45 years ago today, the US Supreme Court ruled that abortion was legal during the first three months of a pregnancy. So what has happened on the issue of LIFE over the past four and a half decades? Over 60 million legal abortions have taken place in the US, with a peak in 1990 of over 1.6 million abortions. 60 million - that is a sobering number. The number of abortions in the US each year is down substantially from 1990, to under 1 million each year. That is still an unbelievably large number, but much better than 1.6 million. I can't help but continue to pray that more and more hearts will be open to abortion alternatives, like adoption. I can't help but hope that more and more women (and men) will choose LIFE even during complex crisis situations.
One ministry on the front lines of the fight for LIFE is the New Life Pregnancy Center in Decatur, led by Penny Weaver. We were blessed yesterday to hear a testimony from Megan Rhoades, a staff member at New Life who works with the Restore program, ministering to women who are victims of abortion. Megan's testimony was powerful - she was very transparent and unafraid to speak truth. If you missed yesterday's message, please take time to listen to the sermon on our website - call the FCC office if you need help navigating www.clintonfcc.com. Bottom line? Every. Life. Matters. Every single life matters to God and these lives should matter to us!
One way you can help New Life is by participating in their annual change for life baby bottle campaign. Our church liaison, Ann Marie Hubbell, secured a couple hundred baby bottles and we are asking everyone to take a bottle, and over the next 6 weeks, fill the bottle with your spare change, paper money or even a check. My goal for our church is to raise at least $5,000.00 for this difference-making ministry. Let's do it!
This week, FCC is hosting students from a six state region for a Speech and Debate conference on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I am serving as a judge for the competition each day, and they are still looking for judges - no previous experience needed - you can sign up by calling the church office or contacting Cody Monkman. Amy Joy Tofte and Karley Houchin are leading this effort and I'm so thankful our church is able to host this event!
Please keep the following in mind:
Tuesday January 23 - Reload for Men at 6am in the Family Life Center
Thursday - Saturday January 25-27 - Illinois Regional Qualifying Speech and Debate Tournament sponsored by the NCFCA, held at Clinton FCC
Sunday January 28 - "The Hands and Feet of jesus" - Cody Monkman bringing the morning message. Also on Sunday, Barb O'Donohue of COPE will be with us during morning worship and will share in the Family Life Center at 9:30am about all the Lord is doing in East Africa.
Sunday February 18 - Ministry ordination of Allison Hitchings at 9:30am in the Sanctuary - also that morning, former FCC minister Adam Brucker will preach during both services and also bring the message during the ordination.
Saturday March 10 - the 3rd annual IF: Gathering for women at FCC.
Don't miss these regular ministry opportunities:
Daily Bible readings continued to be published and handed out each Sunday - let's read God's word together as a church every day! We start the book of Acts on Wednesday!
Sunday evenings at FCC - REVEAL for Jr High (5pm) and Sr High (6:30pm)
Wednesday evenings at FCC - FIRST KIDS for preschool and grade school (6pm)
Friday mornings in the Underground - Breakfast Club - ** Please note THIS FRIDAY Breakfast Club will meet at the Y due to the Speech and Debate conference.
Returning in April - on the first Friday of each month - YOUNG at HEART in the Family Life Center.
2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 6am - RELOAD for men.
Beginning in February - Tuesday morning Ladies Bible Study at 10am in room 2221
Tuesday evenings in the Family Life Center at 6:30pm - Bible Study Fellowship (for women)
1st Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm - Area Men's Fellowship - February travels to Heyworth
1st Friday of each month - Mom and Tots Play Day - 10:30am
3rd Friday of each month in the Underground - Women's Coffee Break at 10am
Every Tuesday and Thursday from 1-3pm - Food Pantry is open at the Neighborhood Care Center. On the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, the food pantry is open from 4:30-6pm as well.
3rd Saturday of each month - MOBILE Food Pantry at the American Legion. FCC is in charge of volunteers for February 17.
Have a great week - see you Sunday!