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17th Annual National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths ® October 17-19, 2008 (or on another date of your congregation's choosing)

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Presentation on theme: "17th Annual National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths ® October 17-19, 2008 (or on another date of your congregation's choosing)"— Presentation transcript:

1 17th Annual National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths ® October 17-19, 2008 (or on another date of your congregation's choosing)

2 The teachings and traditions of all the world religions command the faithful to seek justice for society’s most vulnerable: Children and the Poor “ Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.” Saint Augustine

3 Today in America:  A child is born into poverty every 33 seconds;  Over 13 million children live in poverty;  Nearly 9 million children lack health insurance;  4,440 children are arrested each day;  8 children are killed by firearms everyday;  More than 3 million children are being raised by someone other than their parents -- the majority of them in family foster homes, group homes, or with grandparents or other relatives;  Over 8,000 children a day are reported abused or neglected;  Only about half to 2/3 of children eligible for Head Start programs are enrolled;  Over 6 million children are regularly left home alone without adult supervision

4 Questions to ask… What is your faith tradition’s view of children? What does your tradition/belief system call you to do on behalf of children? What is the distinction between Charity and Justice? How does this understanding show itself in the life of your congregation? (Be specific)

5 The National Observance of Children’s Sabbath ® Offers a Strategy for Making a Difference Began 17 years ago in the Religious Affairs Dept. of Children’s Defense Fund by Shannon Daley-Harris Purpose: -to unite and amplify the voice of the multi-faith community to demand justice for children -to inspire long-term advocacy for children -to make a transforming difference in the lives of all the nation’s children “ With faith, commitment, and hard, persistent work, if we stand united for healthy children and for hope and healing for all children neglected and left behind in our world, God will do the rest.” Marian Wright Edelman, 2006

6 Children’s Sabbath engages all faiths in Common Concern and a Common Commitment to work for justice on behalf of all children. Through Worship Education Ongoing Advocacy

7 The Children’s Sabbath Resource Manual Where are we & where are we going? –Welcome Letter from Miriam Wright Edelman Pages1-3 –Reflections on Moving Forward by Miriam Wright Edelman Page 31 Planning Tips - Page Publicity Ideas - Page How do we get there? –Faith Reflections –Devotional Guides –Songs, Prayers, Litanies Advocacy Aids & Information

8 Making Children’s Sabbath Work Order the Manual early: Get go-ahead from your leadership Recruit the necessary people to form a planning team. Review the manual’s sections and determine the appropriate material for your congregation. Create a plan that fits your congregation. –Length and content of service –Lead-in activities or events –Follow-up plan: a sustainable ministry throughout the year Advertise - Create a BUZZZ Implement the Follow-through Plan Fill out Evaluation Form, page 179 in manual or rip- out card on page 13, and send to CDF.

9 Additional Resources available on the Children’s Sabbath website Lesson Plans: Multi-faith lesson plans for all ages are available for you to integrate into your faith communities' curriculum. Bulletin Inserts: Use inserts to promote the event beforehand and to provide advocacy opportunities during the service. Alert the Media: Customize a press release to send to local news outlets. Take Action: Engage candidates and your elected officials by involving your house of worship in CDF’s advocacy campaigns. Improve the Lives of Children: 25 things your faith community can do to become directly involved with children and families in your area. Promote the Children’s Sabbath: Use newsletters, alerts, and mailings to invite other religious communities in your extended network to join in this powerful movement for children!

10 What Others Have Done… See Manual Pages 8-11 “How Congregations Celebrated Last Year”

11 A Community-wide Celebration Manual Page 15-18

12 In Celebration Of Last Year’s National Observance of Children ’ s Sabbaths ® “My Boat Is So Small: Creating a Harbor of Hope and Health Care for All Children” Children ’ s Defense Fund Texas Invites You To An Original Play “the boat may be small…yet we all will get on” Written by Sister Mama Sonya ~ 3Sisters in the Spirit Theatre Ministry Performed by a 200 voice Multi-Ethnic & Multi-Faith Children’s Choir

13 Questions to ask… If your congregation celebrated Children’s Sabbath in the past, what worked, what didn’t? How do you envision Children’s Sabbath fitting into the life of your congregation? What steps do you need to take to make this happen?

14 Perform a “Pre-Mortem” Examine in advance what might “kill” this effort in your congregation. Be prepared to help it live and thrive.

15 Brainstorm Groups 1.Worship Ideas - to highlight children’s needs and the call of faith to respond 2.Education Sessions/Experiences Ideas - to help people learn about children’s needs and ways to meet those needs 3.Activities - hands-on services or justice work to enhance the worship service 4.Follow-up - how to use the Children’s Sabbath service to lead to long-term advocacy and fit into the mission and life of the congregation

16 Going Deeper… Attend the Proctor Institute at CDF’s Haley Farm, July , 2009 in Clinton, TN; Visit for more informationwww.childrensdefense.org/Proctor Name a Key Advocate in your congregation One person who will focus on Advocacy for children and take responsibility for the Childrens Sabbath service each year; Use the Minnesota model described at Create a Child Advocacy Book Club Sign-up members of your congregation to read Thus Far on the Way, by Rev. Eileen Lindner, or one of Marian Wright Edelman’s books to follow-up the Childrens Sabbath or lead into it… Participate in a Day at the Capitol Organize a visit to your state legislators with members of your congregation around the children’s health care issue… Help create a supportive system for all children through advocating for just policies for children (Luke 18:1-8 Christian Bible)

17 The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world it leaves to its children. ∼ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

18 “We are not called to advocate for our children because, or when, it is convenient, or comfortable, or even because we know the difference it makes. We are called to advocate for our children because we know a God who never says ‘I don’t care’ or ‘It doesn’t matter’.” Shannon Daley-Harris, CDF

19 Your Response…


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