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Northern Illinois Life Task Force

Affirming Life – Reaching Out!

Affirming Life – Reaching Out! A Workshop for Life Affirming Lutherans is on Saturday, March 14, 2020, 8:30 a.m. to noon, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 6850 W 159th Street, Tinley Park, Illinois.

The program, presented by the Northern Illinois District Life Task Force, features Rev. Michael Salemink, Executive Director of Lutherans For Life. Rev. Salemink will present “How to Be a Life-Minded Congregation and Community” and give an overview of current pro-life issues. Discover the many ways that you and your congregation can reach out into the community and be pro-life. Connect with pro-life ministries working in the community, including Caring Network, Bethany Christian Services, and Voice of Care. Learn about Swaddling Clothes and Breakfast with Baby, two area Lutheran Church Missouri Synod congregational ministry models affirming life within the community. In all, over 15 life-affirming organizations will share about their work and how to get involved.

A free will offering will be taken. Registration is requested. RSVP to Kris Blackwell, at kbwrk123@gmail.com or 630-234-1491.

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The Life Group from Bethany Lutheran Church, Naperville, Illinois, was just part of the district’s representation at the 2017 Chicago March for Life.

Two years in and looking to the future

Life ministry has become an established ongoing mission of the LCMS Northern Illinois District. Educating people about life issues and providing opportunities to put faith into action is the dual focus. Established in 2015 by District President Dan Gilbert, the group was given the broad assignment of creating a pro-life climate within the NID over a two-year period.

“We believe we have made strides in that arena,” said Deaconess Kristine Blackwell, who sits on the task force. “The 2017 March For Life Chicago featured several sizable groups of LCMS Lutherans, including a bus load of suburban church members that we transported from a meeting point at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lisle. We united under a ‘Love Affirms Life’ banner, with many of us wearing red Lutherans For Life ball caps.”

The group, overseen by Circuit Life Coordinator Rev. Dave Bottorff, also presented workshops on suicide prevention at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mt. Prospect and Immanuel Lutheran Church in Belvidere and a seminar on end of life issues at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights and Immanuel Lutheran Church in Mokena.

The Life Task Force utilized district communication vehicles (Our Northern Illinois District Magazine, Parish Resource Connection and the LCMS Northern Illinois District’s Facebook page) and appointed pastoral circuit life counselors to get the word out about each event.

“Our success over the initial two-year assignment has moved us to continue our efforts,” Bottorff shared, “We’ll be educating pastors and their congregations about current topics, such as the dangerous trend by institutions to not allow health professionals to ‘conscientiously object’ and abstain from tasks that violate their Christian beliefs. We’ll be sharing helpful resources. And we’ll be issuing calls to action to LCMS members throughout the district.”

“Currently we are calling on Lutherans to support their local crisis pregnancy center,” added Bottorff.  He offered the following websites for locating faith-based pregnancy resource centers by zip code:

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.

For more information about opportunities for affirming life in your congregation, contact your circuit life counselor or Rev. Craig Meissner