One of the most powerful components of 40 Days for Life is that it embraces Christ followers of all denominations…and today was a reflection of that. We were blessed to have THREE PASTORS sharing the sidewalk during the second shift today! One Catholic, one Lutheran and one non-denominational Christian! I bet Satan is shaking in his boots when he sees the Body of Christ uniting to end abortion! Thanks to all the pastors who have made time to witness at our vigil during this campaign!
Here are some photos:
When I arrived for duty at 11am, I took this photo of the morning shift manager, Cathy, with one of our most dedicated participants…Kathy L., from Memorial Park Church in Allison Park. Since there was no church signed up for the first shift today, Kathy signed herself up to be with Cathy for the entire 4 hours! There were two others who joined them at one point during the morning hours, including Nancy. Cathy took this photo:
They were about frozen after standing during the coldest hours of the early morning…so they were headed down the street to The City Cafe for lunch. This is the restaurant owned by the man who hates us and yells at our vigil participants daily. I hope we all can patronize his establishment, and repay his hatred with love. Cathy wrote the following account:
It was a quiet, drizzly morning shared with Kathy who stayed all morning! Didn’t seem to be a lot of people going into PP. Two young women, Mandy and Amera (sp?) stopped by to pray for a little while on their way to work, and Nancy joined us as well. William came towards the end of the shift. Afterwards Kathy and I decided to go the the City Cafe (our “friend’s” place) for something to eat. I had underestimated how much lunch would cost (FYI if you decide to go there, you’ll need about $10-12.) so we got tea, cider and split a bagel. The owner came out and spoke to us, asked if there was anything else we needed, not at all confrontational, no big conversation. The waitress was very nice; Kathy remembered talking to her one day as she passed by the clinic.
During my shift, from 11am-3pm, I was TRIPLE blessed to share the sidewalk with members of First Christian Church in Turtle Creek, Guardians for Life of Indiana & Westmoreland County, and Pastor Bryan of Christ’s Church Ministries in Penn Hills! It was SO encouraging and powerful to have THREE PASTORS (each of a different Christian denomination) all praying and singing together!
A mother and her son also came to join us in prayer. Ann and Evan drove all the way from Beaver. They are members of SS. Peter & Paul parish.
At one point, there was such a large group of us, singing and praying in unison…that the bookstore owner came outside to post this sign:
What they don’t understand is that we NEED to pray together in public to end abortion! We NEED to be a light in the darkness! Jesus also said that we are not to put our light under a basket! If we ONLY prayed in our churches and in our homes…who would be the salt that our city needs? We are that salt and light on the block that contains an abortion clinic and two gay bars! Our presence and prayers are needed here!
Barbara was the manager of the third shift, and she had one prayer volunteer signed up for each of her four hours. She wrote the following account:
Christian faith is never an entirely private matter, Pope Benedict XVI told his weekly public audience on October 31. Every Christian is called to bear witness to the faith, to participate in the work of evangelization. “The tendency, so widespread today, to relegate the faith to the private sphere, contradicts its very nature,” the Pope concluded.
“Certainly, the act of faith is an eminently personal act,” the Holy Father said, adding that an act of faith is “something which happens in the most intimate depths of my being.” But it cannot be regarded as private because faith is “the fruit of a relationship,” an acceptance of Jesus Christ.
Moreover, the Pope continued, “I cannot construct my personal faith in a private dialogue with Jesus, because faith is given to me by God through a believing community which is the Church.” He reminded his audience of the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Believing is an ecclesial act. The Church’s faith precedes, engenders, supports and nourishes our faith.” www.catholicculture.org
40 Days for Life is nondenominational. Nonetheless, as an elderly Catholic person, I feel happy to be standing shoulder to shoulder with our wonderful energetic elderly Pope Benedict.
Although it rained steadily for 4 hours, the bus screeched section of Liberty Avenue in front of Planned Parenthood felt hospitable late this afternoon. Just as the rain came steadily, so did support for our prolife effort. Volunteers arrived over the 4 hours, warm and resilient people, people ready to join hearts in prayer. Their names were Liz, John, Martin, Hank, Peg, Pat, Richard and Arlene.
Passersby seemed hospitable. A young woman who appeared to work there, came out of Planned Parenthood and looked at me. “Thank you for praying for us,” she said as she continued walking away. “everybody needs prayers.”
Leo, a student at Duquesne University whose family lives in eastern PA, has noticed us this fall. Today he stopped to thank us. “I used to be for abortion. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that I was wrong.”
Another woman who has seen 40 Days for Life standing watch this week, in spite of the weather, asked me to thank everyone for our witness.
Richard talked with John, an engineer from Italy. He and his wife had been told by her doctor that their unborn child would be hopelessly disabled. He suggested that they abort their child. They declined. Their baby was born healthy and normal.
At least 2 women, as they zoomed by and declined to talk, told us to mind our own business. “Well, Girlfriend,” I would say to them if given the chance. “If you would see someone about to jump off a cliff, wouldn’t you reach out to try to coax them back to life?”
Life is good.
Barbara ,Shift Manager