Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bold Prayers & Actions





If there was ever a time for boldness, it is now.  Those of us who care about children and work on behalf of children do not have the luxury of discouragement. There are still too many children in North America and around the world who are suffering, their needs ignored and their gifts squandered.  For the sake of children, what bold word will you speak this day?  What bold action will you perform this day that joins your life with God’s healing actions in the world?

Prayer
God of signs and wonders, shake us and fill us with your spirit so we may pray and act with such boldness that hearts will be softened and minds will be opened to your loving acts of justice and peace so needed in this time.  Amen.


Kaye Edwards
Church of the Covenant, UCC/Disciples
Lynchburg, Virginia

Friday, October 14, 2011

Live Long Life



Zechariah tells God’s children that they will one day have a place to call home, where adults will no longer die young from disease and famine, and kids will live to play.  It would be refreshing to hear after years in exile. 

The message is just as needed today for God’s children who struggle and don’t have a good place to call home. God is faithful and righteous, especially to those who may have lost hope in the “system,” be that policymakers in government or education. God has not forgotten that all deserve the chance to live long healthy lives and with the knowledge to make the world a better place. 


Prayer
Redeeming God, Thank you for promising to care for us from youth to old age.  Help us to make quality of long life a necessity for all of your children, especially those who are at-risk of being dropped through the gaps by our policymakers.  Motivate us to action in word and deed, doing everything with you in our heads and hearts. Amen.


Rev. Sarah Renfro
Associate Minister for Families, Youth & Children
First Christian Church
Frankfort, Kentucky

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Problems Be Gone; Our Children are Stronger



Together we can strengthen our children and protect them from all the evil of today. We can guide them through the tough streets, past the bullies, and help them overcome the fear of abduction. No one shall worry about those around them. No one shall fear the stranger coming close. We can make the children strong, so the community becomes so untouchable that no child or adult need fear the unknown. United we shall stand to free ourselves and our children of the worries of today’s society.  We can put an end to missing, hurting, and lonely children.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, we come to for your protection and guidance.  It is only through you that we, your children, can be truly safe and loved. We thank you so much for being so loving, understanding, and most importantly, protective of all your children, big and small.  Amen.


Michelle Brown
Children’s Director
Franklin Circle Christian Church Cleveland, Ohio

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Quietest Voice





Politics have polarized our nation.  Whether you are left leaning or right leaning, a “yellow-dog democrat,” or a member of the Tea Party one thing we can all recognize is that politics have polarized our nation. Neighbor has been pitted against neighbor. 

Regardless of political affiliation, in this type of culture, it is easy for politicians to lose sight of the bigger picture and only respond to those who are the most vocal, those from whom she can benefit, or those who can provide him with financial support.  Our children need a leader who will “defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.”  We need to remind our leaders to respond to those from whom they can get little immediate financial benefit, but those who need their attention most.


Prayer
God of the Oppressed, give our leaders your justice, and your righteousness.  Guide them to defend the cause of those who have the quietest voice.  Deliver those who speak on their behalf.  Show us all the ways of your justice. Amen.


Rev. Laura Phillips
Associate Minister
First Christian Church
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Giving a Blessing of Experience



A little more than twenty years ago I walked into my dorm for my freshman year of college. I was set on an adventure a thousand miles from home. I didn’t realize that cold September day that, that day was a blessing not just for me, but for my children. Studies tell us that children with parents who have graduated from high school are more likely to graduate from high school or college. That is a blessing, a blessing to be shared with other children. God calls us to mentor, nudge, and encourage others so they may also be blessed.


Prayer
As I walk through the day today, let me recognize my blessing. Remind me to bless others with encouragement, mentoring and faith in their success.


