As we seek to live into a post-Roe culture, the Church will need to address caring for pregnant women in a variety of ways – discussing adoption is one key way.
By: Johnston Moore, Adoption/Orphan Care Consultant
On November 13, 2022, churches, ministries, and advocates all over the world will observe Orphan Sunday. It is a day intended to raise awareness among Christians of God’s heart for orphans and vulnerable children, as well as the needs of these children, and ways we, individually, and through our families and churches, can be the hands and feet of Jesus in meeting those needs.
Orphan Sunday was first observed two decades ago, when an American man named Gary Schneider visited a Zambian church, where he, according to the Christian Alliance for Orphans’ (CAFO) website, “witnessed the local pastor’s passionate call to care for orphans, in a community that had been ravaged by AIDS and poverty. During that first-ever ‘Orphan Sunday,’ as the service ended, one after another the people stepped forward giving out of their own need, offering their food, and some even taking off their own shoes and placing them in the offering basket for orphans.” Schneider was so moved by what he had seen that he began helping other leaders across Zambia coordinate Orphan Sunday efforts, and then shared the Orphan Sunday vision back home in the United States as well.
In 2009, according to its website, CAFO “began providing united leadership to make Orphan Sunday a catalyst for awareness and action across the U.S. and worldwide. Today, churches and organizations in more than 90 nations observe Orphan Sunday annually.”
There are many ways your church can observe and participate in Orphan Sunday. Some ideas include:
- You can support adoptive families post-adoption, or help prospective adoptive families fund their adoptions through the Anglican Adoption Fund.
- Your church can present a sermon series leading up to and including Orphan Sunday on God’s heart for orphans and vulnerable children. Learn more here.
- You can pray for birth mothers and mothers who’s children are now in foster care permanently
- You can share videos of ways your church can care for orphans.
- You can take up a collection of money or needed items and send them to a reputable organization that serves orphans.
- You can set aside a time of prayer for orphans and vulnerable children during or after your service. Below, we’ve created one for you to use.
Additionally, you can invite local organizations who serve orphans to set up tables with more information before, during, or after your church service. Some organizations include:
- CAFO has member orgs all over the world. They are an umbrella organization, so they do not have local chapters, but they have local organizations that are members.
- Lifeline works in 16 states and many countries. They are a solid, biblically-based ministry.
- Wait No More is a ministry of Focus on the Family. They aren’t a local organization, but they impact children and families all over the country.
If you’d like to discuss Orphan Sunday and how your church can get involved, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to read more about Orphan Sunday, get resources for your church, or to register your church’s Orphan Sunday event, visit https://cafo.org/orphansunday/.
If you and your church feel God calling you to focus on loving and serving children and families in your local foster care system, you may want observe Stand Sunday as an alternative to Orphan Sunday. We will share more on Stand Sunday in our next newsletter.