As you celebrate…

As you celebrate…

Here’s a playlist to keep you singing and dancing!

Complied by Joanna Krawczynski, Western Campus Coordinator

We’ve got so many reasons to celebrate: Christmas, the New Year, Kathleen and Jesse’s wedding…(T-2 days!) Here at NCLN, celebrations and dance parties always go hand in hand. Always.

To help you get your groove on, here are some sweet tunes that we will have on our playlists as we celebrate with our families and friends.

And – extra bonus! Each song carries a message that we hope you feel that you can be loud and proud about. Please note that while we enjoy these songs, they are still relatively new to us, so if a lyric lets you down, let us know.

It seems that there are only a few songs kicking around these days that have a positive message AND sound good, but we’ve learned that it just takes a little digging to find them. Trust us, and enjoy! All the best for 2016, from all of us at NCLN!

New Years - photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Love Life, John Mamann ft. Kika

This song has a happy tune, pairing well with a beach getaway and lots of friends. Plus it’s in both official languages, so if you’ve been wanting to learn, here’s your chance.

Beautiful, Mali Music

A slower song, sharing the story of a dancer who finally recognizes her true value and beauty, things which go beyond merely the physical.

Amazing Life, Britt Nicole

Super bouncy. This one is for those of us who enjoy techno or remixes!

The Nights, Avicii

Let’s admit it, the wisdom of our parents is worth remembering… and dancing to…

I Lived, One Republic

About living life with all that we’ve got, even when it hurts, but always worth it.

I Feel So Alive, Capital Kings

A pop-y song celebrating a fresh start, one you will easily be singing along to within the first thirty seconds.

This is Living, Hillsong Young & Free ft. Lecrae

Another pop-y sounding song, celebrating the Christian understanding of life in Christ.

Song for My Unborn Son, Sam Martin

If you need to chill out, listen to this. Every time I turn this on, the song gives me happy goosebumps (yes, that’s a thing).

Home, A Guy and A Girl

This song is by our very own Kathleen and her soon-to-be-husband –  keep them in your prayers as you enjoy their sweet song!

P.S. Have your own favorites? Send ‘em over! As the saying goes, sharing is caring…

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The Pro-Life Leaders’ Book List – Part 4 + The Honourable Mentions

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We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog series as much as we have! In case you missed our earlier posts, check out the book recommendations from some of Canada’s Pro-Life leaders in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3!

Now, in our final installment, we have one more recommendation + a number of ‘honourable mentions’.

Faye Sonier, Executive Director & General Legal Counsel of Canadian Physicians for Life

Fatherless by Brian J. Gail  fatherless

“My pick is a work of fiction: Fatherless by Brian J. Gail. The entire Fatherless trilogy is well worth your time. I’m not Catholic, but I deeply appreciate what Gail did in this pro-life and Catholic series – he educates and he entertains, and he does both with excellence. Over the course of the series, readers follow Gail’s characters as they experience their faith and convictions being met by an increasingly hostile culture. Some grow from the e xperience, others fall. Following t heir journey provides plenty of opportunity for reflection. Readers also learn much more than they’d ever expect about birth control, abortion, reproductive and genetic technologies, and ethics.”

The ‘Honourable Mentions’

We asked each of the leaders to share with us two recommendations, in case someone else had also listed the same book. The ‘runner-up’ book recommendations were so great that we decided we needed to share them too. So, without further ado, here are the runner-up book recommendations from Canada’s pro-life leaders!

Mike Schouten, Director of WeNeedALaw.ca

wagnerCommon Ground Without Compromise, by Stephen Wagner (Stand to Reason, 2008).

“A short book that explores twenty-five questions on creating an effective dialogue on abortion with pro-choice advocates. A must read for anyone wishing to engage in the public discourse. Wagner explores various methods of focusing conversation on what we already have in common rather than on what sets us apart.”

Anastasia Pearse, NCLN Western Campus Coordinator, incoming Executive Director

i'll loveI’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

“This beautiful kids story shows the timeless love and care we need to have for our family members at all stages of life.”

