Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"How Can Our Church Partner with Vital Signs Ministries?"

Below I print a letter I wrote yesterday responding to a friend who asked me, "How can our church partner with Vital Signs Ministries?"

Dear __________,

Thanks so much for your interest.  Among the various ways local church congregations can interact with Vital Signs Ministries, these top the list.

1) Local church participation in the key “calendar”pro-life events: Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, the Walk for Life in Lincoln, the Life Chain, and the AAA Center for Pregnancy Counseling fund-raising banquet. Yes, I know that these events are not specifically Vital Signs activities but we think they are indispensable to a local congregation’s identification as a pro-life church.  They are crucial too as a public witness against the ongoing wickedness of abortion, as a way to demonstrate clearly to a watching world that serious pro-life convictions are not confined to Roman Catholicism.  Vital Signs, of course, can help with information about these events and even with the provision of SOHLS bulletin inserts and posters.

2) The prayer presence at the abortion centers.  Currently, the Vital Signs team goes to the Planned Parenthood abortion business on north 93rd on the first and third Wednesday mornings of the month and the second and fourth Saturday mornings of the month.  The Wednesday time is from 8-9:30 and the Saturday time is from 10-11.

3) We heartily encourage local churches to create their own letter-writing outreach as one of the ways in which they lift up the standard of righteousness in the public square.  Vital Signs is more than happy to bring its 30 years of experience in such ministry to help get such a thing going.  An effective letter-writing outreach helps disciple believers, increases the power of a winsome witness and helps the local church define itself as a place where holiness, justice and truth-telling are seriously honored.  From providing action alerts, contact information, letter-writing tips and even hosting a kickoff letter-writing event, Vital Signs is ready to lend a hand to local congregations developing their own ongoing program.

4) Every month Vital Signs Ministries presents its unique program of “When Swing Was King” to audiences in at least 10 nursing homes and assisted living centers.  Combining big band music, interesting commentary, and a Power Point slide presentation which utilizes 160-180 photographs per volume, “When Swing Was King” provides a wonderful tour down memory lane which has proven exceptionally popular with the residents of these facilities.  However, this outreach is even more effective with the involvement of outside visitors who can help escort the senior citizens to and from the program as well as visiting with them before and after.  The “When Swing Was King” schedule is posted every month on the Vital Signs Ministries website.

5) Finally, here is a “catch-all” category in which I’ll mention a few extra ways in which local churches, families and individuals can partner with Vital Signs.  Prayers are always in order for our various ministries including such things that I hadn’t yet mentioned like our Russian-language website and Vital Signs Blog.  Extremely helpful too are financial donations, the promotion of Vital Signs Blog which gives crucial updates on the culture wars every weekday, participation in discipleship activities like our Book It! reading discussions, and support of other key ministries we work closely with: the AAA Center for Pregnancy Counseling, Nebraskans Against Planned Parenthood and the Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research.

Again, thanks so much for your ongoing encouragement of our work.  We deeply appreciate it.  And we hope outlining the above ideas will help create stronger bonds between Vital Signs and ____________ Church.