June 22, 2023
From the very beginning, Reach has been committed to making disciples who believe the Gospel, who worship Jesus, that grow in Community, serve our city, and plant churches that do the same. That is why we exist as a local church.
And therefore, it’s uncommon for us as a church to respond to the news cycle, but we recognize the national discourse in this moment on abortion and issues of life, and we want to bring encouragement and clarity to the Reach community on where we believe God is continuing to direct us.
To make sense of our world, we always begin with God’s truth as revealed through Scripture. In Genesis 1:27, we read: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
This and many other verses form the basis for our belief that all human beings are created in the Image of God; we are created by God in His likeness to reflect who He is — this is called the imago dei. All human life has unconditional, incalculable, and intrinsic value and dignity, regardless of whether or not you even believe in the God in whose image you are created! It is not what you do or what you have that gives you a claim to intrinsic value. Every person, from the moment of conception to death, has inherent dignity and a right to life, simply because God declares it so, with no conditions or exceptions.
And so we celebrate anything that happens in our world that furthers God's eternal declaration about the intrinsic value of human life. This includes unashamedly celebrating limits to non-medically necessary abortions – because human life at every stage is sacred, and therefore worthy of protection and respect.
Many in our culture today will try to tell Christians that our belief in the value of the unborn results in ignoring other marginalized people, but that is not the implications of the imago dei, nor is it the story of our church. Our belief in the value and worth of all human life that has historically motivated us as a church to actions of service and generosity:
There are countless more examples of brothers and sisters from our church serving the least of these. We’ve seen people subsidizing the cost for families to adopt, hosting foodbanks, spending vacations to serve refugees displaced by war, and Groups serving teen moms in need.
We have refused to allow our valuing of human life to apply only to select issues in our political and social contexts. Reach has been, and will continue to be, a church that seeks the protection, preservation, and prosperity of human life – at all stages – because we all bear the Image of God.
Furthermore, our desire at Reach is to care for the hurt and broken parts in all of us. We believe God speaks to pain and human suffering very clearly in his Word, and that He calls us as believers to respond the same way He has responded to us: with compassion and mercy.
We believe that there is no experience, choice, sin, or belief too far for God to redeem and heal. We believe that God is a God of comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), a God of nearness (Psalm 34:17-18), of perfect justice (Deuteronomy 32:4), and God of compassion (Psalm 103:13).
We believe that every person is created in the image of a wonderful God, who is near to you in any pain you may be experiencing. We believe it is within God’s Church, the Body of Christ, that we can experience healing community, a wide net of resources, and a welcoming place for weary hearts to find rest. Our care does not begin or end with one’s choices, experiences, or sins, but comes from God’s call on believers to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and be known by love (John 13:35).
We pray you experience Reach as a place where you, your experiences, and needs all find a welcoming and loving community, and that you are invited to heal and grow into the fullness of who God declares you to be.
As always, you can request Care at Reach – find this link anytime at getinvolved.cc. We will connect you with resources and a person to talk to or pray with. Additionally, our Elder Team is available and absolutely invites further conversation and questions from you on these topics at email@example.com
It’s God’s love for us that compels us to pray for compassion, justice, and wisdom in how we serve our city, including serving women and their families before, during, and after pregnancy.
It’s God’s love that compels us to serve and support populations among whom are those most likely to consider an abortion as a necessary response to a pregnancy.
Together, let’s recognize the deep divisions and emotions surrounding the issue of abortion, and because we have experienced His love for us, choose to hold both kindness and theological conviction when we speak and respond to one another and to our community.
Thank you Reach for exemplifying this posture in the way you live, serve, and give.
We who were formerly hopeless have become ambassadors of hope, taking God’s hope and healing into every nook and cranny of the world. May we embrace this invitation from God all the more in the season ahead.
The Reach Elder Team
Rick Grimm, Don Hjort, Charlie Maier, Mike O’Neil, & Sean Gasperetti
Image of God
Genesis 2:7, 21-23
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
2 Corinthians 5:10
Value of Human Life
Value of Children
2 Timothy 3:14-15