The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Prayer protection

Congregations fight sexual exploitation by naming children before God

When Steven E. Meyer started teaching confirmation students about commercial sexual exploitation, some parents in the rural Midwestern congregation hesitated. After all, that wasn’t something their children needed to worry about.

Barbara Gullickson, Bowbells, N.D.,
Barbara Gullickson, Bowbells, N.D., has prayed for Jonah Matthew Lysy every day for about three years as part of the “Prayer Project Lifesaver” program of Adults Saving Kids.
So Meyer invited the parents to class. In the middle of a discussion about commercial sexual exploitation, a seventh-grader asked whether performing oral sex for a pack of cigarettes fit the definition.

“We were all shocked by that question,” said Meyer, now a pastor of Immanuel and Wilmington Lutheran churches, Caledonia, Minn. “But this is reality for our kids today.”

For more than 15 years, Adults Saving Kids (www.adultssavingkids.org) has fought the sex industry’s manipulation of youth. The Minneapolis-based organization strives to protect and teach children how to avoid being lured into activities like prostitution, pornography and stripping. ELCA congregations are joining the effort.

Al Erickson, an ELCA pastor, started the ministry—formerlyknown as Alliance for Speaking Truths On Prostitution—after a family member was lured into prostitution. Women of the ELCA was one of the organization’s first partners to spread the message. Today, Adults Saving Kids offers congregations a prayer ministry, speaker training and teaching resources.

The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.

text size:

this page: email | print

March issue

MARCH issue:

All are welcome