Women’s Update 1-22-15

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The Sanctity of Human Life
by Eileen Roberts

“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”. Galatians 2:20-21

Today, Thursday, January 22, we commemorate the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion and gave every woman the right to terminate her pregnancy for any reason, from the moment of conception to the moment of birth. There have been approximately 45,000,000 deaths over these past 43 years.

As I reflect on this sorrow and tragedy today, I am mindful of the mothers who have sacrificed by choosing life for their babies in the most difficult circumstances.  Every year, I particularly thank God for my own mother and father, who at only 16 and 17 years of age respectively, chose life for me!

Also 43 years ago, 12 days before Roe v. Wade, I arrived at Reagan National Airport with a suitcase, a Pack-N-Play, and a 4-month-old baby girl.

Two years later, I met Stan on a blind date while living in Maryland, and eventually we moved to Fredericksburg.  Six weeks later we were married, and when my baby was two-years-old, Stan adopted my daughter as his own.  Searching for a church, God led us to New Life through my sister, who was an unwed mother living with us.

Stan and I and our family were introduced as newcomers to New Life at the church’s Christmas dinner in 1981.  In February, the women of the church had a baby shower for me as I was expecting my third child.  This was the first time I truly learned unconditional love, because I didn’t even know most of the women who attended the shower.  It was the beginning of seeing what unconditional love looked like.

One day, my sister visited Birthright, an organization providing resources for unwed mothers. Mary Jane had been a volunteer at Birthright, and it became evident there was a void for offering adoption services as a life affirming choice for mothers.  Desiring to fill that void, Doug asked me to assist New Life to fill the need in the community for adoption services, and Bethany Christian Services became the first Christian adoption agency to be located in Fredericksburg.  While serving on the Board of Bethany, I realized God had a plan for my life to serve in pro-life ministry.

During these years, struggling as a young Christian mother of three children, I always seemed to be angry with my children, and I soon realized that it wasn’t my children who I was angry with, but myself.  I struggled with believing my life was an accident, and I struggled listening to the lies of the enemy who whispered often that I was nothing, could do nothing, and “what did it matter?”

During our 40-year-journey, Stan and I provided housing for unwed mothers in our home, and I was supported by many at New Life and encouraged to start a non-profit. God gave me opportunities to share my testimony in Congressional hearings and in the General Assembly in Richmond on pro-life legislation.

Today I have the honor and privilege to serve on the Board of the Fredericksburg Pregnancy Center with others who had attended New Life in the past, serving in various capacities, helping to save the lives of mothers, and encouraging mothers to choose life for their babies.  At the FPC, mothers can see on the ultrasound machine their baby’s heartbeat and are learning that they have been lied to, that it is not just a clump of cells but a life created by God.  We hear many say, “Oh, it really is a baby!”

I know all of what God has called me to be would not have been possible, and I would not have been able to serve Christ in these various ministries, unless God called Stan and me to this particular Body of Christ.  We have been equipped over the years to learn through the ministry of New Life how to help build Christ’s church, being trained as  helper-leaders.

I also learned that God loves me just the way he created me, provided Christ as my Savior, and that it all does matter! God, through His Body of Christ, equips me to be all that He created me to be at the moment of conception!

I encourage those of you, particularly women, who struggle with the lies which the enemy may be whispering to you, to believe God knew you before you were born and has a plan for your life, first in your family, in the church, our community, and throughout the world.

Stan and I look forward to celebrating with you during the next six months all that God has done to reveal Himself in His people at New Life. Christ said, “You are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!” Matthew 16:18

About Eileen: Stan and Eileen Roberts have been Covenant Members of NLICC for 33 years. They just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and have 3 married children, 5 grandchildren, and their 6th is due in July. Eileen serves on the Board of Directors of the Fredericksburg Pregnancy Center and has been involved for over 40 years in pro-life ministry.

Current Announcements:

Focus Day is this Saturday, January 24, from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm followed by lunch
Our Focus Day is a time to reflect on the praises of the past year and the prayers and goals for the coming year. There is a need for childcare assistance from 8:30 am – 10:30 am or 10:30 am- 12:30 pm. If you are able to assist with childcare, please contact Karsta Toscano. If you are able to provide a food item, help set-up, or clean-up, please contact Kathryne Marple.

Meals for the Eden and Michael May family
Eden and Michael are traveling back and forth to his parents in NC as they say goodbye to his father who is closer each day to meeting his Savior face to face. Eden’s Mom and Dad are caring for their 4 children, but can use help with meals. They have no allergies, but the kids aren’t fond of fish. Please contact Heather O’Hara if you would like to help.

