March for Life 2012 was a wonderful success! Thousands of people flocked to the Hill despite the chilly winds and threat of rain. LifeSiteNews reported 19,500 people in attendance, and many Members of Parliament, religious leaders and others were able to address the crowd and encourage them to continued action.
ARPA was very happy to co-sponsor a Reformed prayer service with Jubilee Church before the March began. Over 250 people filled the sanctuary of the rented facilities downtown Ottawa – some having left their homes at 1:00 that morning, in order to attend! (Some great pictures of the service will be posted shortly)
Rev. John van Popta (pastor of Fellowship Canadian Reformed Church) led the service, which was seasoned with prayer and the energetic singing of a number of appropriate hymns. His engaging message urged us to continually speak for the speechless, those who have no voice, no money, no citizenship, no rights. As Christians, we need to be holistic in fulfilling this obligation; we care for our neighbours from the beginning of life, through all of life, including the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual hurdles, to the natural end of life.
After the prayer service, André Schutten, legal counsel with ARPA Canada, coached the crowd on how to easily debunk any pro-abortion argument. In a short but interactive presentation, the crowd was able to shout out the scientific, logical and philosophical defenses for the pro-life position.
We wrapped up the morning with a presentation from Mike Schouten, campaign director for WeneedaLAW.ca . Mike first explained with the use of powerful testimonials how the theme of the march, Abortion Hurts Everyone, was so appropriate. He then was able to encourage the crowd to continued political action, walking the attendees through the WeneedaLAW.ca website and giving every practical tasks to complete both on the Hill (distributing 10,000 business promo cards) and in the next year (writing letters to MPs, sharing on social media and filling out petitions).
As participants filed out of the church, they were given a complimentary paper-bag lunch from the volunteers at Jubilee church. Thanks to everyone who made the trip this year and for contributing to the prophetic voice of the pro-life cause! We hope to see all of you again next year accompanied by two or three friends each!
(photo credits: Chris van Popta)