27th Annual National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® Celebration
“Realizing Dr. King’s Vision for Every Child: Lives of Hope, Not Despair”
October 19-21, 2018
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 exploring sacred texts and teachings that call us to love and protect children, responding with outreach and advocacy, and—most importantly–inspiring 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 happens during a Children’s Sabbath?
Many places of worship plan a Children’s Sabbath during their customary time for worship, prayers, education, or other gathering. Some connect with one or a few places of worship for a collaborative celebration and events. 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 . Most Children’s Sabbaths involve all or some of the following elements:
- Service/Worship/Prayers/Faith Community Gatherings focused on children, justice, and the moral/spiritual/ethical imperative to nurture, protect, and seek justice for children.
- Educational programs for all ages (e.g., religious education classes, forums, special speakers).
- Advocacy and hands-on service activities around the Children’s Sabbath weekend to meet immediate needs of children 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.
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, the Children’s Sabbath is different than a Children’s Day, Youth Sunday, Tot Shabbat, or other occasions you may already celebrate. The 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!)
When Is It?
The National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths is designated for the third weekend of each October—October 19-21, 2018 (and October 20-22, 2019). 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, and sharing information with CDF so we can connect efforts across dates, place, and traditions.
How do I get involved?
Check out the free, downloadable Children’s Sabbath Manual to learn more about the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths, planning steps, and much more!
2013 Children’s Sabbath at National Cathedral, Washington D.C.
“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” – Micah 4:3
Swords into Plowshares: Guns confiscated by the DC Police Department are transformed into garden tools.