Sanctity of Human Life
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Planning a Sanctity of Human Life Event

As you prepare for the annual Sanctity of Human Life event, the following guidelines will help you in planning a creative, memorable observance.

  • Free downloadable resources for your SOHL event!
  • Select a planning committee to oversee preparations for this event. Ideally, the committee should be representative of all members of the congregation (i.e., age, race, gender, church activity), but should remain small enough to be effective and efficient.

  • Plan the details. Your goal is to honor and celebrate the sanctity of human life. List the specific activities you want to undertake to achieve this goal.

  • Delegate the responsibilities. Designate one person to take responsibility for each activity on your list. This person may need to enlist the assistance of others in the congregation, but maintaining central leadership will improve your results.

  • Communicate the plans to your congregation and community. Carefully determine the best means to promote your activities and to encourage participation.

  • Enlist those from all areas of your church’s ministry such as the Sunday school staff, nursery and children’s and youth ministries.

  • Measure your progress. Be sure that each responsible person on your planning team reports his/her progress at regular scheduled intervals. Avoid a surprise resulting from a last-minute crisis.

  • Thank the participants. Make sure that each person who helped plan, prepare, decorate, serve, lead, entertain, speak, clean up, etc., knows how significant his/her contribution was to the success of your activities.

SUGGESTIONS

Determine an appropriate level of involvement for your church. For example, a full-scale plan might include a prayer vigil, a special ceremony during a worship service, a special guest testimonial, a baby shower, a memorial service for the lives lost to abortion, a work day at your local pregnancy help center and a love offering for it as well.

You may also want to incorporate activities highlighting the value of those at the end of life by arranging for church members to visit a local nursing home. Or you could invite a physician in your church to lead a Sunday school class discussion on medical issues at the end of life.

A less elaborate approach might simply involve a portion of the worship service being dedicated to the message of the sanctity of human life. The sermon outline included in this guide might be of use to your pastor in preparing this message.

Schedule special prayer sessions to pray specifically for our nation and the life issues being debated within our governmental groups. Pray for those who are affected by the million or more babies who die as a result of abortion each year, as well as how we can protect the aged, dying and disabled from euthanasia.

Pray for revival in our land through the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Organize times to pray during normally scheduled small-group ministries such as your women’s and men’s groups, Sunday school hours, children’s worship and youth group activities.

Plan a special worship service surrounding the sermon outline. During the service, use a variety of means to celebrate all human life and address the love, mercy and forgiveness Jesus Christ offers to all who are hurting and suffering.

Perform a skit to portray how precious life is no matter what the circumstances. Have a Scripture reading of verses that support the life ethic of individuals as image-bearers of the living God.

Feature a testimony by a person caring for a beloved disabled family member and/or someone who was involved in a positive hospice experience. Perhaps even include a tribute to the more than one million babies killed each year. This would be an excellent opportunity to call those in attendance to a renewed commitment to the value of life and Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Appoint someone from within your church to provide the congregation with monthly updates from your local pregnancy help center. This person should have authority to oversee direct assistance to your local center—whether it be moving furniture, providing pastoral counsel or responding to financial needs.

Submit an open letter to your local newspaper to announce to the community your appreciation of local churches that commemorate sanctity of human life. Also, offer thanks for the local pregnancy help centers that assist women facing unexpected pregnancies and for hospice programs that help terminal patients truly die with dignity.

Pray regularly for life-related issues in your community. One helpful reminder might be the tear-away portion of our bulletin insert that could be used year-round to remind you how to pray.

Send a letter to members of the congregation or include an article in your church newsletter explaining your sanctity of human life observance. This could include information about current life-related issues and the church’s desire to reach individuals with God’s mercy, love and forgiveness. It can also include highlights about your local hospice, pregnancy help center or other life-supporting groups that work in your community.

Schedule and organize specific events to assist your local pregnancy help center. Recruit professionals from your church and community to help with maintenance and repair work. Here are other ways individuals can assist:

  • Designate one day per month for volunteers to provide janitorial services.

  • Form an on-call maintenance committee for hanging shelves, moving furniture and handling emergencies.

  • Host a clothes-sorting event which will help the center organize closets for maternity and baby clothes.

  • Hold a baby shower for your pregnancy help center which allows congregation members to bring maternity and baby items for your local center. Many times, individuals have boxes of clothes or baby furniture, but don’t have time to bring them to the center. Your center can usually provide playpens or cribs to use as collection bins at your church.

Generate and execute a fund-raising event to benefit your local hospice, school for special-needs children or pregnancy help center. Ideas include:

  • Making and auctioning a handmade quilt.

  • Sponsoring sports activities such as a walk-a-thon or golf outing.

  • Hosting a congregational fashion show.

  • Holding a pie auction.

  • Offering a spring geranium sale in cooperation with a local nursery.

  • Hosting a church-wide garage sale.

  • Organizing a read-a-thon for children in your Sunday school or community.

Coordinate with your local nursing home to participate in fundraising efforts for your pregnancy resource center!

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