Children's Week Report
In 1996, the Council of Bishops called upon The United Methodist Church to reshape its life in response to the crisis among children and the impoverished and in faithfulness to Jesus Christ. In the Biblical and Theological Foundations document sent to every United Methodist congregation, the Bishops outlined goals for their Initiative on Children and Poverty:
As one response to the Bishops' Initiative on Children and Poverty, congregations are invited to undertake specific actions to make their churches more responsive to the needs of children and their families in the church and community, This packet contains resources (checklist, guidelines, resource list, and reporting form) to assist churches that want to qualify as "A Church for All God's Children." Four general program boards of The United Methodist Church have cooperated to produce this packet. Your Bishop has sent it to you and is encouraging your church to consider participating in this special effort.
Churches that successfully complete the required activities on the Checklist will be recognized by their Bishop and presented with a certificate.
The decision to participate in this effort should be made by the Church Council, and coordination assigned either to an already-established committee of the church or to a task force appointed for this specific purpose. See the Guidelines sheet for more detailed instructions and suggestions.
There are many other ways your church can respond to the challenge of the Bishops' Initiative on Children and Poverty. Making your church more child-friendly and hospitable to poor families through the use of this Checklist is one way, Please do not undertake this effort lightly. Remember that the focus of the Initiative, in the closing words of the Bishops' foundation document, "... is on communicating and living the gospel of Jesus Christ with all children and intentionally reaching out to impoverished persons as recipients and means of God's grace in Jesus Christ,"
The illustrations in this packet are used with permission from God and Me: Never Alone, a collection of prayers and drawings by the children of the Mississippi Annual Conference.