I do not believe we were created to face life alone. It is said that humans among all creation needs the nurture of the family the longest. When Christ began his ministry on earth it was not given to individuals but a community of believers. Ask any running back in football how much fun is it to try to run if there is no one blocking for you. Our very nature is that we need each other.
This is particularly true when we are confronted with crises. More than any other time we need the support, the clear vision, and the care of others. One such crisis is the unplanned, unexpected pregnancy that a woman might be dealing with. This can be a very lonely and frightening time in one’s life.
Often it is assumed that the only solution is to have an abortion. Since Roe v. Wade in 1973 and the beginning of this year there have been over 57 million abortions in our nation. But, of course, there are other options. And when one finds life is crashing in, it often takes others to help someone to see the other options.
The women who face these crises are not limited to any one age group. Also this struggle can touch those of all racial and ethnic groups. Some come to this point of crisis because of economics and others because of their lack of support in relationships. The cause is as varied as the individual involved. The challenge is to meet each person where they are in their struggle.
One new possibility in our community is the Newton Pregnancy Resource Center. Last Tuesday night, an informational meeting about the new center was held at the First Baptist Church in Covington. Introduced at the meeting was the newly named director for the center, Dara Lynn Rieger.
The Chair of the Board of Directors of the center is Dr. Cody McNutt, Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Covington. He shared that the beginning phase for the new center is to offer counseling to those in crisis. To help the one facing the crisis to see all their options and to lead them to the resources they might need. The first key to a solution is often the caring presence of someone not personally caught up in the crises.
Joining Dr. McNutt and Director Rieger, as members of the Board of Directors of the Center are Amber Foster, Wanda Jenovese, Heather McKern, Dr. Henry Patton, Michelle Sims and the Rev. Ron Swann.
This initial phase offering counseling will be housed at the First Baptist Church. For those who come to the center seeking help will find guidance to community resources.
The center hopes as soon as possible have its own facility. This may be a store front or a house. This is seen as a way to broaden the base of support for the center as well as perhaps to make it more accessible.
When a woman finds herself in crisis from an unexpected pregnancy, there are many questions that flood her mind. Can I or should I keep the baby? For some, where can I live during this time? What about my job or continuing my education? Where can I find the medical help I need?
Of course, for many it is the decision whether to end the pregnancy through abortion. Help is needed to see what alternatives there are. Also there needs to be time spent on the emotional and spiritual cost if one chooses to end the pregnancy. The center can help the mother-to-be to a decision that she can live with.
The vision for the second phase of development for the center is to include distribution of items needed for the new baby. A major part of the anxiety concerning the upcoming birth many times is being able to provide for the baby. The center hopes to be able to give comfort and hope to those who come to the center. There will be diapers, wipes, formula, clothing, and food available.
Another service the center hopes to be able to provide is an ultra sound of the unborn baby. Research has shown that when the mother to be can see the developing child it helps build her commitment to give birth. This would be offered at no charge. Other free services the center envisions offering in the future include pregnancy test and birthing training classes.
This center, a year in the making, will be the only one in Newton County at this time. You can get more information about this new effort by visiting the center’s Facebook page or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
B. Wiley Stephens is a retired United Methodist Minister and author who now resides in Covington.