Save the date! Generations for Life will hold their next Youth Leadership Conference Saturday, October 22. Check the Generations main page for updates.
In other Generations for Life news:
- GFL Conference Trains Pro-Life Youth Leaders
- Generations goes to Iowa
- GFL Teens Leaflet Lake Zurich High School
- Annie and John Speak to Teens on Abortion, Chastity
- Making Connections
by Annie Casselman
On Saturday, October 16, we hosted the Generations for Life Youth Leadership Conference at St. Mary of the Angels Parish in Chicago. Teens from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and as far away as California and Massachusetts gathered to learn about their important role in the larger pro-life movement and develop skills for effectively communicating the pro-life message.
A Pro-Life History Lesson
My mother, Ann Scheidler, kicked off the conference with a fascinating overview of the history of the pro-life movement from the years before Roe v. Wade until now. Then my father, Joe Scheidler, discussed the spiritual importance of pro-life activism, especially for teens today.
John Jansen and Eric Scheidler conducted workshops on effective communication. John covered the topic of effective pro-life dialog, while Eric offered practical tips on using the written word to share the pro-life message.
GFL Curriculum in Action
I gave instruction on efficiently running a pro-life club with the aid of the GFL Curriculum. To illustratehow clubs can creatively address the many Life Topics in the Curriculum, I showed my Power-Point presentation on fetal development.
It was a wonderful opportunity for the teens to share ideas and network with other teen pro-life club leaders. Those who attended the conference came away with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to the pro-life mission.
by John Jansen
On November 6, Annie and I conducted the teen segment of Iowa Right to Life’s statewide convention in Des Moines. Our talks addressed the facts surrounding abortion, an overview of the pro-life movement, effective pro-life dialog, sidewalk counseling, and how to efficiently run a pro-life club.
Over 60 committed pro-life teens attended the conference and came away from it energized to spread the pro-life message in their schools and communities across the state. Several students purchased copies of the GFL Curriculum and plan to start pro-life clubs in their schools, and many were eager to try sidewalk counseling.
The conference was such a success that Iowa Right to Life has invited us back to run it again next year.
by Annie Casselman
Earlier this fall I contacted the Magdalen Teens for Life (MTL) in Wauconda, IL to suggest that we leaflet one of the public high schools in their area. Many members of MTL are home schooled, which enables them to make a pro-life activism “field trip” to educate their peers. So on October 25, fourteen of us distributed flyers on fetal development to students at Lake Zurich High School.
Hundreds of teens were confronted with the humanity of the unborn child before the police showed up. They asked us to leave even though we were doing nothing illegal. Since by that time we had already handed out all of our literature, we agreed to leave the campus. We’ll be back in the spring to leaflet more high school campuses in the Chicago area.
Since the MTL leafleting was such a success, I took the idea to Rockford Teens for Life, another home school pro-life group. They are looking forward to educating their peers at a Rockford high school in the spring.
This has been a busy semester for Generations for Life Director Annie Casselman and Co-Director John Jansen. Both have delivered talks throughout the region on pro-life and chastity.
New PowerPoint Presentation
On October 10, Annie spoke to 60 teens from Rochelle, IL about abortion. Then on October 14 she spoke at a pre-election symposium on abortion at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. The talk featured Annie’s new PowerPoint presentation with beautiful images of unborn babies, which will be part of all future talks.
On October 20, she made a fifth visit to St. Mary’s in Sycamore, IL for a chastity talk. And on the 27th, she drove down to Greensburg, IN to speak with 250 teens about chastity at the invitation of Joe Scheidler’s cousin, Bob Rust, and Decatur County Right to Life.
John Visits Former Students
Meanwhile, John was invited to speak to the pro-life club at Northridge Prep School in Niles, IL, where he taught religion and history last year. The October 25 talk focused on effective pro-life dialog.
Annie returned to Sacred Heart Church in Winnetka, IL, where she was youth minister for three years, to talk to the seventh graders about chastity on November 11, followed by a similar talk to the youth group at St. Luke’s in River Forest, IL later that week.
John gave his first talk on chastity to a receptive youth group at St. Jude Parish in New Lenox, IL on November 14. The talk was part of a series entitled “Go Deeper” designed for teens to learn more about topics relevant to their spiritual lives.
On November 23, Annie met with the Directors of Religious Education of the DeKalb Deanery to share the mission of Generations for Life. Several DREs are interested in having John or Annie come to speak in the spring. Annie will attend the remaining six deanery meetings early next year.
by John Jansen
At Generations, we are eager to make connections and learn more about ministering to teens on the life issues. So on October 3, Annie and I attended a youth rally at Holy Family Parish in Inverness, IL, along with hundreds of teens from all over the Chicago area.
The rally featured inspirational speakers, including Matt Smith of MTV’s Real World, and high-energy music. We distributed hundreds of pro-life brochures and talked with several teens eager to start pro-life clubs. The adults we spoke with were excited to have a pro-life presence at the rally.
A Dose of Reality
Then on November 16, we attended the “Power of Abstinence” conference sponsored by Project Reality, a Chicago-based group that promotes abstinence education nationwide.
The keynote speaker, psychologist and education professor Dr. Thomas Lickona, emphasized the importance of instilling strong character and moral convictions and providing effective support systems for students as ways to help them to see the importance of saving sex for marriage.
We were both grateful for the opportunity to learn about the latest positive trends in abstinence education and to exchange ideas with many people who share the commitment to promote abstinence before marriage.
Links and Related Pages
- Generations for Life News—Archive of Action News stories on our youth outreach division