Monday, April 21, 2014
Initiative to Mark National Child Abuse Prevention Month
The CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region teams with First Congregational Church of Saginaw and other regional organizations in a faith-based initiative to observe National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
April was declared National Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation in 1983. Since then, it has been a time recognizing the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse.
The culminating event, the Children’s Sabbath, or National Blue Sunday, is a special worship event occurring on Sunday, April 27, 2014, 10:30 a.m., at the First Congregational Church (United Church of Christ), 403 South Jefferson Avenue, Saginaw, 48607. National Blue Sunday is a national child abuse prevention initiative with the goal of inspiring others to create their own child abuse prevention efforts.
Suzanne Greenberg, President and CEO of CAN Council Great Lake Bay will deliver a message on April 27 titled “Building a Better Future for Our Children.” Guest musicians from the Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy (SASA) will collaborate with members of First Congregational Church’s Chancel Choir. Rev. Marilyn Clark Farley, Director of Christian Education at First Congregational Church, and Jeremy Farley will present Shel Silverstein’s allegory The Giving Tree in visual theatre. The Rev. Bup Ahn, a guiding teacher, will offer a meditation for children in the Buddhist tradition. Annie Kidder, a student at SASA, will serve as worship leader and recite a text by Marion Edelman, after which doves will be released commemorating the lives of children who cope with abuse or who are the ultimate victims of child abuse. Phyllis Stevens, of Dreamers White Dove Release, will supervise the release of doves in the final ceremony.
Faith communities in the Great Lakes Bay Region are asked to take time in their morning services to pray for the prevention of child abuse. A faith-based organization’s simple, cost-free efforts can make a difference in child abuse prevention efforts. Among other actions, a faith community can display pinwheels at its campus; a community can conduct a candlelight vigil; a community can address the issue of child abuse in its weekly bulletin; a community can include special prayers or meditations in its worship service; a community can sing hymns, offer poetry, or lead a study concerning the protection of children.
Free resources are available from the CAN Council, 1131 N. Michigan Avenue, Saginaw, 48602.
Barrier free access to the First Congregational Church is available at the Baum St. parking lot. For more information about this National Church Abuse Prevention Month faith-based initiative, contact the office of the Saginaw County CAN Council, 989-752-7226, or Nicholas Schmelter, Minister of Music, at First Congregational Church, 989-754-6565.