FromThePastor pic

Pastor’s Message




Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen!”  Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms in 1521
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
          The above words were spoken by Martin Luther when he was being asked to recant the works that he
had written, admitting them to be false teaching. He said that he couldn’t do it because he believed what he had
written to be faithful to the teaching of the Word of God, and it would not be prudent to go against the Word of
God. It is never prudent to go against the Word of God!!!
          When I attended the Michigan District Pastor’s Conference earlier this month, we were told several
times in different ways that the church today finds itself in the position of being “counter-cultural.” We are
being tempted to bend and water down the teaching of the Word of God in order to fit-in with the prevailing
views of our society. What is called for is the opposite: A robust and courageous Christian faith that knows the
Word of God, holds fast to it, and shares it both with-in and beyond our walls. We were encouraged to be more
disciplined in our homes and churches with our study of the Scriptures. We were encouraged to take a stand
even when it means we might suffer ridicule or persecution.
          At the Pastor’s Conference, we were encouraged to take a stand against the Proposition 3, Reproductive
Freedom for All Amendment. Recently I sent an email to the church distribution list that included some
information and videos about what is involved in this proposition. If you do not have email or were unable to
see these videos, let me know and you are welcome to come by church sometime, and I will share them with
you. Also, if you have questions, I would be glad to discuss them with you. In taking a stand against this
proposal, some would accuse the church of being anti women or anti human rights, or of sticking our nose in
where it doesn’t belong. I disagree. The life of each mother is precious to the Lord, and so is the life of each
child—born and unborn. Christ came that we would have life and have it abundantly. We have a responsibility
to defend, care for, and nurture the lives of those around us, and to do so with compassionate hearts. To that
end, for our Mission Festival Sunday this year we are going to welcome a local organization that is on the front-
lines of helping women (and men too), and their born and unborn babies. The organization is called LifePlan,
and it currently has a location in Niles and in Benton Harbor. It is not a political organization, but a ministry
that brings the good news of Jesus to people in difficult situations. LifePlan provides pregnancy tests and
ultrasounds to women as well as STI testing. One of the things that impressed me is their Life Matters program
that helps a person/couple grow as a person and a parent. They get paired up with a counselor/mentor and
attend classes that are provided, and upon completion the person earns “boutique bucks” that can be used in
their store for items like diapers, etc. LifePlan also provides help for those struggling with pornography. There
are many ways that we can partner with LifePlan to help people from our nearby communities who are in
difficult times. We will learn more about this on Sunday, November 13 th . Rev. Tom Batsky will be our guest
preacher and after the service, Lyndon Azcuna, the Executive Director of LifePlan, will give a presentation in
our Social Hall about what LifePlan does and how we can partner with them. Please plan to attend and bring a
dish to share for the pot-luck lunch we will have that day as well. Let’s take a stand together for the Word of
God and for serving our neighbor in love!

In Christ,

Pastor Liebich