About 50 people gathered at Christ Church on State Street in Schenectady for a spring kick-off rally of the church’s annual “40 Days For Life” campaign.
Naitionally, the campaign is widely known for hosting 40 days of non-stop, round-the-clock prayer vigils outside of a single Planned Parenthood center or other abortion facility in communities all over the country.
At the Schenectady church on Sunday afternoon, participants were preparing to kick off the church’s 21st campaign. Sunday’s kick-off included an opening invocation, renditions of “The Lord Is My Salvation” and “The Battle Belongs To The Lord,” remarks from guest speakers and a showing of scenes from the controversial anti-abortional film “Maafa 21.” Vehicles in the packed parking lot all featured bumper stickers that read “Choose Life,” or similarly declared support for the pro-life movement.
Glenn Smith, the master of ceremonies for the event, greeted attendees who had gathered in the church for the service prior to a training to be held next week for people who will hold the vigil outside of an abortion facility for the next month.
Smith lauded the churchgoers for attending Sunday’s kick-off and told them that while many of them obviously attended because the cause was close to their heart, there were greater forces at work that brought them to the kick-off events.
“Know that you came because someone might have invited you, but it was the holy spirit who really brought you today,” he said.
Sunday was originally slated to feature two guest speakers — Elaine Riddick, the executive director of the Rebecca Project for Justice, and Walter S. Moss, project director at the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence and a retired pastor.
However, Riddick was unable to attend due to a family emergency, so congregation officials invited Moss to speak shortly after the invocation and first round of songs.
Moss, who lives in Ohio, said that though he retired from preaching five years ago, what he called his duty in continuing to share his anti-abortion sermons across the country in places such as Schenectady is something that he continues to take seriously every day.
“I don’t take it lightly, but I will take it as a call from God,” he said on Sunday to the gathered crowd. “The pro-life movement has really been my heart and my passion.”
Throughout his remarks, Moss talked about his background as a black anti-abortion pastor and how, as he had traveled across the country, he had come across Catholic church-goers who had made it their mission to petition those who were planning on utilizing clinics that provide abortion services, such as Planned Parenthood, to rethink their decision.
Other church officials similarly noted in their remarks that the existence of a Planned Parenthood clinic just down the road on State Street near the church was a sign that their anti-abortion fight, as well as their vigils outside the center was a spiritual sign that their cause was something to be followed and pushed forward.
“You standing there makes a difference,” Moss said. “We need you to keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t be discouraged.”