Maaike Rosendal, Campus Outreach Director of CCBR

Ttedalk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets from the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo

“As pro-life ambassadors we must be able to persuasively explain and defend our position. This can be difficult and overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be! Learn from those who have given some of the best TED talks, not because they were born as great communicators, but (as the author explains) because they learned and used the same simple, powerful techniques. “Talk like TED” is incredibly useful as it gives you the tools to engage in an effective manner, whether on stage or not. This is crucial when we speak on behalf of the pre-born; the more skilled we become, fewer babies die!”

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia PreventioDo-You-Call-This-A-Life-Bookn Coalition

Do You Call This A Life? by Gerbert van Loenen

“This is not a “pro-life” book but van Loenen effectively writes about the history and the development of euthanasia in the Netherlands and he focusses on the abuses and expansion of the Netherlands law.”

Jonathon Van Maren, Communications Director for CCBR

Amazinamazing graceg Grace, by Eric Metaxas

“For those who need hope for the pro-life movement, this biography of William Wilberforce is a must-read. Metaxas highlights two things beautifully: Why abolishing the slave trade was next to impossible, and how they did it.”

Rebecca Richmond, Outgoing Executive Director for NCLN

making ofThe Making of Pro-Life Activists: How Social Movement Mobilization Works, by Ziad Munson

“Munson’s research on the Pro-Life Movement in the U.S. sheds light on how social mobilization works. Other researchers have explained the Pro-Life Movement by saying that pro-lifers tend to be religious, conservative, of a particular class, etc., but Munson wants to explain why some people of that background become activists and why others – even if they share the same pro-life beliefs – never become activists.
A lot of the information is also contained in a paper he wrote specifically on mobilizing on campus, which you can access through his website . “

101Andre Schutten, General Legal Counsel & Ontario Director for ARPA Canada

Pro-Life 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Case Persuasively, by Scott Klusendorf.

“This 70 page booklet shaped my basic pro-life apologetic. In an age of 30-second sound bites and arguments made with 140 characters or less, this book helps you cut through the distractions and get to the heart of the issue quickly and effectively. Logical, easily memorized, and extremely helpful.”

 

 

 

We hope you enjoyed this series! When you read one of these books, let us know! We’d love to hear what you think.

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The Pro-Life Leaders’ Book List – Part 3

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Time for part 3 of our series, featuring the top book recommendations from Canada’s Pro-Life Leaders!

We’ve already heard from: Jonathon Van Maren (CCBR), Anastasia Pearse (NCLN), Alex Scadenberg (EPC), Andrea Mrozek (IMFC), and André Schutten (ARPA) (Part 1), as well as Mike Schouten (WNAL), Stephanie Gray (International Speaker), Clarissa Canaria (NCLN), and Maaike Rosendal (CCBR) (Part 2).

Stay tuned next week for the ‘honourable mentions’ – books that were in second place in the minds of these Canadian leaders, but are definitely still worth reading!

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beckwithJojo Ruba, Executive Director of Faith Beyond Belief

Politically Correct Death by Francis Beckwith

“Pro-life philosopher Francis Beckwith insightfully lays out the arguments around the abortion debate. By organizing sections into definitions, quotes and stats etc., Beckwith provides an easy to flip- through book that will help you find quick references for the pro-life position.”

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Natalie Sonnen, Executive Director of LifeCanada

unprotectedUnprotected by Miriam Grossman, MD

“It is an excellent read in terms of understanding the terribly self-destructive climate on our college campuses that has led to a brutal and unforgiving hook-up culture in which young women are most often the victims. Abortion is discussed, but also the reality that our beautiful gift of fertility that we take so much for granted is in fact very fragile and will not withstand this totally abnormal culture. Sexually transmitted diseases (many undetected for lack of symptoms), abortion, hormonal contraceptives and the putting off of childbirth are contributing to an epidemic of infertility, a devastating condition. This condition, and its modern remedies of IVF, have life-long implications that are rarely considered until it is too late. A must read for university students AND their parents.”

