5000 Conversations in 2017

Part I: Outreach

Dear Friend,

Since conversations about abortion are essential to making abortion unthinkable, we’ve set a goal of creating 5000 conversations in 2017.  Let me explain how we plan to accomplish this goal with God’s help.

You may be a JFA reader who already supports JFA sacrificially or who prays regularly for JFA.  Partnering with JFA in each of these ways is vital to creating conversations and making abortion unthinkable.  If you are helping us create conversations through your prayers and financial support, it is enough.  (Thank you!)  But you may want to do more. 

As we think about creating conversations about abortion, there’s an unavoidable challenge: abortion just isn’t a topic that lends itself to easy, everyday-life conversation.  It’s personal.  It’s sensitive.  It’s dark.  It’s troubling.  Many pro-life advocates fear conversations about abortion.  They fear they won’t know what to say.  They fear losing a friendship.  They fear offending someone unintentionally.  Opportunities to bring up the topic in a natural way are rare.  In this month’s letter, I’ll discuss one remedy we have for this challenge: JFA’s outreach events.  In next month’s letter, I’ll discuss our second remedy: JFA’s tools which help you start abortion conversations with friends and family. 

JFA Outreach Events Produce More Conversations Because Talking to Strangers Is Easier

Our outreach events, especially our large-scale events, are the easiest way for our staff and volunteers to start the conversation about abortion in a way that’s not awkward.  As the “Feet Work” part of our training program, these events create an objective spectacle that naturally invites consideration and comment from both volunteers and passersby.

The larger the group of volunteers joining us on campus, the more conversations these events generate.  Indeed, sometimes the crowd of volunteers itself becomes a part of the reason passersby stop to talk.  So, you can help us multiply the conversations these events produce by attending as a mission trip participant and using the event to talk to pro-choice advocates.

Here’s one more way you can multiply the conversations our outreach events produce: Introduce us.  We can produce more events and larger events if we meet college students who invite us to their campuses and high school teachers and administrators who invite us to train their students through a field trip to a JFA outreach event. 

Whether we are conducting large-scale outreach events (many trainers and volunteers in conversations) or filling in gaps in our schedule with smaller events (fewer volunteers), please pray that God will help us create 5000 conversations through these events in 2017.  Let’s pray also that God uses our conversations to make abortion unthinkable.

 In Christ,

Steve Wagner

Executive Director

P.S. To sum up, here are four ways you can help JFA produce the most conversations possible from its outreach events:

  • Attend a JFA mission trip.
  • Introduce us to one church.
  • Introduce us to one college student you know at a large public university.
  • Introduce us to a private high school (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical, etc.), homeschool group, or college group which would like to invite JFA to train its students.

 

February 2017 Resource Bulletin

Making Abortion Unthinkable with JFA - Feb. 2017

 

Pray for Conversations

Recent and Upcoming Events (Partial List):  Please pray with us that God will cause hearts and minds to change as a result of conversations created by our staff, volunteers, and audience members:

  • 2/11/2017: Phoenix, AZ — Seminar at ASU
  • 2/12/2017: Las Vegas, NV — Seminar at UNLV
  • 2/13/2017: Phoenix, AZ — Outreach at ASU
  • 2/13-14/2017: Las Vegas, NV — Poll Table Outreach at UNLV
  • 2/15-16/2017: Las Vegas, NV — Original Large Exhibit Outreach at UNLV
  • March 2017: Staff will carry out many small-scale outreach events (KS, OK, TX, LA, VA).

List of All Recent and Upcoming Events & Photos from Recent Events & Staff Updates & JFA Prayer Team Updates

 

Prepare for Conversations

Featured Resource for Equipping Yourself:  During a conversation with two sisters at KU years ago, Steve Wagner saw first-hand the importance of asking clarifying questions.  He tells the story in his 2012 newsletter, “Yes=No.”  Read it online or call the JFA office to ask us to mail you a copy (316-683-6426).  From the beginning of the conversation to its startling conclusion, you’ll learn some of the questions you can use to build rapport early in a conversation.  These questions will also help you learn valuable information about the person with whom you’re speaking.  Hungry for more resources like this?  See our Dialogue Examples page.

 

Start Conversations

Featured Conversation Starter:  We encourage you to use the “Embracing Child and Career” panel from JFA’s Art of Life Exhibit to start a conversation.  See either our 7conversations Twitter handle or our Start the Conversation blog series for JFA posts about the panel that are easy to share on social media.  Remember, the goal of our conversation starters is to help an average pro-life advocate to create a conversation about abortion in a natural, less-awkward way.  Each is created with sensitivity to a pro-choice advocate’s worldview, language, and culture, and each generally comes in a physical version (paper, bookmark, brochure, shirt, sticker, etc.) in addition to the social media versions mentioned above.  In some cases, we’ll create these conversation starters from scratch.  In others, we’ll make use of great tools we and other organizations have already created.  In every case, we’ll alert you to the tool and show you how to use it.


About the Making Abortion Unthinkable with JFA Resource Bulletin

For friends of JFA who ask, “What can I do to make abortion unthinkable?” this resource bulletin offers some answers.  Beyond supporting JFA financially, which enables JFA’s trainers and volunteers to create conversations that make abortion unthinkable at JFA’s events, you can PRAY for the conversations the JFA community is creating (including your own), PREPARE for conversations, and START conversations.

