A blatant disregard for unborn life continues in the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) most recent “Hope Beyond Roe: A Service of Gathering and Lament.” Funeral-like somber prayer and song characterized the service featuring woke terms including “womxn” and “womanX” sprinkled amidst abortion, women’s rights, and advocacy propaganda.
Chris Davies of the UCC Faith Education, Innovation, and Formation Team hosted the online service that featured prominent UCC officials. Davies completed her academic work in “queer proclamation” and frequently misquoted Scripture in hopes of affirming non-binary language in biblical text. Featured were many prominent faces in the UCC body, including John Dorhaeur, Minister for Congregation and Community Engagement Tracy Howe, author and Executive Associate Lois Powell, Associate General Minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries Traci Blackmon, and many more.
Howe led a song beginning with a disclaimer.
“I want you to notice that women is an inclusive term, inclusive of all people, actually, but especially of uterus-having people,” Howe introduced.
The song repeated the lines: “How long will we be waiting-how long will we cry-we are women, singing, waiting, we know pain-but our strength will rise.” There was no mention to God, salvation, or biblical truth.
Scripture was reinterpreted and misread. The “Living Psalm 139” paraphrase was unrecognizable. Howe wrote the Psalm, according to the UCC website. The title stated, “Affirming the co-creative nature and power of womxn, as gift and will of God, including the autonomy to have an abortion.”
The text included lines like “All that I am is truth to you” and “When I am living my best life, you are there.” It contained multiple line additions on bodily choice and consent. “With her consent and when she willed my body to be carried in hers. You were with her too, not using her, but with her. In her choices you set your wisdom.” The “psalm” included a whole stanza dedicated to decrying the pro-life movement and lawmakers whom “in no way demonstrate living relationships with those their policies impact the most.”
Cheryl Lindsay recited a commitment to justice, detailing the ministry of SisterSong, an organization for reproductive justice for “indigenous women and women of color.” She recited the organization’s mission and definition of reproductive justice, and detailed the “holistic approach and a movement, in many ways rooted in womanism, womanism theology and the practice of womanism, rooted in particular in the expression and the reality of lived experience of the oppression that black women particularly face.”
The UCC reaffirmed a right to abortion, and “defended and advocated” against attempts to “marginalize” women and women of color.
“Reproductive justice is what we seek, what we work for, and what we pray for,” Lindsay stated.
Author Powell mentioned her partner of twenty-six years, Brenda Joyner, who was an abortion provider in Tallahassee, FL, and her own abortion in 1970, pre-Roe. She cited the “deeply personal” reasons people care about reproductive health. She praised the UCC for joining the Religious Coalition For Reproductive Choice (RCRC) and relayed evidence of UCC involvement in the pro-choice movement across decades.
The message was one of sorrow, but Blackmon, Associate General Minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries for The United Church of Christ, stated “None of us are free, until all of us are free.” She offered encouragement to her listeners to view their abortion access as God-given. “No Supreme Court Decision, no state law, changes or supersedes Divine Law.” The minister offered encouragement to press on. “Today was a blow, but it was just a blow. We’ve taken time to pause, to rest, to reflect, to lament, and tomorrow, we will journey on.”
“Holy one, in this moment we are lifting and honoring the spaces where the sacredness of choice is present,” Davies began in her final prayer. “So God, pray with us as we bless the people you love, who have had an abortion. Bless the people who choose still to receive abortions, bless the people who perform them, bless the people who get them there, the people who help them walk through protestors on the way.” She called on her listeners to “draw on the full armor of God” to advocate for and protect those to “restore justice.”
Davies concluded her prayer, “You are not alone in your grief, and we will not stop working for abortion access, and our collective liberation.” The message the UCC curated during this service was careful to avoid any direct reference to life in the womb, or any sort of protection for the unborn. The focus of the entire service was on the mother and the mother’s rights only as sacred and divine.
The message of the UCC to its congregants has strayed so far from truth that it does not resemble anything close to the biblical message of life. There is no divine right to an abortion; certainly no words regarding “bodily autonomy” in the Bible to justify killing an innocent. The UCC has denied the basic fact that an unborn child is a life cherished by God. We should be alarmed when a church reads a falsehood from Scripture that reads “All that I am, is truth to you.” There is nothing true in us, as we are inherently sinful and deceitful. As the Gospel of John reads, only God is the source of Truth and, ultimately, the Giver of Life.