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Rebecca Richmond, outgoing Executive Director of National Campus Life Network

viritus leadershipVirtuous Leadership, by Alexandre Havard

“This was one of the first books I read when I started working for NCLN and it has shaped my view of leadership – and subsequently shaped our organizational culture as well (because I’ve made everyone else read it too). Havard challenges the idea that leadership is temperament, experience, or something we’re born with. His vision of leadership is that leadership is character, and the content of character is virtue. As such, leadership is not an exclusive or exclusionary position – all of us are called to be leaders. Havard’s vision of leadership is about more than building a successful company or achieving a social goal; it’s about making the world a better place by exercising true, virtuous leadership.”

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Kathleen Dunn, Director of Digital Media & Promotions of National Campus Life Network

case for lifeA Case for Life, by Scott Klusendorf

“This book needs to be on the shelf of every pro-lifer, both new and experienced! Covering the foundational arguments and etiquette for pro-life dialogue, Klusendorf’s words are both powerful and practical. After reading “A Case for Life,” I felt I had a well-rounded grasp on the facts of the discussion, and much more confident in taking the message to real people on the street.”

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for part 4!

Photo by Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon, CC 2.0

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The Pro-Life Leaders’ Book List – Part 2

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Welcome to part 2 of our series on the top book recommendations from Canada’s Pro-Life Leaders! In part 1, we heard from Jonathon Van Maren (CCBR), Anastasia Pearse (NCLN), Alex Schadenberg (EPC), Andrea Mrozek (IMFC), and André Schutten (ARPA). Click here to read part 1 (and stay tuned for part 3 next week!).

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forsytheMike Schouten, WeNeedALaw.ca

Politics For The Greatest Good, by Clarke D. Forsythe (InterVarsity Press, 2009).

“The author is a leading policy strategist in bioethical issues and senior counsel for Americans United for Life. His book is a must read for grasping an understanding of what it means to be prudent in the public square. Forsythe explains how advances made against injustices of both past and present only occur when there is a willingness work incrementally. He proves that incrementalism is moral, uncompromising, and ultimately the only effective strategy as we seek to overturn the injustice of abortion.”

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soul of Stephanie Gray, International Pro-Life Speaker

The Soul of the Apostolate by Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard

“This book calls those active in doing apostolic, or ministry-based, activity to a life of deep prayer from which their action springs. It highlights the necessity of prayer being the “soul” of their work, so that they run on Divine inspiration, not human, and it highlights the dangers of doing otherwise.”

 

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Claculture warrissa Canaria, Central Campus Coordinator for National Campus Life Network

How to Win the Culture War, by Peter Kreeft

“Although not focused on abortion, this gem serves as a great reminder of all that we need to do as active pro-lifers to defeat the lies of the culture. By knowing what we’re up against and understanding that overcoming it is in our desire to be saints, you’ll be motivated and activated to do even the littlest things that will go a long way in this battle!”

 

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tacticsMaaike Rosendal, Campus Outreach Director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform

Tactics, by Greg Koukl.

“It is one thing to know the science and philosophy that the pro-life position is based on, but it’s something else to be able to explain that to others and also change their mind! That’s where Tactics comes in. It’s an easy read that provides you with practical tools which allow you (as Greg Koukl would say) to stay in the driver’s seat during everyday conversations. In fact, this book has shaped the apologetics we teach and use at CCBR, equipping all of us to become better ambassadors for the pre-born. And which pro-lifer wouldn’t want that?”

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Stay tuned for part 3 next week! And if you missed part 1, click here.

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Turning Busy Into Beautiful: Practical Steps to Take as Students and Pro-Lifers

By Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director

Sleepy head

I noticed a disturbing trend in my language this fall. A four-letter word was figuring prominently in my vocabulary: busy.

Busy, busy, busy. My answer to questions about how I was doing, my running monologue in my head: busy, busy, busy. 

