When Multnomah County resident Donna Blachly runs into a girl or woman with an unsupported pregnancy, she knows exactly what to do: send her to Embrace Grace.
“These programs are extremely important right now, especially in Oregon with the extremely loose laws on abortion,” Blachly says. “The fact that so many states are tightening up and women are coming to Oregon for abortions gives an even greater need. We need more churches to step up!”
That’s what her church (Metro Church of Christ in Gresham) does with Embrace Grace, a 12-week nonprofit support group for single pregnant mothers. Participants engage in group discussion, watch educational videos, complete a workbook and receive pampering days and baby supplies from leaders.
“They are crowned and shown that they are a child of God, a princess. This is who God sees, not any of their mistakes,” Blachly explains. “In week 12, we throw them a baby shower. They receive new items they have chosen from lists, like car seats.” Additionally, Embrace Grace leaders set the pregnant women and girls up with other resources, including adoption support if they wish.
Started a decade ago, Embrace Grace now has groups in over 700 churches located in 47 states and 10 countries. Blachly’s group invites attendees with “Love Boxes,” special packages given to clients at nearby pregnancy resource centers. The boxes contain a handwritten note of encouragement, a onesie saying, “Best Gift Ever!” a journal with a pen and a book written by Amy Ford, the founder of Embrace Grace.
“Our goal for 2023 is to get the word out more and bring more precious mommies and families into our church family,” Blachly says.