Contributor, Lori Solyom, NID Life Task Force
Lutherans were well represented among the thousands of life advocates who gathered at the March for Life Chicago on January 8, 2022. Many of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod faithful were decked out with lime green LCMS Life Ministry stocking caps, bright beacons among those gathered on Federal Plaza, to hear LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison and other pro-life leaders encourage pursuit of life-affirming action to save women and children.
“This is the moment to be pro-life in Illinois,” Harrison declared, “and we’re going to do it through prayer.”
He prayed for those who are tempted to seek to end lives through abortion, for Illinois’ governor and legislators, and that God would open eyes and turn hearts and grant forgiveness for those advocating a culture of death. The enthusiastic chorus of “hear our prayer” rose from the Lutherans in crowd.
Harrison’s rousing speech was followed by an LCMS video feature highlighting Lutheran pro-life efforts and the LCMS Million Dollar Life Match. Beginning early in 2022, the Synod is offering $1 million in matching grants to LCMS congregations to foster sanctity of human life programs and partnerships.
A premier sponsor of the Midwest’s largest pro-life gathering, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod was prominently featured in the accompanying activities. The March for Life Chicago Convention showcased LCMS Life Ministry, the Northern Illinois District Life Task Force, and several LCMS Recognized Service Organizations including Redeeming Life Outreach Ministries, Lutherans for Life of Illinois, Voice of Care, and the Coalition for Life, a new St. Louis-based ministry with Lutheran roots.
The Synod also hosted an informal gathering following the march at which President Harrison answered questions along with Deaconess Tiffany Manor, Director of LCMS Life Ministry. Northern Illinois District President Rev. Dr. Allan Buss welcomed and encouraged those in attendance, as did NID Life Task Force Chairman Rev. Cory Estby.
President Harrison was also a featured speaker at the evening March for Life Chicago banquet.
We have never before seen such excitement for life ministry in the NID. Life ministry became an established ongoing mission of the LCMS Northern Illinois District in 2015 when the group was given the broad assignment of creating a pro-life climate within the NID. Educating people about life issues and providing opportunities to put faith into action is the dual focus. The Northern Illinois District Life Task Force connects the District’s church workers and congregations with educational and outreach opportunities promoting the sanctity of human life. The NID Life Task Force has formally accepted the following mission statement:
Affirming God’s Will to create and sustain mortal life in the anticipation of Life in Christ, The Northern Illinois District Life Task Force’s mission is to connect with church workers and their congregations by presenting unique educational and outreach opportunities about the reverence of life from conception though natural death.
Rev. Cory Estby is serving as Triennial Chair of the NID Life Task Force. A District Vice President will serve as a triennial chair (the other three regional Vice Presidents as advisory helpers) in rotation for the LCMS Northern Illinois District Life Task Force.
Today, congregations in the NID are currently supporting life ministries in varied and specific ways that meet their communities’ needs.
Redeeming Life Outreach Ministries, a Registered Service Organization of the LCMS, has been planning to expand a maternity home program by opening a location in Northern Illinois. This new home is critical to protecting the lives of unborn children in Chicagoland.
Other congregations have established Breakfast with Baby outreach programs. Breakfast with Baby is a faith-based ministry for babies and their families. The program strives to meet the essential physical and spiritual needs of economically disadvantaged families. Breakfast with Baby provides families with a healthy breakfast, diapers, baby wipes, clothing, and a faith connection.
Swaddling Clothes is a program run by various congregations to share the mercy of Christ with neighbors through the gifts of clothing, food, friendship, and the forgiving Word of God.
Supporting life issues does not only include the beginning of life. For end of life issues, some work with agencies for local area resourcing for seniors.
Many locations are working on partnerships with local crisis pregnancy centers. These initiatives include baby bottle coin drives (fundraising) and diaper drives. Some are even working on opening new regional satellite crisis pregnancy center locations.
Click here for additional information on the NID Life Task Force .
Congregations are encouraged to learn more about the LCMS Million Dollar Life Match here.
Watch the LCMS gathering featuring a Q & A with President Harrison at the January 8, 2022 March for Life Chicago here.
WITNESS: Encouraging personal witnessing, congregational engagement with their community, support of our NID partnerships and missions and sharing in a world mission field together.