Praying for Choices

12Today’s post is a reflection from our ongoing series of responses to Faith Aloud’s Forty Days for Prayer.  This post on the 21st prayer is from Karen, who is an intern for Faith Aloud through Eden Theological Seminary while concurrently pursuing a Master of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Karen’s wise words about praying for everyone’s choices show thoughtfulness, kindness, and love in a conversation that is often fraught with anger. Karen shows us that being pro-choice involves so many shades of understanding.

 

I am pro-choice and I pray. People who identify as pro-choice are often people of nuance. Contrary to the polarizing images presented in the media or society’s tendency to put people in boxes, to be pro-choice is to recognize that everyone has different contexts: family structures, friends, support networks, economic resources, educational backgrounds, physical conditions, mental health issues, spiritualities… the list goes on. We who are pro-choice recognize that all of the factors that make up who we are affect the decisions we all make.

As one of many pro-choice voices, I aim to understand others with compassion, recognizing that others’ choices may not be my own.  Even when people make decisions that differ from what I would have chosen, I know everyone is just as worthy of compassion, dignity, and respect. I am confident that everyone is capable of making the choices that are best for them, within their situations.482235_10151534296663383_694611725_n

At Faith Aloud, where I work, we are devoted to ensuring that people integrate their faith traditions and spirituality into their reproductive decisions, rather than believing that in order to consider all of their reproductive options, they must leave their faith and spirituality at the door. We believe that no one should feel alone when seeking faith guidance on reproductive decisions, and everyone deserves to feel whole and loved.

Today, the prayer from Forty Days for Prayer is mindful of those in developing nations, whose choices and decisions might be different from my own. Today’s prayer recognizes that economic need and the lack of supportive political structures can press down upon a lack of employment and educational opportunities to make people feel trapped within their situations.

As nuanced voices for choice, we are attentive to the ways in which lack of access to birth control and safe abortion procedures may occur on economic, political, and personal levels. Nonetheless, we believe that all people have the power of self-determination, to make choices of their own, even when those choices may be limited by external forces or by internal struggle.

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When I pray for self-determination, through the prayers of Faith Aloud, I pray for all people to be empowered to find the best way to make life better for themselves, their families, and their communities. This is a prayer for people to courageously and creatively make decisions that bring peace to their souls and well-being to their lives. This prayer is based on hope, the hope that things can and will be better. I pray that all people will remember that even when their circumstances press down around them, they are not defined by their circumstances, and they are not alone. I pray that they have choices.

 

 

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Faith Aloud, Choice, and Change/ Faith Aloud y Opciones y Cambio

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This month for our Spare Change Spotlight we are focusing on an organization that is attempting to change the dialogue around reproductive justice.  That organization is Faith Aloud.  Faith Aloud is “The Religious and Ethical Voice for Reproductive Justice”.  This means that they work with and for people of all faiths and spiritual paths to change the dialogue about reproductive justice.

Este mes enfocamos en la organización Faith Aloud. Como dice en suyo sitio de web “Como la gente de fe religiosa y la convicción,Faith Aloud apoya la justicia reproductiva para todas las personas.”

Much like Searching Sophia’s Pockets, Faith Aloud provides a safe space for dialogue. They support people as they explore and understand their reproductive choices through their all-options multi-faith counseling, which can be reached at 1-888-717-5010 (US) or via the website.

Igual como Searching Sophia’s Pockets, Faith Aloud provee un espacio seguro para diálogo. Faith Aloud ofrece apoya a personas quien están haciendo decisiones reproductivas con suyo asesoramiento gratis. Faith Aloud tiene consejeros de muchas fes y todos ofrecen consejos sobre todos opciones reproductivas.

Additionally, during this season of lent, when some people choose to express their views by yelling and shaming women at reproductive health clinics, Faith Aloud has created a choice for peace and support. Their 40 days for Prayer, features prayers focused in supporting choice, health, and those who bravely provide those options.

Durante la estación de Cuaresma, Faith Aloud ha creado un opción por paz y justicia. Faith Aloud tiene 40 Días de Oración para apoyar elecciones reproductivas. Puedes verlos cuando bajas en el sitio de web.

If you would like to donate to Faith Aloud, they always welcome your spare change, but you can also help by sharing their  40 Days for Prayer.  You can also check out the Faith Aloud YouTube page, which has lots of excellent videos on choice, teen sexuality, and more.

Si quieres apoyar Faith Aloud, tu pudieras donar dinero, compartir los 40 Días de Oración, o ver y compartir el canal de YouTube.

We look forward to supporting Faith Aloud, and everyone’s choices, this month with more posts and important discussions.

Esperamos apoyar Faith Aloud, y las opciones de cada uno de este mes con más publicaciones y discusiones importantes. 

Uncomfortable? Please Don’t Be.

Today Jenni offers us another perspective on the recent political events in the United States, and adds a plea for wisdom and love in our treatment of all people, and faith in our belief in God.

By: Jenni Taylor

Prop 8 has been shut down, married gay couples will now have legal rights, and abortion clinics will remain open in Texas for the time being.

Some of you out there are freaking out a little. Maybe even a lot.

This post is for you.

I want to say, I love you. To my family and friends that have been struggling with the moral implications of these decisions, I respect and love you so much for wanting to do what is right and hold to your convictions. Abortion and gay marriage have been the hot moral topics for a long time now, and with these decisions in the past few days, I understand why your head is spinning.

But if you are uncomfortable, please don’t be.

If there’s anything I know, it’s that God’s fingerprints are prints of love. We see them in the stars, in hugs, in families, in loving relationships. Trust with me that his fingerprints are all over the place right now, giving purpose, life and love to everything he touches. He touched you, didn’t he?

A wise person once told me, “Love God. Love people.” In the chaos of trying to know what is wrong and what is right, I go back to those solid wise words, and the world isn’t such a confusing place after all. To me, the beauty of all these recent politics is that we are one step closer to a life with less fear and more love, a life where loving people and teaching others to love people just got easier.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 35, 37-39