Pat Barton
Chalice Christian Church
Gilbert, Arizona

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lost & Found



One day I walked into 7th grade science class to find my swimsuit on the skeleton used to teach the bones of the body. I told my mother I lost it. It was too humiliating to claim it at the “lost and found”. Children suffer humiliation every day in public schools when they make mistakes. Phillip Brown of Rutgers University wrote, “Bullying can be defined as instances in which the core ethical value of respect for the integrity and dignity of the individual is questioned or denied through various forms of humiliation.”


Prayer
God who is like a loving Father, we pray for children who are victims of bullying. We pray that our public schools become caring communities where adults create an environment of mutual respect. Amen.


Rev. Laurel Ragland
First Christian Church
Claremore, Oklahoma

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Walking with Children



We assume that faith formation is about prayer in public schools or Sunday School classes in which we pour information into children. It is about neither. Children are on a spiritual journey just as each adult is on a spiritual journey. Just as Jesus had his own relationship with God, each child has a relationship with God. 

When we walk with our children on their journeys we cease to argue about prayer in schools. We talk to the children in our lives (our own, those in our churches) about where they saw God during their hectic days of high-pressure tests, social challenges, and learning tasks.


Prayer
God of Presence, remind us that just as you were with Jesus, you are with each of our children. Help us to gently guide their understanding by listening to their experience of you. Amen.


Rev. Tim Graves
Embracing
Portland, Oregon 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Receive & Give



Watching my three-year-old son receive gifts on his birthday, I had a glimpse of what it means to receive the kingdom of God as a little child.  My son was filled with wonder and amazement even at the simplest of gifts. We are called to receive God’s reign with the same amazement, and welcome all as are part of the reign of God.  As the church, we need to bless and pray for our teachers and educational leaders, that they might have the resources they need to welcome all of God’s children, for whom the reign of God belongs.

Prayer
Rabbi Jesus, our Teacher, may Your blessing be upon all of our teachers and educational leaders; may we be a blessing in our gifts, time and talent to all Your children. Amen.


Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell
Member
First Christian Church
Durant, Oklahoma

Friday, October 7, 2011

Seeing Only Friends



We are living in a society that is, perhaps, more polarized than ever before.  The political, economic, social, and religious landscape has tragically been divided into “us” and “them,” with little room and much criticism for any who seek common ground “in the middle.”  Thank God our children still instinctively know differently!  

Isaiah’s grand vision of the world as God sees it shows us how children know no enemies, only friends.  May we, likewise, be reminded that it is God’s intentions that peace prevail and all are included.


Prayer
O Prince of Peace, we pray that we might learn from our children ways of listening to those who have been labeled our “enemies,” and work diligently to be harbingers of the peaceable commonwealth for which you so dearly long. Amen.


Rev. Allen V. Harris
Pastor
Franklin Circle Christian Church Cleveland, Ohio

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Most Important Meal of the Day



For years, my father has always reminded me to eat breakfast, “it is the most important meal of the day.”  However, as an adult, the busyness of the morning seems to win out making breakfast a cup of coffee and a granola bar.  While a busy or hectic morning are to blame for my poor breakfast habits, many children have no choice but to skip breakfast. Breakfast helps children pay attention, problem-solve tasks, and recall, but only if you are able to eat breakfast.  

Even though there were towns where the people could feed themselves, Jesus insisted on the disciples providing for the people, giving 5 loaves and 2 fish to well over 5000.  


We cannot demand that children are “sent elsewhere” for this important meal. We need to find our 5 loaves and 2 fish so that we might be able to feed the 11.5 million children in the National School breakfast program, providing for all aspects of a child’s education.


Prayer
Providing God, help us remember the entire picture of a child’s education.  Guide us in the ways we are to speak for nutrition and healthy lifestyle, as part of a quality education, made available to all of your children. We are their voices. Amen.


Rev. Laura Phillips, Associate Minister
First Christian Church
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No Excuses



At three, Michael arrived in foster care. His mom was in jail, a meth addict. His twelve-year-old sister was on the run with grandma. Michael was terrified of bugs, hid food in pockets.  He never received a gift, celebrated anything. 
Michael had demons, impure spirits, fits of rage. 


