December 2017 Newsletter

Posted By on January 11, 2018


Life Affirming News


Seeing Masterpieces

Our Daily Bread – November 2017

Like a potter, God shaped man from clay and breathed into him the breath of life. Humans are the only creatures privileged to have the breath of God, setting us apart from other creatures, for only humans are created “in the image of God”. (Gen. 1:27), Each person is a unique individual, possessing the mental, emotional, and spiritual consciousness of our Creator and the capicity to have a personal relationship with Him. The Old testament patriarch Job may be the first person to acknowledge that “[God’s] hands shaped me and made me….[You clothed] me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews”(Job 10:8,11-12). The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed that God had preordained his destiny and life before he was formed in his mother’s womb! (Jer.1:5) David, celebrating himself as one of God’s masterpieces, says that he has been “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God PS 139:13-16.Do you see yourself as God’s masterpiece? Reflect on how God has uniquely created you.

A Mother’s Hope: A refuge for homeless, pregnant women

A new nonprofit organization and ministry will help homeless and expectant mothers when they need it the most. A Mother’s Hope was founded by Stasia Roth, executive director, and fellow Catholics who saw an unmet need in the community.

Expectant mothers in need of immediate shelter have historically been underserved. Roth explained the stark reality of the situation: In 2016 alone, she said, 81 pregnant women called the 2-1-1 referral hotline looking for shelter. While there are women’s shelters in the area, they are often at capacity and therefore not options for women with an urgent need.

With this landscape in mind, A Mother’s Hope began from a desire to do something for these mothers, while also providing opportunities for stability.

A Mother’s Hope is in the fundraising stage now. The goal is to open its doors in March 2018.

Referrals will come from partner agencies. Roth said the house will be able to accommodate up to eight women and babies at a time, and mothers will be allowed to stay up to one year after giving birth. Staff will be on site 24/7 to cater to the needs of residents.

Roth understands those needs firsthand. A mother of three and previous social worker, she said helping others has always been second nature.

“I really enjoy helping someone see what could be and support them and try to figure out how to achieve it,” she said. “It’s amazing what they can do with support.”

A property has been secured that will serve as temporary housing for women who qualify. Roth said she wants the atmosphere to be welcoming and homelike. But A Mother’s Hope will provide much more than shelter: It will be a community of physical, emotional and spiritual support.

Prenatal care, education and help with employment, transportation and life skills will be all part of the package. After all, she said, shelter is just one piece of the puzzle and other factors contribute to positive outcomes.

“Moms will come here looking for prenatal needs to be met, but we can help them make positive changes, especially while they are pregnant,” she said.

Roth said the role of her staff will be one of an advocate. That means a hands-on approach.

“As a Christian organization, it’s important that we give the mothers the right skills and walk alongside them,” she said.

Still, that calls for accountability and personal responsibility on the part of the mothers. Residents will be expected to share in household chores, as well as have a faith goal to work on.For more information about A Mother’s Hope or to make a donation, visit A Mother’s Hope at


Is There a Place Within Christian Marriage to Use Birth Control?

By Pastor Robert Fleischmann, CLR’s National Director

Yes, but an explanation is in order.

God is the author of human life (Deuteronomy 32:39), and human beings are the stewards (Genesis 9:5). Although Christians may decide when to have children, it is God who grants those children.

A Christian’s decision to use birth control, therefore, is a stewardship issue. Child-bearing is a blessing to be managed to the glory of God. It is not an entitlement. It is not even a command.

But what of Genesis 1:28? The instruction to “be fruitful and multiply” is not a command but rather announces a blessing. We already recognize this as it applies to animals (Genesis 1:22) with our current practices of neutering. Had Genesis 1:28 been a “command” the Apostle Paul would have been in conflict with his veneration of being single (1 Corinthians 7:1).

What are the factors in the decision to use birth control? Despite society’s move toward a gender-blind existence, it does not change the biological fact that women bear the children.They experience the dramatic changes and as the child-bearers they are uniquely positioned to bear extra responsibilities.

These changes and responsibilities often come with physical and emotional limits. To pursue more children but neglect the Biblical principle to care for one’s spouse and body is wrong. Children are a blessing (Psalm 127:3) to be cherished and cared for. The protection and care of all loved ones is a command for everyone (1 Timothy 5:8, Galatians 6:10).

Financial considerations may be an issue. Scripture warns us about giving in to greed (Ephesians 5:3). A Christian couple should carefully evaluate whether financial concerns are genuine in the essentials of raising a family or whether financial concerns reflect a love of the world more than a love for God.

Married couples wrestle with timing questions before they decide to add a child to their family (such as schooling or time in solidifying the relationship). Soul searching needs to be done in this regard.

Remember, children – regardless of timing, health or convenience – are blessings from God. Decisions rooted in an attitude that children are anything less than a blessing reflects a motive that doesn’t understand God’s will on the matter.

It is therefore within the realm of Christian freedom that a married couple can practice some form of birth control recognizing a proper motive of the heart that truly glorifies God.

Adapted from “The Christian and Birth Control” book, which provides doctrinally sound and practical information on the topic of birth control and family planning.


 Woman Gives Birth From Human Embryo Frozen for 24 Years

HOME POSTS   Mark Mellinger Dec 19, 2017

A woman living in East Tennessee has delivered the longest-frozen embryo to successfully come to birth. Emma Wren was born to Benjamin and Tina Gibson on Saturday, November 25, 2017, weighing 6 lbs. 8 oz. and measuring 20 inches long.

Prior to being transferred into Tina’s uterus at the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) in Knoxville earlier this year, Emma had been cryopreserved for more than 24 years. According to research staff at the University of Tennessee Preston Medical Library, baby Emma now holds the all-time record for the longest-frozen embryo to come to birth.

Emma was frozen on October 14, 1992 and thawed by NEDC Lab Director Carol Sommerfelt on March 13, 2017. Tina became pregnant with Emma as the result of a frozen embryo transfer (FET) performed by NEDC Medical Director Dr. Jeffrey Keenan on March 15, 2017. Tina, 26, spent her pregnancy carrying an embryo conceived just 1.5 years after her own birth. “Emma is such a sweet miracle,” proud papa Benjamin said. “I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago.”

“The NEDC has been privileged to work with the Gibsons to help them realize their dreams of becoming parents,” said Dr. Keenan. “We hope this story is a clarion call to all couples who have embryos in long-term storage to consider this life-affirming option for their embryos.”

“It is deeply moving and highly rewarding to see that embryos frozen 24.5 years ago using the old, early cryopreservation techniques of slow freezing on day one of development at the pronuclear stage can result in 100 percent survival of the embryos with a 100 percent continued proper development to the day-3 embryo stage,” said Sommerfelt. “I will always remember what the Gibsons said when presented with the picture of their embryos at the time of transfer: ‘These embryos could have been my best friends,’ as Tina herself was only 25 at the time of transfer.”

The faith-based NEDC has gained distinction as the world’s leading comprehensive embryo adoption program, with more pregnancies (nearly 700) through embryo adoption than any other organization or clinic. Its dual purpose is to protect the lives and dignity of frozen embryos that would not be used by their genetic parents and to help other couples build the families they have longed for via donated embryos. Embryos have been donated to the NEDC from all 50 states and couples have traveled to Knoxville from all over the United States as well as some foreign countries for their embryo transfers. Our website is


Comments are closed.