Roe V. Wade Overturned

On June 24th the United States Supreme Court voted in favor to overturn the federal right to an abortion. This doesn’t mean that abortion is now illegal in our country, but instead that each state will be able to decide for itself how to handle it. In some states, abortion has already become illegal as a result of this decision (those are known as trigger states). More changes may come to individual state abortion laws after the elections in November.

Since the opinion was leaked this past May, we’ve seen protests and gatherings both in favor of and vehemently against the overturning of Roe. We’ve also seen many memes and re-posts attempting to dissuade either side. This isn’t a football game where we simply choose one team over the other – lies are abundant, hearts are in pain, and lives have been lost. No doubt this topic can bring out the best and the worst in people.

But how can we heal our sisters and our country going forward? Some people say it’s politics while others ignore it as if it will go away quietly. The truth? It’s not a Republican or Democrat issue, it’s a moral issue. Abortion is not a right, and it’s not healthcare.

Just because someone is pro-life, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t been directly affected by abortion…

Some may think those in favor of Roe being overturned have never experienced the dilemma of abortion or any of the circumstances that might bring it about, so how can they understand? Well that’s not so. Generally, 1 out of every 4 women have had at least 1 abortion. We know the gut-wrenching that comes with making that choice. Once we believed that it was just a clump of cells, and after it’s done we can just move on and get back to our normal lives. Years later, if we were fortunate to be able to, we had families, some in spite of physical complications that arose because of past abortions. At one time in your life, you weren’t ready to be a mother, but now when you look at your children you realize that being pregnant is what makes you a mother, so you wonder what that aborted baby might have looked like and who they may have become. Some of us later find ourselves at church, with a fear of being “found out”, so we do our best to keep our secret a secret. Perhaps you were always part of a church, and maybe you don’t feel the struggle of a past of abortion and don’t see what all the fuss is about. Or, maybe your stance is that you might never choose abortion again but you’re certainly not going to take that right from another woman.

Where do you find yourself?

There’s a Facebook post being shared many times over known as “I Am Pro-Susan.” No doubt someone poured their heart into creating difficult and tragic circumstances that could sway a reader to rethink their position if they were pro-life and/or no exceptions.

However, God is the author of life, and Psalm 139:13-14 tells us:

“For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.”

God created it. He gives it to us, and it’s just not ours to take.

And if He gave it to us, wouldn’t it be fair to say that he has a purpose for it as well? Are we not only robbing God of His creation while robbing ourselves of the blessings of motherhood and grace?

What if instead of being “pro-Susan”, we look at pregnancy not as a bad situation that requires a remedy, but instead we see it as an opportunity to allow God to make beauty from ashes? What would it look like if we changed some of the outcomes? What if the ones like “Susan” not only knowingly chose abortion, but unknowingly chose a lifetime of shame and regret too, and we saw the sad remains of the destruction abortion leaves behind? What if? What if for some, their faith and trust in God resulted in an abundance of blessing instead of a burden of guilt and pain?

I am pro-Cecily, who later in life learned that she was actually a surviving twin of an aborted sibling after her mother chose to terminate the pregnancy unaware that she was pregnant with twins.

I am pro-Kathy, whose mother was raped at 11 years old but chose life instead of abortion. After overcoming many years of struggle and poverty, Kathy recently ran again for United States Senate in Pennsylvania. God had a purpose for her life, even if the way it came to be wasn’t what anyone would consider “ideal”.

I am pro-Mariah, who had multiple abortions. At 25 weeks pregnant with her first child, she was diagnosed with an “incompetent cervix” that causes pre-term labor.. For her next 3 pregnancies, a cerclage was required – a “purse string” around the cervix, placed by the end of the first trimester to keep the cervix closed to help carry the baby as close to full-term as possible.

I am pro-Penny, who chose to have an abortion before it was legal, but carried the guilt and shame of it for over 50 years of her life. Though she now lives in forgiveness and is healed, she looks at the her latest family photo with her children and grandchildren and realizes that she is missing an entire branch of family because of that abortion.

I am pro-Cindy, who after multiple “reproductive health” options, finds that she will never be able to have children later in life.

