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Department of Christian Education

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Children's Day
 
"Children Blessed To Be  Blessing:  Lifting Up The Next Generation" 

In 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:
Regulations governing the observance of Children’s Day:  there shall be held annually throughout the church a day to be known as Children’s Day
 
The 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
Children’s Day, the second Sunday in June shall be recognized as Mentorship Sunday in honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Lucius H. Pitts. 
 
One 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:  
“Whoever 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.   
 
President and 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. 
 
Mrs. 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. "