Is it your turn for 40DFL leadership?

Manchester, New Hampshire has had 40 Days for Life campaigns since 2009.  There’s a leadership team behind each campaign, handling administrative and organizational details. Without a team, there’s no campaign.

Now’s the time for leadership to assemble for next spring’s campaign. Veterans from the current team are stepping down. They’re appealing for replacements who are willing to make a commitment by December 20. In the words of Stephen and Beth Scaer of the Manchester 40DFL team, “Shepherds Wanted.” They recently sent out this message.

Dear friends in Christ:

Thank you for another successful 40 Days for Life campaign. 80 people participated in the vigil, covering 156 hours. Approximately 45 came to the opening rally, 40 Days United bus rally, and Jericho march and 35 attended our closing candlelight vigil. And most important of all, during the campaign two abortion-minded mothers changed their minds and chose life for their babies!

After years of yeoman’s work on 40 Days for Life, Joan is stepping down from the leadership team to focus on her other ministries. Although we are willing to continue organizing events, coordinating the vigil calendar, and preparing the newsletter, we need fresh leadership in order to launch a successful Lent campaign.

If the Holy Spirit is calling you to this life-saving work, or you have any questions, please email us at 40daysforlifemanchester@gmail.com or call Beth at (978) 226-3240.

This is not an appeal for people to cover vigil hours in the next campaign – that will come later. Today’s appeal is for people to join leadership. The Scaers would love to hear from potential volunteers by December 20.

Learn more about the Manchester campaign on its Facebook page.


 

Wanted: you!

Gifts collected at the 40DFL baby shower will go to four agencies in Greater Manchester.
Photo by Ellen Kolb

There’s a page on this blog under the “Links” tab that doesn’t get much traffic, but it’s too important to take down: “Crisis Pregnancy Resources in New Hampshire”. “Crisis” doesn’t really reflect the ongoing assistance these agencies provide long after a crisis point is passed. I might have to change that page title.

I know many of my readers already support these pro-life ministries. Others may be looking for new ways to get involved. This is for you.

I’ve heard from two of these agencies in recent weeks about volunteer and donation needs. Where can you help?

From Pennacook Pregnancy Center in Manchester, 603-206-5306: Their number-one need is volunteers who can commit to a three-hour shift one day per week. A minimum of 15 hours of in-house training is provided.  Pennacook Pregnancy Center will also  provide training for sidewalk counselors; contact the center for more information.

Also from Pennacook: “Diapers, wipes. baby clothes and accessories are always appreciated.” I’ll take the liberty of saying that’s true for every center listed on the resources page. 

From Birthright of Manchester’s latest newsletter: “As a new venture…individual parishes have been holding Diaper Drives for Birthright! These drives have proven to be very successful and defray the exorbitant cost of purchasing diapers.”

What do you say to a Mother’s Day flower sale? That’s a Birthright fundraiser. Look for volunteers outside your church on May 8. Want more information about setting up a sale at your own church? Go back to that Resources page and phone your nearest Birthright. Even if it’s late to plan for this year, Mother’s Day will be back next year – and so will Birthright.

Birthright of Manchester’s wish list is probably similar to what other pregnancy care centers are looking for: baby wipes & baby wash, crib sheets in neutral colors, receiving blankets, onesies, socks, sleepers, play outfits (Birthright Manchester is looking for sizes 3-9 months; clients at your nearest pregnancy care center might have different needs), disposable diapers (especially sizes 1-5), and new or gently used spring and summer clothing for children through size 3T.

For any center: can you answer phones? Sew, knit or crochet layette items? Do you have medical, legal or educational expertise that could benefit centers and the clients they serve? Would you like to learn what it takes to be a board member? Call a pro-life pregnancy care center near you and ask about volunteer opportunities.

When you contact a pro-life pregnancy care center, ask to be put on their email contact list and make sure you know if they have a Facebook page. Those are the best ways to stay abreast of urgent needs and scheduled fundraisers.

I’m haunted by something I was told by a pregnancy care center director recently: “kids aren’t being read to.” Books for pre-schoolers will not go to waste at a center that helps support young parents. Our Place (with three New Hampshire locations) has an annual project that’s dear to my heart, collecting children’s books late in the year for distribution to clients at the agency’s Christmas party.

No need to think that a donation has to be big to be helpful. A baby shower can be as simple as meeting a few friends for coffee, with each person bringing a baby item to be delivered to a pregnancy care center. Yes, I’ve done this. It’s simple, it’s local, and friends with coffee are involved. What’s not to like?

No one can do everything; everyone can do something. Thank you for all you do, now and always, to make it easier for people to choose life.


 

Pick of the Web 12/13/13

Help yourself to a weekend’s worth of links!

A terrible auto collision on I-89 a few days ago has highlighted once again the crying need for a fetal homicide law in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Union Leader reports here on the deaths of two adults and a preborn child who were killed when a man attempted suicide by driving into oncoming traffic. The suicidal man survived the wreck and is facing charges. Rep. Leon Rideout (R-Lancaster) has introduced a fetal homicide bill for consideration in 2014; more on that here on the blog next week.

I love March for Life’s suggestions for what to do with a bored Member of Congress. Not every suggestion requires being an elected official, so look them over and see what inspires you.

South Africa’s Nelson Mandela has died at age 95. A leader of immense persistence and influence, his renunciation of political violence unfortunately did not extend to a rejection of abortion. Dr. Alveda King recalls him with respect and candor in “How I Failed Nelson Mandela.”

The latest annual report from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America is out, showing that PP benefited from half a billion dollars in taxpayer funding in the most recent fiscal year. The Susan B. Anthony List has prepared a fact sheet about the report, and National Right to Life’s Dave Andrusko writes about Five Takeaways From PPFA’s Annual Report.

Anyone who thinks Pope Francis is going to put aside Catholic teaching on respect for life needs to catch up on some reading. Yesterday, he called human trafficking “a crime against humanity … whoever uses and exploits the person, even indirectly, makes himself an accomplice of this abuse.”  Last Sunday, he challenged “throwaway culture” (cultura di scarto). “The victims of such a culture are precisely the weakest and most fragile human beings – the unborn, the poorest people, sick elderly people, gravely disabled people… who are in danger of being ‘thrown out,’ expelled from a machine that must be efficient at all costs. This false model of man and society embodies a practical atheism, de facto negating the Word of God that says: ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.’

The European Parliament narrowly rejected a nonbinding policy that would have promoted abortion as a “right.” The matter is sure to come up again.

Southern New Hampshire food pantries and soup kitchens need our help. You can find opportunities to donate and volunteer at the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, Corpus Christi food pantry in Nashua, New Horizons in Manchester, and the New Hampshire Food Bank.