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Oct. 14 – Children's Sabbath (Second Sunday in October)

A Moment for Mission

"Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven." —Matthew 18:10, NRSV

Today United Methodists join with people of many faiths in celebrating Children's Sabbath. The annual weekend observance engages places of worship across the United States in focusing on the urgent problems facing our nation's children. Some Children's Sabbath events are community-wide, interfaith gatherings; others take place in individual places of worship. Together, we motivate change that will improve the lives of children.

Inspiring Children's Sabbath is the Children's Defense Fund, founded by Marian Wright Edelman in 1973. The nonprofit organization highlights child advocacy and research.

Most Children's Sabbaths involve all or some of the following elements: religious gatherings focused on children, justice and the moral/spiritual/ethical imperative to nurture, protect and seek justice for children; educational programs for all ages; advocacy and hands-on service activities to meet immediate needs of children and raise a voice for justice; and long-term, year-round action.

Along with fellow United Methodists and neighbors of other faiths, we work to:

raise awareness of problems facing children and families in our nation (such as poverty, gun violence and lack of health care); explore the texts and teachings in religious traditions that call us to nurture and protect children with love and justice; and engage people of faith in immediate and long-term action to nurture, protect and seek justice for children.

By participating in this celebration, we help amplify the voice of our faith communities calling for justice.

—Adapted from Children's Defense Fund website

Offertory Prayer
Loving God, remind us to value children. May we protect these little ones from poverty, violence and other threats that they may grow to a mature faith and learn of your unfailing love. Amen.

From Discipleship Resources: Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide – God of the cosmos, and God of every heartbeat; your work touches every corner of creation and yet, when times are hard we wonder if you've deserted us, and we become tight-fisted and fearful that sharing with others will leave us empty handed. As we bring these gifts to your altar, give us the eyes to see and the hearts to know that you never desert us, and never send us away in need. In the name of your Son who came to remind us of your closeness and to give his life so that ours might be eternal.  Amen. Job 23:1-9, 16-17J

Newsletter Nugget

The Children's Defense Fund Beat the Odds® program honors outstanding high school students who have overcome tremendous adversity, demonstrated academic excellence and given back to their communities. Started in 1990, the program identifies and rewards young people who have experienced significant hardship in their lives and supports and prepares them to become leaders in adulthood. Their grit and resilience are overwhelming. Their stories give hope and remind us that none of us has a right to give up on any child or youth.

Ja'Nay Carter of California helped raise her younger siblings when their mom was gravely ill and their dad was in prison. Inspired by her mother's health struggles, the straight-A student hopes to study nursing in college. Described by others as a star, a motivator, outspoken and determined, Carter strives to set a positive example. Her motto is "Never give up."

On Children's Sabbath, we honor resilient young people like Carter and the adults who serve as role models and mentors for them.

—Adapted from Children's Defense Fund website

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