Trinity Lutheran High School students start Y4Life group, participate in March for Life


At Trinity Lutheran High School in Seymour, a group of students are making their voices and actions loud and clear in their stance on protecting life.

This year, senior Libby Wischmeier of Columbus and several classmates started a Y4Life organization at their school with the goal of educating other students and the public on issues such as abortion and suicide.

Y4Life is a youth-focused division of Lutherans for Life, a national organization that seeks to engage and equip Lutherans to be voices for life through service, education, worship and celebration.

“I wanted to start a Y4Life group at Trinity because life is so valuable,” said Wischmeier, who serves as president.

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Not only does the team want to share about the issues of life, but also the value and joy to be found in each other’s lives, she added.

“I think it is important as a Lutheran school to share these principles with the community,” Wischmeier said.

The Trinity Y4Life Team looks for ways to promote and be thankful for life and is planning to volunteer at local food pantries and the Clarity Pregnancy Care Center and collect donations for organizations.

Several of the students traveled to Washington D.C. recently to take part in the 47th annual March for Life. The event was Jan. 23-25 and included a rally, march, testimonials, discussion and the Y4Life Conference.

“We brainstormed ideas on how we can share this love of life with our peers and community when we returned home,” Wischmeier said.

The featured speaker for the event was President Donald Trump.

“Seeing that our government recognizes the issues of life is reassuring that one day U.S. citizens will no longer be able to harm life, but value it,” Wischmeier said.

More than 500,000 people from across the country were there for the inspiring, faith-affirming and in some cases, life-changing event.

“It was truly an unforgettable experience,” Wischmeier said. “I have never seen anything quite like it. So many people together in one location to support one cause – life.”

The trip was organized by St. Paul Lutheran Church Clifty in Columbus. A total of 16 youth and six adults went. Besides Wischmeier, other Trinity students that attended were Simeon Bauman, Tanner Bauserman, Anna Benter, Ashley Goecker, Henry Hall, Amelia Hessong, Jaryn Holtsclaw, Caleb Probst and Jacob Mau.

Adult chaperones included former Trinity teacher Michelle Bauman, who now serves as the director of Y4Life and her husband, the Rev. Douglas Bauman, pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church.

“It’s exciting to see young adults become involved in life issues,” Michelle Bauman said. “Their voices do make a difference, not only nationwide, but most importantly in the lives they touch daily.”

Because life issues are from conception to natural death, there are many ways youth can support life, Bauman added.

“Visiting with someone in a nursing home, planning a fundraiser for a family struggling with health issues and sharing information on adoption in crisis pregnancy situations are all ways young Christians can be engaged in supporting life,” she said.

The March for Life and Y4Life not only proves to those who attend that they are not alone in their efforts, but it also encourages them to continue to confess that life is valuable and should be treated with dignity at all stages, Bauman said.

“It’s important that Christian youth recognize life is valuable; in fact, they were handmade by God to be messengers of this truth,” she said. “When we value something, we protect and take care of it. That should be true of our own lives as well as the lives that make up our communities. It’s a truth that shapes the way we interact with others.”

Senior Amelia Hessong said she walked away from the March for Life feeling more certain about her future.

“The March has impacted my decision to pursue a career in church work and teaching and encourage others through my service,” she said. “I want to be a positive role model for teenagers who need to hear they have value and are on this earth because God purposely placed them here.”

Being a part of the march also made her realize there are many others who share her same values and beliefs.

“The trip to D.C. allowed me to grow in my faith alongside others from across the nation who care about the same cause as me,” she said.

She hopes to see Y4Life grow and become an integral part of the school and community.

“I hope the Y4Life group can become a large part of Trinity’s identity,” she said. “It holds to the values of what we are taught in theology class but creates another outlet to express questions on topics that will not go away anytime soon.”

The Y4Life organization has great meaning to Wischmeier and the other students involved.

“This organization focuses on all aspects of life, young to old,” she said. “Our culture wants to diminish life and devalue, but this organization has taught so many, including myself, that we are created, redeemed and saved by God.”

Seeing the students take an interest and want to be involved with a cause gives Michelle Bauman hope for the future.

“Today’s youth are engaged in life issues,” she said. “They are excited to confess that life is meaningful because of Christ.”

Hessong said Y4Life and the March for Life are important and relevant to all Christian youth.

“I believe it is important to teach that everyone in this life has value given by God, from the tiniest baby to the sick and elderly,” she said. “Y4Life and especially the D.C. trip strengthens this within us so that we may share the message to others.”

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Anyone wanting more information about getting involved in Y4Life or attending next year’s March for Life, should contact Michelle Bauman at [email protected].


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