Uniting for Life
National Pro-Life Religious Council, Inc.,
109 2nd St. N.E.
From the President:
Rev. Rob Schenck
These are great days for the National Pro-life Religious
Council (NPRC). With the election of George Bush, the confirmation
of John Ashcroft and the continuation of a fundamentally pro-life
leadership in the Congress, a window of opportunity has opened
to advance the pro-life ethic in our culture. (It doesn't
hurt that an associate Justice of the Supreme Court recently
took to a public podium to denounce the "culture of death.")
To take full advantage of this opportunity, and to maximize
our contribution to the cause of Life, the NPRC is currently
narrowing its focus in order to use its resources in the most
efficient and effective ways possible. At a recent board meeting,
we decided to focus on our mission to counteract the pro-abortion
propaganda of the so-called Religious Coalition for Reproductive
The RCRC would have the nation believe that the majority
of American clergy is pro-choice. We believe that to be patently
false. But pro-life clergy need to speak up and be visible.
The National Pro-Life Religious Council can provide that visibility.
We think the prevailing beliefs of religious leaders in America's
largest and fastest growing religious organizations are pro-life,
and NPRC can provide a coordinated expression of that belief.
Because of these opportunities, we will need your support
on a greater level than ever before. You will receive a letter
from me about this in the near future. Please watch for it.
Until then, I invite you to join in the exciting new course
that lies ahead for the NPRC.
These are great days to be pro-life! I'm glad to be enjoying
them with you!
Time for Change
By Rev. Dr. James I. Lamb, Executive Director, National
Lutherans for Life
"It is time for change." This was the thought in many peoples'
minds as they voted for George W. Bush. Now we have that change.
It is a good change, and we at Lutherans For Life are thankful
for the For Life changes this will bring.
However, we dare not hang all our hope for all the changes
we desire on this one change. There is another change that
is more important. That is why the title of this article,
"Time for Change," is not describing a presidential election.
It is describing Lent. Lent is a time for change, a time for
repentance. In the New Testament, the word for repentance
literally means a "change of mind."
Certainly we would say it is time for our nation to repent,
to change its mind about the value of human life, when that
life begins, and from whom its value comes. It is time for
our nation to return to that self-evident truth that human
persons are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit
We would say that it is time for our leaders to repent, to
change their minds about placing political expediency and
political correctness above what they know in their hearts
is wrong and devastating to our country -- the destruction
of our children.
But Lent is not a time for pointing out the changes we see
others need to make. It is a time of self-reflection, a time
for you and me who are For Life to repent. Perhaps we need
to repent and change our mind about our message. The message
that Lutherans For Life wants to help apply to the life issues
is the message of the Gospel. How easy it is for us who see
so clearly the preciousness of life to become frustrated,
even angry, with those who seem to discard and degrade it
so wantonly. It is easy to get caught up in the rhetoric of
condemnation and never get to the part where we can say, "There
is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus"
(Romans 8:1). We must call wrong things wrong. However, we
need to repent if that is all we do. The pregnant teen, post-abortive
women and men, families dealing with end-of-life decisions
-- these and others also need to hear about forgiveness, hope,
Perhaps we need to repent and change our mind about our manner.
Commenting on a Life Sunday sermon, a woman said, "That's
the first pro-life sermon I have ever heard given in love."
This was a nice compliment to the pastor, but it is also
a sad commentary. It is not just pastors but all of us need
be aware of our manner. The passion we have for the truth
must never consume us to the point where we forget to speak
that truth in love. Those who have the truth do not need to
attack people. We can be bold without being overbearing, courageous
without being callous, confident without being condescending.
Lent is a time for change. It is a good time to examine ourselves
and to examine ourselves as pro-lifers in terms of our message
and manner. Maybe we will find we need to repent, to change
our minds. That's okay. Repentance is a good thing. As Peter
said, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may
be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord"
Lutherans For Life (LFL) is a pan-Lutheran organization
witnessing to the sanctity of human life. LFL produces educational
resources for use by pastors, educators, congregations, and
individual Christians to equip them to apply the Gospel to
the life issues of our time. Tel. 888-364-5433 website:
A Liberal's Testimony
By Rev. Robert J King
Before I knew I was a Christian, I knew I was a Democrat.
