By Rev. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life
One of the common concerns clergy have in regard to speaking about abortion
is that they don't want to hurt the women in the congregation who have had
abortions. They feel that the presence of such women is a reason to be silent
Just the opposite is true, however. Experts in post-abortion syndrome tell us
that the first step toward healing is to break out of denial, and silence does
not help to do that. Silence motivated by the best of intentions, moreover, does
not interpret itself. The woman suffering from abortion may think we are silent
because we do not know her pain, do not care, or have no hope to offer. In
truth, however, we speak because we do know, do care, and do offer hope.
There are two things that the post-abortive woman does not need to hear. One
is: "It's no big deal." In reality, she knows abortion is a big deal and
experiences a natural grief for her child who has been killed. Yet many in
society make her feel silly for feeling sad. Her grief, therefore, cannot be
adequately expressed and processed. The process is short-circuited. Moreover,
she may well be quite angry with those whose message about "no big deal" got her
into the mess of abortion in the first place. To hear that message again, and to
be given more excuses, is the last thing she needs. This is one reason why
church bodies that take a "pro-choice" position become ill-equipped to deal with
those who suffer from an abortion.
The second thing the post-abortive woman does not need is someone who will
condemn her and drive her deeper into the despair which the act of abortion is
all too capable of generating on its own.
Our message, the message of the Christian Church and of the pro-life
movement, holds exactly the right balance. Our clear identification of abortion
as an evil which is never morally licit corresponds with the deepest truth she
is hearing in her mind and heart. It cuts through the rhetoric, empty excuses
and terrible pressures others have heaped upon her. It breaks through denial and
assures her she has a reason for her grief.
Then at the same time and in the same breath, we give the message of hope.
The doors of the Church are open. We are not here to reject or condemn, but to
welcome back to the peace and mercy of Christ whoever has been involved in
abortion. I even know of someone who had 24 abortions. Even she can be forgiven.
We long to welcome her back. So does God.
The process of healing is delicate and long. Sometimes it begins with pain.
The availability of compassionate post-abortion counselors in the parish goes a
long way. Clergy, moreover, should see that truth and compassion are not at odds
with one another. To withhold the truth is to lack compassion because compassion
seeks to meet the needs of the other, and we have a need for truth. At the same
time, to lack compassion is to withhold an aspect of the truth of the Gospel and
the Church. In God, truth and compassion are ultimately one, for He Himself is
I always recall the words of the post-abortive woman who, after a pro-life
homily I gave, said to me, "Father, I have pain when I hear about abortion...but
please, please keep preaching about it, because it consoles me greatly to know
that through that homily, someone could be spared the whole journey of grief I
have had to go through."
Indeed, let us speak.
Harvesting Baby Body
Parts in Abortion Clinics: Can We Accept this Barbaric Activity?
By Georgette Forney, Executive Director
The National Organization of Episcopalians for Life (NOEL)
was renamed Anglicans for Life in March 2007]
In mid May I sat in my family room watching the Life Dynamics video that
featured "Kelly" discussing her work as a technician in an abortion clinic
harvesting baby body parts. I was appalled. In my mind, I imagined my own
aborted child experiencing Kelly's working hands. As I turned off the tape I
thought this information would surely persuade people that abortion is wrong.
However, another part of my mind felt the idea of harvesting body parts was
so gruesome it couldn't be true. I made a few calls to pro-life associates
asking them if they knew anything about baby body part harvesting. A few
acknowledged hearing about it a few years earlier but they made comments like,
"We tried to make people aware of it, but they don't want to hear about it."
I could understand people's desire to ignore this issue. After hearing their
comments, I also chose to put the whole issue out of my mind, but I couldn't, I
had to deal with my own sense of despair over the truth and implications of what
is happening to us as a country morally and ethically.
When we as a nation can accept this barbaric activity in the name of medical
advancement, where are we heading? The slippery slope feels more like a
As NOEL's executive director, I questioned what issues NOEL should address
and what issues NOEL should ignore. What role should the church play in
addressing some of these issues? How does God feel about biotechnology playing
creator? Deuteronomy, 2 Kings, Leviticus, Jeremiah and Lamentations warn of
women eating the flesh of their children. Has abortion opened the door to
encouraging women to turn their unwanted pregnancy into food for the research
giant in the name of medical advancement?
I believe despair or putting our heads in the sand over these issues is a
natural response but not the right response. Scripture tells us God created
life, and it is sacred to Him. Is my view of life the same as God's? If my world
view is that life is sacred, then I must address all issues that attack life.
When I became NOEL's executive director, I thought my pro-life job was to be
against abortion; but I now realize being pro-life includes addressing from many
angles the assaults upon life that our culture is making. The pro-life battle is
a long-term battle; it's about more than stopping abortions. It now must address
the value our culture places on life from conception to death.
How to Work with Your Pastor
Practical strategies for lay people to help their pastor provide pro-life
leadership to the church have been developed by members of the National Pro-Life
Religious Council. This guide comprises a comprehensive list of suggestions
based on experiences of pastors, pastors' wives, and active church leaders.
If you would like to obtain a copy, please contact the NPRC.
NPRC Seeks New Members
This is your opportunity to join with other Christian pro-life leaders to
help restore legal protection to the unborn child.
The National Pro-Life Religious Council, Inc. (NPRC) is a Christian pro-life
coalition which acknowledges Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and is called to
witness to and affirm the biblical standard of the value, dignity and sanctity
of human life.
Associate membership is open to any individual, church or group who
subscribes to NPRC's principles.
NPRC currently has members working within pro-life groups associated with the
following dnominations/churches: Conservative Congregational, Episcopalian,
Evangelical, Lutheran, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Presbyterian, Roman
Catholic, Southern Baptist, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist.
Please join NPRC today and help us end the tragedy of abortion!
NPRC Home Page