Seeing and Celebrating: Sanctity of Human Life Month 2022
In January, churches across the nation gathered to celebrate Sanctity of Human Life (SOHL) Month; it was a time set apart to honor and commit to protecting life at every stage. This year, New Life Family Services had the opportunity to celebrate alongside 52 churches in Minnesota. Through community events, the sharing of testimonies, ministry updates, videos and information, local church communities were inspired to answer a resounding YES to Jesus’s question from Luke 7, “Do you see this woman?”
Every woman, man, and child deserves to be seen for whom God created him or her to be – made in His image, made to worship. Motivated by this truth, churches and individuals joined New Life in a commitment to truly seeing others as image bearers formed by Christ. This commitment was demonstrated throughout the month of January in the following ways:
8 client speakers shared their stories in churches
15 pastors attended the January pastor’s training to learn more about how to speak about the sanctity of life with compassion and conviction
31 people participated in New Life’s first-ever SOHL Prayer Day
45 people visited First Care Pregnancy Center’s first-ever SOHL Open House events
New Life was also blessed by communities through their generous responses to baby bottle campaigns, donation drives and special offerings. Throughout the Twin Cities and Rochester, First Care Pregnancy Centers were gifted with an abundance of diapers, wipes, baby equipment, baby clothing, and maternity items. These items will go directly to clients along with physical, emotional and spiritual support throughout their parenting and pregnancy journeys.
Every client who comes to New Life Family Services has a unique story – sometimes untold, unheard, or unnoticed. Jesus’s question: “Do you see this woman?” which New Life shared with congregations, had an impact that was felt far beyond each church service. During their visits, staff members were approached by people who said the question caused them to “take a step back, look at their lives and think about who they see or don’t see.” Jesus’s calling to see others as forgiven image-bearers seemed to break down a stereotype about the clients whom New Life serves. It also encouraged church attenders to tell their own stories of unplanned pregnancy, abortion, parenting, and adoption. At the pulpit of a small church an abortion story was shared, and afterward, three women disclosed to staff they had abortions in their past, as well. This reveals that abortion is present in the church and touches the lives of many people; all of whom can find complete forgiveness in Christ. At another church, a woman shared she faced an unexpected pregnancy several years ago. In her time of desperation, she went to God in prayer – even though she wasn’t a believer at the time – and made the courageous decision to carry her child despite overwhelming pressure to terminate. She joyfully shared her son is now a young adult and the Lord used her situation to bring her into relationship with Him.
New Life staff rejoice over these testimonies and conversations, praising the Lord for the way He restores all things for His glory!
Although Sanctity of Human Life Month has come to a close, life is still to be honored. New Life Family Services works with one goal in mind: to truly see every woman, every child (born and unborn), and every family with Jesus’s eyes, so families will not only choose life, but have abundant life. And, New Life is forever grateful for the support of churches and communities who desire the same.
A special thanks to the following Twin Cities churches for their SOHL participation:
Ridgewood Church, Valley Free Church, Wooddale Church, Hope Church (Richfield), Calvary Memorial Church, Bethlehem Baptist Downtown, Bethlehem Baptist North, Faith Fellowship Church, Sojourn Campus Church, Hope Community Church (Minneapolis), Prairie Community Church, New Hope Church, Five Oaks Church, Redeemer Baptist Church, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Redeemer Lutheran School, Coon Rapids Evangelical Free Church, Bethel Baptist Church, Grace Church, Vision of Glory Church, First Baptist Church Anoka, Faith Community Church, Salt City Church, Gateway Christian Church, Riverview Baptist Church, River City Church, Bethel Christian Fellowship, Destiny Hill Church, Hope Oakdale, Mount Hope Church, Woodbury Lutheran Church (Valley Creek, Oak Hill, and Wakota campuses)
A special thanks to the following Rochester churches for their SOHL participation:
St. Charles Bible Church, St. Johns Lutheran Church, Salem Road Covenant Church, Victory Baptist Church, Christ Community Church, Living Hope Community Church, Rochester Covenant Church, Grace Evangelical Free Church, Northbridge Church, Berean Community Church, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bear Creek Christian Church, Calvary Evangelical Free Church, New Life Church, True Life Church, River of Glory Church, Faith Community Church, Word of Grace Foursquare Church, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Good News Evangelical Free Church, Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church
Start thinking about how you can honor life with your church in January 2023! New Life offers free SOHL resources which can help you navigate topics with compassion and truth. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.