The Light a Candle for Children Prayer Vigil begins five weeks before the National Observance of Children’s Sabbath sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund, Washington, DC. Thousands of congregations from multiple faith groups unite during Children’s Sabbath weekend to simultaneously witness for children through prayer, education, and worship.
The 2013 theme for National Observance of Children’s Sabbath is set each year by the Children’s Defense Fund. The theme this year is Beating Swords Into Plowshares: Ending the Violence of Guns and Child Poverty. A variety of materials to help you with your observance of Children’s Sabbath -- including a downloadable manual -- is available at http://www.childrensdefense.org/programs-campaigns/faith-based-action/
The theme for Light a Candle is broader than the Children’s Sabbath theme. Swords Into Plowshares: Creating Peace with Children recognizes the impact of gun violence and poverty on children while also recognizing that children themselves have something to contribute to the discussion. The broader theme also recognizes that violence against children manifests not only in guns and poverty but suicide, child abuse, hunger anxiety, inadequate education, and in many other ways.