Ministries Across Generations (previously Family & Children’s Ministries, housed in Disciples Home Missions) calls Disciples families and congregations to participate in the eighth “Light a Candle with Children” prayer vigil this fall, beginning Monday, Sept. 23.
This time of reflection and conversation takes place over the 40 days preceding Children’s Sabbath, which falls on Oct. 20, 2019. This interfaith program is sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund, and invites faith communities to simultaneously witness for children through prayer, education, and worship.
“Many churches, individuals, and families have used the devotion to light a candle for children. The true prayer we need answered is finding ways to light a candle with children,” suggests Minister for Ministries Across Generations Rev. Dr. Olivia Bryan Updegrove. So, in recent years DHM staff changed the resource’s name from “Light a Candle for Children,” to “Light a Candle with Children,” in order to include youth as active participants.
During the vigil, which will take place Sept. 23-Oct. 20 this year, Ministries Across Generations will post devotions, reflections, and other resources on their website, Facebook page, and Twitter profile. You can also text @weeklyfc to 81010 to receive this information by mobile text message.
The 2019 program’s theme is The Hearts and Voices of Our Young People. Updegrove explains: “Children and teenagers were asked an important question, ‘Why will you be in the Church when you grow up?’ It’s estimated that most young people have decided by age 14 if they will be active in a faith community as an adult. With many young people making the choice to not stay active in their faith into adulthood, it was time to ask those under 14 what connects them to a love of God and God’s people.”
Each devotion for this year’s vigil will include responses, resources, and images from the young people Updegrove asked about their future involvement in our Church.
The Children’s Defense Fund also has resources for their theme, Uniting Hearts and Voices to End Child Poverty.
While Ministries Across Generations encourages families and congregations to participate in the vigil during its designated timeframe, the resources for 2019, and for years past are available online year round, and can be used any time.
To request physical copies of this year’s resources, contact Ministries Across Generations.