From my father I learned, rather early in life, to favor governmental
assistance for the poor, oppose institutional prejudice, and
take the "pro-choice" position in matters of personal morality.
Like many good Americans, I became "personally opposed" to
abortion, but still favored a woman's "right to choose."
All of this changed, however.. one afternoon during college
when a pro-life pamphlet was slid underneath my dorm room
door. Contrary to much of the pro-abortion rhetoric I had
heard during the Reagan years of the 1980's, this small pamphlet
argued simply that abortion was directly linked to the destructive,
consumeristic practices of America. Just as Americans were
destroying the environment through unbridled consumerism,
so also was America destroying innocent lives, all in the
name of "convenience."
'My God," I thought to myself, "what have I been supporting?
If abortion is truly wrong for me, then I must also logically
hold that abortion is wrong in itself." By being pro-choice,
I have been supporting a consumer-driven world of choice above
all else that has resulted in the deaths of millions of unborn
infants, many of whom have died through the use of abortion
as a means of birth control.
Now, many years later, the "abortion pill" has recently been
approved by the FDA. The consumer-driven cult of convenience
has placed death in a bottle. As concerned Christians, whether
liberal or conservative on other issues, how are we to respond
to this new phase within the abortion issue?
First, given the drift of the American judicial system toward
what many are beginning to call "a judicial usurpation" of
genuinely democratic process (Richard John Neuhaus and others),
it is not clear at this point if Christians should or even
can attempt to repeal abortion laws through democratic means.
Given twenty-eight years of increasingly entrenched debate
following Roe v. Wade,the hope of addressing
the abortion issue in a decisive way through governmental
action looks dim indeed.
Second because so many abortions are performed as a means
of birth control, churches should do everything in their power
to offer not only viable, but more attractive options than
abortion to women who are considering it. For a fast-food
society nurtured on convenience above all else, such works
of mercy are sorely needed. As Mother Teresa once offered,
"I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted." Any
genuinely Christian church should be willing to do the same.
Finally, because many faithful Americans, like myself, have
often inadvertently supported what Pope John Paul II calls
the "Culture of Death" of abortion and capital punishment,
more education is needed concerning these issues. Understanding
abortion as being linked to and symptomatic of our nation's
rapacious, consumeristic, economic practices is one good place
to start. Through such proactive education, even cradle liberals,
like myself for years, can have their minds changed.
Rev. King is an elder in the Western North Carolina Conference
ofThe United Methodist Church and a Ph.D. student
in Moral Theology at the University of Notre Dame.
Help not just in the bulletin, but
on the bulletin!
By Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life
The Church of Jesus Christ does not simply stand up and say,
"Abortion is wrong, don't do it." Like her Lord, the Church
does more: she reaches out the hand of compassion and gives
to God's people the strength to do what is right. That is
why the pro-life movement consists predominantly of efforts
to provide alternatives to abortion.
Abortions can be stopped and lives can be saved long before
laws are changed. The children scheduled to die tomorrow don't
have time for legislators to pass laws to protect them. This
is one of the ways in which the pro-life cause reveals itself
to be much more than a "political" issue. It is an emergency
to which the People of God need to respond here and now, to
save the lives of the most defenseless among us.
There is a simple way we can activate our congregations to
respond: Spread the phone numbers at which people can find
alternatives to abortion.
And one of the most effective ways to spread them is not
only to put them in the Church bulletin but to put
them on the Church bulletin, in other words, right
there on the front cover along with the other standard phone
numbers that we always want to make known to our people. After
all, the need for abortion alternatives is not seasonal or
occasional, and, as a matter of life and death, certainly
has priority importance over other numbers.
