"Children Blessed To Be Blessing: Lifting Up The Next Generation"
the tradition of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Children’s
Day is officially observed on the Second Sunday in June. The
celebration of a special Children’s Day in America dates from the 1860s
and earlier. The Methodist Episcopal Church at the Methodist Conference
of 1868 recommended that second Sunday in June be observed annually as
Children’s Day. Numerous churches and denominations, including the
African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion
Church, and the Church of the Nazarene, now observe the second Sunday in
June as Children’s Day.
The C.M.E. Discipline states the following regarding the observance of Children’s Day:
governing the observance of Children’s Day: there shall be held
annually throughout the church a day to be known as Children’s Day
exercises of this day shall consist of appropriate services held in all
of our congregations for the special benefit of the children
Each Annual Conference shall reserve the right to fix the date for Children’s Day observance
Day, the second Sunday in June shall be recognized as Mentorship Sunday
in honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Lucius H. Pitts.
pastor is noted as saying it is our job to give children a boost; to
affirm them; to let them know that they can be somebody. Children’s Day
points to the importance of our children as the leaders and parents of
tomorrow. From a Christian worldview they are of great importance:
welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me… Let the
little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of
God belongs to such as these.” -- Jesus
For the past
three years the Department of Christian Education has lifted up the
theme from the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) in the celebration of
Children’s Day. Although the CDF prepares a Sabbath Manual later in the
year for the observance of the Children’s Sabbath which is celebrated by
many faith communions during October, there is no set day as to when
churches can observe the Children’s Sabbath. The CDF resource is a very
valuable resource which can be used by local churches for Children’s
Day Celebration or throughout the church year when celebrating the
diversity of Children. Each year the Children’s Defense Fund lifts up
the pressing needs of children.
founder of Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman is a champion
for children and seeks to make sure that no child is left behind in our
society. The goal of the Children’s Defense Fund is to ensure a level
playing field for all children. The Children Defense Fund’s Leave No
Child Mission is to ensure every child a healthy start, a head start, a
fair start, a safe start, and a moral start in life and successful
passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.
Edelman was one of the presenters at the 2008 Connectional Youth and
Young Adult Conferences and the Department supports her plight to reach
all children and “dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline.” The
Department of Christian Education strongly supports Mrs. Edelman’s
vision and mission and strongly encourages use of the Children’s Sabbath
Resource in local churches.
This year’s theme is "Children Blessed to be a Blessing: Lifting up the Next Generation."
The theme focuses on child poverty and uses as its starting point the
passage in Genesis 12 where God says to Abram "I will make of you a
great nation and I will bless you and make your name great so that you
will be a blessing" and will look at the idea of using all that we have
not for our own purposes but so that we will BE a blessing, and also at
children as the primary blessing God has given us. "