(Above photo: Led by Pastor Larry Willman of Payne Avenue Evangelical Free Church, pro-lifers kneel in prayer November 1 outside the Planned Parenthood abortion mill in St. Paul during the Closing Prayer Rally of the Fall 40 Days for Life Campaign. Other prayer leaders that day were retired Archbishop John Neinstedt and Pastor Brian Lother of Hope Community Church, Corcoran.)
by Rev. Brian Walker
Program Director and
40 Days for Life Twin Cities Coordinator
This is the eighth year Pro-Life Action Ministries has coordinated 40 Days for Life in the Twin Cities. Over the years there have been thousands of participants and more than 100 congregations involved. In December 2011, at the end of the Fall 40 Days for Life, Health-Partners’ Regions Hospital closed its abortion unit for good.
Forty Days for Life Twin Cities this fall was probably the most unusual 40 Days for Life ever. With the release of the undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood produced by The Center for Medical Progress, there was a heightened interest in 40 Days for Life Twin Cities. Pro-lifers who have been absent from the field and new participants all felt the need to do something!
Our staff worked at a frenzied pace after the release of the videos. E-mails, calls, snail-mail requests to speak, media requests, questions from newsletter readers like you landed on all of our desks just before 40 Days for Life kicked off and before Pro-Life Action Ministries’ annual banquet, in other words, at our busiest time of the year. This presented a good problem and a perfect storm to channel the cry and the need to “do something.”
Here are some highlights from 40 Days for Life Twin Cities Fall 2015:
* Twenty-two days, out of 40, were designated Adopt-A-Days. Adopt-A-Day was a new concept started by Pro-Life Action Ministries during the Regions Hospital campaign to have a simple way for whole congregations and organizations to take ownership of a day and schedule two or more persons praying outside the abortion facility per hour. Pastors were encouraged to lead their congregations in prayer as well and this fall, the Adopt-A-Day program was very successful.
* The Opening, Mid-Point and Closing Prayer Rallies had 125, 500 and 200 persons in attendance respectively.
* For the first time, 40 Days for Life Twin Cities had three cities covered in 40 Days for Life’s “community outreach” component. The cities of Richfield, Little Canada and Brooklyn Park received thousands of doorhangers exposing the truth about Planned Parenthood’s profiting from selling aborted baby parts for research. Judging by the phone calls to our office, there were only a handful of negative comments and we hope that most of the residents took the time to view the videos. This community outreach was an example of how we used a scheduled activity (40 Days for Life) and quickly joined it to a fast moving story— the Planned Parenthood videos.
* Forty Days for Life National Campaign Director Shawn Carney stopped by St. Raphael’s Catholic Church as we prepared for one of our neighborhood lit drops to encourage the community outreach volunteers to keep in the fight and to acknowledge their hard work and dedication. As far as we know, we are the only 40 Days for Life campaign in the country to bring the pro-life message to thousands of households in three metro-area cities.
But there’s more! We are planning on a new campaign of year-round prayer to run along with 40 Days for Life (which we coordinate in the fall and during Lent); stay tuned for more information as we roll out this new program.
So as you can see, this has been an exciting summer and fall. The tide is turning; secular polling organizations, bloggers and political commentators are all acknowledging that abortion is becoming less attractive to the average American. Prayer and consistent work do make a difference. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers for the first time are on the defensive and prayer, especially prayer in front of abortion facilities, have paved the way.
Thank you participants, volunteers, churches, organizations, and especially, pastors who led their congregations in prayer and participated in the Opening, Mid-Point and Closing Prayer Rallies. We, the staff at Pro-Life Action Ministries, could not perform all these tasks without your prayers, participation and financial support.