Now which numbers do we use? Certainly, local numbers of
which the pastor may be aware, and through which people can
contact resources in their own communities. There are also
a number of national hotlines that can connect people to help
in any part of the country. Some examples of these are the
National Life Center's hotline, 800-848-LOVE, or America's
Crisis Pregnancy Helpline 800-67-BABY-6.
Whatever the number that is used, the point is this: putting
it on the cover of the Church bulletin is simple and
inexpensive, and does not require time, because once it is
on the template, it is printed again week after week. Moreover,
this gives our people an ever present tool by which they can
reach out to those who might abort, and put them in touch
with medical, financial, psychological, legal, and other types
of help. People can take these numbers from the bulletin and
keep them in their wallet, on their refrigerator, by their
phone, and spread them through the community in countless
other ways. Finally, this practice shows the world the true
face of the pro-life movement and the Church: not an effort
to oppress women, but to intervene when they think there is
no choice but to do what is wrong, and to give them the power
to do what is right. And that is real freedom.
Rev. Frank Pavone to Be
Honored at 2001 Proudly Pro-Life Dinner
Reverend Frank Pavone, Founder and Director of Priests for
Life and a board member of the National Pro-Life Religious
Council, will be one of two honorees at the 2001 Proudly Pro-Life
Dinner sponsored by the National Right to Life Committee.
Each year National Right to Life Committee recognizes one
or more individuals who have been outstanding leaders in the
A priest of the Archdiocese of New York, Fr. Pavone's involvement
in the pro-life movement spans more than 25 years. With the
late Cardinal O'Connor's support and encouragement, Fr. Pavone
began building Priests for Life (PFL) in 1993.
Today, under his energetic leadership, Priests for Life has
25 full time employees and has helped spread the message of
the culture of life around the world.
In addition Fr. Pavone has been very active in the National
Pro-Life Religious Council which is made up of pro-life leaders
from a variety of different denominations.
Fr. Pavone's persuasive and articulate comments and articles
have appeared in the New York Times and the Washington
Times as well as on CNN, EWTN, The Odyssey Network, Catholic
Family Radio, Vatican Radio, and many other media outlets
around the world.
PFL's powerful pro-life witness has energized many diocesan
and parish clergy, laity and committees to bring the culture
of life to the center of local churches' activities.
The second recipient of the Proudly Pro-Life Award this year
will be Mr. Lawrence Garvey of New Orleans. Mr. Garvey has
been extremely helpful and supportive of programs and activities
of National Right to Life and other pro-life organizations
for more than two decades. He has been recognized for his
pro-life work by many organizations including the Archdiocese
of New Orleans and New Orleans Right to Life.
A successful businessman, Mr. Garvey was a founding partner
of Radiofone, Inc. He also served as president of the Telocator
Network of America which helped spawn the cellular telephone
Provide Resources for End-Of Life Care
By Rev. Ben Sheldon
Many local churches and their pastors may be failing to confront
the increasingly important and significant issues of euthanasia
and other end-of-life questions because of the lack of good
resource materials. Acknowledging the importance of this challenge,
Mrs. Terry Schlossberg, Executive Director of Presbyterians
Prolife (PPL), recently announced that PPL will be putting
more stress on these matters in this next year.
Developing resources that can be used on the local level
is one of PPL's priorities. A consultation on end-of-life
issues was held n Baltimore in October of 2000, and the papers
and findings that emerged from that symposium may form the
basis of future materials that PPL will be producing.
Care and counseling for persons facing terminal illness and
imminent death traditionally has been something that pastors
have supplied. But in recent years, with the growing emphasis
in the media on euthanasia and assisted suicide, pastors and
local churches are finding themselves hard-pressed to provide
adequate counseling and care. Resources and materials to aid
them in this are needed. Presbyterians Prolife wants to supply
Christ-centered and Biblical materials that can assist them
in guiding their parishioners to make godly and right choices
and decisions that will reflect the fundamental value and
dignity of all human life.
