Personhood Mississippi

Help Wanted

Friends of Personhood,
Last week I inadvertently sent out an e-mail with some encouraging bullet points, but no content. I will not take the time to detail each one of those points here, but will remind you that God is blessing our efforts on several fronts and we are picking up endorsements/ support across the state (including Lt Gov Phil Bryant, the folks from Pro-life Mississippi, and many churches/county coordinators) . We have begun receiving completed petitions from several counties –and from people who we didn’t even know.

However, we cannot let the good news or the fact that we are gaining support lull us into complacency. The battle rages, with increasing support will come increasing opposition (Spiritually & physically — from both the outside pro-death side an from prolifers who do not agree with our strategy). Here is but one example of how deeply the devaluing of life has reached in our state :
While the outcome of this and all events are in the hands of our Sovereign God, from a human perspective, the petition drive portion of this effort will be won or lost by the very simple, grassroots question of : will we have enough folks collecting enough signatures in time. There are many areas where we need help — from prayer, to fundraising, to county coordinators, to fundraising, to church coordinators, to fundraising, to organization/ data management, to fundraising (did I mention fundraising ? 🙂 ).
However, the reason for this e-mail is to ask you — no PLEAD with you — to get involved at the grassroots level, by going out and collecting signatures. And, to give you a list of upcoming events where we need folks to go. These will all be events where we should be able to get hundreds — or thousands — of signatures, as well as sign up many volunteers/ add many to the mailing list to help with the petitioning this year, to help win the election next year and to help meet all the ministry opportunities that the Lord might provide in the process.
Before I give you the list, and some ideas to be most effective please prayerfully consider the following :
We have approximately 24 weeks to get the completed, certified petitions to the Secretary of State if we hope to get on the ballot in 2010. We need to average about 5000 to 6000 signatures per week to get this done. Mississippians have collected enough signatures in the past to get Constitutional Amendments on the ballot. One recent all volunteer, grass roots effort was the initiative to keep our state flag. Pro-life Christians in other states have been able to collect enough signatures to get Personhood Amendments brought before the voters. Let it not be said of us in Mississippi that we care enough about defending our state flag to protect it, but we do not care enough about the lives of our unborn neighbors to get involved in defending them with the same passion and diligence.
We will not do it, however, from behind our computer screens, in our homes, or hanging out at the mall/ ballgame/ golf course/ shooting range/ etc. We will not collect 5000 to 6000 signatures a week if we have 100 volunteers willing to do administrative,organizing, computer work, etc and only 10 actively collecting signatures. God must raise up people who will put feet on their beliefs and go out to either : a) collect signatures; b) spread the word and find folks who will collect signatures with church packets, flyers, etc; c) helping with certification by taking petitions to the courthouses & picking them up; d) giving financially; or e) ALL of the above.

All that being said, here are some events coming up in the next few weeks where we need help petitioning, If you can help at one or more of these events please call or e-mail ASAP. Most weekends, there will be several things going on, therefore, we will need some folks to take ownership and head up the efforts at events, because Cal, Phillip, I or others already working will not be able to lead the charge at every event  I am focusing on North Mississippi and Jackson/ Central Miss. because we already have many volunteers in these areas. We still need much help on the Coast,in Southwest Mississippi & in the Delta.
Petitioning Opportunities :
(April & Early May)

** This is not exhaustive, Please be checking for other events in your :
Baseball games (College & High School), especially those on weekdays are great opportunities. Christian Concerts, Gun shows, flea markets,rodeos, county fairs, job fairs, etc
** Please note if you are attending a county fair or flea market, get a vendor booth if they are not too expensive. It would still be best to have someone working the table & someone working the crowd.
** Make sure you have talked to everyone you know personally & have presented this to you church and all the churches/ pro-life ministries in your area

