By Roger Drinnon
Shocking events in 2015 have made the 2016 Life Sunday resources from LCMS Life Ministry and from Lutherans For Life (LFL) all the more meaningful, as America took a hard look at life issues this year.
“Life Sunday — set for Jan. 17 in 2016 — provides churches, and therefore all believers, with the opportunity to solemnly approach life issues, recognizing that our approach to life itself often falls short of God’s will,” said Stephanie Neugebauer, director of Life and Health Ministries for the LCMS Office of National Mission. “More so than that, however, is the opportunity that Life Sunday provides for pastors to proclaim the Gospel — namely, that Christ lived so that we might experience life in heavenly abundance. Life Sunday serves as a way to kick off the New Year in light of this understanding, so that Christians might be more thoroughly equipped to serve their neighbor in life.”
The abortion debate remains a contentious issue, especially in the wake of what was revealed by the Center for Medical Progress undercover videos made public in 2015. The series of videos, which may be viewed at centerformedicalprogress.org, shows the disturbing practices of Planned Parenthood and its partners. Also in 2015, California joined four other states — Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Montana — in legalizing assisted suicides, and several other states are considering similar legislation.
“Our culture is enthralled with the idea of autonomy and obsessed with having the right to make certain choices,” said Neugebauer. “We as Christians must defend the rights of the unborn, whose voices are increasingly hushed by abortion, and we also must extend Christ’s mercy and the comforting words of the Gospel to all who have been harmed by participating in an abortion.”
She said the LCMS encourages congregations to use the 2016 resources, including bulletin inserts and suggested hymns, and to conduct a special Bible study on life issues during a Sunday in January or any other Sunday a congregation chooses.
Resources from LFL, an LCMS Recognized Service Organization and a partner in the Synod’s Life Ministry, are available for free download at lutheransforlife.org/store-life-sunday-2016/ or for a nominal cost if a congregation prefers having them delivered on CD.
The LCMS Life Ministry resources, which include bulletin inserts, a Bible study, a children’s message and sermons, both complement and add to the Synod’s free downloadable resources available at lcms.org/life/resources/lifesunday.
“Life Sunday is a perfect time to get Life Teams and Life Chapters involved. Many of them sponsor special events and assist their pastors in their congregations for Life Sunday,” said Lori Trinche, mission and ministry coordinator with LFL. “They help with the children’s message, Sunday school activities, youth or adult Bible studies and more. The  message is ‘Created, Redeemed, Called,’ and there are so many possibilities [for congregations].”
Life Sunday resources are only a part of what LCMS Life Ministry and LFL offer. For more information on LCMS Life Ministry resources, events and service opportunities, visit lcms.org/life. For more information on LFL, visit lutheransforlife.org.
Roger Drinnon (email@example.com) is manager of Editorial Services for LCMS Communications.
Posted Nov. 30, 2015