Port St. Lucie church partners with ERLC to help women choose life

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PORT ST. LUCIE—Driven by a mission “to build families by helping them discover and pursue God’s design,” Family Church Port St. Lucie has been instrumental in helping a local pregnancy service receive an ultrasound machine to help women choose life.

Family Church is one of seven Florida Baptist congregations that supports Care Net Pregnancy Services of the Treasure Coast, which recently added a third location in an underserved location of the Port St. Lucie community.

Josh Rowell, Family Church“Our church has been in community partnership with Care Net for many years,” said Pastor Josh Rowell. “We see Care Net as a key partner that passionately helps fulfill our mission in our region.”

Not only does the church support the organization financially, “we believe it is important to have a hands-on approach with our ministry partners, so we strive to connect our members and attenders to potential service opportunities throughout the year,” he said.

Recently, the church was able to connect Care Net with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) which provided a new ultrasound machine for the newest facility.

The Psalm 139 Project, a pro-life ministry of the ERLC, aids pregnancy resource centers by providing ultrasound machines and training for their use to help women and their families make the choice for life. The gift to the new Port St Lucie center is just one of 10 ultrasound machines the ERLC plans to donate to pregnancy centers around the country in 2021, the most the commission has ever placed at a given time.

Sue Chess, executive director of Care Net Pregnancy Services of the Treasure Coast said the ultrasound machine, which costs between $25,000 and $30,000, “is probably the most crucial piece of equipment in the center. We couldn’t have done it without the ERLC.”

“An ultrasound machine is life saving and life changing, a window into the womb,” she continued. “Last year 90 percent of the women who had an ultrasound in our centers chose life. When they see the image of the child, that life on inside of their body, they can make an informed decision.”

Care Net Pregnancy Services’ two centers, one in Port St. Lucie and one in Stuart, typically serve about 200 women per month. The new location at Darwin Square Center, 30 minutes from the established centers, is located close to I-95 and is anticipated to become their busiest location. A ribbon cutting ceremony and open house held on Sunday, Feb. 28, heralded its opening.

Family ChurchCare Net centers provide varied services and ministries besides pregnancy testing and counseling. Services include: a ministry to men on fatherhood; an abortion recovery program; a student ministry in schools to interact with and encourage students to choose a healthy lifestyle; and parenting classes that offer 150 topics and one-on-one “mommy mentor.”

These services align with Family Church’s overall mission, said the pastor.

Family Church members serve with Care Net in various roles from church liaison to onsite assistant at local centers, and partner with the organization “for community-wide events like the annual Walk for Life or even by hosting baby showers for those courageous women and men who are choosing life for their babies,” Rowell said.

“It was such an honor to be able to play a small role in providing this much needed resource to our partners over at Care Net. Our vision at Family Church is to take the gospel to every person in every neighborhood in South Florida and we believe that our partnership with Care Net in the southwest corner of Port St. Lucie is a catalyst to do just that.”

Discovery Church in Ft. Pierce is another congregation partnering with the organization.

“This new location is strategically placed to save lives on the Treasure Coast,” said pastor Tim O’Carroll.  “Discovery Church supports this incredible organization that fights day after day to be a voice for the voiceless.”

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