We are called to care about children, remembering Jesus’ words in Matthew 19: 14: Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them….” The PC (USA) Decade of the Child was completed in 2011. But God’s love for children is never-ending, and therefore neither is ours.
Opportunities to action:
Our goal as congregations is to address the causes and impact of abuse in families, to recognize that often children feel both responsible for causing the abuse, and also responsible for stopping it. We know that abused children often grow up to become abusers or abused adults. We advocate and seek safety for each child and each family member. We stand with the vulnerable in God’s kingdom.
Congregations may decide:
*to hold workshops on promoting healthy families.
*to help teens avoid the significant issue of dating violence.
*to make their worshipping community a safe space by addressing abuse in the congregation.
*to support youth ministries by promoting the Pentecost Offering.
Recommended reading and websites:
PC (USA) Child Advocacy Program: presbyterianmission.org
Article from the Missouri Coalition on Domestic and Sexual Violence: “Nature and Dynamics of Domestic and Sexual Violence”. mocadsv.org
unicef.org Rights of the Child 2009
Children’s Defense Fund Fact sheet: Domestic violence and its impact on children, 2002 childrensdefense.org
For more information or to offer thoughts and opinions, contact Joan Fenton firstname.lastname@example.org.