from the desk of Sara Patterson, CEO

I have to confess. There are times when I’ve shrunk in cowardice.

Sometimes it’s something where the cost is missing out on an opportunity that only affects me and has short-term ramifications—like declining the promise of adventure on a zip line. Sometimes, it’s bigger things that involve risk and the real potential to fall flat on my face in failure, like stepping into a bigger professional role.

And then there are the truly important things that I’ve lacked courage to do. Things I didn’t say, people I didn’t confront or defend, people I didn’t help when I could have. I might have told myself I was “keeping the peace,” or “seeking unity.” But the truth is I was just protecting myself from hurt, discomfort or embarrassment. I lacked the “good courage” God calls me to; the courage that relies on His strength and truth.

Living in Madison in a post-Roe world takes “good courage.” Believing in the sanctity of human life, defending a pre-born child’s right to live, and a women’s right to an abundant, whole life despite an unintended pregnancy, are minority views. And, I daresay, criticized and canceled by the culture around us. As a result, we may not feel safe expressing our views. And that vulnerability can lead to cowardice.

I understand. It can be hard to be courageous when we live in a place where the loudest voices in our community present abortion as the only answer to an unintended pregnancy. They discount the pre-born life as one with no rights, no value, and see it as a burden and hindrance to the mother who carries that child. In response to the post-Roe landscape, they’ve raised millions of dollars to provide free abortion procedures and free travel.

Resources to support a mother who courageously chooses life pale in comparison. It’s up to us to change that.

It’s no mistake that our banquet theme this year is about courageous love. When a woman chooses life for her unborn child, she chooses a difficult path filled with sacrifice, stress and uncertainty. She accepts the potential for loneliness, rejection and heartache that comes from broken relationships.

That woman needs our help, sometimes desperately. Will we have the courage to love her through this journey? To support her, share her burden, and provide equal resources for the women who courageously refuses the world’s offer of a quick solution and accepts a life-long commitment to putting another’s needs before her own? It is my prayer that in the coming days and months we, the church of Christ, find that courage. If you’re looking for a way to start – why not try our banquet on November 10? You’ll be renewed in spirit when you enter a room filled with others who are taking the first courageous step to say “Yes, Lord, I’ll love these women and babies with courage.”

I hope to see you there. Register here.