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HOPE Baby Dedications Reach Clients' Families

January 2005
By: Pam Richards
PHOTOS BY ANNE GRANT



The baby dedication service
provides a cherished memory
for the entire family and a
loving story to be shared later
with the growing child.

Since Salem Pregnancy Care Center (SPCC) opened in 1985, God has blessed us beyond measure, strengthened our faith and resolve during times of transition, and shown us His faithfulness over and over. Each challenge has provided a unique opportunity to raise our standards of care to our clients or to take us to a new level of service.

Ruby Gaither is our Support Services Director and the coordinator of our HOPE (Help Offered in Pregnancy Experience) and Teen HOPE parenting classes. A young mother asked Ruby if she would be the godmother for her newborn. In her wisdom, Ruby realized this client's question revealed a spiritual need that was shared by other young mothers. We already were doing a great deal to encourage the spiritual growth of our clients, but this request helped us recognize another opportunity to present the Gospel to our clients' families.

We decided to hold a Baby Dedication Service in conjunction with our Mother's Day Celebration each May. In that service clients publicly dedicate their babies to the Lord. The event provides a cherished memory for the entire family and a loving story to be shared later with the growing child.

To make sure that each client understands the difference between having her baby dedicated to the Lord and an individual salvation decision, we require that she attend at least two New Life Bible study classes.

On the evening of the service, the parents, their babies, family members, and SPCC staff gather with a local pastor who conducts the ceremony. The pastor prays for each child and family individually. The Gospel is always presented along with a message from God's Word. Afterwards the group enjoys fellowship and a buffet dinner. We give the parents commemorative gifts, such as a blanket, an engraved children's Bible, and a dedication certificate.

At one service an older sibling's curiosity led to her salvation, and she joyfully shared her decision during the service in which her baby sister was dedicated. We give thanks and glory to God for the spiritual hunger that leads our clients to desire to participate in this service.

Pam Richards is Director of Community Relations at Salem Pregnancy Care Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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