Presbyterians Prolife recognizes that end-of-life concerns,
along with concern for the preborn and disadvantaged already-born,
are equally important pro-life matters. Addressing all the
issues related to the dignity and value of all God's created
human life from a thoroughly Biblical perspective is PPL's
unique role in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
For more information about this work, you are invited
to write to PPL, PO Box 11130, Burke, VA 22009.
I'm a Miracle, Not a Mistake!
Excerpt from sermon given Jan. 22, 2001 at annual United
Methodist Lifewatch Worship Service by Rev. Harold D. Lewis
Lincoln Park United Methodist Church,
Jeremiah 1:5 says: "Before I formed you in the womb I
knew you, and before were born I consecrated you... " Now
this text should teach and tell all of us that every baby
is handcrafted by God Himself. Every baby has been consecrated
and set aside for a divine purpose in the providential will
of God. Every baby is a masterful miracle made in Heaven.
Every baby has a unique plan on this planet
As we look at the text for our topic today, we discover that
the text is tailored to teach us that unborn babies are not
only human but also divinely given. Brothers and sisters,
we have a revelation for you. Babies do not come from us;
they come through us. Babies are not mistakes; they are miracles.
According to God, the baby is divinely designed and cosmically
created long before she is in the womb. The womb is just the
area where God announces His creation
When an abortion is performed, which ends a pregnancy by
destroying and removing a developing child, we are saying
by way of that act: return to sender! Return to sender, as
if the baby is an unwanted or misdirected package. Return
to sender, as if the baby was ordered from some catalog. Return
to sender, as if the baby is a piece of merchandise that can
A Springtime of the Spirit
By Rev. John B. Brown, Jr., United Church of Christ
The 20th century has been in many ways a time of moral confusion.
For many, freedom has been separated from responsibility,
and truth from morality. Sexuality has been separated from
marriage and commitment, and a concern for human rights has
been separated from what is truly right. Religion, though
given a certain respect, has in many ways been marginalized.
There are those who would be pleased to force the churches
completely out of the public square.
The results have been horrendous. For ideas always have consequences
and when ideas are evil the consequences are inevitably destructive.
In the 20th century we have been introduced to total war,
genocide, euthanasia, international terrorism and mass abortion.
Science and technology have done much to make life healthier
and easier for millions, for which any thinking person is
thankful. But it has not come without cost. The fruits of
science when unfettered by a sound moral perspective have
too often contributed to techniques and weapons of mass destruction.
The losses, when we take abortion properly into account, are
in the hundreds of millions.
In the face of the tempests and pressures of the modem world,
we must as Christians stand firm upon the truth claims of
our faith. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God and the Word was God...and the Word became flesh
and dwelt among us." (John 1: 1-2,14) This Word, whose name
is Jesus Christ, is the truth that provides the basis for
our freedom and dignity as human beings: male and female,
young and old, black and white, disabled and able-bodied,
born and unborn. It should be our prayer that every Christian,
that every branch of the Christian faith, will speak forth
this truth for the sake of life, for the sake of the world.
It may be that the Almighty will use the confusion and evil
of our time to remind us that we cannot effectively respond
to the great problems of the new millennium alone, but that
we must work together in genuine unity. It is true that there
are denominational differences among Christians, and we cannot
overlook them. But we do well to remember that these differences
are minimal compared to those between the Church and the world.
To speak and to live the truth, to pray unceasingly for the
unity of Christians is the privilege and responsibility of
every follower of Christ. Only thus can we contribute effectively
to building a culture of life.
Are You Ready to Help?
By Georgette Forney, Executive Director of the
National Organization of Episcopalians for Life (NOEL)
The other day there was a meek knock on my office door. It
was Julie, a young, pretty, shy 20 year-old who works at our
church. Her face was red and she was obviously very nervous.
She cautiously peeked in and asked if I had a minute to talk.
