“Where there is great power there is great responsibility.” Winston Churchill
Changing the slides during the singing of the New Zealand National Anthem was the responsibility with which I was charged. The power came in the form of a portable device that communicated by infrared the desired change of slides.
The singing of the first verse was followed by a sense of brief but nervous hesitation. Caught up in divine patriotism, I had inadvertently failed to discharge the very duty bestowed upon me. I quickly realised my faux pas and with device in hand anxiously changed the slide. The rest of the recital occurred flawlessly.
Voice for Life
This was the final day of my first attended Voice for Life Annual Conference.
What a privilege to have been there. Thanks to some very generous sponsors, I was able to attend, spending the weekend in Hamilton, staying at the very nice Ibis Hotel.
The first day of the conference, which kicked off Friday night, followed my first exposure to publically demonstrating my pro-life position. You can read about that here.
Friday night featured branch reports. Representatives from various branches around New Zealand gave updates on what their groups had been doing to promote the culture of life.
I was asked to share briefly about the goings on in Thames. This was well received. I basically just read the blog post I had written whilst en route from Thames.
As the reports were given, there was never a time where I sensed that these people were judgemental, hard-hearted, hate-filled fundamentalists. There was reference to the abhorrence of abortion and the profound value of human life from conception to natural death. But the overall tone was one of compassion.
Dr. Rachel Carling-Jenkins
An Australian politician. She is a Democratic Labour Party member of the Victorian Legislative Council, having represented Western Metropolitan Region since 2014. Rachel was the keynote speaker for this year’s conference. She presented on some of the lessons she has learned and challenges she has faced in the pro-life movement. Additionally, she passed on some encouragement – urging us to continue in the fight.
Rachel spoke of the tragedy reflected in her home state of Victoria. Not only does Victoria have the worst abortion laws in the commonwealth of Australia, but the world. In Victoria, abortion is legal up to birth. And even if the infant survives the abortion process, because the order has been issued, the child is left to die.
In addition, the State has buffer zone legislation. This law says that no pro-life demonstration can be made within 150 metres of an abortion clinic. This quells any form of vigil or silent demonstration such as the kind I was involved in.
Infant Viability Bill
Recently Dr. Rachel submitted a bill to the Victorian Parliament. The Infant Viability Bill sought to roll-back the atrocious late-term abortion legislation in the state. Sadly, the bill was defeated and infants are still aborted up to birth.
Her presentations urged for unity amongst various pro-life groups.
In addition, there was a call for political engagement. Not the rant and rave and writing of threats kind. Rather, gracious, compassionate, and wise engagement.
Dr. John Kleinsman
John spoke on the battle against euthanasia law reform in New Zealand, the current status, and how we can help in the fight.
Having been involved in post-abortion counselling for over 15 years Catherine spoke on the reality of post-trauma counselling in NZ and informed consent.
Tracy spoke on how to best engage with our local MP’s. This was timely with reference to next year’s General Election.
A farmer and cafe operator in Taranaki, Hillary spoke about parental notification and Ariana’s campaign.
All Over Impression
I am so glad I had the opportunity to be there. My heart was touched, my mind engaged, and my will stirred to continue to be a voice for the voiceless. I was privileged to meet many people involved in the movement. There was a real sense of mutual encouragement.
My challenge is how to engage my community with compassion, grace, and wisdom.