I am pro-Diane, who chose abortion while in college because she thought it would ruin her chances of finishing school. Later in life, she regrets her abortion and realizes that that baby wasn’t a burden on her life but instead a beautiful gift. She is thankful to have found redemption in Christ.

I am pro-Jenny, who over 30 years ago survived an abortion of saline injections, and now travels the world to speak out against it.

I am pro-Sandy, who thought she was too young to be a mom at 16, but in years later as a mom to her daughter and son, she wonders what her aborted child might look like and in what ways would they have been like their siblings.

I am pro-Jessica, whose heart is broken every time she hears women shouting ‘abortion without demand’ while her and her husband struggle with infertility.

I am pro-Gabby, who made the decision to stay pure in her relationship to her boyfriend, honoring their faith in God and commitment by abstaining from sex until they marry.

I am pro-Melissa, who found herself pregnant and alone at 17 but decided to continue the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption, so it could have a better chance at life than she thought she could offer it. Perhaps one day, she will get to be face to face with that child, and all they will see is love.

But for the grace of God, every one our stories could be different. In Christ, we are not condemned. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, and there isn’t anyplace that too hard for Jesus. There is only compassion, love, and healing.

If you’re looking for direction, healing, help, or just a shoulder, I would be blessed to share your burden and be there for you.

Upcoming Event & Activity Updates – 4/15/22

Morning Hike to Pulpit Rock – Saturday, April 16, 2022 – 8:30am, Hamburg Reservoir

Women, men, kids, puppies are welcome – cats on leashes are too, but good luck with that!

Plan to just head up for a shorter hike this time, just to Pulpit Rock and back.  

Be sure to visit the Hike to Pulpit Rock Event on our Facebook page and let us know you’ll be coming. Please arrive at Hamburg Reservoir by 8:30am to gather up. It’s also a good idea to text Marie Perry at 610-587-2136… let her know so you won’t get left behind.

Hope you’ll plan to join.

Life’s Choices Spring Chicken 5K Walk/Run

If you haven’t already signed up for this event, please consider joining us to help Life’s Choices in their annual fundraiser. All proceeds will go to the life-giving work of Life’s Choices Kutztown and Hamburg, providing free pregnancy, parenting, and relationship support in the Berks County area.

You don’t only have to be able to run to join – you can walk or skip to the finish line – whatever works for you.

Anyone is welcome – ladies, men, kids, friends, grandparents….bring the fam!

The route starts on the Schuylkill River Trail at Hamburg Park then loops back for 3.1 miles. You can find all the information here as well as register too. Registration cost is $30.00 per person, $15.00 for children 14 and under, but if you sign up with our team, Inspired Sisters of Zions Church, the registration cost if only $20.00.

We hope you’ll join us.

Lisa Harper at GT Church in Wyomissing, Saturday, May 7th

If you’ve seen Lisa Harper speak at some of our past Women’s Conferences, you’re going to want to join us! Lisa will be at GT Church in West Lawn on May 7th, and as long as tickets are available they are $20 each. Bonus!!!!

You can check out GT’s Facebook Event for all the info, or just go get yourself a ticket. Tickets are first come, first served, so don’t wait too long to purchase. There’s a good number of ladies going from our church so be sure to visit the Lisa Harper at GT Event on the Inspired Sisters Facebook page and let us know that you’re going. We will be meeting next to GT Church at the P.J. Whelihan’s Restaurant at 2:30pm for dinner and a show!

Hope to see you there.

Sorry You Missed Out On Our Becoming Mrs. Betterhalf Marriage/Wife Study?

No worries -we would love to offer the study again! Reply back to this email that you’re interested, and we’ll catch up with you about the new dates. There was good feedback about the study, so we hope to bring to more ladies.

04/16/22: Saturday Morning Hike to Pulpit Rock, 8:30am

Women, men, kids, puppies are welcome! Cats on leashes are too, but good luck with that!

Plan to just head up for a shorter hike this time, just to Pulpit Rock, but there’s always the option to continue on further to the Pinnacle for an 8-mile roundtrip.  

