Illinois Baptist 01 15 2018 E Edition Page 3

church being a part of 1,000 people being baptized on one day! said Pat Pajak , IBSAs associate executive director of evangelism. The baptism-focused Sunday is part of a series of Pioneering Spirit challenges put before IBSA churches at the 2017 Annual Meeting. The evangelism challenge is for 200 or more IBSA churches to baptize 12 or more people each year, or to baptize more than the churchs previous three-year average. In other words, the commitment is for IBSA churches to become frequently baptizing churches. So far, 57 churches have accepted the challenge to engage new people with the gospel. Unfortunately, baptisms across our state have been declining over the past several years, and I would like to see One GRAND Sunday serve as a reminder that the church exists to evangelize and baptize those in the communities where God has planted them, Pajak said. The One GRAND Sunday emphasis coincides with a North American Mission Board-sponsored effort to promote gospel conversations, or opportunities to share the gospel. NAMB is urging Southern Baptists to have one million gospel conversations by next summers Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas. At gcchallenge.com, people can upload videos of themselves sharing about gospel conversations theyve had, and get more information about gospel- sharing resources, like the 3 Circles guide. With just under three months left until April 8, Pajak suggested this timeline for churches preparing for One GRAND Sunday: January: Collect your churchs baptism numbers for the past three years. Prayerfully set a new goal for this year. February: Announce the baptism event and launch gospel conversations. Register your goal at IBSA. org/Evangelism. Conduct the training for church members. Consider teaching the 3 Circles method. March: Promote One GRAND Sunday. Personally follow-up with prospects and new believers. Teach about baptism, either personally or in a group setting. April 8: Baptize! April 9: Start over again. One thousand is a large number, but Pajak put the goal in perspective. What may look like a very lofty goal can easily be accomplished if every one of our 1,000 churches simply committed to baptizing one person. For more information about One GRAND Sunday and evangelism resources, or to register to participate in the April 8 emphasis, go to IBSA.org/Evangelism. Springfield A law allowing abortions to be covered under Medicaid and state employees health insurance plan went into effect Jan. 1 in Illinois. Associate Judge Jennifer Ascher of Sangamon Countys Seventh Judicial Circuit Court in Springfield denied a request Dec. 28 for an injunction against House Bill 40, which also amends the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 to remove language declaring that an unborn child is a human being from the time of conception. The ruling came just two weeks before Chicagos March for Life Jan. 15, when thousands of pro-life advocates gathered in the Loop for the annual event. It makes no sense that the Illinois General Assembly should support this, said Dawn Fitzpatrick , president of the March for Life Chicago Board of Directors. Not only will this law facilitate the death of thousands of additional babies in Illinois, but now we are all forced to pay for these abortions out of our taxes. This is an utterly heinous violation of our consciences, which tell us that every life is sacred. Earlier in December, the Chicago-based Thomas More Society had filed a lawsuit to stop implementation of the bill, arguing the General Assembly had not set aside funds in the states budget to pay for the abortions and remain within the Balanced Budget requirements of the Illinois Constitution. It also challenged the laws Jan. 1, 2018, effective date. In the Dec. 28 hearing, Thomas More Society counsel Peter Breen argued the law could not become effective until June 1, 2018, because it missed a May 31, 2017 cut-off date for General Assembly action. He also further disputed the states ability to fund the bill. In her ruling, Judge Ascher said the judiciary should not intervene in political questions in the General Assembly. Calling the budget issue a legislative dispute, Ascher said, Legislative disputes must be resolved in the legislative arena. It is inherently a political question and I cannot mandate the process on the estimate of revenues or the appropriation of those revenues. On Jan. 2, attorneys for the Thomas More Society appealed Judge Aschers decision and are awaiting action from Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court. - Lisa Misner Sergent THE TICKER facebook.com/illinoisBaptist twitter.com/illinoisBaptist pinterest.com/illinoisBaptist vimeo.com/IBSA IBSA.org www.ib2news.org Follow the latest Illinois Baptist news NEWS IBSA.org 3 January 15, 2018 IllinoisBaptist.org IB general assembly Taxpayer-funded abortions still legal Pro-life advocates appeal judge's decision Continued from page 1 From the front: one grand sunday Columbus, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (right) signed a law Dec. 22 prohibiting abortions in cases where prenatal tests reveal Down syndrome or if theres any other reason to believe the genetic condition exists. The bill was Kasichs 20th pro-life law since he took office in 2013, WORLD magazine reported, including a 20-week abortion ban he signed in December 2016. People with Down syndrome, or any other genetic anomaly, should never be discriminated against, Ingrid Duran of the National Right to Life Committee told WORLD . These babies always deserve protection, and families deserve a better option than abortion. The law, which goes into effect March 22, will mean physicians who perform abortions after a diagnosis of Down syndrome would face a fourth-degree felony, USA Today reported, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. Ohio isn't the first state to pass a Down Syndrome abortion ban. North Dakota and Indiana have similar laws, although the Indiana ban was blocked by a federal judge in 2016. Ohio's Down Syndrome abortion ban

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