batesThe Feast of Our Lord the Giver of Life 2015

Dear brothers and sisters,

I book my calendar almost two years in advance. There are some dates that are the same every year and, so, in my Google calendar they are there for all eternity. All of those dates are celebratory days - Christmas, Easter, birthdays, and anniversaries. But there is one day in my calendar that I pray will soon be deleted: the date of January 22. That is the day that the Supreme Court of the United States issued Roe v. Wade, the decision that legalized the murder of over 55 million preborn children.

This year, alone, more than one million babies will die in an abortion mill somewhere in the United States.

That figure is nothing in comparison to the worldwide figures. Since 1980, over a billion children have been murdered. Around the world this year, between 40 and 50 million children will die from abortion. That is roughly 125,000 children a day.

These figures are larger than the populations of entire countries.

Some in the Church want to suggest that speaking out against this holocaust is too political for the Church. Some even suggest that, because the church speaks out about abortion, we are either losing members or losing touch with the millennial generation, causing them not to come to faith in Christ Jesus. I don't believe either of those is true. What I believe is that abortion is the moral issue of this generation, and will remain the moral issue until abortion is not only illegal but is something we cannot imagine ever happened or allowing again. Abortion is not a choice, it is evil. Evil must be defeated by the truth of love.

The International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church has a major voice in the Pro-Life community. Many of our leaders in the church are also leaders in the Pro-Life movement. Thanks to the work of Fr. Terry Gensemer, a generation of younger men and women have been equipped to continue the battle, until January 22 is merely another day of the week - or, as one calendar suggests, "National Blonde Brownie Day."

The Patriarch's Council has determined that on the third Sunday of January - the Feast of Jesus the Lord the Giver of Life - a special offering will be taken in every ICCEC parish around the world. This offering will be collected and sent to the Patriarch's Office for the funding of CE for Life. It is not a suggested offering but a required offering, as the Patriarch's Council determined it was God s will for us to take this offering and to be vocal about our defense of all life.

I do know that as we preach the Good News of Jesus - who came that we might have abundant life - that lives are transformed. When the Gospel is preached broken lives are made whole. The sick are healed. Those in bondage are set free. And those caught in the grips of sin are forgiven to discover the mercy of God.

CEC for Life not only works to end abortion, it al so reaches out, along with other groups, to bring healing and forgiveness to those who have had abortions, and even to those who have been part of the abortion industry. This work is critical. It is the work of life.

Mark the calendar to not only keep the feast day, but also to take up the offering. I will be with you in prayer.

Under His mercy,

batessig

The Most Rev. Craig W. Bates
Patriarch, ICCEC

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