He also gave the best hugs. His foster parents cried out to all for help for Michael. They believed. But days with Michael, and children like him, are hard. Often society avoids, disregards, or throws them away. Jesus reminds there are no excuses. He reminds Michael’s foster parents that everything is possible.
The last time I saw Michael was at his adoption ceremony. His journey was still just beginning, but he had been taken by the hand. 


Prayer
Loving God, Give us the faith to insist on justice and strength to believe as we face trying times in caring for children. Amen.


Pat Barton
Chalice Christian Church
Gilbert, Arizona

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Talking Back to Jesus




Have we ever been the Syrophoenician woman, the parent who will stop at nothing to heal her child?  Who won’t take no for an answer, even from God-incarnate himself?  Yes, we would do anything to stop the suffering of our own, advocate to the highest authority, crossing enemy lines, talking back to the teacher who isn’t having a good day!  


All of God’s children deserve to have someone speak up for them, travel across boundaries, refusing a refusal, and never giving up hope that they shall be cared for.
  
Prayer
Parenting God, Instill in us the ability to care for your children, even those that live on the wrong side of the tracks.  Even when our demands are rejected, help us to continue to speak up and speak out, knowing that you are with us encouraging and empowering us to care for our little ones, who are sick and need your healing.  


May we have the strength, determination, courage, and hope of this mother of another time and place.
Amen.


Rev. Sarah Renfro
Associate Minister for Families, Youth & Children
First Christian Church
Frankfort, Kentucky

Monday, October 3, 2011

Having Faith



In this day and age, faith is a very rare commodity. We are all so busy worrying about the stresses of life that we forget to look for the miracles. We allow our fears to consume us and our faith becomes absent.  We see things as they are by looking and listening to what others tell us. We must remember that faith lives in our hearts and to hear faith we must first listen to our hearts. 

Prayer
Heavenly Father, help us to remember that faith is in our hearts and we must listen with our hearts first. Let us remember that we must be open to faith and willing to look for the miracles all around us. Amen.

Angela Kern
Portland, Tennessee

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes, Children, & Youth


Overheard in the church bus on the way home from camp this summer: 
“Geez, now we have to go back home to reality and drama! Why can’t every day be like church camp?” 


This child began a lament of how her peers at school interact and how great the world would be if everyone acted like they did when they were at church camp. 
This is a challenge for us all, not so different today than in years past or even for the prophet, Jeremiah. Jeremiah says, “…I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.”  


We forget the magnificent role God has in our lives. We forget to let go and trust God to speak to us still. We forget to be still and listen before we act in the world. We forget to speak to one another with the love of God.


Prayer
God, enable your people to listen for your still, small voice when it comes to us in the words of children. Speak to our children and empower them with knowledge that they, too, speak your words in the world. God, give us ears to hear and eyes to see your presence. Amen.


Rev. Tracy Parker
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Paris, Kentucky

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Little David Plays on that Harp



According to VH1’s Save the Music Foundation, research has shown that music education increases brainpower. Students who play an instrument are more engaged in academic activities and are less likely to drop out. In August, the National Association for Music Education reported that the debt ceiling cuts will impact classroom music education with “draconian” measures. Perhaps David’s example shows us that music changes lives?


Prayer
We praise you, God, with trumpet sound, with lute and harp! Many of us have enjoyed the benefits of piano lessons and band classes. Make us advocates for the melody of the spheres to endure in the lives of children. Amen.


Rev. Laurel Ragland
First Christian Church
Claremore, Oklahoma

Friday, September 30, 2011

God Requires Action



I see, but I don't want to get involved. It might cause me grief. Why rock the boat? Someone else will take care of it. God protects His children. All His children. God is angry at the house of Eli for its actions and its inactions. The adoption of the Justice in Education resolution at General Assembly was a first step for children. We must now act upon that resolution to do what we can to "level the playing field." 