Be sure to visit our Facebook Event page to let us know you’ll be coming. Please arrive at Hamburg Reservoir by 8:30am to gather up.

Hope you’ll plan to join!

Upcoming Event and Activity Updates: 3/4/22

Get your pen and calendar ready…. here’s some dates we hope you’re interested in joining us for!

Life’s Choices Spring Chicken 5K Run/Walk and Family Festival 2021, Saturday, April 30 at the Schuylkill River Trail in Hamburg

Registration is now open for this event with the following registration prices:

• $30 per adult participant

• $15 for children 14 and under

$20 with team registration (Join our team, Inspired Sisters of Zions Church, for the discount rate – we don’t care if you walk or run, let’s just do it together!)

There will be lots of the same stuff from as last year plus a few improvements (can you say Candy’s Ice Cream Truck?).

And whether you choose to run or walk, it’s a nice flat out-and-back course that starts at Hamburg Park and winds through along the Schuylkill River Trail back to the Kernsville Dam/Bartram Trail parking lot.

So get your running or walking shoes ready and go sign up!

Women’s Night with Lisa Harper, Saturday, May 7 at GT Church in Wyomissing

If you’ve already purchased a ticket and plan to join us, just a heads up that we will be meeting at PJ Whelihan’s for dinner before the show at 2:00pm instead of 3:30pm. With the show starting at 6:00pm and first available seating, it’s better to start earlier.

If you want to join us but haven’t purchased a ticket yet, you can do so here (if the link is active, then seats are probably still available).

Morning Hike to Pulpit Rock, Saturday, March 19 at 8:30am, Hamburg Reservoir

It’s too soon to know what the weather will look like, but if it’s all good this will be a family-friendly and pet-friendly hike up to Pulpit Rock. If there’s enough interest, the hike can continue on to the Pinnacle and then back down. That would give a round trip hike of about 8 miles and will take around 3 hours. Text Marie at 610-587-2136 or email if you’re planning to attend.

04/30/22: Life’s Choices Spring Chicken 5K

Join us to help Life’s Choices in their annual fundraiser! You can run, walk, or skip to the finish line – whatever works for you!

Anyone is welcome – ladies, men, kids, friends, grandparents….bring the fam!

More details for this year to follow, but here’s some pics from last year to get you psyched up!

Life's Choices Spring Chicken 5K annual run walk fundraiser event

03/07/22: Surrendering the Secret: 8 Week Post-Abortion Healing Bible Study Begins

According to a study by LifeWay published in November of 2015, “Over 40% of women who have had an abortion say they were frequent churchgoers at the time they ended their pregnancies and about a half of them say they kept their abortions hidden from church members.” Research also indicates that more than 40% of child-bearing age women have experienced the pain of abortion – that’s 2 out of 5 women. 

Without question, abortion can be one of the most traumatic experiences in a person’s life. 

After 20+ years of trying almost anything to numb the pain of my abortions and find some kind of worthiness in anything, I finally opened my heart to Christ to receive forgiveness. Yet even then, I was unaware of how to resolve the pain and anguish of that messy past. I truly believed that Jesus loved me in spite of my abortions, and that God took my sins and put them as far away from himself as the East is from the West, but deep down inside I just couldn’t see how He could love me in spite of what I’d done.

Sweet sister, does your soul long for healing too?

I was able to find the love of the Father needed to help release me from that burden and be moved into healing through the encouragement of a sister-in-Christ who was willing to walk alongside with me in that struggle. Would you seek the opportunity to let another sister help you through it too? If your heart is steeped in the pain of abortion, or you know of a sister the same, please consider participation in a post-abortive healing through “Surrendering The Secret” bible study. It’s an 8-week bible study created by Pat Layton to heal hurting women and the heartbreak of abortion through honest and interactive bible study, meaningful group experiences, and unique journaling exercises in a confidential, caring community.  The class is always offered in confidence for privacy, so no one needs to know, and it’s open to any sister in need regardless of church affiliation or none at all. I encourage you to view this trailer:, then reach out to Katie Bailey at Katie works for Life’s Choices, a pregnancy help center with offices in Hamburg and Kutztown, and will be leading the study. Katie and I will both be praying that you can take the first step towards healing, or help another sister to find it too.

