The International Order of St Luke the Physician
CALLING THE CHURCH
By The Rev. Vicky Hedelius
The Body of Christ is being called by our Lord
to unite in His Compassionate Love and boldly
- protect the Sanctity of Human Life -
from conception to natural death
What Do You Know About Life From Conception To Birth?
The issue of protecting the unborn is not a new one. The right to abortion in Canada happened in 1969. But, what many Canadians are not aware of is that we have no law. Sadly, at that time, the Body of Christ, the church, (along with most Canadians) was silent in protecting both the child and the mother. Presently:
· All rights belong to the mother—meaning a baby’s life is not protected until the child is completely delivered from her body. Abortions, therefore, can legally be performed at any time during the full term of pregnancy in either a hospital or private abortion clinic.
· Statistics regarding the number of abortions in hospitals must be reported to the Federal Government but each province uses its own system of reporting and private clinics are not obligated to report. Therefore, there are no accurate statistics of how many abortions have been or are being performed in our country. The best estimate is that over 4 million (and still counting) babies have died by ‘this medical procedure’.
· The millions of Canadians (biological parents, siblings, extended family members and friends) affected by abortion is growing and although many are beginning to speak out regarding their pain and grief many more feel they cannot. Sadly, within churches across Canada there are those who are afraid to reveal their ‘secret’ for fear of judgment.
· Secular culture offers ‘self medication’ (ie substance abuse; sexual promiscuity and shallow relationships) to mask the false statements — ‘it is only a blob of tissue’ and ‘the procedure will put an end to your problem—you will be able to get on with your life!’
Does the Church Care?
With the release of this summer’s shocking videos revealing the truth regarding Planned Parenthood’s selling of human baby parts, the abortion debate increased briefly in media attention, but what was the Body of Christ’s response? Has it changed anything in your church?
· What does it mean to respond with Christ’s Compassionate Love? To speak out and defend the unborn?
· What will you do for those who have experienced abortion, and are suffering from the reality of the death of their child (and in some cases children)?
· Is your church community equipped (both clergy and laity) to assist them with post abortion counselling programs and a compassionate loving community of support?
· What will you do for those who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy? Are you aware of where the nearest Christian Crisis pregnancy centre is located?
· Are you willing to help and support a pregnant woman (and the father) as they prepare to parent or to adopt their child to a new family?
· What does it mean for your church community to be ‘A Life Affirming Church’?
What Do You Know About The Assisted Suicide Legislation?
*selected points from article ‘Slippery Slope…” by V. Hedelius & Dr. N. Craig
On February 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the existing Criminal Code prohibition on euthanasia and assisted suicide, on the basis that these are constitutional rights, and gave Parliament one year to replace the law with new regulations.
· Although, there are supposed to be ‘strict’ guidelines for each Province and the Country as a whole; there are already serious divisive issues presenting themselves.
· Recently, the Province of Quebec which has a different civil law structure, than the rest of Canada, passed a bill permitting doctors to administer lethal injections to select mentally fit patients who desire ‘assisted dying’. Quebec will be issuing doctors ‘standardized kits’ and instructions in order to be ready for the legal administration as of December 10, 2015. (The package is ‘unlike anything in the history of Canadian medicine,’ in the words of the National Post)
· August 2015 –the Canadian Medical Association held their Annual General Meeting. A poll of general members present on one day was 66% in favour of protecting conscience rights for physicians objecting to euthanasia. The following day, the 79% vote of official delegates and Board rejected a motion supporting the right of physicians NOT to refer for euthanasia. Canadian physicians are clearly conflicted in their ideas of how to deal with this issue!
· Quebec Proposals to the Physicians is for them to withhold the patient’s request for assisted suicide from the family and to state only the basic pathology on the death certificate. This raises huge questions of ethics – what about physicians who refuse to write anything other than the truth? And how can any accurate statistics be possible?
· There are strong lobbyists in Quebec pushing for funding cuts to palliative care physicians who object to euthanasia and to palliative hospices who refuse to permit euthanasia! Brothers and sisters in Christ who will speak up and protect the vulnerable and offer safety for all involved through Compassionate Love End of Life Care?
We, at Anglicans for Life Canada say YES! Because the Body of Christ has been created to uphold the Sanctity of human Life of each human being –from conception to natural death – and to bring the Gospel of Good News to all humanity! Regardless of church denomination, individuals and churches are invited to participate with Anglicans for Life…an organization whose mission is to equip the church for such work. We are biblically grounded, mission minded, pastorally engaged. To learn more about the organization, please go to our website: www.anglicansforlife.org. Click on the Canada button for Canadian content. (American materials are also available!) All Christians are invited – resources are user friendly for all denominations.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM EACH SESSION... Because PROJECT LIFE emphasizes more than just learning facts, we have designed a number of activities for each week. Opening Prayer and Activity, 20-Minute DVD Presentation (Featuring Georgette Forney and special guests), Group Reflection, Closing Thoughts and Prayers, Personal Study and Reflection
Project LIFE Canada is an eight-week DVD Christian education series produced by Anglicans for LIFE Canada. There is also a USA version. The Canadian version gives a comprehensive snapshot of life issues and how Christians can make a difference by taking this course. You will learn:
· the biblical basis for a commitment to life (Historical, biblical Overview); what abortion is and how it is used in our society (Abortion);
· the effects of abortion on people and society (Post-abortion);
· ways we need to respond to unexpected pregnancies (Adoption);
· what we need to say about sex (Abstinence);
· how euthanasia/assisted suicide further erodes the valuing of human life (Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide);
· what challenges biotechnology presents (Stem Cell Research) and practical ways that we can affirm Life (Action Plan).
DVD’s are included with the purchase of the Leader’s Guide
by Dr. Joe Boot