The more I heard myself use it, the more I realized that I was using it as a crutch in so many ways.  The more I heard others use it, the more I realized it was an exhausting to listen to and not terribly attractive to witness. And I don’t know about you but, no matter what my schedule or responsibilities consist of, I want to lead a beautiful life, and not a ‘busy’ one.

And so I welcomed the insights within a blog article entitled “Busy Isn’t Respectable Anymore”  that circulated on social networks recently. In it, Tyler Ward outlines how ‘busyness’ is no longer respectable but actually can indicate, among other things, that we’re not managing our time well, that we lack self-confidence, and it can even negatively impact our work as well as our lives. He goes onto describe an experiment a friend undertook in which he eliminated the word ‘busy’ from his vocabularly for an entire year.  If you haven’t yet read the article (too busy? hmm?) then do so now.

 Done reading? Welcome back.

What does this mean for us as students, as pro-life student leaders and activists? How can we turn ‘busy’ into beautiful?

I suspect I’ll be figuring out the answer to that question for the rest of my life but in the meantime, I’d like to propose two ways we can turn busy into beautiful – and improve our effectiveness as pro-life campus leaders in the process.

1) Adjust our attitudes.

Attitude is contagious. How we decide to approach our to-do list, our balancing of school, courses, athletics, AND pro-life activism will rub off on others. Do we talk about it as a complaint, a burdensome thing that is sucking the very life out of us? Well, good luck recruiting new members if that’s the sales pitch! Is it a privilege, a sacrifice worth making, an amazing group of people to collaborate with? Now that is the kind of group I would want to join.

A positive attitude, even amongst a very full schedule, actually goes a long way to contribute to your wellbeing. And a busy attitude? Well, as Ward’s article states,

“Busy, it would seem, is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The more we said it – the more we felt it.  The more we felt – the more we acted like it.  The more we acted like it – (well, you know the rest).  Guess what?  When we quit saying it, we reversed SOME (not all) of the craziness.” 

It’s not that you ignore the fact that there’s a lot going on; you simply don’t allow it to make you miserable and frantic. And believe me, operating at a frantic pace really just manages to exhaust you and everyone else.

At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off, occupied and ‘busy’. What matters is, ultimately, what I did and if what I did really mattered. Did I take care of what really mattered so that the staff and students’ needs are being served? Was my team served or did they suffer because of my leadership?  

It’s a work in progress, but trust me, even a bit of progress can go a long way to help you and those around you – including your club.

2) Focus on the beautiful, not the busy.

In attempting to remove ‘busy’ from my vocabulary, I struggled to figure out what to say instead. I decided to try to share a bit of beauty instead of just the busy. It helped me adjust my attitude, as I discussed above, because I began noticing how much beauty is in my life. 

I also began to realize I was missing out on a lot. It’s much easier to answer ‘How are you?’ with ‘busy’ and leave it at that. It’s easier to talk about the to-do list circulating in my brain instead of the amazing things I get to be a part of. 

So instead of pulling out a laundry list to impress people with how little you sleep and how much you work, speak instead of something that has blessed you or interested you. Even simple questions like “How are you?”, “How was work?”, “How was school?”, “How is the pro-life club?” are opportunities to value those we come into contact with, to truly engage with them in a conversation, and to invest in the relationships.

Take it a step farther: use these as opportunities to share the amazing things you are doing on campus. If you have an event coming up, share your excitement about it. Now you have the opening to invite your friend to be a part of it, either by helping with the organizing or even just attending. Imagine the impact this could have on the membership of your club is even a few members of your leadership team started doing this!

 Easier said than done? Absolutely. But make a start:

  • Try eliminating ‘busy’ from your vocabulary – even just for a month;
  • Share the beautiful instead of the busy when people ask you how you are or how school/work/pro-life activism is going;
  • Use opportunities of sharing the beautiful to invite people to be a part of it by joining the club and coming out to the events. 

We, as pro-life students, are the voices of life on our campuses. In most cases, we are the only opportunity that our peers will have to hear the pro-life message on campus. We owe it to our peers and, most importantly, to all those babies whose lives are on the line to speak up and stand up. There are many things we will need to be in order to serve the cause and merely ‘busy’ is not one of them. Let us, instead, be beautiful, bold, courageous, and attentive to what matters and the opportunities that surround us. Let us, together, make 2014 a year of beauty.

