Many of us are now becoming aware of the growing news story in the United States, exposing Planned Parenthood for harvesting the organs and tissue of aborted children. And in February of this year our Supreme Court overturned the existing law prohibiting assisted suicide, leaving our elderly and vulnerable at risk. These stories are disturbing and distressing—but they also serve to remind us that life issues are not just philosophical debates about when life begins or ends, nor are they political issues to be debated amongst our elected officials. We, as the Church in Canada, need to be informed and ready to act on life issues in our congregations and communities.
Anglicans for Life Canada has produced a new version of the US series Project Life to help meet this need. Project Life is an eight-week, DVD, Christian education series produced by Anglicans for Life Canada. This series gives a comprehensive snapshot of life issues and how Christians can make a difference for life.
During this course, you will learn
- the biblical basis for a commitment to life (Historical, biblical Overview)
- what abortion is and how it used in our society (Abortion)
- the effects of abortion on people and society (Post-abortion)
- how we need to respond to unexpected pregnancies (Adoption)
- what we need to say about sex (Abstinence)
- how euthanasia and assisted suicide further erodes the valuing of human life (Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide)
- what challenges biotechnology presents (Stem Cell Research)
- practical ways that we can affirm Life (Action Plan)
In the words of Georgette Forney, President of Anglicans for Life US, “For too long we’ve been silent while the culture of death has mounted a relentless campaign against the Gospel of Life. Now is the time to end that effort.”
Take the first step to standing for life! To learn more or to order Project Life for your small group or church, please contact Anglicans for Life National Director Vicky Hedelius at [email protected] or 905-220-0292.
Why Should We March?
It’s a question that I’ve been asked on more than one occasion since I started inviting others to join in the National March for Life in Ottawa this May! Well, I can think of three reasons—because we’re Christians; because we’re Canadians and because we’re Anglican!
Okay, I have to admit, that up until, just over a year ago, I didn’t think much about issues pertaining to the Sanctity of Life either. Personally, I’ve always been ‘pro-life’ but not one to get ‘involved’ with what I thought to be ‘political activism’. So, when a friend invited me to a ‘free lunch’ put on by Campaign life Coalition, I thought it was simply a ‘pleasant way to spend an afternoon’. Wow! Was I wrong! Oh, the lunch was good, the guest speakers and the fellow guests were very warm and welcoming. But, the truth that was proclaimed was extremely painful— and although I didn’t want to believe it, I couldn’t deny that our Canadian culture was on a downward spiral sinking deeper daily into a Culture of Death.
Of course, I’d seen the cultural decline, haven’t we all, but this is Canada. All my life, I’ve been told that this is God’s country of Blessing. This vast land of great beauty—built on a Judeo-Christian foundation—is filled with bountiful resources and wonderful opportunities; a peaceful, proud Nation which strives to provide for all her citizens the best of human rights and freedoms; protecting all from fear, oppression and death. It is emboldened in our National Anthem, ‘God keep our land glorious and free…’ Upon this then, I based my trust on our governing leaders’ promises to protect and respect all human life. I have no excuse except one of indifference to the question of ‘why’ I have missed, for so many years, the fact that Canada has no law to protect the unborn child from conception to the moment before he or she is birthed into this world. That human life is being cheapened to be nothing more than a ‘commodity’.
But, today, I cannot ignore the reality of how rampantly the battle to survive is raging for not only the unborn child but also the infirm and the elderly. No longer can my indifference be left unchecked, for, in our legislature and our courts ‘assisted suicide’ and euthanasia are being heatedly debated for legalization under the guise of ‘choice’ and ‘rights’.
In the days that followed that luncheon, I struggled with my Christian convictions. If what I believed to be true, that all human life is sacred, then how could I stay silent at such horror? I grappled with a myriad of emotions until I finally admitted my sin of omission to Almighty God and prayed for a way to share His Love—His Way, no holding back. Well, let me warn you, be careful what you pray for! For, when you let go and let Him take control, anything can happen, whether you like itor not! So when I found myself standing in the midst of 25,000 other people on the grounds of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa last May, I have to admit that I was overwhelmed. I was not sure what to do or what to expect as we prepared to March publicly down the streets of our Capital. Yet, in the midst of it all, I experienced a deep peace, one beyond my understanding.
My presence there was of but one person, in a sea of others whom I had never met, and yet together, we became a community that had been called together for a common purpose and message. We came from all walks of life, from all across the country, and beyond. We came from large cities, small towns, and villages. Each person came with one small voice, yet, willing to let themselves be joined together to proclaim the one truth, that all life is sacred and that as Canadians we believe that our country’s rights and freedoms belong to all her citizens, regardless of age (pre-birth to natural death) or gender or situation. That there are better options and answers to the problems Her people face. Together, Canadians can make a difference in every human life. Together we prayed that God would keep our land glorious and free!
Shaking off Indifference!
As Christians, we must shake off our indifference and embrace His Holy Truth in both our words and actions! Participating in the March gave me the courage to become ‘silent no more’. For through that event, I and all who were present witnessed the courage of some of the bravest people I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet. On the steps of the legislature, after the March, women and men from the Silence No More Awareness Campaign shared publicly, the pain and sorrow of being a parent of an aborted child and how through God’s love and mercy, they have been healed from the trauma and grief. (The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is co-sponsored by Anglicans for Life.)
It was a most heart-wrenching moment of intimacy and honesty experienced by that community of 25,000 that day, and it personally changed me forever. No longer can I, nor will I, be indifferent to my fellow Canadians, be they an innocent babe still in their mother’s womb or the parents of that child or an elderly senior struggling to live out their last days. Whether it be someone whose body or mind is less than perfect or in conflict. All human life is sacred. Jesus Christ our Saviour went to the cross, through the tomb, and rose again for them and all humanity. My responsibility is to share that very message of Hope and Love through my words and actions!
Calling Canadian Anglicans!
As a Christian Canadian, then, I vow to continue to learn, to minister and to advocate! And I so want to do this alongside my fellow Anglicans. I had no idea how to do this, until the Lord opened a wonderful opportunity for us to partner with Anglicans for Life USA. This wonderful ministry offers us the tools and support to be Life Affirming Churches and reach out to minister to those who are vulnerable due to unplanned pregnancy, infirmity, and ageing.
After much prayer and further discernment, I shared this vision with my Bishop, The Right Reverend Charles Masters, who encouraged me to embrace this important ministry with his blessing. Under the tutelage of Georgette Forney, God has called me to this ministry as the Director of Anglicans for Life Canada. This is an exciting time for all Pro-Life Canadian Anglicans. Together, we can make a difference!
Why then should we March this May? Because we are Christians, we are Canadians, and because we are Anglicans, and we are being called to proclaim the Gospel of Good News unconditionally! Still feeling ‘indifferent’? Check out the website for Anglicans for Life and, also, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and, as you do, listen carefully for what the Lord Has to say.