On January 20 at 7:30 a.m., three Concordia University Ann Arbor (CUAA) students loaded into a van along with Professor Charles Schulz and his son, Lucas, to attend the March for Life in Washington D.C. This was the first CUAA student trip to the event in a generation, and represents the growing activities of the life movement on the campus.
The trip took place under the auspices of Cards4Life, a new student group on campus. Already this last fall they had sponsored a fundraiser for local life causes and a plarn-making event for the homeless. Joining in the D.C. march was a natural progression.
Originally, a total of nine students had been slotted to go, but various difficulties—including a COVID exposure—reduced the participation. The university administration also worked with Dr. Schulz to establish plans and practices for the trip that would reduce the likelihood of COVID exposure along the way.
Once in D.C., the group participated in the Y4Life conference which gathered students from Lutheran high schools and Concordias across the country. The well-organized event, coordinated by Michelle Bauman, included worship, speakers, and exhibitors. The conference took place in a hotel in Arlington, Va. where everyone also stayed. The fellowship thus extended to the meals and the recreation time.
The march itself took place Friday afternoon. The Y4Life students joined with the rest of the LCMS contingent, led by President Matthew Harrison. Green hats had been distributed among the LCMS groups to help keep us together. Along the way, the marchers said prayers, sang hymns, held signs, and marveled at the many thousands who had gathered. Marching along, one could come across friends and acquaintances from other parts of the country who had also joined in the event.
Although one might anticipate and even expect counter-protesters at such an event, very few appeared. There was no obvious reason for the lack of counter-demonstrations, though some pointed to the temperatures, which only hit the mid-20’s that day. Indeed, those on the march depended on many layers and hand and toe warmers to ward off the cold from the wind. Even the original sunshine was overcast by the middle of the march.
Once the march was over, the conference continued with a debriefing, more worship, and more speakers and a panel discussion through Saturday morning. Topics extended from sexuality to the legal landscape in a post-Roe world. Since the conference pianist had to leave early, one of the CUAA students, Jacob Ferns, filled in with music at the last minute. Altogether, the students found themselves blessed to be part of this amazing event and all report that they look forward to returning in future years.
Featured image by Erik Lunsford/LCMS; additional images courtesy of Rev. Dr. Charles Schulz