MN United Methodists-Children’s Sabbath, Oct. 14-16

September 29, 2011

Article by Diane C. Olson, 9/29/2011

Children’s Sabbath, Oct. 14-16

Our children are suffering. In 2009, 14 percent (174,000) of Minnesota children lived in poverty, a 53 percent increase since 2000. For children under age five, the 2009 poverty rate was 16 percent--meaning nearly 66,000 of the state’s children lived below the federal poverty level (statistics from Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota). These are unacceptable statistics for anyone, but particularly for people of faith.

We have a theological mandate to care for the children. Plan to set aside one Sunday this year for prayer for our children and all children.

The Children's Sabbath is not a “Children’s Sunday," where children are showcased as worship leaders. However, children may be invited to share their musical or liturgical gifts on the Sabbath to assist in lifting the needs of the children of the world. While this October weekend is chosen by many churches for the Children’s Sabbath, it can be celebrated any time.

This year's theme is “Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue: Answering God’s Call to Protect Children.” Download a free resource manual from the Children's Defense Fund. The resources are customizable. Joint Religious Legislative Coalition may be able to provide a speaker; contact Rachel. For suggestions on how to observe Children's Sabbath, contact Rev. Diane C. Olson.

Rev. Diane Olson is minister of education at Fridley United Methodist Church.