“Learn to do what is right! Promote (stand up for) justice! Give the oppressed reason to celebrate! Take up (stand up for) the cause of the orphan!” Isaiah 1:17
Many of you know that Cole and I are foster parents. You’ve likely seen our foster daughter, Aubrey, at church with us. We became foster parents because we felt called to do so. When considering and praying about our future, we knew that we had the support and space in our lives and hearts to help kids in foster care. This year I’ve asked Old First to celebrate and acknowledge Stand Sunday in coordination with Orphan Sunday on November 11, 2018.
Our congregation is a place for a variety of families through birth, foster, adoption, and kinship relationships. We have a commitment to one another and our community to care about families and children in need. I look forward to standing together with you on November 11th as we acknowledge all of the families who are separated and suffering. We will also take a collection of items for foster children – school supplies, toys, and books would be much appreciated.
History of Orphan Sunday: Many churches and organizations have hosted an “Orphan Sunday” over the years. But for the first time in 2009, the Christian Alliance for Orphans united organizations and churches across the globe in a shared vision for Orphan Sunday. We would rise together for orphans — not merely to benefit one group or mission, but to see God’s people worldwide rise as His first answer for children who lack the protection and care family.
The seeds of this united Orphan Sunday come especially as a gift from the church in Africa. While attending a church service in Zambia, an American visitor was struck by the pastor’s passionate call to care for orphans in the local community, which had been ravaged by AIDS and poverty. Members of the church faced deep need themselves. But as the service ended, one after another stepped forward with money, food and other goods – some even taking off their own shoes and placing them in the offering for orphans.
The visitor, Gary Schneider, was so impacted that he began to help Zambian leaders coordinate Orphan Sunday efforts across Zambia. These efforts spread to the U.S. in 2003 with help from Every Orphan’s Hope.
History of Stand Sunday: Stand Sunday, in conjunction with Orphan Sunday, is a time for the body of Christ to Stand up for children that have become the victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment resulting in them becoming orphaned or needing to be placed into the foster care system. The prayer is that there will be more families waiting for children than children waiting for families. At any given time in Philadelphia, there are 6000 children in foster care. Those children need mentors, families, tutors, emotional support, food, toys, school supplies, and someone to teach them life skills. Not everyone is called to be a foster parent, but you may be called to help kids in care. On November 11, 2018 STAND with me for kids in foster care. If silence is golden, standing is platinum.
Don’t forget to bring school supplies, toys, and books for children in foster care.
Thank you for your support,