31st Annual NRL Convention
Pro-Lifers Celebrate 4th of July with "I Am An American"
By Dave Andrusko
Proudly declaring that the unborn are Americans too, over 1,000 pro-lifers gathered together the 4th of July weekend in St. Louis, Missouri, in a three-day celebration that blended education, fellowship, with a renewed dedication to the cause of life.
Convention director Jacki Ragan told NRL News that attendees rated the July 3-5 convocation among the best ever.
"People made great sacrifices to be at the 31st annual NRL Convention over the holiday weekend," Ragan said. "But judging by their enthusiastic comments, they were very glad they did."
As a reward these pro-life champions enjoyed an unparalleled set of options from which to choose. There were 64 workshops, four general sessions, a prayer breakfast, and a closing banquet to select from.
As is the convention's trademark, the educational fare ranged from instruction in the most basic nuts and bolts subjects to a deeply philosophical examination of the truism that "Ideas have consequences."
"There is no 'typical' attendee," Ragan said. "We know that we have real veterans - - men and women who haven't missed a convention in 20 years - - as well as newcomers whose involvement goes back only a few months."
Ragan was especially encouraged by the more than 100 teenagers who buoyed the convention with their irrepressible energy.
"We know that we are in this for the long haul, so we talk a lot about 'grooming our replacements,'" she said. "When you see the poise, the capacity to articulate the case for life, and the sheer ability of these high schoolers and college students, it makes you feel very confident about the future of our Movement."
Workshops touched on virtually every conceivable subject. Need to know how to raise funds for your local group? Plenty of imaginative but simple ideas were offered to ease the strain.
How about gently persuading your pastor to take up a role in the fight for life? A series of workshops outlined in detail how to move your pastor along the path from reluctance to active involvement.
Need to get your message out? A whole series of workshops explained how to communicate with your own people and work productively with the local media.
This, of course, was all in addition to a flock of workshops and general sessions on abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, federal legislation, post-abortion syndrome, RU486, the vocabulary of death--to name just a few.
But as good as NRLC 2003 was, and as important as it is to let people know about it, convention director Jacki Ragan wanted readers of NRL News to know something even more important:
"Don't forget: NRLC 2004 is only 11 months away - - July 1-3 in Arlington, Virginia."