As a Shift Leader, you are responsible to ensure that someone is “watching and praying” during your shift (typically three hours) every week of the 40 day vigil. You must be personally present at the beginning and end of your shift (so that the previous Shift Leader will know that they can leave and so you know that the following Shift Leader is present to cover the next shift). If you are not sure whether the following Shift Leader will arrive for their scheduled time, call them to find out if they are coming, preferably an hour before their shift begins. You should call the Day Coordinator immediately if you are unable to verify that the next shift will be covered.
You should plan to spend at least one hour in prayer during your shift (usually the first hour). If you need to leave the vigil for a while during your shift, you may do so only if a trusted vigil volunteer agrees to remain until you return.
As additional prayer volunteers arrive, you need to ensure that each volunteer has completed a Statement of Peace once during these 40 days (if the volunteer completed a Statement of Peace during a previous campaign, they must use a new Statement of Peace). If any volunteers do not follow the guidelines (as included in the Statement of Peace and in the “Start Here” binder), you should remind them to do so, and inform the Vigil Coordinator if they fail to do so.
Please verify that volunteers have put a check mark next to their name (if they are listed on the schedule), or that they write their name on the schedule. If any prayer volunteers do not come during their scheduled hour(s), please draw a line across their name (after first contacting them by phone, if possible).
If a large group is present at the vigil, please count the number of people and write the number on the schedule. If any problems or police encounters occur, please notify the Day Coordinator or the Vigil Coordinator.
Additional procedures which may be helpful
If someone who is not a trained counselor needs to talk to a pregnant woman (or her family), the key message should be “Jesus loves you and has a special plan for your life, and Jesus loves your baby and has a special plan for your baby’s life. We are here to help you avoid doing something you will regret for the rest of your life. We are praying that you will do the right thing. Please let us know if we can help you.” Literature will be available at the vigil table to help in such situations.
Please try to arrive 10 minutes early for your shift (as a courtesy to the previous Shift Leader). It may also be helpful to call the next Shift Leader an hour before their shift begins.
Discourage sitting except for elderly or disabled people (or someone who has been at the vigil for a long time).
Try to keep the vigil table and the surrounding area neat. If any chairs (etc.) are not being used, bring them back to our side of the street (south of 25th).
In case of wind, rain, etc., try to protect the items on the vigil table, putting them in boxes if necessary.
If enough people are present, encourage some volunteers to hold a “Choose Life” sign or another pro-life sign. Encourage volunteers to take a “Choose Life” yard sign to display at their own home, business or church. (A donation is not necessary, but is appreciated.)
If you have one of our official vigil shirts, please wear it. Or you may borrow an official apron upon request.
If possible, take time a few hours before your shift to call others who are scheduled during your shift.