Do you love children? Do you want to see children reach their fullest potential? Do you want to become involved by helping children, especially those who are suffering and living in poverty? If the answer to these questions is yes, then the challenge is to get involved. One suggestion is to become part of the Pan-Methodist Campaign for Children in Poverty.
The Pan-Methodist Campaign began in 1998 after the bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and United Methodist Church voted to launch a dramatic demonstration of their solidarity in commitment to children in poverty. When the African Union Methodist Protestant and Union Methodist Protestant Churches joined the Commission, they also joined the Campaign.
Two primary Campaign objectives are: (1) to renew and empower the efforts of congregations already serving children at risk to poverty; and (2) to challenge and enable congregations, that are not involved with children at risk to poverty, to establish ministries to such children. The campaign is the first time these denominations have collaborated to make a social witness as Methodist partners.
The Pan-Methodist Commission wants every Methodist congregation to be involved with ministries that care for children in poverty. Churches should be active in advocacy and nurture for all children. The Campaign‟s emphasis on children in poverty recognizes that they are the most vulnerable to deprivation and to being denied needed resources. Initiatives for children in poverty will sensitize congregations to ways they can also serve the needs of children who do not suffer from a lack of economic resources.
Together, we can make a difference in the lives of children and youth within the congregation and greater community. Churches can develop their own ministries and/or collaborate with other faith communities to ensure that all of God‟s children receive the care and nurture they deserve.
The Children‟s Sabbath is the single event in which all churches and seminaries are encouraged to participate (sponsored by the Children‟s Defense Fund, see p. 8). This observance unites congregations of many faiths in activities of worship, education, service and advocacy for children and families. Begin your planning early and find ways to join hearts, hands and voices for the sake of children.
We are excited that 100% of the Pan-Methodist denominations' seminaries have endorsed the Campaign for Children in Poverty. Their endorsements are a major commitment to address the mission and goals of the Campaign by preparing church leaders for nurture and justice ministries. Their faculty and students conceive courses, programs, and projects that involve their seminaries in care for children in poverty.