The National Life Chain returns to the Parkland this weekend for its 27th year.
"Each year on the first Sunday in October, people all across the country gather along a major street in their hometown and hold signs displaying the sacredness of human life, said Dottie Bach, event coordinator. "In the Parkland, those wishing to participate in the Life Chain are invited to stand together from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Sunday along the south side of Karsch Boulevard in Farmington.
"Those participating should park on side streets on the south side of Karsch Boulevard between “A” and Potosi streets, and they will be directed as to where to pick up signs. We wish to particularly invite church groups, such as Sunday school classes, Bible study classes, etc. Bring your whole family! Water, lawn chairs, umbrellas and strollers are welcome."
According to Bach, the Parkland's Life Chain began in 1992 under the leadership of Clark Crawford.
"He felt the need to do this," she said. "He knew that I was pro-life and he called me and asked if I could help out. I asked him what he wanted to do and he said he was going to buy some posters and go around to the churches and talk to pastors."
When Crawford mentioned he also wanted to send out several letters but wasn't good at doing it, Bach said she knew she could be of assistance.
"I told him if he told me what the letter should say I would send them out," she recalled. "So that's how the whole brainchild started."
Responsibility for the program fell squarely on Bach's shoulders when Crawford announced nine years ago that he was moving to Tennessee.
"He gave me the name of a man that he said agreed to help me," she said. "Unfortunately, he passed away suddenly in an automobile accident. So then I was really by myself."
A member of the Parkland Pregnancy Resource Center board, Bach said she shared her dilemma with fellow volunteer Mike Ward.
"He asked me what did I need and I told him I needed somebody to keep the signs, but I'd really like some help," Bach said. "Mike joked that he'd keep the signs, but that I was kind of on my own when it came to help because he had too many things going."
Bach began collecting names and addresses of anyone interested in standing the following year.
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"I would send them a personal letter and still send them out to all the churches, too," she said.
Bach said she sees herself as being more of a spokesperson for the Life Chain instead of its leader.
"It's really not my job — it's God's job," she explained. "I really don't want to take the credit for it."
Bach said Life Chain is not sponsored by any local church but members from congregations throughout the area participate in the event.
"I would guess that there are about 30 churches represented," she said. "I always ask people to give me their name, address and what church they go to so I can kind of see where we're going."
Bach puts posters out asking people to come and telling them Life Chain is a time of meditation, not visiting.
"It's prayer for us as much as it is for the people that we're ministering to," she said. "We want to make sure people understand that we value life. As Mother Teresa said, 'Every child is a sign of God’s love. A child is the greatest of God’s gifts.'
"Each of us has an opportunity to “do something beautiful for God” and something beautiful for life by joining people from all walks of life who believe in the sacredness of human life."
Bach emphasized that everyone is invited to participate in Life Chain. There is no preregistration or cost to take part.
Bach noted that Jan. 22, 2019 marked the 46th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
For more information about the National Life Chain visit nationallifechain.org