Prayer
Father, I pray that heads won't turn away from what needs to be seen. I pray that we see and do something. I pray that we do Your will. Amen.


Jim Price
Member
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
New Martinsville, West Virginia

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Here I Am!



“Here I am!”  Samuel repeatedly mistakes the Lord’s call for Eli’s and goes rushing to his master. Eli, with his spiritual wisdom, is able to respond to Samuel’s particular need and guides him.


Young people are naturally eager to learn. They come running, “Here I am!  Show me. Teach me.”  Unfortunately, most public educational systems do not allow children to follow their natural yearnings to learn. They are instructed according to abstract standards and tests.


What would it be like if when our children ran to us, “Here I am!” we responded according to their desire, making education fit them? What would it be like if we guided and mentored instead of tested?


Prayer
Precious One, you have made each of us filled with curiosity and a desire to learn. When we are taught in irrelevant ways, too many lose interest and give up. Give us the courage to demand that education fit the child instead of the child fit the system. Amen.


Rev. Maggie Sebastian
Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Entrusted by God


Longing for a child, Hannah was finally entrusted with a son by God. She knew that God had only entrusted her with Samuel, not given her the child. Hannah recognized that Samuel was a full human being with his own life journey. She was willing to be away from him during most of his childhood for the sake of his education, offering him up as a nazirite. 

What would the world be like if we dedicated every child to God? How would we treat each child if we really believed that they were themselves being lured by the Divine along their own spiritual path? Perhaps, we would assure that every child had an education that suited their particular gifts. 

Prayer
God of diverse talents, Help us to see your Divine spark in each child that you entrust to us. Strengthen us for the task of providing every one of your little ones an education suited to their needs. Amen.

Rev. Tim Graves
Embracing
Portland, Oregon

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Accepting the Challenge with Joy



When mothers and fathers hold their newborn child they hold God’s most precious gift to humankind in their hands--the gift of life. In that moment lies not only the hope and future of that child, but of a nation. Each child possesses its own beauty and purpose. The care and nurturing required to turn that beauty  into its fully blossomed potential belong to each of us as care takers of the garden of our lives.  It’s an awesome responsibility.  May I accept the challenge with joy.

Prayer
God of Life, help me to be an advocate for all those things which will nurture with care each and every child that you are bringing to full blossom in my life.  Amen.

Judy Bennett
Island Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Wheeling, West Virginia

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bible Stories



Bible stories. I remember hearing Bible stories from Sunday school teachers, ministers, and my father.  My dad’s were the best because, let’s face it, in his embellishing and dramatization, he made the stories lively if not always completely accurate.  

Never did my parents expect my public school teachers to lead me in prayer or educate me in the faith. Families and faith communities are supposedly best equipped to convey the faith, and if we are not, we need to get ourselves educated.  

The text commands that we tell our children of the love of God at home and away, when we lie down, and when we rise up. These are family times - precious, memorable, holy. Let’s not abdicate this responsibility to anyone else.

Prayer
God of Israel, we are to love you with all our heart, soul, and might.  Our children will learn to love you in this way when we live it for them to see.  Amen.

Rev. Maggie Sebastian
VA Medical Center
Portland, Oregon

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Giving Bread & Eggs


With few exceptions, North Americans believe that our children need a good education. Too often, we have responded by pressuring our children and their teachers with high-stakes testing. Yet, what children need most are learning experiences within the context of welcoming, loving, and compassionate relationships. Children learn best when they are free to creatively explore without fear of being marked as a failure by external tests.

Prayer
God of Relationships & Hospitality, May we give children the bread and eggs they need and ask for, rather than fish and scorpions. Give us the wisdom to trust Jesus’ example of compassion and hospitality as we interact with our children and their teachers. Amen.

Rev. Tim Graves
Embracing
Portland, Oregon

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rebuilding the Community


We see families move out of impoverished communities for better schools, where poor children are left with dwindling resources and deteriorating conditions.  But there is hope!  