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Back-to-School Activism Ideas

We know that planning a semester of pro-life activism can be overwhelming – especially as you see your course-load for the semester! But ensuring that your campus hears the pro-life message doesn’t have to be difficult. So long as you plan ahead, cooperate with your team and make your club a priority, educating your peers will be effective, impactful – and even fun!

Need some ideas on how to spread the pro-life message on your campus? Here’s a list of events you can host on your campus:

Formation:  Instill within your club members a sense of mission (why it’s critical to be actively pro-life on campus), a sense of belonging (why they are needed in this particular club), and provide them with opportunities to be formed as pro-life activists. KeepCalm

  • Offer an apologetics workshop (don’t forget NCLN staff are available to offer workshops on how to defend the pro-life position).
  • Share and watch great teaching videos from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Clubs Days/101 Weeks/Clubs Fairs/Frosh Week: Whatever your school calls it, these tables are great opportunities for recruitment and outreach. Download our Clubs Days and Tabling Guide to learn more about how to have a great and effective table!

Leaflet-ing/Distributing Resources: Our Right to Know brochures are great for distributing on campus.  Leaflet-ing is as simple as organizing a small group of students to offer resources and dialogue with your peers in busy places on campus. Contact NCLN to order brochures for your campus!

Surveying: All you need are clipboards, pens and surveys.  This is a great event to engage your peers in dialogue as you ask them to complete a short survey on life issues. Like leaflet-ing, it is low-cost and easy to organize.  Contact NCLN for sample surveys you can use!

Movie Night: This can be a great way to get to know your peers in a social setting, while being inspired by an impactful movie. Check out films like October Baby, Bella and It’s a Girl!

Chalking: A fun activity that can be done to advertise for a particular event or used to educate on abortion statistics.  This can be a great social activity for after a club meeting!

“Choice” Chain: A project by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.  Contact them for more information on how to bring this to your campus.

Guest Speakers/Debates: A large event is a great way to engage your campus, but they do take time, organization and effort.  Make sure you have enough time to organize an event like this properly and be in touch with NCLN.  Our strategy workshops can help your club organize a high-impact event.

Do not hesitate to contact NCLN for advice on executing these plans and for more ideas! Remember: NCLN is here to help YOU! We are always just a phone call, email or Facebook message away!

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M408 Won’t be Appealed, but Education on Gendercide will Continue

Today MP Mark Warawa announced  that he will not be appealing Motion 408 any further, but will instead be introducing a new bill. However, Mr. Warawa intends to continue raising awareness on the issue of gendercide.

Anastasia and Kathleen with Warawa
NCLN’s Anastasia and Kathleen with MP Mark Warawa at Trinity Western University’s screening of ‘It’s a Girl.’

 

“It’s unfortunate that Motion 408 will not be going forward because of the PROC committee’s disregard for parliamentary procedure,” says Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of National Campus Life Network (NCLN). “We are truly grateful for Mr. Warawa’s efforts in addressing this issue and are glad to see that he will continue to champion the cause.”

Pro-life students across Canada joined Mr. Warawa in raising awareness about the issue of gendercide as they took part in the Defend Girls campaign, which was brought to campus by NCLN. This campaign involved distributing over 10,000 resources educating students about the issue abroad and in Canada, and screening the award-winning documentary, ‘It’s a Girl’.

“Our government and other party leaders may not be willing to condemn this discrimination against girls,” states Miss Richmond, “But polling has shown that Canadians condemn the practice of sex-selective pregnancy termination. Motion 408 may not go forward but educational efforts must continue.” 

On May 9th Canadians across the country will be marching in solidarity for the annual March for Life.  The event theme for the B.C. March and National March is that of female gendercide.

NCLN’s Defend Girls resources are still available and still relevant if you would like to use them to educate on this important issue. 

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