Justice for Children

"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.  

November 2013 Livestream Event

Homegrown Faith and Justice: Conversations on Faith Formation at Home

Date: Friday, November 22, 2013* 3:30 – 5:00PM Eastern Standard Time

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 will be published and released in late 2013, thanks to sponsorship from the United Church of Christ Minnesota Ashley Endowment Fund.  

*Note: this was originally posted as a Cleveland-based event on November 23rd; it has been revised as a live stream event for broad, free accessibility and will be made available online for viewing. 

Contact Kelly Burd for more information 216-736-3714

Enriched Pre-K Should Be Part of Every Child's Right

April 30, 2013: The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIERR) releases annual report, The State of Preschool 2012, demonstrating that, "The 2011-2012 school year was the worst in a decade for progress in access to high-quality pre-K for American children... State funding for pre-K decreased by over half a billion dollars... the largest one year drop ever."  Here is a succinct summary from the Education Law Center.

February 13, 2013: In his State of the Union message, President Obama proposed expanding government subsidized pre-Kindergarten for children in poor and moderate-income families.  Expanding access to early education should be a priority, as it is known that the achievement gap widens well before children enter Kindergarten. 

Tracking Child Poverty

Child Poverty and Inequality... and Budget Cuts at State and Federal Levels.

Last year's 2012 Message on Public Education explores, in depth, how poverty impacts children's performance at school.

Important News

March, 2013: Here are the UCC's 2013 succinct, updated talking points to help faithful advocates reflect on and speak to what needs to happen today in public school reform.

March 25, 2013: What Will the Sequester Mean?

December 10, 2012:  Is the American Dream a reality for children today or only an American Fantasy?

August 2012: Jonathan Kozol publishes new book: Fire in the Ashes.

Additional UCC Web Pages that Address Justice for Children

Bullying: What We Can Do to Stop It

Child Care and Early Education

Child Poverty and Inequality... and Budget Cuts at State and Federal Levels

Criminal Justice, Human Rights, Children and Youth

Human Sexuality and Children

Public Education