With below-freezing temperatures and snow falling throughout the day, LCMS Lutherans and hundreds of thousands of other participants of the national “March for Life” 2013 completed their march from the National Mall to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building Friday afternoon. Forty years ago this week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. A Facebook post on the LCMS Life Ministries page said, simply: “At the Supreme Court. God have mercy on us.”
Maggie Karner, director of LCMS Life Ministries, said she believed this year was the largest group of Lutherans she’s ever seen. More than 350 LCMS Lutherans participated in the march. Many of them marched under LCMS Life Ministries banners and wore neon-green caps.
“It’s been great,” said the Rev. Jonathan Fisk of Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, Ill. “It’s been insane. The amount of people here, you can’t even begin to express it without seeing it. I heard the number 500,000 thrown around.”
Also marching was LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, who called the more than 50 million babies aborted since Roe v. Wade an “injustice.”
“Jesus exudes life and joy,” Harrison said. “We are people who have joy over life. We see in the face of death our voices are very much needed and also our social action is very much needed to right this wrong.”
Lutheran marchers included about 30 students from Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Students for Life chapter.
Chapter president Bethany Janssen said she chose to travel from Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., for the march because “all life is sacred.”
Many of the Lutherans are participating in the LCMS Life Conference, a two-day conference that is being held in conjunction with the march. The conference title is “Lutherans and Pro-Life Advocacy — Good and Acceptable Service,” based on 1 Tim. 2:1-4. Conference sessions will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel, Arlington, Va., Saturday, Jan. 26. Open to the public, the LCMS Life Conference will equip individuals, groups and congregations to conduct pro-life advocacy at the local, state and national levels and to discuss theological motivation, encouragement and practical suggestions for becoming more active in the public arena.
Conference speakers will include Harrison; Dr. Robert Benne, author of Good and Bad Ways to Speak about Religion and Politics; Steve Macias, West Coast regional coordinator for Students for Life; Mollie Hemingway, Lutheran journalist and blogger; Scott Klusendorf, director of the Life Training Institute; Tim Goeglein, vice president of external relations for Focus on the Family; Carol Tobias, executive director of National Right to Life; and other Lutherans involved in pro-life advocacy. A student track with special breakout sessions for high-school and college students also will be offered.
- Keep up with stories, photos and videos from the march and the conference at www.lcms.org/life.