Prayer Shower for Expectant Moms Saturday, February 14th, 9 a.m. in the Fireside Room
More babies are on the way! Come join us for breakfast and a time of prayer for our expectant mothers: Canaan Miller, Jennifer Worman, Rachel Fleming, and Taniya Puig. If you are able to bring something to share, please contact Katie Crawford.

We are having a wonderful Valentine’s Dinner next month!
For those who remember the last one, Gary and Nancy Mangus will once again be in charge of the program and decorations. This will be an evening of laughter and games, fabulous food, and romantic music. Sign-ups start this Sunday, January 11th in the foyer. The event will be on Saturday, February 14th from 6 to 9 pm. The cost will be $40 per couple and $10 per family for childcare. Any teens and young adults who would like to help with this ministry can also stop by the table to sign-up as helpers. We will need nursery and childcare volunteers, food prep help, servers, and a clean-up crew. Questions? Please email Connie Both.

A Compilation of a NLICC Cookbook
Please celebrate with us New Life’s 40 years of fellowship together by contributing to a church-wide cookbook! Please consider submitting recipes via e-mail (or typed hard copy) to Amy Auker prior to March 1. (Please include recipe title, ingredients, directions, and yield.) Consider sharing your own family’s beloved recipes or recipes you know your NLICC family already adores.  Cookbooks will be available for pick-up at New Life in Christ’s 40th Anniversary Celebration in July. Contact Amy Auker with questions.

Save the Date: “Talents to Treasure” Mini-Conference on Saturday, April 25, 2015
Mark your calendars for our “Talents to Treasure” Mini-Conference to be held on Saturday, April 25! Join us for fellowship and acquiring knowledge as we take delight in the talents of our sisters. Various small group sessions will be offered and online preregistration will begin in March. Prayerfully consider inviting a neighbor or friend to join in the fellowship. If you would enjoy sharing a talent through leading a mini-session (or would like to suggest an idea), please contact Amy Auker. Watch for more information coming soon!

L.O.C. currently needs boys’ coats in sizes 4-12 and black and navy sweat pants, sizes 4,6,and 8.
There are many destitute children in our community attending public schools. Hugh Mercer Elementary in the City has 19 homeless students and 15 more living in motels with their families. We have an opportunity to provide some basic necessities for them.Toiletries such as toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, small toiletry bags and soap may be donated in the white Loving Our City box in the foyer. Monetary gifts are welcome. If you would like more information or have any questions, please email loc@nlicc.org. You can also check https://twitter.com/LOCFDX or https://www.facebook.com/LOCFDX to see the most recent needs for these children.

New Life’s 40th Anniversary Celebration- July 11-12, 2015
If you are interested in being on the planning committee, please contact Christine Fulcrod. The first meeting was held December 14, so it is not too late to join. Also let the office know if you would like to give a brief testimony during a Sunday service between January and July sharing how being a part of New Life has helped you to grow spiritually.

Do you have a heart for missions? The Missions Committee is looking for new members!
They meet once a month on a Thursday evening at 7:00 pm. The committee is starting to plan for this year’s March conference and is a bit short-handed right now. Please contact the office for more information if you are interested.

Fredericksburg Pregnancy Center (F.P.C.) News
F.P.C. is always looking for volunteers, including Board members. There are all kinds of volunteer projects including consultants, reception help, stuffing envelopes, etc. Board members are required to attend a monthly meeting and don’t need any experience as a Board member, just a profession of faith in Christ and a desire to serve mothers and their babies in many areas. If you are interested or would like more information contact Eileen Roberts.

Several Afghan immigrant women are looking for work, especially in the area of housecleaning. None are believers yet, but they are at various places in their journeys toward Christ — and would benefit from more contact with Christians. Other variables are their English language abilities, skills, number of hours and pay needed, etc. Please contact Debra Smith to learn more.

Bulletin Folding
Do you have a couple hours on a Friday afternoon you can spare?  Takes about 2 hours (faster if you bring a friend!) Questions? Ask Pam in the office.

The Women’s Ministry Committee is here to serve you and help you to serve
Is there a particular topic or activity that you would like to see made available for the women of NLICC? Let us know!
Do you have a ministry need or opportunity that you’d like to share with the women of the church? Drop us an email and we’ll get it in!
Contact us at wm@nlicc.org.

All for His glory,
Kathryne Marple
for the Women’s Ministry Committee

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