Jeremiah promised the people of his day that there was a reward for their work: God would bring the children back to their own country.  There is a reward for our work: when we invest ourselves in poor communities, we not only build a brighter future for children, we build up the whole community now.  


Consider connecting with a congregation in a community with educational needs and invest in a relationship with them.

Prayer
Loving God, You told us to welcome children in Your name.  May we not only welcome, but build a welcoming community for all children, and may we serve where there is need.  Amen.


Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell
Member
First Christian Church
Durant, Oklahoma

Friday, September 23, 2011

Deciding for Love



How often do we, as a society, force families to unduly decide the fate of a child?  Too often the choices that are laid before us are false choices.  King Solomon knew this well.  Recently a family was severely criticized for not making immediately known whether their newborn was male or female.  When God calls us to love all children, why do we need to know the sex of a child in order to express our joy, excitement, and love?  We don’t.  It’s a false choice that is more about the needs of society than a loving God.  

Prayer
O God of all peoples, help us to love our children unconditionally, as you love us.  May we never force parents, teachers, coaches, and others who lead our children to make decisions based on societal standards, but only on the basis of love.  Amen.



Rev. Allen V. Harris
Pastor
Franklin Circle Christian Church Cleveland, Ohio

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Creative Solutions





In Moses’ birth story, he is born into a kingdom that demands all baby boys to be killed or thrown into the river. Instead, Moses’ mother protects him as best she can by placing him in a basket and setting him among the reeds on the bank of the river. When he is discovered by the Pharaoh’s daughter both Moses’ mother and sister respond such that Moses is raised by his mother for the first few years of his life.

While the situation of Moses’ birth seemed dire and inescapable, seemingly doomed to die simply because he was a Hebrew baby boy, his mother and sister found a creative way to make sure Moses could still live, and not only live, but thrive.  While we may not know the outcome of every child, we know there are creative solutions to our educational system that can advocate for all of God’s children so that they not only receive education, but thrive in their education as well.


Prayer
Creating God, open our minds and our hearts to your creativity and imagination.  Help us to see the many ways that we can inspire and support our children, even if it is not the most obvious answer.  Direct our hearts and minds such that we can find a way for all your children to thrive.  Amen.


Rev. Laura Phillips, Associate Minister
First Christian Church
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Facing the Impossible

Matthew 19:13-15


“Stop!” Screamed this tiny two-year-old voice, in her sunglasses and pink coat.


It was Kate’s first trip to see the ocean. Kate seemed hesitant. She stopped at the edge of the rise, just where you could hear the waves. I turned to see Kate and stopped as instructed.


Then she pointed her finger. She wasn’t directing me. She was demanding the Atlantic Ocean, and its mighty roar, to stop.


“How absurd,” may be the initial reaction, “how na├»ve… how cute.”


But at two, like a child, she was standing up against something that seemed impossible to defeat, through the eyes of an adult.


Prayer
Let us face the great roar of the challenge of life like a child.


Pat Barton
Chalice Christian Church
Gilbert, Arizona
http://www.chalicechristian.com



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"You're welcome . . . sort of"

Matthew 10:40-42

In our congregations, often kids are welcome to be seen, not heard.  Members love to see many little ones gather for Children’s Moment but would rather not hear them before or after.  Sound familiar?  Do young people read liturgy?  Does the preacher only use big words in the sermon?  How many of our congregations include children on the Board or search committees, even those hiring a Children’s Minister?  


Welcoming implies an opportunity for leadership and acceptance, not simply lip service or tolerance.  We must continue to advocate for true welcoming in the whole life of the church and beyond. This is our calling as followers of Jesus’ teachings – “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me.”  Is that so hard? 

Prayer
Welcoming God, Implore us to receive with open arms the little ones in our midst.  Help us to go beyond lip service and strive to empower young people to be leaders in our churches, that we may open the doors to You and Jesus by doing so.We ask this as Disciples of Christ, Amen.