I invited her to sit down, and said "I always have time to
She burst out, "I had an abortion when I was sixteen and
now I'm so afraid I won't be able to have children later in
life! God must hate me."
I knew the depth of her fear; it's common in post-abortive
women. We feel God's wrath will make itself apparent in the
She asked for help dealing with this dread she lived in and
wanted to know if I could help her. Yes, I replied.
My question is this: if a women or man came to you and asked
you for help dealing with the pain of their abortion, what
would you say?
Last year more than 65 men and women contacted me on-line
to ask for help. And I believe there will be even more this
year. As time goes on, I sense more and more people involved
in abortions will begin to come forward seeking help.
Will you or your church be ready to help? And if you thought
that reaching out to help post-abortive men and women could
lower the number of abortions in this country would you reach
I firmly believe one strategy to end abortion that hasn't
been discussed enough is the idea of offering help to those
who suffer after an abortion, thereby freeing them to finally
say with first hand knowledge: "Abortion hurts everyone involved."
For 18 years I remained silent on the issue, but now I am
able to say, "Abortion is an awful solution to an unplanned
Maybe if you thought that reaching out to help those hurting
from abortion would provide the opportunity to share the forgiving
power of the Gospel, then you'd think about speaking out or
Post abortion pain keeps us from a relationship with God.
We fear His judgement, but we desperately want to be forgiven
by Him and be able to forgive ourselves.
The Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA) last summer
at the triennial General Convention passed a resolution calling
for "Ministry to Men and Women Suffering Post-Abortive Stress,"
because NOEL helped them understand the negative impact abortion
has on our spiritual life. Churches around the country are
starting to develop ministries and outreach for those suffering
in silence. Memorial services, bible studies and one-on-one
counseling are beginning to happen.
NOEL has produced two brochures to deal with post-abortion,
one for lay people that provides educational information about
PAS and a second for clergy and counselors to help guide them
through pastoral ministry. Please order the above brochures
from NOEL and be prepared when someone comes knocking. (800-707-NOEL
Abortion Ministry Resources
- American Victims of Abortion
202-626-8800 ext. 132
- Women and Children First
- Men's Abortion Recovery
- Project Rachel
- Care Net
109 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100 Sterling, VA 20164
(703) 478-5661 (800) 712-HELP
- Fathers & Brothers
- Elliot Institute
P. O.Box 7348 Springfield, IL 62791 (217)
- Pregnancy Centers Online www.pregnancycenters.org
- National Memorial for the Unborn
6230 Vance Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421
Edited by Paul T. Stallsworth
An ecumenical conference for pastors, entitled "Building
a Ministry for Life, " sponsored by the National Pro-Life
Religious Council, in the fallof 1998, has resulted
in this collection of reflections on the spiritual crisis
that abortion is for the churches. The four presentations
represented here are by the following religious leaders:
- Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Achtemeier, Presbyterian theologian;
- Dr. Carl E. Braaten, Executive Director of the
Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology
- Rev. Leonard Mein, Senior Pastor of Christ Lutheran
Church, York, PA
- Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, Presidentof
the Institute on Religion in Public Life
Order your copy now!
Click here for order form.
Building a Pro-Life Group
Within Your Church
Manual for Church Pro-Life Work Now Available
The practical details needed to organize a pro-life group
in your parish or church are spelled out in this clear attractive
Your church is key in the battle to counteract the pro-death
forces at work in our society. Are the people in your church
informed, engaged, active in this struggle? What can your
church do and what can it not do? What kinds of activities
work well? How should you expand on what you do now?
Click here for order
Let's Work Together!
Join with other Christian Pro-life Leaders to help restore
legal protection to the unborn child.
Become a Member of the National Pro-Life Religious Council
The National Pro-Life Religious Council, Inc, (NPRC) is a
Christian pro-life 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 denominations/churches:
- Conservative Congregational
- Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
- Roman Catholic
- Southern Baptist
- United Church of Christ
- United Methodist
Please join NPRC today and help us end the tragedy of
Click here for membership application.