Feast of Our Lord and the Giver of Life

Dear brothers and sisters,

The murder of pre-born children is the moral issue of our generation, though it is not the only moral issue of our times. There remains issues of poverty, hunger, lack of medical care for the poor, the refugee crisis, sex trade industry, sexual slavery, the use of children as soldiers in war, consumerism, and the care of the elderly. These are all life issues. However, the murder of 5,000 children every day in America, and over 150,000 children worldwide, far outweighs these other issues. The victims of abortion are the most innocent of all these human atrocities.

Abortion is the tip of the spear of the culture of death. The church cannot declare an end to the “cultural wars” until abortion is illegal and we have a generation that cannot imagine how we committed such a genocide and holocaust.

CEC for Life is part of the Patriarch’s Office and is funded by Churches around the world to lead us in our pro-life efforts and to raise up a pro-life generation in our Churches. The ministry is also committed to promoting unity among all pro-life Christians and organizations, not just those of our own denomination. Fr. Terry Gensemer, along with Sarah Howell and others, persevere towards these goals every day. And they have done a phenomenal job! Fr. Terry is perhaps one of the most respected leaders in the pro-life community. He is a man who is loved around the world. Everywhere I travel young men and women ask me, “How is Fr. Terry?” Or, they ask me to tell Fr. Terry that they love him.

It brings my heart joy when I see young people praying at abortion clinics in the countries of Europe, or marching and praying with “All Life is Sacred” t-shirts on the streets of the Philippines. When I go to Brazil, it is the young men and women who will ask me to please bring Fr. Terry with me. He is reaching — we are reaching — that pro-life generation.

How is this funded? By God, of course! God, however, calls us to be generous in our giving. In fact, God calls us to be sacrificial in our giving. On the Feast of Our Lord the Giver of Life, every Church in the ICCEC is to take up a special offering for CEC for Life. We are also asked to have our churches join CEC for Life and for us to encourage others to become members. The funding of pro-life work by an entire denomination is unique and practically unheard of in denominations across the globe. But it is what God has called us to do.

What do you get for your offering? I could be very practical. I could talk about the pro-life leadership training of young men and women, or the closing of abortion clinics in places like Birmingham or Selma, or the prayer efforts at abortion mills, along with seminars and conferences, around the world, or the representation that CEC For Life gives us in the pro-life community. However, the real reward is that through our efforts babies are being saved and rescued.

How much would you give to save even one life of a precious baby who would otherwise be brutally murdered? Ten dollars, twenty dollars, thirty dollars, or how much?

Please give and give generously. We are at a critical time in the movement. We put our trust in God, but there is opportunity to defund Planned Parenthood, to appoint over 1,000 pro-life judges, to appoint at least one pro-life Supreme Court justice, and to get laws that restrict abortion, particularly late-term abortion. Abortion most likely will not end in the next four years, but we will make major advances in winning the hearts of people for Christ.

Under His mercy,

The Most Rev. Craig W. Bates