Rev. Sarah Renfro
Associate Minister for Families, Youth & Children
First Christian Church
Frankfort, Kentucky




Monday, September 19, 2011

Leading Astray

Matthew 18:6-7



Children depend on adults to teach them right from wrong and good from bad. In today’s world there are many adults who are not up to the challenge. If we do not show children the right path how can we expect them to walk it?
Today’s children are surrounded by poverty, violence, war, and social degradation. If there is no one in their life who will teach them how to rise above this, they will inevitably repeat the cycle. The children are our future. How do you want to spend it? 

Prayer
Lord of guidance and truth; Help us to have the wisdom to lead the children. That we may show them the right path and help them to overcome all the stumbling blocks in their lives. Amen


Angela Kern
Portland, Tennessee

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Being God's Eyes & Ears

Genesis 21:15-20

How often in the news do we see the tragedies that effect families and children? Often children suffer most for the mistakes of parents or uncaring adults.  Fortunately most of us will never know the desperate situation Hagar faced when she placed baby Ishmael under that bush. Unfortunately there are others in our world who do know this sense of anguish.

In the horn of Africa thousands are fleeing famine in search of food and have lost children to a horrific cholera epidemic. Here in the U.S., since 2000, the number of children living in poverty has increased by four million. We can only imagine the choices these families face.

Prayer
God, remind your people of your presence in the world and equip them to be your eyes and ears, your hands and feet, and most of all your heart in this hurting world. Amen.

Rev. Tracy Parker
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Paris, Kentucky


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Shine the Light

Isaiah 58:5-11

The Children’s Defense Fund 2011 report of the State of America’s Children announces that in the last decade the number of children participating in the National School Lunch Program has increased 15% over the last decade. Finger pointing is useless and the motions of prayer are not enough, says Isaiah. The light of a nation rises when the children are fed.  

Prayer
Lord, we are looking for your guidance. May we find courage and compassion in these forty days to stand up for children who depend on school lunch for nutrition. Show us ways as Church to provide for them when our nation dims its light. Amen.


Rev. Laurel Ragland
First Christian Church
Claremore, Oklahoma




Friday, September 16, 2011

God Remembers Those That Suffer

Psalm 9:12-18



God created all of us equal and promised to take care of us. Some children of God are not treated equally by all of us. These children are looked down upon. They are left out because they are different or face challenges. We must strive to make our leaders and planners remember children who are left out. God has promised that, "the needy will not always be neglected and the hope of the poor will not be crushed forever." 
Prayer
Father, may we often be reminded that we are all made in Your image. May we hold those who cause suffering accountable while remembering that you are the arbiter of justice. May we help You eliminate the suffering of those who are different. Amen. 
Jim Price
Member
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
New Martinsville, West Virginia

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Seek Good

Amos 5:14-15



Amos warns the wealthy that what they have gained by “trampling on the poor” will be lost.  He tries to redirect the people to “seek good, not evil,” “hate evil, love good.”

When society places its priorities on the accumulation of wealth by whatever means, evil has already taken a front seat. 


Employers closing facilities for cheaper, often exploited labor, leave communities bereft of jobs and public school funding. Seeking good?   Allowing children to attend school in crumbling buildings with out-of-date texts, no basic supplies and over-wrought teachers speaks more to trampling on the poor than loving good.
Who will be the Amos of today to cry out for the children?


Prayer
Lord help us to find our courage to speak for justice “at the gate,” - in the places where the most vulnerable gather. May we seek good and live. Amen.


Rev. Maggie Sebastian
VA Medical Center
Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Feed My Sheep

Deuteronomy 24:14-20



Just harvesting.  Just living.  Those who are the most vulnerable, the most needy, the text tells us, are to be taken care of first no matter what the normal business policies may be.
Preferential treatment of the poor is the idea that God, as revealed through scripture and experience, expects that the poor, the least of these, are to be given more consideration by the rest of society because of their fragile state.  Nearly 15 million or 21% of children in the U.S. live below the federal poverty level.
Too often in our “pull yourself by your bootstraps” society, we want to condemn those who are impoverished as lazy, stupid, or at least lousy decision-makers. God makes no such judgment. God does not give qualifiers to poverty. God just says, "feed my sheep."


