Michigan Church Holds Right to Life Memorial Service

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Central Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Mich., hosted a Right to Life memorial service in honor of Value Human Life Week.

Participants remember the unborn in Right to Life’s annual March for Life.

Marking the 39th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion, roughly 300 people participated in the “March for Life” event on January 17 in downtown Holland, which was followed by the memorial service.

Among the nearly 400 who attended the service were Michigan state representatives Joe Haveman and Amanda Price and Michigan state senator Arlan Meekhof.

The service included a prayer led by Rev. Chad Steenwyk, co-pastor of Central Avenue CRC, as well as a short drama entitled “The Decision,” which highlighted a young couple’s difficult time facing an unplanned pregnancy.

Sandi Nyboer of Hamilton CRC played a small role in the play, which was written by her friend Mindy Driscoll. “I jumped at the chance,” she said. “It was amazing.”

“Everyone was very moved by the drama that was presented. The young people were riveted,” said Carol Brower, executive director of Right to Life of Holland Area. “Central Avenue has been great to us,” she added, noting that the church has hosted the event for the past four years.

“We’ve long supported the broader pro-life cause,” said Rev. Steenwyk, a father of young children. “I thought it important to bring my family . . . to learn compassion for those struggling to make such decisions in life. But I also want them to see that they are special creations of God and that their lives are precious—as is every life that is given.”

About the Author

Susan Vanden Berg is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Holland, Michigan.

See comments (9)


I often wonder what would happen if all of us who believe in Right to Life, those who believe life begins at conception, started symbolically celebrating birthdays (perhaps they would need to be called "alivedays") 9 months before their official date of birth. I think it might make an interesting statement.

I also find it ironic that those who have historically (and wrongfully) insisted on the right to abortion on the basis of a woman's "right to choose" now wish to restrict that "right to choose" by disallowing abortion choices that are based on the unborn child's gender. Their ridiculous solution would be that governments support the right to choose an abortion... as long as that abortion decision isn't based on gender discrimination.

I'm sorry; the taking of life is the ultimate "discrimination".

While on one level I appreciate this congregation's concern for "life", I think it is proper for us to remember that we also need to respect the position of our sisters and brothers in the United Church of Christ. The UCC, who we are closely allied to as fellow members of the WCRC (World Communion of Reformed Churches) has been fundamental in the support of NARAL and a woman's right to choose. Of course nobody likes abortion; even abortion providers realize it is sub-optimal. But the Supreme Court has wisely and thoughtfully established that what happens reproductively in a woman's body is a private decision between her and her doctor. Maybe it is time to give equal consideration to those of us in the CRC who applaud the United Church of Christ's principled stand in favor of Roe vs Wade.

So-called pro-life groups should not be taken seriously in their attempts to ban abortion if they do not also strongly support organizations like Planned Parenthood. The goal of PP is to prevent all unwanted pregancies, and if they were completley successful in this effort, there woulod be NO abortions. If "pro-life" folks won in their effort to get abortion banned, there would still be lots of (illegal) abortions in addition to a greater number of unwanted kids, many of whom would be in desparate straits together with their mothers. A greater number of these unwanted kids would also be a burden and threat to society because of their terrible upbringing.

Here is a link to a United Church of Christ pastor as she gives comfort in the name of Christ to women who are about to have the procedure. The UCC is our sister denomination! The dark days of being associated with non-progressives (PCA, OPC) are over! Most of us have moved beyond the naive assumptions underlying the "pro-life" movement. Listen carefully to this wise woman: we can learn.

It is great to read about a CRC being active in the pro-life ministry. Here at First Cutlerville CRC we also are involved in the Pro-Life ministry. Our pastor Ken Van Wyk had a inspiring message on Exodus 1 : 17. We also were invited to donate baby items to the dresser ministry and were introduced to the new display in the foyer with Jesus sitting down with a baby on His knees and a young mother standing next to him. Thank God for the Pro-Life movement. Also displayed are four models of unborn babies 7-8-9-and 10 weeks. One only has to have a look at the 7 week old unborn child and know it is a baby

I am asking to have my baptism nullified. Over the course of my 70 years i have come to realize that my core personal values (those of Secular humanism) are irreconcilably opposed to the religious tenets of the CRC. In light of this situation. and wishing to sever any and all connections to an organization which i truly believe to be an outdated relic of our prehistoric, illiterate past, I hereby formally request an abrogation of the compact entered into between the Church and my parents at the time of my baptism.

Thank you

Wayne Newhouse

Beatrice McBride (see comments below), you purr with as much disingenuity and deception as the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Abortion is the most egregious form of murder imaginable; no amount of candy-coated doublespeak will dull that cutting reality. In terms of the UCC's pro-abortion stance and the CRC's alliance ("communion") with them, it is sad and lamentable. I can't help but be shocked that the Banner would tolerate such commentary; it would appear that the UCC's far left postion has already skewed us in that direction. God help us!

A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said:

'Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 year old and I'm pregnant again. I don't want kids so close together.'

So the doctor said: 'Ok and what do you want me to do?'

She said: 'I want you to end my pregnancy, and I'm counting on your help with this.'

The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady: 'I think I have a better solution for your problem. It's less dangerous for you too.'

She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.

Then he continued: 'You see, in order for you not to have to take care of 2 babies at the same time, let's kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we're going to kill one of them, it doesn't matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.'

The lady was horrified and said: 'No doctor! How terrible! It's a crime to kill a child!'

'I agree', the doctor replied. 'But you seemed to be OK with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.'

The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point.

He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that's already been born and one that's still in the womb. The crime is the same!

If you agree, please SHARE.

Together we can help save precious lives!

Love says, 'I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person.' Abortion says, 'I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself.'
By: Caroline Beal

I guess Wayne Newhouse's core personal values include favouring the murder of unborn children.