JFA's Las Vegas Outreach Makes TV News

WARNING: Graphic Images Included

Click on the picture above to view news coverage of JFA's February 2017 outreach to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). (Warning: Graphic images included.)

Click on the picture above to view news coverage of JFA's February 2017 outreach to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). (Warning: Graphic images included.)

This past Wednesday (2-15-2017), the Fox5 Las Vegas news station covered JFA's outreach to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) . The video features JFA Training Specialist Rebecca Haschke.  Click on the image (right) to hear her share one reason JFA uses graphic abortion imagery.

The JFA team ended a busy few days with another outreach to UNLV on Thursday, after holding seminars and outreach events in both Arizona and Nevada earlier in the week.  To view JFA's events coming up next, visit JFA's calendar page

Women's March - Fertile Ground for Dialogue on Abortion

A panel on JFA's new "Stop and Think" Exhibit. The text reads: "Embrace"..."the Future of Feminism."

A panel on JFA's new "Stop and Think" Exhibit. The text reads: "Embrace"..."the Future of Feminism."

"Women's Rights are Human Rights, and Human Rights are Women's Rights."  This is the motto for which millions gathered in solidarity, this past Saturday, at Women’s March events around the globe.  However, one particular demographic that is passionate about that message of equality was officially ostracized from the events: pro-life advocates. 

The official Unity Principles of the Women’s March on Washington (and affiliated “sister marches”) includes this statement:  

We believe in Reproductive Freedom… This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion…for all people, regardless of income, location or education.[1]

In the days leading up to the march, many pro-life women spoke out about a contradiction within the principles of the Women’s March on Washington.  Rebecca Weiss, who calls herself a “pro-life feminist,” wrote in her Jan. 16 Patheos blog post:

I would like to say this to my pro-choice sisters:
We who are pro-life can not be excluded from feminism simply because we believe that the life of the unborn human is worthy of protection. We agree with you that women are driven to abortion because of social injustices, that these social injustices need to be eradicated, that women do deserve to have access to health care and bodily autonomy, that we need to work hard to oppose rape culture, and that women ought to have access to a variety of choices. We differ only on the question of when the life of [a] developing human must be protected from violence. It should be appreciated that, when we draw a circle around “which lives deserve protection” – we are the ones who are drawing the widest, most generous circle. [emphasis added]

JFA Trainer Rebecca Haschke talks to a UCLA student (May 2016) in front of one JFA poll table asking: "Can feminists be pro-choice?"  The poll question's unexpected phrasing prompts many conversations about human equality and the pro-life position.

JFA Trainer Rebecca Haschke talks to a UCLA student (May 2016) in front of one JFA poll table asking: "Can feminists be pro-choice?"  The poll question's unexpected phrasing prompts many conversations about human equality and the pro-life position.

In this statement, Rebecca did a great job of modeling one of the Three Essential Skills we teach at every JFA training event–finding common ground.  In fact, she focused on one of the central pieces of common ground between pro-life and pro-choice advocates – the belief that all humans, male and female, should be treated equally.  From there, she could make her case for the protection of the unborn based on the same foundation: their common humanity.  Many pro-choice advocates have never seen the pro-life worldview in this light, as the position most concerned with the inclusion of vulnerable.

Justice for All trains pro-life advocates to share this message of equality using what we call “The Equal Rights Argument.”  With the recent buzz surrounding the Women’s March on Washington, you have a powerful opportunity to create heart-changing dialogue about abortion.  We're here to help you get started.

Resources:  Creating Dialogue on Equal Rights

Going to the March for Life or Walk For Life West Coast? So is JFA!

JFA Trainers Rebecca Haschke and Catherine Wurts, at the March for Life (Washington D.C.), in January 2015.

JFA Trainers Rebecca Haschke and Catherine Wurts, at the March for Life (Washington D.C.), in January 2015.

If you are taking part in the March for Life (Washington D.C.) or the Walk for Life West Coast (San Francisco, CA), don't miss out on these valuable opportunities to learn from an experienced JFA trainer (see below).  Our team is eager to help you take the passion you gain at the march and turn it into dialogue that can change hearts and minds about abortion in your community.

In addition, if you are interested in a pro-life internship or if you want to invite the JFA training program to your school, club, or church, we'd love to meet you!  These are great chances to get your questions answered face-to-face.

JFA Trainer Catherine Wurts speaks at a JFA workshop for Lincoln, Nebraska high school students attending the March for Life (DC) in 2015.

JFA Trainer Catherine Wurts speaks at a JFA workshop for Lincoln, Nebraska high school students attending the March for Life (DC) in 2015.

  • San Francisco, CA: January 22, 2017 - Rebecca Haschke (Speaker) - SFLA National Conference West Coast - St. Mary’s Event Center - 1111 Gough St., San Francisco, CA - Register or get more information here.
  • Upper Marlboro, MD: January 28, 2017 - Rebecca Haschke (Speaker) - SFLA National Conference East Coast - FBC Glenarden Event Center, 600 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD - Register or get more information here.