January 18, 2013

Event Alert: Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

Mother and child

(Photo credit: WordPress)

By Rev. Chris Roberts

This Sunday, January 20, is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. I hope many of my fellow Christians, especially my United Methodist brothers and sister in Christ will participate in remembering God’s love for all creation including the unborn.

I remain disappointed that while the United Methodist Church recognizes many special days in the church calendar (and Hallmark and civil calendars) this day is not recognized in many local churches and not supported by the United Methodist’s numerous general boards and agencies. The General Board of Church and Society writes supporting documents for any number of “special occasions.” The Board of Discipleship and their worship gurus write liturgies, prayers, and other elements of worship to support various holidays and events. Yet, nothing is written or offered to support services or parts of worship to recognize Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. This annual event is the perfect opportunity for many local churches to work ecumenically to uphold the dignity of human life.

I have put together the following information for you to use as part of a bulletin insert or to put in any kind of newsletter. Again, this is specific to United Methodists. There is lots of information out there for general Sanctity of Human Life Sunday bulletin inserts at any church:

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, January 20, 2013

We are all created in God’s image. Scripture teaches life is precious and each life has immeasurable worth. We, in the United Methodist Church, stand with 2,000 years of church tradition to honor the sacredness of life:

  • “The beginning of life and the ending of life are the God-given boundaries of human existence. While individuals have always had some degree of control over when they would die, they now have the awesome power to determine when and even whether new individuals will be born. Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion. But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child.” (United Methodist Social Principle ¶161.J)
  • The United Methodist Church rejects the “simplistic answers to the problem of abortion that, on the one hand, regard all abortions as murders, or, on the other hand, regard abortions as medical procedures without moral significance…when a pregnancy occurs that appears to cause the parent or parents hardships, we in the church, should bring all our resources of compassion and support to their aid, including prayer and encouragement.” (United Methodist Book of Resolutions, 2026)
  • “We mourn and are committed to promoting the diminishment of high abortion rates. The Church shall encourage ministries to reduce unintended pregnancies such as comprehensive, age-appropriate sexuality education, advocacy in regard to contraception, and support of initiatives that enhance the quality of life for all women and girls around the globe.” (United Methodist Social Principle ¶161.J)
  • The United Methodist Church also states that churches and common society are encouraged to “provide each pregnant woman accessibility to comprehensive health care and nutrition adequate to ensure healthy children.” (United Methodist Book of Resolutions, 2026)
  • “We commit our Church to continue to provide nurturing ministries to those who terminate a pregnancy, to those in the midst of a crisis pregnancy, and to those who give birth. We particularly encourage the Church, the government, and social service agencies to support and facilitate the option of adoption. (United Methodist Social Principle ¶161.L.)
  • Today as faithful servants of Jesus Christ, we vow not to turn our back on mothers and unborn children who find themselves in crisis pregnancy and leave abortion as the only choice. We mourn and are committed to the diminishment of high abortion rates. We are committed to prayerful and nurturing ministries through our church.

To join like-minded Christ-followers in praying for all who find themselves considering abortion log onto http://www.lifewatch.org/ or join the Lifewatch on Facebook.

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3

Chris Roberts is a husband and father of four children wonderfully knit together in their mother’s womb. He is also an Elder in the Indiana Conference and serves on the Board of Trustees at United Theological Seminary. You can like him on Facebook to follow his latest updates. 


Topic:
  • Paul Hoskins

    Years ago I wrote some devotions for The Upper Room Disciplines, an annual book published by the UM Board of Discipleship. One of the devotions referred to groups that should evoke Christians’ compassion, and I included “the unborn.” The Upper Room staff deleted that, though I didn’t know that till the book was already in print. When I inquired about this, the editor said, “Some of our readers are uncomfortable with that position.”