voice for children
begins season with July 8 event
D.C., June 30, 2006--A Faithful Voice for Children offers "A Season of
Prayer and Action" that launches next Saturday (July 8).
planned in July, September and October to help the church meet its
commitment to the youngest in our society.
The National Council of Churches USA (NCC) and the Children's Defense
Fund (CDF) have joined in this effort "to equip people of faith on how
they can mobilize and advocate for the well-being of children," said the
Rev. Garland F. Pierce, NCC associate general secretary for education
and leadership ministries.
The first event opens with a Call to Prayer and Public Witness led by
the Rev. Michael Livingston, president of the NCC. A 10am ecumenical
prayer and worship service will be held at the Lutheran Church of the
Reformation, 212 East Capitol Street. Marian Wright Edelman, CDF
president and founder above), will end the event at 3pm on the west
terrace of the Capitol with a call to action.
"The church is called to be a voice for the voiceless," said Pierce,
"and children are the ones who often have little voice in our society.
They need a voice filled with compassion and strength, inspired by God's
love and justice for all people especially children."
Workshops will explore what the church can do to help children
especially those who are trapped in poverty. CDF staff presenters along
with members of the NCC's Committee on Justice for Children and Their
Families will take part.
The Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell, NCC associate general secretary for
justice and advocacy, will address advocating for children with the
leaders in government. Ms. Marilyn Clement, national coordinator,
Health Care Now, takes up ways to improve health care availability for
young people. Ms. Shannon Daley-Harris, CDF religous affairs
consultant, will acquaint participants with the Children's Sabbath.
Plans will be made for Sept. 10 community events around the country. Ms.
Kaye Edwards, director of family and children's ministries for the
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), will outline plans for a 40-day
prayer vigil leading up the Children's Sabbath.
An October 22 Call to Prayer and Congregational Witness is also being
planned. The Rev. Debra Kissinger, from the Episcopal Diocese of
Bethlehem (Pa.), will help attendees discover how they can make a
difference for children in their congregations.
The season of prayer and action for children is in direct response to a
2004 policy statement of the NCC General Assembly, "The
Church and Children: Vision and Goals for the 21st Century," urging
the church to be a powerful advocate for children.