Saturday, January 11, 2020

10 Ways to Recognize and Celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday takes place this year on January 19, 2020.  This is a day set aside to celebrate the value of human life.  Traditionally, people focus on the value of the life of the unborn child but we must also remember our elderly and our special needs children and adults.  This is a day to hone in on the meaning of Psalm 139:13-14.


 Ways to Recognize and Celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. - Psalm 139:13-14
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made:  This item is available here.
Think about that for a minute.  God formed our inward parts.  We were woven in our mothers' wombs.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made by the One who works wonders and miracles.  Isn't that awesome?  

Years ago, when we first began to celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, many Christians and others who believe in life at conception would gather on the side of sidewalks and hold signs silently.  The signs would usually say something like "Abortion Kills Children" or "Abortion is Murder."  Some of the signs would simply display the Bible verse above.  Regardless of what was printed or written on the sign, there was to be no loud protesting or unruly behavior.  People just stood silently holding signs.  I participated a time or two.  This type of celebration or silent protest is well taken in my generally conservative community.  

Last year, I noticed that there are still people who recognize Sanctity of Human Life Sunday by holding signs on sidewalks and that is fine because we do need to boldly defend the lives of unborn children but there are several other ways to recognize and celebrate this important day as well.  Here are several ways you can recognize the value of human life while taking action that benefits your community.

1.  Volunteer at your local pregnancy care center.  

Several months ago, I began volunteering at my local pregnancy care center.  If you feel comfortable doing so, you can volunteer to speak with patients.  Not everyone who comes to our center is a female seeking abortion.  We also see women and men who come in for STD testing.  Of course, we help pregnant women understand the value of the life they carry.  For those who come in for STD testing, we talk to them about their sexual behavior and God's design for intimacy, abstinence, and marriage.  Most pregnancy care centers require training for patient advocates.
If you want to volunteer at your local pregnancy care center but you are not comfortable speaking with patients, you can volunteer for other needs.  If your center offers support for women and children, perhaps you can help organize baby clothing, diapers, bottles, and the many other things babies need.  If your center offers educational materials, perhaps you can organize the training materials and keep folders stocked with appropriate materials so they are ready when the women come in.

2.  Host a baby shower for your pregnancy care center.  

My Bible Fellowship Class recently hosted a baby shower for the center where I volunteer.  Class members brought in both new and gently used baby clothes, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, strollers, portable cribs, bottles, pacifiers, crib sheets, burp cloths, a few toys - anything you would take to a baby shower for a friend would be a great contribution.
Noah's Ark Baby Gift Set:  This item is available here.
3.  Host a fund raiser for your pregnancy care center.  

Pregnancy care centers provide so much support for patients that there are always needs.  Hosting a fundraiser will give the center the funds they need to supply any need.  Sometimes they need a new printer or other clerical supplies for the center's office.  Perhaps the nurses need to replace medical supplies.  General funds will give the center the opportunity to purchase needs the the general public might not know about.

4.  Support a young mother who has opted to keep her baby or complete her pregnancy.  

If you know a woman who has chosen to not have an abortion, offer her support.  Pay for her doctor appointments.  Provide here with transportation.  Take her nutritious grocery items to help keep her and her baby healthy.  Pay her utility bills.  Provide her with gas cards and other gift cards so that she can purchase needed items.  Offer to babysit after the baby is born.
If the mother has chosen adoption, offer to provide any needs she might have during her pregnancy and the adoption process.

5.  Hose a showing of the movie, Unplanned.  

Show the movie at your church or in your home.  Invite everyone you know to come see the movie with you.  I have personally seen this movie.  In my opinion, every person on the planet should see it.  It is eye opening in so many ways and on so many levels.  I really don't have the words to describe how important it is for you and everyone you know to see this movie.  Just get it and show it.

 
Unplanned Movie:  This item is available here.


6.  Host a viewing of Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.

Answers in Genesis has recently updated a DVD by Dr. David Menton.  It is called Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.  I have not personally seen this movie but according to Answers in Genesis, viewers get a peek into the stages of human development, particularly the very early stages.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made:  This item is available here.

7.  Plan a trip to the Creation Museum.  

My family has visited the Creation Museum twice and it is a site to see.  Everyone should go at least once, but multiple trips are recommended because they are always updating and adding features and exhibits.  This summer, they will open up their new exhibit called the Sanctity of Life Exhibit.  

8.  Help with the elderly.

Remember that all life is precious in the site of God.  Volunteer at a nursing home or rehabilitation center in your area.  Many elderly men and women can no longer drive.  Offer to take an elderly person to the grocery store, to a doctor's appointment, or to church.  Take an elderly neighbor a meal.  If you know an elderly person who is lonely, set aside a regular time to sit with him or her.  Sometimes, just sitting with someone and talking with him or her for a little while can greatly improve his or her quality of life.

9.  Start a respite program or something similar in your church.

Some churches have a respite program.  The one we have at our church meets once per month.  A respite program provides a safe place for families to leave their special needs children in well trained hands while they run errands or take care of other family needs.  Sometimes Mom and Dad need a few hours to take a break or go on a date.  This service has been helpful to families in my church for many years.  If you have a special needs loved one, then you already know how important this time is for families.  If you have never been exposed to special needs families, then trust me.  This is huge.  Contact your church administration to see if your church offers respite care for special needs families.  If not, then maybe you can start one.  If your church already has one, then go hang out with them for a while and offer to help.  Depending on the needs of the families taking advantage of this time, you might need additional training, but there are always things you can do without the need for training.

10.  Keep helping all year long.

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is recognized annually, but all the needs listed above are year long needs.  The things I've listed here are only of few of the things I know about.  I'm sure there are mountains of things we can do all year long to minister to parents of unborn children, young families, adoptive families, special needs children, special needs adults, and the elderly members of our communities.  Get plugged in somewhere whether it be your church, a pregnancy center, a community center, a nursing home, a rehab center, or any other place where volunteers are needed to serve your community.  

Of course, pray.  Pray for the people God places in your path.  Many of them do not have a relationship with Jesus and you are someone who can present the gospel to them.
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