So your church supports the sacredness of Life. Your priest or pastor delivers a life-affirming sermon in January. Your church affirms abstinence before marriage and prays for Life. That’s great!
But who in your church will a teenager in your congregation turn to when she discovers that she’s pregnant? What will the church’s response be when a woman confesses in prayer time that she’s been struggling emotionally with a prior abortion? Will a member of your church’s youth group know how to help a friend who is considering an abortion? These are tough questions, and they are meant to be. Abortion isn’t a theoretical subject, and it isn’t an issue that exists exclusively outside of the church doors. In a 2015 survey Lifeway Research revealed that 4 in 10 women were church goers when they ended their pregnancies. Only 7 percent of those women discussed it with someone in her church. Even more distressing, according to the same survey, only 41 percent of women thought that the church was prepared to help with unplanned pregnancies.
This is a real issue in churches—in yours and mine—and we need to be ready to respond. And one of the best resources to address this need is right around the corner—your local pregnancy center! They have the resources to help women considering abortion, baby items and diapers to meet women’s practical needs, and connections to adoption services. But pregnancy centers also need the Church’s help. There are approximately 2,500 pregnancy centers in the United States and 350,000 churches that could be partnering with them. We want to see the Anglican Communion partnering with pregnancy centers, sharing their information, and serving women, children, and families in need of life-affirming help.
• Add this to your weekly church bulletin: “Pregnant and need help? There is a pregnancy resource center near you.” Include their phone number and address. Encourage congregation members to keep a card with this information in their wallet.
• Research your local pregnancy centers and learn what resources they have available. If you have talents or gifts that are needed, contact them to volunteer.
• Host a baby bottle fundraiser or baby shower for a pregnant mom at your church
• CareNet – One of the largest networks of pregnancy centers in North America
• Pregnancy Decision Online – Find a local pregnancy center in your area
Written by AFL Administrator Robin Ferguson