There are many graces and joys that come to those who are involved in the pro-life, pro-family cause. One of these is the opportunity to meet and work with friends and allies in other Christian communities.
The March for Life is a great experience every year, with thousands of people of all faiths gathering with joy and dedication. The New Yorkers for Life coalition with our evangelical friends has been very effective. I’ve been blessed by my collaboration with Alliance Defending Freedom and Focus on the Family. It is truly enriching to stand together with our Christian brethren in unity and strength.
The other night, I had another one of these wonderful experiences. I was invited by my friend Chaplain Viviana Hernandez, to attend an event conducted by “Life Team”. This is an organization of interfaith clergy and laypeople, established by Chaplain Hernandez and Fr. Peter Pilsner in response to the abortion crisis in New York City, and the hostile policies of the City government. They have done great work building a body of committed Christians in the black and Latino communities, who are dedicated to rolling back the Culture of Death in our City.
The event took place at the Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Jamaica, Queens. This is a serious Christian community, very dynamic and active, with an impressive leader in Bishop Roderick Caesar. The room was filled with members of their church and others who joined them. There was a great deal of praise and worship, and I found it very moving.
The talks were powerful. A pastor from Connecticut offered suggestions on how to speak to women who are heading into abortion clinics. A young lady shared her incredible personal post-abortion witness, and outlined her commitment to the pro-life cause — including her participation in 2012 in a walk from Houston to Dallas as public witness to the cause of life. Pastor Beverly Caesar (Bishop Roderick’s wife) gave a powerful personal testimony and was very uplifting and encouraging. A young man sang a beautiful and touching song he specially composed to honor his own mother’s decision to choose life. Members of the community spoke of their commitment to oppose the abortion mentality that has afflicted the black community. Plans for a new pregnancy resource center in the neighborhood were also discussed.
Confronting the Culture of Death can be very daunting and discouraging at times. But the message of this evening was very clear. The cause of human life is God’s cause, and He will lift us up in this struggle. God’s love and mercy are always at the heart of all that we do, and we must find ways to welcome people into the heart of God, who will heal their wounds. We are united in the Holy Spirit for this mission.
The Lord has said very clearly, “those who honor me I will honor” (1 Samuel 2:30). I had the privilege of spending some time with a wonderful group of people who are honoring God by their commitment to the defense of human life. I am confident that God will indeed honor them for their fidelity to His great cause.