ST. LOUIS—Thrive President Bridget VanMeans is advocating a different type of emphasis by pastors in their pulpits for this Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on Jan. 23. She would like to see church bulletins filled with the question, “Are you longing for a freedom from a past abortion experience?”
She also would like to see pastors ask the laity if they are ready to work through their sorrow and move beyond their pain. These types of questions would promote healing, she said, reduce the potential for divisiveness, and lead more churches into spiritual renewal.
“There are ways to talk about the subject that are empowering, that are attractive, that are grace-based and Gospel-driven,” she said. “We’re the experts at really doing that. We’ve crafted this message now to a place where we can pretty much go anywhere and discuss this matter (positively). We would just ask the pastors to be open to that.”
Railing on the evils of abortion may be one way to rally the faithful to a cause that is right, but the practice of actually ending abortion in our culture is going to require another way, VanMeans said. Abortion ruins lives. That requires redemption through a means like Thrive as Christians go about their work in a safe and inviting environment.
“Specifically, we need to start talking about post-abortion syndrome from the pulpit,” she said. “We need to let the congregation know that our God whom we serve is madly in love with them and is absolutely forgiving, but we also recognize that there are 27 or 28 symptoms that women suffer from after an abortion and that they don’t have to suffer silently.”
Thrive attempts to step into this conversation like Jesus would.
“What we believe that will do is introduce the subject in a way that’s empowering vs. divisive, Gospel-driven and grace-oriented vs. political,” VanMeans said.
“We’re beginning to lead with this in our conversations and getting really powerful results.”
ALLEN PALMERI/associate editor