Good Examples of Children's Sabbath

6/30/2008

Some inspirational Children’s Sabbath celebrations to get you started:

Fulford United Methodist Church in Miami Beach, Fla., included in its bulletin a history of the Children’s Defense Fund and highlighted the quote from Marian Wright Edelman: “If every one of us looked at each child as a child of God, we wouldn’t stand for the injustice that kids suffer.” They observed a moment of silence at the start of the worship service. The church bell chimed once at 10 seconds, then at 35 seconds, at 36 seconds, 41 seconds. Next, someone stood and stated: “Every 10 seconds a high school student drops out. Every 35 seconds a baby is born into poverty. Every 36 seconds a child is abused or neglected. Every 41 seconds a baby is born without health insurance.” The service concluded with a blessing of the children at the altar. Resources and representation from various community organizations that meet children’s needs were available after worship.

Greater St. Mark AME in Georgetown, S.C., had an entire weekend of events with a Friday “Night Out of Fun” for community children and a Saturday community “Harvest Fest.” Children led the Sunday worship service. School supplies were collected and sent to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The United Methodist Women of First United Methodist churches of Beach Haven Terrace and Kynett in Longbeach Township, N.J., coordinated their 2007 Children’sSabbath and incorporated its theme, “My Boat Is So Small: Creating a Safe Harbor of Hope and Health Care for All Children” throughout their service. A string of colored origami boats with children’s drawings was hung from the altar rail, alongside life jackets, fish nets and oars. During the Children’s sermon, the leader folded an origami boat as she talked with the children about our nation’s 9 million children without health insurance. At the conclusion, each child received a boat as a reminder to pray for children. The church convened a team to follow up on the Children’s Sabbath by finding ways they can help connect eligible families with the state Children’s Health Insurance Program.