Children’s Sabbaths Celebration2023-01-12T15:56:05-05:00
2022 Children’s Sabbath Manual: Raising Democracy by Resurrecting Hope
2023 Children’s Sabbath RFP

Apply now! Children’s Defense Fund is excited to open the Request for Proposals for the 2023 Children’s Sabbath Manual and Resource design.

CDF is seeking an organization to produce a theologically sound manual that is in line with our organization’s Theory of Change. The Children’s Sabbath Manual is used by both CDF and CDF’s community partners hosting their own Children’s Sabbath celebrations across the country.

The National Observance of Children’s Sabbath weekend engages places of worship across the country in focusing prayers, worship, education programs, and action on learning more about the urgent problems facing our nation’s children.

Additional information about our organization, project, and scope of services is provided on our website.

Documents must be submitted in PDF format via e-mail to faith-based@childrensdefense.org by Friday, January 27, 2023.

Children’s Defense Fund intends to award a contract by February 10, 2023, and all candidates will be informed of a decision by that date.

2022-2023 Children’s Sabbaths Resources

2022-2023 Children’s Sabbath Celebration

2022 Children's Sabbaths Manual is Now Available

The National Observance of Children’s Sabbath is always designated for the third weekend in October. This year, it is October 14–16, 2022 (links above). However, many places of worship participate on alternate dates—other weekends in October and even different months—for a variety of reasons. What’s most important is finding a date that will work for your place of worship. As you celebrate, we encourage you to share information with Children’s Defense Fund so we can connect efforts across dates, locations, and traditions.

The multi-faith Children’s Sabbath weekend engages places of worship across the country in focusing prayers, worship, education programs, and action on learning more about the urgent problems facing our nation’s children. By exploring sacred texts and teachings that call us to love and protect children, Children’s Sabbath encourages communities to respond with outreach and advocacy, and, most importantly, inspire new, year-round action to improve the lives of children.

Some Children’s Sabbath celebrations are community-wide, multi-faith gatherings; others take place in individual places of worship. Together, we are inspiring change that will improve the lives of children!

What is Children’s Sabbath?

Many places of worship plan a Children’s Sabbath during their customary time for worship, prayer, education, or other gatherings. Some connect with one or a few places of worship for a collaborative celebration and event. Still others connect with as many faith leaders and places of worship in the community as possible to plan a multi-faith, community-wide celebration. However your community marks the occasion, most Children’s Sabbath events involve all or some of the following elements:

  • Worship services, prayers, and/or faith community gatherings focused on children, justice, and the moral, spiritual, and ethical imperative to nurture, protect, and seek justice for children
  • Educational programs for all ages (e.g. religious education classes, forums, special speakers, etc.)
  • Advocacy and hands-on service activities around the Children’s Sabbath weekend to meet immediate needs of children in your community and raise a voice for justice

Long-term, year-round action might include strengthening an existing program in your place of worship, starting something new, or joining with other places of worship or community organizations to make a difference in the lives of children.

Tell us your Children’s Sabbath plans

  • Which of these do you plan to do?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Why Participate in the Children’s Sabbath?

Sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund, the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths weekend unites faith communities of every religious tradition across the nation to:

  • Raise awareness of problems facing children and families in our nation (such as poverty, gun violence, and lack of health care)
  • Explore the texts and teachings in religious traditions that call us to nurture and protect children with love and justice
  • Engage people of faith in immediate and long-term action to nurture, protect, and seek justice for children

By participating in this multi-faith, nationwide celebration, people of faith gain the inspiration of participating in a larger movement for children and help amplify the voice of our faith communities calling for justice.

Note: Children’s Sabbath is different than a Children’s Day, Youth Sunday, Tot Shabbat, or other occasions you may already celebrate. Children’s Sabbath distinctly focuses on urgent problems facing children in our nation, intergenerational participation, action-oriented follow-up, and linking places of worship across traditions nationwide. We hope you will celebrate both!

Happy girl smiling

2021 Children’s Sabbath Highlight: Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson at Historic Riverside Church

The people and leaders of New York City’s historic Riverside Church welcomed CDF President & CEO, Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, as their morning preacher on October 17, 2021, in observance of Children’s Sabbath.

2021 Children’s Sabbath Action Guides

The 2021 Children’s Sabbath, Listening to Heal Our Children, is encouraging three key actions for congregations and communities that can be held or initiated on the Children’s Sabbath weekend. The listening, learning, and acting with and for children and youths should continue throughout the year. Enter your email address below to receive detailed guides and resources for the three actions.

“Family Suppers” Community
Listening Projects

Child Watch Visits

CDF Child Watch Visitation
Program Manual

CDF Advocates’ Book Clubs
(ABCs)

2021 Video Resources

Below are the 2021 video guides faith communities used to plan their Children’s Sabbath activities and actions. Keep an eye out soon for the 2022 video guides!

Artist Joe Davis’ “Show Up”

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