** What to do :
1) Remember, your primary focus is to get as many certifiable signatures from registered voters as possible.
– Make sure you have plenty of petitions, pens, and clipboards It is best to have multiple pages for the county you are in and surrounding counties,but also have a stack for folks from other areas, sorted by county, alphabetically.
– Commit to asking everyone at the event to sign.
– Do not get bogged down talking to someone and miss many others. If they don’t want to sign, or want to argue, smile, thank them, and move on.
– The obvious qualifier to this is IF you have an opportunity to talk about Christ with someone or to help someone in Crisis Pregnancy or a post-abortive sufferer. PLEASE do so. Spiritual needs & the Glory of Christ trumps signature gathering.
2) The secondary effort is to create new volunteers/ contacts to grow our efforts. Go to the web site and print church packets, flyers, etc & have plenty with you. If someone is not just willing to sign, but wants to help, ask them to get involved and give them the tools. Point people to the web site & feel free to give out this e-mail address & my phone number (below)
If at all possible, get phone numbers and e-mail addresses from everyone you can — and do not let anyone leave with a church packet/ volunteering information that you do not get this information from.
Event list :
(please help if you can, we do not yet have enough help/ leadership to cover all these events)
This week :
* Tea Party events in Tupelo, and other towns Wed. April 15
This weekend (April 17 & 18)
— Tunica Rivergate Festival (Caleb Gilbert heading up)
— Philadelphia Arts Festival
— Meridian Rodeo
— Starkville Cotton District Arts Festival (Rileys & other Northeast Miss Families)
Next week through the end of April :
— Thurs April 23, Mike Huckabe to speak at Mississippi State – Huge Opportunity — need much help
— April 23 – 26 Southaven Spring Fest – (David McCrory & Caleb Gilbert) DeSoto County should be one of our best areas, but has yet to really produce allot of signatures. Having ten or more volunteers covering this event with David should produce thousands of signatures & dozens of new volunteers.
— April 25 & 26 — Hattiesburg Gun Show (Vince Thornton)
— April 24 & 25 – Houston Antique Tractor Show (Rileys & other Northeast Miss Families)
— Aberdeen Pilgrimage — (Chris Brown)
— Missions Fair in New Albany (Phillip Morris & others from Christ Church, New Albany)
— Knights of Columbus State Convention Jackson (???)
** If you know of any other events (especially Christian Concerts) where we can collect lots of signatures before the end of April please let me know. We need to set a goal of 10,000 + more signatures before May 1
May Events :
— Need folks to obtain/ man booths at the Tupelo flea market & First Monday in Ripley
— May1 & 2 Columbus Market Street Festival — (???)
— May 2 Collins Okatoma Festival — (Vince Thornton)
— May 2 Corith Arts & Crafts 5K run (???)
— May 5-8 Tupelo Gumtree Festival & Flea Market (???)
— May 8 – 10 Brandon Day Festival (???)
— May 14 Canton Flea Market — (???) Normally a HUGE crowd
Biggest weekend opportunity coming up/ much help needed May 15, 16, & 17
— State Homeschool Conference – Starkiville — (Rileys & other North Miss Families) We should have this covered, but call/ e-mail if you want to help here
— May 16 Hernando A-Fair — (David McCrory & Caleb Gilbert) 2nd major DeSoto County event. DeSoto County should be one of our best areas, but has yet to really produce allot of signatures. Having ten or more volunteers covering this event with David should produce thousands of signatures & dozens of new volunteers.
— May 16 & 17 Gun Show in Jackson & Springfest in Batesville (need much coverage at these events as well as the two listed above)
Please try to help at one or more of these events. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call or e-mail.
And, finally, if your church, local pro-life group, homeschool group, other organization, or just a group of interested friends would like someone from Personhood Mississippi to come speak/ share the vision of what we’re doing, please let us know.

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19

Personhood Mississippi
Les Riley Sponsor


April 14, 2009 Posted by | Church Involvment, Petitioning, Uncategorized, Where the Work Is | Comments Off on Help Wanted

On Campus

Sorry I haven’t shown up recently. I guess it was just generally accepted that I was going to have to head this site up, so I guess I should post more often.

