Grace Polaris Church and Pregnancy Decision Health Centers (PDHC): this is a partnership that began 32 years ago when a task force was formed at Grace to investigate the possibility of establishing a pro-life pregnancy center in the northern part of Columbus. That effort saw several northern-area evangelical churches setting aside denominational differences to come together and focus on the common goal of offering life-affirming services to women with an unplanned pregnancy. That task force found like-minded leadership at Pregnancy Decision Health Centers (formerly known as Pregnancy Distress Center) and joined forces rather than starting a separate entity.
In an effort to empower vulnerable individuals to make healthy life choices which affirm the intrinsic value of every human life, PDHC has developed resources and networked with a larger community of resources. It has offered parenting classes, post-abortion recovery, risk-avoidance classes in public and private schools, hotline intervention, mentoring, consulting, ultrasounds, STI testing, and housing.
Through the years, individuals from our church family have served as leaders on banquet and walk committees and have volunteered as consultants, office helpers, board members, and speakers. Some have even joined the PDHC staff. In fact, our partnership with PDHC became so vital to their work that in 1999 Grace was named PDHC’s “Church of the Decade.” In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded PDHC the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Several Grace volunteers have also been given awards for their faithfulness, and one award bears the names of Sam and Karen Pierce!
It was natural that in 2003, when PDHC began a new fundraising and awareness effort, Grace joined in the effort eagerly. This new effort was called Baby Bottle Boomerang! Empty baby bottles were given out and later returned (boomeranged) filled with coins, cash, and checks. This simple concept in the hands of the family of Grace exploded in popularity. Families participated in filling bottles, coworkers helped fill bottles left on their friends’ desks at work, and car cup holders returned to their original use as they were annually emptied of loose change.
Grace Polaris Church has just experienced the 2017 Baby Bottle Boomerang. Bottles which have been gracing kitchen counters, work desks, lockers, are due to be returned this coming Sunday. Don’t let those bottles get thrown into the toy box, lost under your car seat, or shoved to the back of a cupboard! Bring them back to Grace this Sunday, whether you reached your goal of completely filling them or not. Every little bit supports the lifesaving and life-changing work of PDHC.
Jim Augspurger is the Executive Pastor. Jim and his wife, Linda, have been in Columbus almost all of their adult lives. “Augy” went to dental school at The Ohio State University after attending Otterbein College, where he played basketball. As young adults, they became connected to Grace and came to faith in Christ. Later, he worked as a Westerville dentist for over 20 years before joining the pastoral staff at Grace. Augy and Linda have been active in many community areas, including Linda’s leadership with Pregnancy Decision Health Centers. They have two adult children and two grandchildren.