And if you’ve already come through and been healed – Praise God, and consider being an amazing support by walking another sister through it, hand in hand. ♥

05/07/22: Lisa Harper at GT Church in West Lawn!

If you’ve seen Lisa Harper speak at some of our past Women’s Conferences, you’re gonna love this! Lisa will be at GT Church in West Lawn on May 7th! And even better, tickets are $20 each. Bonus!!!!

You can check out GT’s Facebook Event for all the info, or just go get yourself a ticket! Tickets seem to be first come, first served, so don’t waitt too long to purchase. And since there’s already a few ladies going, be sure to visit the Inspired Sisters Facebook page and let everyone know that you’re going… maybe we can make it dinner and a show. 🙂

See you there!

02/–/22: Zions Church Ski & Snowboard Trip to Blue Mountain!

Tired of the snow? Bite your tongue!

Let’s have some fun with it and go skiing! This is open to women, men, and children!

We’re planning the trip, but we’re deciding on three days:

• Sunday, February 20

• Tuesday, Feb 22

• Monday Feb 28

Trip will be at Blue Mountain. Lift tickets will just under $70.00 for an 8-hr lift ticket, regardless of weekday or weekend, if we get at least 20 people in a group.

Please reply to this email, text Marie, or visit the Zion’s Church facebook page and leave a comment.

** Note: For those who’ve never tried it before, you are more than welcome but are strongly encouraged to take a lesson or two, which means that you will be assigned to a separate area of the slopes until you are comfortable to join up with the others.

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03/19/22: Saturday Morning Hike to Pulpit Rock, 8:00am

It’s been a while, but we’re heading up Pulpit Rock again!

Women, kids, and puppies are welcome!

If there’s any interest in heading up earlier for a sunrise hike instead, send a text to 610-587-2136. We’ll also be entertaining the option of continuing on from Pulpit Rock over to Pinnacle Rock for a roundtrip of 8ish miles. 

We’ll let you know the plan for sure as we get closer to the date.

Be sure to visit our Facebook Page Event to let us know you’ll be coming, and we’ll share the meeting location and time with you then (for safety reasons).

Hope to see you there!

What’s In the Works For Inspired Sisters?

The connections that we make during the retreat are very important. When we are able to bond with other women, we feel a sense of “belonging” to that group or place where we normally gather. We can know God and make the choice to attend church regularly to grow in our faith, but when we find our “family” there, it can also change our perspective because we belong. And that helps us grow closer in our relationship to Christ as we are able to find commonalities and share our burdens with, and to find strength and connection in our sisters-in-Christ.

What can Inspired Sisters do to help facilitate that in the coming months?

Spring Retreat (most likely in April 2022). Certainly don’t want to ruin a good thing, but maybe just get more of it! Camp Swatara has availability in April of 2022. Prices would be the same as the November weekend.

Monthly Ladies Breakfast: We can meet at a different place each time or the same place on a monthly basis. And if someone wants to host in their home, that’s an option too! We can do a Saturday morning breakfast gathering, or maybe even a Sunday brunch would work better? Let me know what you think!

Marriage Study: “Becoming Mrs. Betterhalf” in January (women only!). You might have heard about this study…it was run as an online Facebook group study by Holly Furtick (wife of Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church) last year. I was able to participate, and I thought it was a really strong and challenging study. It’s not your usual open-the-book-and-share-your-thoughts study. While there is a video session for each, women are encouraged to memorize scripture and share requests and questions with their spouses as homework. During each meeting, women study the Word and process our husbands’ responses. It’s an interactive study that will challenge you to learn how to be “Mrs. Betterhalf” through God’s Word and your husbands’ feedback.

Please take a moment to reply to this email or comment on Facebook for what you would like to participate in. And if there’s nothing listed that works for you, please feel free to suggest something else! <3

P.S. – If you think other ladies would benefit from a study or activity that you also feel you would participate in, remember that YOU are welcome to suggest it and lead it too! I will be glad to support you with encouragement and resources!