Things have been rolling along as smoothly as possible of late. We’re hearing of a lot of people working on this, most of whom are doing better than I am. People are donating their time and effort to this in ways that we sometimes don’t even realize, and it makes one think, “What have I been doing?” I guess there’s a danger of working on this becoming a side issue once the excitement of starting has passed. Or, if you’re like me, when it comes time to actually start doing work beyond petitioning. Even though I don’t think Personhood work has to or even should become the centre of our life, you would be amazed at how it gives you something to do when you feel as though you’re being useless.

Okay, so what have we been doing? Well, today a couple of siblings and myself headed out with a friend from church to talk to the Baptist Student Union at Northeast in Boonville. It was a good effort, and even though it was not perfect, we got some good signatures. I’m not sure how on board any of those young people are, but hopefully this will give them something to think and pray about.

As a first, I had one young man challenge me about the Personhood of the unborn. If petitioners could be graded, I would be a -5 for being nervous. I guess that’s what happens when we try to rely on our own strength. I tried to answer the guy as best I could, but I didn’t jump at the God-given opportunity like I should have. Then again, in the end the kid said, “I just picking at you. I’ll sign.”

Like, okay. That was not half so mortifying as the time we were at Ole Miss and I couldn’t get a girl I knew to sign. But seriously, more in keeping with the purposes of this site, if you do run in to reoccurring problems with people, (if it’s a one time thing, disregard it), just e-mail and we (meaning someone like my dad) will do our best to answer your questions.

Another highlight for me was asking a certain couple, a guy and a girl who looked like she was expecting an addition to her familiar circle sometime soon. When I explained to the guy what we were doing, and said that this amendment would say that unborn children have the same rights as the rest of us, the girl said, “Of course they do. Mine does.” I thought that was pretty cool.

(And by the way, after my second time doing it, I’ve found that working campus’s is pretty fun. Which isn’t really our goal, but try it if you can.)

No matter what work you’re doing, whether petitioning, changing the world, or just living and serving Christ in the things that we call “unimportant,” may He bless you to walk in His presence and bring glory to Him. God bless!

April 3, 2009 Posted by | Church Involvment, Encouragement, Petitioning, Uncategorized, Where the Work Is | Comments Off on On Campus

Cool Picture From Desoto Meeting

March 7, 2009 Posted by | Church Involvment, Encouragement, Petitioning, Pictures or Video, Where the Work Is | Comments Off on Cool Picture From Desoto Meeting

A Very Brief Account of the Chief Events of Saturday

Status Report: the meeting on Saturday.

On Saturday, the 28th of February, we met in the Hernando library with a group of friends, families, and Pastors to help coordinate Personhood work in the district, partic. Desoto county. While the group was not quite as large as was hoped, due to the bad weather (there was actually snow falling from the sky!) what we had was very encouraging. We were given the opportunity to meet with new people and to excite new volunteers. In addition, we also had a lady from the CARE Pregnancy Help Centre of Southaven and she gave us permission to put there name on the web page.

After some introductory statements from one of the leaders up there, my dad gave what he said was the “groundwork’ speech, the make way for Mr Cal (Zastrow). Following after the aforesaid Mr Zastrow gave his “firing up” and training session, there was a Q&A session, lots of highly important questions and points being brought up. One young man asked, and this was a first, “What can I do to help, since I can’t read?” He, at least, was fired up. If we can get enough six to ten year like him excited, they will end up doing most of the real work. The meeting was closed with an encouraging word of prayer.

I think there was much more visible spiritual concern in this group than in many others. I was especially encouraged by the closing prayer, and I hope that many people from that particular group may be drawn closer to Christ through this.


March 4, 2009 Posted by | Church Involvment, Encouragement, Petitioning, Where the Work Is | Comments Off on A Very Brief Account of the Chief Events of Saturday