What do you think of when you hear the term pro-life?
Depending on where you live and what your personal experiences have been, you may have a variety of images or words come to mind. Hopefully some are positive, but most likely a lot are negative. Some of you might already be rolling your eyes, or moving your mouse towards the ‘x’. I pray you don’t. I pray you hear our hearts, and see how our ministry is on a mission to enact change through a positive and loving approach. Oh, how I pray that people see our love, and the love of our heavenly Father, through all we do.
You see, over the years the rhetoric around the sacredness of human life, and the term pro-life, has become so convoluted that we seem to have decided to shy away from the topic altogether. We are pro-life, but we don’t really know what that means. We give money each year in a baby bottle, but we don’t allow ourselves to really feel or think through these issues. We say we are pro-life and we may even vote pro-life, but do our actions show it? Could we defend our beliefs? Could we make necessary sacrifices that we expect others to make in difficult circumstances? We may be against abortion of children with disabilites, children conceived in rape, children conceived in incest, but do we truly make a place for these chidlren in our churches, communities, and lives? Do we help their parents feel supported and loved? Do we offer alternatives to abortion through the way of adoption?
I know pro-life issues are so difficult to address, but I believe God wants us all to think through these concepts – maybe even squirm through some of them – so that we can be motivated into genuine, love-based action. So that we can embrace the full image of our Creator and experience the joy He experiences when He looks upon one of His beloved. Yes, this is a sensitive, controversial issue that is sometimes difficult to approach with love and compassion. We know because these are things our team prayerfully considers in every single thing we do. But this is also why our team is seeking to change the conversation about the sacredness of human life. May we be known by our love – by what we are for, not against. And we are on a mission to remind the Christian community that the pro-life movement is for each one of us. And acting on your pro-life beliefs doesn’t mean you have to pray outside of an abortion clinic, or march on Capitol Hill, although we applaud and encourage those who do. But every single one of us has an important role to play in protecting the God-given blessing of each precious image bearer, and fully embracing all life.
Embrace Life Ministries of North Way Christian Community believes that abortion is primarily a spiritual issue. It’s a symptom of the larger issue at hand, like poverty, slavery, human-trafficking, the orphan crisis, and so on. The issue? The devaluation of human life. A failure to see all lives through the eyes of God. When we, as a culture, choose to determine that another person or group of people’s lives are less valuable than our own, people suffer. And when we, as a society, decided that a preborn child’s life was not valuable, the ripple effects were catastrophic. Today, children with disabilities, children with illnesses, children of the “wrong” gender, children who came to be at the “wrong” time, in the “wrong” way, or amidst the “wrong” situation have somehow become less worthy of life.
Surely this mindset breaks the heart of God. Surely Christians must work to change this.
Our ministry is on a mission to see an end to abortion, not necessarily through politicians or court rooms, but through the hearts of people – through a cultural transformation arising from the love and compassion of the body of Christ. We seek to do this by building a culture that values and defends all lives regardless of size, age, ability, dependency, race, ethnicity, and social economic status. We have 4 main goals as a ministry, complete with action steps and a champion leader for each area:
1. Educate about issues related to the sacredness of life – social media, writing and speaking, Sanctity of Human Life Sunday
2. Encourage alternatives to abortion and support those who choose life – support birth moms and single moms choosing to parent; support a culture of adoption; Embrace Grace and Embrace Grace Alumni Group
3. Offer healing to those who have experienced an abortion – promote post-abortive healing groups and spread the message of grace and forgiveness to the church and community
4. Embrace all lives as a unique representation of the image of God – annual prom for individuals with special needs; special needs advocacy, support, and inclusion in the church
We are also in the process of adding to our goals – working hard to encompass end-of-life care, miscarriage and infant loss, and care for those who receive an adverse prenatal diagnosis. Through these goals and action steps we desire to contribute towards a world where each and every human being is seen through the eyes of their Creator—where every person is recognized as having intrinsic value, and they are treated as such.
This is why we love and support the Imagine Conference. Every single opportunity presented at this conference encourages us to do our part in upholding the dignity of human life. Support a single mom, sponsor a family in need, engage in foster care, love on orphaned or abandoned children, mentor a child who is without a father, serve refugees, speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, promote justice and equality, act on behalf of those living in poverty, and so much more. Each time you serve your neighbor you are reminding yourself, and those around you, what it truly is to be pro-life.
So, why Embrace Life?
Because every single life has inherent value and it is our job—no, our privilege—to act on behalf of our brothers and sisters.
Come find your place at the Imagine Conference, and let’s get to work.