Eric Scheidler speaks at Aurora’s 1st Presbyterian Church, Jan 31 [Photo by Sandy Bradford]
This past Sunday, January 31, I was deeply honored to be the guest of my friends at First Presbyterian Church in Aurora, Illinois, at the invitation of Sandy Bradford and Mary Faye Vasen. I attended both worship services—the traditional service at 8:30 and the contemporary service at 11:00—and gave a talk in between on the pro-life mission in Aurora.
I was introduced to the congregation by Pastor Steve Rhodes during the 8:30 service, after a powerful sermon by Pastor Jeff Moore on Ephesians 3:1-13 in which St. Paul speaks of God’s wisdom being revealed to the angels in heaven through what He accomplishes through our faithful witness here on earth.
Astonishing the Angels
This was the perfect set-up for my remarks on the pro-life mission in Aurora. I spoke about how so often we don’t know what we might be accomplishing out there witnessing at abortion facilities, but sometimes we get a glimpse. A woman will come up to thank us for being there years before on the day her abortion was scheduled—that sight was enough to convince her to drive on by and choose life.
But the angelic choir sees it all. And being unburdened by time in the eternity of heaven, they see the results, too. Let us make of ourselves witnesses to the precious life of unborn children, to astonish even the angels with our faith. To do that, we have to be right there where those children are killed.
After my brief remarks—a teaser for the talk I would be giving after the service, Eric Stade played and sang a powerfully moving song of his own composition on the anguish that comes from choosing abortion, versus the joy and hope of choosing life.
Whatsoever You Do for the Least of These”
During my talk between the services I elaborated more on the peaceful, lawful ministry going on at Planned Parenthood in Aurora with the help of First Pres. I spoke about the singular evil of abortion: how the unborn child is the least of the least, literally the tiniest of Christ’s brothers and those whose lives are most undervalued in our society.
I spoke of the horror it is that abortion takes place in the womb; the one place of all designed specifically to nurture and protect the child becomes the place where children are killed.
I talked about how urgent it is for us to be there mourning these killings. No unborn child should ever die without a pro-lifer there witnessing to the value of that life, and mourning it’s loss. “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Finally, I spoke of how being there at the abortion facility puts a face on abortion. We need to see these particular mothers going in there and handing over their children to be killed if we are to understand what abortion really is and be effective intercessors praying for an end to abortion.
First Pres: A “Go To” Church
In my remarks to the congregation in the second service, I talked about how First Pres has been one of the real “go to” churches right from the beginning of the fight against Planned Parenthood. I invited the younger crowd at this service to join the pro-life witness at Planned Parenthood of which First Pres has always been such a strong pillar. The next prayer day for the church is February 21.
I also was blessed to see some of the stalwart pro-life activists from First Pres during my visit, including sidewalk counselor Bob Grayson, prayer warrior Woody Hulting and Linda Dudley, a prayer warrior who joins Mary Faye and Sandy every other week to pray with me and Matt Yonke in our Aurora office.
My time at First Presbyterian Church of Aurora was truly blessed. I left departed feeling re-energized by the faith and steadfastness of my Christian brothers and sister there, and grateful to be standing with them on the front lines.
I look forward to future opportunities to speak to church congregations on the importance of the pro-life mission.