Prayer
Lord, Lord, we want to deem who is worthy of our great beneficence.  Perhaps we should pray, Dear One, that we are worthy to be Christ-like benefactors. Amen.


Rev. Maggie Sebastian
VA Medical Center
Portland, Oregon

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our Job

Isaiah 28:14-17



Quality education is the cornerstone of a nation. That this cornerstone fit perfectly into the foundation on which this country is built is not only a desire but a necessity.  As the surveyors, carpenters, and masons named on the God-entrusted contract we hold in our hands, it becomes our job to make available the best tools possible to each and every child. They look to us with hope and trust. They are our building apprentices. Their final achievement level is our challenging task.  May we approach it with love and justice for all.
Prayer
God of Learning, may I recognize and accept with gratitude the job you have given me to do in being a part of educational reform in my nation.  Amen.  
Judy Bennett
Island Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Wheeling, West Virginia

Monday, September 12, 2011

Educating Leaders

Isaiah 3:4-9



It is a gloomy picture of Judah.  No one will even want to be their ruler.  Justice is no where to be found. 
The problem is this: uneducated people--children according to the text--are given responsibilities beyond their capabilities.  They have not been taught the ways of just governance.  
So how are we doing in educating our young people to be leaders in the church and community?  If we fail to teach our children justice, fairness, and compassion, we will be like Judah. “The people will be oppressed,” and we, their educators, will be found guilty.
Prayer
Holy One, give us hearts of justice and compassion that we pass on to our children.  May they learn by our example.  Amen.
Rev. Maggie Sebastian
VA Medical Center
Portland, Oregon

Sunday, September 11, 2011

God is Not Partial

Deuteronomy 10: 12-22



God is not partial. God executes justice for those in the greatest need. God took care of our ancestors when they were strangers in a strange land. Let us recognize what a loving God does and do likewise. 
In this time of diminishing resources let us remember the generosity of God and extend that generosity to others, without partiality. We, faithful followers of Jesus, must continue to work just as hard for educational opportunities for the children of strangers as we do for our own children.
Prayer
God of justice and impartiality, as we begin this season of prayer for children, open our hearts and give us courage to speak and act on behalf of those who are most vulnerable, the children, in our local communities and in the wider world. Amen.
Kaye Edwards
Church of the Covenant, UCC/Disciples
Lynchburg, Virginia

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What is the Light a Candle for Children Prayer Vigil?


Light a Candle for Children, is an advocacy and prayer vigil project that invites congregations to join in Days of Prayer for Children. It begins approximately forty days prior to the observance of the National Children’s Sabbaths (sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund, Washington, D.C.). 
During these Sabbath celebrations, held annually on the third weekend of October, thousands of congregations unite simultaneously in witness for children through prayer, education, and worship.
Light a Candle for Children is part of this witness and your congregation can participate. 
--From the Light a Candle brochure provided by Disciples Home Missions at http://www.discipleshomemissions.org/files/FCM-LightACandlebrochure.pdf

Friday, August 19, 2011

About this Site

Hello! From this site, you can: 
  1. Read meditations each day of the vigil beginning Sunday, September 11
  2. You can download a printable booklet of all the meditations. Just click on the tab across the top of the blog.
  3. Get an RSS feed of the meditations. Check the Help for your browser if your unsure how to do this.
  4. Sign up for emails of the meditations (and other posts) made to the blog site. Just enter your email address in the box on the left (just below the Disciples Care for Children logo) and follow the directions.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A prayer vigil for children begins here on September 11, 2011. Sign up for the RSS feed or check back daily beginning on that date.