A small United Church of Christ congregation in Virginia is showing that its size is determined more by its heart than the number of members. Through a 3 Great Loves mission project making quilts for distribution in the surrounding community, Mt. Calvary UCC is visibly demonstrating its love for children.
Ohio congregations provide safety education in a community project inspired by the Holy Spirit. Watch the video!
Emily C. Heath
It's up to the adults in children's lives to lift them up, and bless them on their path. And Advent is as good a time as any to start.
When I was a child head lice got a kid stigmatized. Today head lice are the new normal.
This, in essence, is what we whisper in the ear of anyone who comes to be baptized: "You are God's beloved." Those are the first words we hear. That is who we are.
"I will pour down rain on a thirsty land, showers on the dry ground. I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring and my blessings on your children. They shall spring up like a green tamarisk, like poplars by a flowing stream." —Isaiah 44:3-4
The promise of God's blessings for children has been affirmed down the generations of faith from the time that God first promised to Abraham and Sarah that their offspring would be as numerous as the stars. Jesus not only welcomed the child, but asked everyone to enter into the eternal realm of God's blessings as children. Children are not only invited, but show us the way.
Children have the right to develop spiritually, intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally, and to live in conditions of freedom and dignity. Because children are powerless and often live with adults who are poor and have little voice, there is a tendency not to see or hear them. Too often, their basic needs go unfulfilled.
The United Church of Christ has a long tradition of affirming public policies that generate and distribute resources in ways that provide all people, including children, with the potential to live healthy and productive lives. The covenant of God is with all children of our nation and the world, not just with the children who share our church life.
Homegrown Faith and Justice: Conversations on Faith Formation at Home
What is the unique role parents and guardians play in the faith formation of their families? What are the joys and challenges parents encounter as they try to raise children with faith, empathy, a sense of fairness and the courage to act justly? How is the church supporting them, and how might we further support their efforts? Join us for this conversation with a panel of colleagues on the intersections of faith formation, justice advocacy, and the unique role of parents as the primary faith teachers of children in day-to-day life. Learn about Homegrown Faith and Justice, a use-at-home resource for families that's been published thanks to a sponsorship from the United Church of Christ Minnesota Ashley Endowment Fund.
Bullying and What We Can Do to Stop It
Bullying is a form of abuse of power, when one young person or a peer group abuses a vulnerable young person over a period of time. Bullying happens among young women and young men, among boys and girls. It can be physical or emotional.
There is evidence that a community or a school or a church can take steps to create a culture of respect that reduces bullying significantly. As people of faith we are called to help our communities reduce bullying. Learn more.
Tracking Child Poverty
Our 2012 Message on Public Education explores, in depth, how poverty impacts children's performance at school.
Additional UCC Web Pages that Address Justice for Children
All creatures great and small, our loving God made us all!
NEW - Resources -- weekly activity sheets
S A F E F U N G A M E S
Coloring Game - Simply move the mouse over the screen to "paint" images. Try to make a butterfly or anything else your imagination sees.
Sparkle Stars - Move your mouse over the screen to see "stars" follow your cursor.
Random Designs - Practice clicking your mouse buttons to change the colors of the designs.
When you are finished with any of the games below, simply use the back left arrow (Alt + Left) to return to the previous page.
Drawing Pad - Simply use the pencil to sketch anything that you can imagine.
Matching Fruit - Match the fruit in this memory game, once they are all pair up, try again!
Marble Puzzle - This one is a little harder, hop one marble over another until only one marble is left on the board.
Visit the Kids2Kids website.
KIDS To KIDS, a children's mission program that gives children in North America opportunities to learn about and serve children from other parts of the world.
Here you will find everything you need to create a memorable experience for your whole faith community. The program can be adapted for use in small or large congregations, in urban or rural settings with many or few resources and everything in-between. It can be held during the day or evening. It can be adapted for church school classes or other small group experiences including Vacation Bible School.
This curriculum is web-based so that it is available to all, free of charge!
Light a Candle for Children Prayer Vigil is an annual fall advocacy and prayer project of the Family and Children's Ministries partnership of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). This year's vigil begins on September 14th, five weeks before the National Observance of Children's Sabbath weekend on October 17-19 sponsored by the Washington DC based Children's Defense Fund (CDF).
This year’s theme is “Precious in God’s Sight: Answering the Call to Cherish and Protect Every Child.” The 2014 Children’s Sabbath focuses on how we can ensure every child a strong start in life by investing in early childhood development. Needless to say, these are rough times for children and there are numerous other issues relating to children’s health and safety which need our prayer and advocacy. A free worship, faith formation and advocacy resource packet for Christian faith community can be downloaded at: http://www.childrensdefense.org/programs-campaigns/faith-based-action/childrens-sabbaths/. Thousands of congregations from multiple faith communities unite during Children’s Sabbath weekend to simultaneously witness for children through prayer, education, and worship.
As usual, this year’s Light a Candle for Children Prayer Vigil booklet written by UCC and Disciples faith leaders and edited by Disciples pastor Rev. Tim Graves will be available for download at: http://lightacandle.blogspot.com/ or available on Facebook at: “Light a Candle for Children Prayer Vigil”. Light aCandle daily meditations can also be received by email or the RSS feed. Also available is a brochure with tips for implementing the Light a Candle Vigil in your congregation.
It is important to note that our Family and Children's Ministries Light A Candle for Children vigil and advocacy program and the Children's Sabbath Celebration is a part of a growing children's advocacy movement that seeks to unite communities and religious congregations of all faiths across the nation in shared concern for children and a common commitment to improving their lives and working for justice on their behalf.
If you are interested in becoming involved our ongoing United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) children's advocacy efforts please contact one of our three Ministers for Family and Children's Ministries including myself, Rev. Dr. Kate Epperly (email@example.com), Rev. Olivia Stewart Robertson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rev. Dr. Olivia Bryan Updegrove (email@example.com).
You are encouraged to use and adapt the Family and Children's Ministries' Light a Candle for Children Vigil and Children’s Sabbath Celebration resources in whatever ways you feel are most appropriate for your congregation. Remember, a congregation does not need to have children among its active members to be engaged in children's ministry!