National Observance of Children's Sabbaths®

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The 2015 National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths, “How Long Must I Cry for Help? Bending the Arc toward God's Vision of Justice for Children," will be held October 16-18, and will focus on real solutions to significantly reduce child poverty now.

Read a letter from CDF President Marian Wright Edelman about the 2015 Children’s Sabbath.

Join thousands of churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other faith communities across the country in this celebration by holding a community-wide interfaith special worship service or a special worship service in your place of worship, add educational programs, and advocacy activities to engage people of faith in improving the lives of children and their families in your community, state and in our nation.

Download and share information about the 2015 National Observance of Children's Sabbaths®.

CDF continues to enhance and expand our resources available to all National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths participants.
(Please note: you must download the pdf files to access all hyperlinks in resource manuals.)

Please sign up to receive updates, additional resources and other information to assist in the planning of your activities.

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Sponsored by the Children's Defense Fund, the National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Celebration is a way for faith communities to celebrate children as sacred gifts of the Divine, and provides the opportunity for houses of worship to renew and live out their moral responsibility to care, protect and advocate for all children.

This celebration is a part of a broader children's movement that aims to unite communities and religious congregations of all faiths across the nation in shared concern for children and a common commitment to improving their lives and working for justice on their behalf. In that respect, each action is bigger, more powerful and more inspiring than the efforts of any one celebration

Planning a Children's Sabbath in your Community

To assist communities with planning and implementing their Children's Sabbaths Celebration, CDF produces an annual National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Manual: A Multi-faith Resource for Year Round Child Advocacy which may be downloaded free of charge.

Though the National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Weekend is traditionally held the third weekend of October, the worship resources, prayers, actions, and other resources in the Children's Sabbaths manual are intended for use throughout the year. Please download this year's resources below.

Welcome to the 2015 National Observance of Children's Sabbaths

Planning Your Children's Sabbath: Ideas for all Faiths

Christian Worship Resource for Children's Sabbath

Christian Education Resources for Children's Sabbath

Jewish Resources for Children's Shabbat

Resources for a Multi-faith Children's Sabbath Celebration

Action Ideas for the Children's Sabbaths Weekend and Throughout the Year

7-day Devotional Guide for 2015 National Observance of Children's Sabbaths

Bulletin Inserts for 2015 National Observance of Children's Sabbaths

Double Sided Bulletin Insert

Four-Panel Bulletin Insert

(Bulletin Printing Instructions: Using 8.5 x 11 size paper print bulletin 2-Sided, Flip on short Edge, cut it in half to get 2 sheets of 5.5 x 8.5 double sided of bulletin insert).

Please take a moment and share with us your plans for this year’s celebration—if you have pictures and video we’d love to see them. Click here.

Take Action for Children

Are you ready to help us amplify the voices of children in poverty and amplify the voice of faith communities speaking out in unison for an end to child poverty?

Download the 2015 Children's Sabbath Actions manual to learn how you can take the below actions.

  • Hold a Bending the Arc Study & Action Circle to study and act on CDF’s Ending Child Poverty Now report. Make a commitment to hold weekly meetings and join CDF in building the public will for action and investment to end child poverty.
  • Conduct a Listen and Learn Family Supper or Lunch in your community to learn from the “experts by experience” and support families as they find their voice and take collective action to make changes they want to see. This might turn into a regularly scheduled series of events throughout the year, and provide a wonderful opportunity to learn how to listen and support those in need.
  • Connect with Care: Complete a special series of leaflets that connect the vital caring services your place of worship provides (such as a food pantry or child care program) with the policy changes that will help end child poverty now (such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and child care subsidies). Distribute the completed leaflets through your place of worship to raise awareness and ask members of your congregation to write to policymakers about the need for change to end child poverty. Also provided here as a resource is a list of 40 Ways to Connect with Care — ideas to spark new caring action to serve children and families directly.
  • Plan a Visit with Your Members of Congress when they are in their district offices the week of October 12 which is the week leading up to Children’s Sabbath. As a separate action you may want to invite your member of Congress to attend or speak during your Children’s Sabbath celebration. This does not replace the office visit, which is very important, but offers another opportunity for relationship building.
  • Join CDF in a National Tweet Chat to End Child Poverty Now. Together we can raise our voices in harmony. Imagine youth groups and members of your congregation taking action with similar groups all across the country. Many young people are already on Twitter, so this empowering activity allows youth to lead. CDF’s National Office in Washington, D.C. will organize the tweet chat to take place the week of October 12. Your youth groups and members of your congregation can then follow CDF on Twitter (@ChildDefender) and Facebook and continue to take actions with us throughout the year to amplify our voices as we continue our call for an end to child poverty now. CDF will send details on the Twitter chat closer to the time. Please sign up here if you or your congregation would like to participate.

You can also Take Action right now when you ask your members of Congress to help us end child poverty now, by sending them a message.

A Beloved Community

The National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths allows faith communities to celebrate children as sacred gifts of the Divine. This celebration is part of a broader children’s movement that aims to unite communities and religious congregations of all faiths in a common commitment to improve the lives of children across the nation throughout the year.

Please take a moment to complete a short questionnaire so we can keep you informed about events, resources, trainings and other information to assist in your efforts to advocate for children.


The National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Celebration is supported by Catholic Charities U.S.A., the Islamic Society of North America, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., the National Assembly of Bahá’ís in the U.S., the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, the Union for Reform Judaism, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and more than 200 other religious organizations and denominations.