Care Net, a nonprofit ministry that supports one of the nation’s largest networks of pregnancy centers, held its 33rd annual conference last week in Orlando, Florida, and drew around 1,300 participants.
The yearly gathering of pregnancy center, pro-life, church, and ministry leaders is the largest of its type in the nation, and conference organizers said this year was ground zero for transforming the pro-life movement into the “pro abundant life” movement.
“As leaders in the pregnancy center movement, we must begin to address the surrounding worldview that leads to unplanned pregnancies and abortion decisions,” said Roland C. Warren, president and CEO of Care Net, in a press release. “We must recognize that the decisions that lead to broken wombs start in broken hearts. This is why we must become ‘pro abundant life’ people. This represents more than a shift in rhetoric, but a fundamental shift in our approach to abortion, requiring a focus on four key areas: marriage, fatherhood, Christ, and culture change.”
The theme of this year’s conference, “Pro Abundant Life: Choose Jesus, Life, and Family,” communicated Care Net’s call to expand the vision of pregnancy center ministry from saving the unborn to also emphasizing the importance of spiritual transformation and strengthening the family.
The conference focused on exploring ways to optimize the compassionate care that pregnancy centers provide to their clients. It also provided guidance on how the movement can take steps to include churches as key sites where pregnancy decision coaching can take place via Care Net’s new Making Life Disciples program.
In addition, new promising practices were revealed to help leaders create more effective programming aimed at engaging men and fathers in their roles and responsibilities with parenting and marriage. And a Millennial Forum was hosted by Dr. Kathy Koch and Colorado Springs-based Axis to train leaders on how to effectively address tough issues with Millennials.
This year’s keynote speakers included Roland C. Warren; Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; pediatrician, mother, and bestselling author Dr. Meg Meeker; and actor Kevin Sorbo.
At the banquet dinner Friday evening, a variety of awards were given to centers for diverse accomplishments in offering the highest level of compassionate care to their clients. Additionally, Care Net – through its partnership with Regent University – awarded a full-ride tuition scholarship to Amanda Gillard of Athens, Tennessee, a client of Care Net affiliate Outlook Women’s Services in Athens.
According to Care Net’s just-released “2016 Impact Report,” the organization – through its network of more than 1,100 affiliated pregnancy centers – has saved 564,112 lives in the last eight years. Moreover, in those eight years, 823,186 no-cost ultrasound scans have been provided, 940,00 clients have received parenting support and education, more than 1.3 million people have heard the Gospel, nearly 1.4 million people have received material resources, and 2.3 million no-cost pregnancy tests were given at Care Net-affiliated pregnancy centers. These services – provided completely free to pregnancy center clients – saved communities more than $56 million in each of the last two years, for a total of more than $112 million of free services provided. This data is collected annually from Care Net’s affiliated pregnancy centers and Care Net’s Pregnancy Decision Line, the only national hotline providing immediate pregnancy decision coaching.
By NRB Staff
Published: September 14, 2016