Abortion is a hot-button issue, and as such it’s a topic many people are reluctant to broach in polite conversation or even in discussions with women who may be considering terminating their pregnancies, according to Doreen Teed, executive director of Geneva’s Family Hope Center, which formerly was known as the Care Net Pregnancy Care Center of the Finger Lakes.
Sue Connor, however, hopes that arming people with facts and knowledge about abortion and alternatives may help them overcome their reluctance to engage in such discussions. A member of St. Francis and St. Clare Parish in Waterloo and Seneca Falls, Connor recently invited her fellow parishioners to participate in Making Life Disciples, a curriculum intended to teach participants how to provide compassion, hope, help and discipleship to women and men wrestling with decisions about abortion.
“I truly believe that at some point in time, with the way the world is heading, probably all of us will come across men and women who are having a tough time with their decisions,” Connor said. “I believe it’s important to prepare ourselves so the (Holy) Spirit can work through us.”
Making Life Disciples is offered through Care Net, which launched the curriculum in 2016. The Family Hope Center purchased the nondenominational curriculum in early 2017 and since then has worked to make local churches aware that it is available to them, Teed said.
“It’s got excellent information in it, and it’s very good for educating people about the whole issue of abortion and the sanctity of life. We actually use it here for training as well because it’s so good,” Teed said.
St. Francis and St. Clare is one of two local churches that have utilized the curriculum so far, she added. The parish presented the curriculum during a series of morning sessions in 2017 and received such positive feedback from the 14 participating parishioners that Connor decided to facilitate Making Life Disciples at the parish again in 2018.
The first of seven Thursday-night sessions was held March 1 and drew eight parishioners, who watched a recorded video presentation about abortion and then discussed what they’d learned. While abortion and the sanctity of life are the main focus of the curriculum’s DVD presentations, participants also learn communication skills they can utilize in other situations, Connor said.
“The communication skills that are talked about in the course are basic skills that can be applied to other situations, such as how to listen to somebody that’s got a problem,” she said.
Teed said she hopes people who go through the curriculum will have the courage and knowledge necessary not only to engage in discussions with people who might be considering abortion, but to show unconditional love to those individuals as well.
“This is what this girl needs. She needs to know you love her, because girls and women who are supported are less likely to make an abortion decision,” Teed said. “God only wants (people) to love these women and then he can take care of the rest, and Making Life Disciples teaches you how to do that.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information about Making Life Disciples, contact the Family Hope Center at 315-789-0708.