by Bethany Plumb
When I first heard about Orphan Sunday, I pictured a church pep-rally of sorts—complete with adoption cheerleading and success-story goose bumps.
As a foster parent myself, I was leery of an emotionally charged event that tugged at people’s heartstrings. This business of caring for orphans is hard. But as I learned more, it became clear that the folks at the Christian Alliance for Orphans (who oversee Orphan Sunday) understand both the beauty and the tremendous cost of caring for those with deep wounds.
And so Orphan Sunday—nationally recognized on November 6 this year—is intended to go beyond pulling the heartstrings of your congregation to understanding God’s heart for the fatherless, to experience both the joy and pain of caring for his orphans.
“Orphan care is not just one more good cause,” says Jedd Medefind, president of the Christian Alliance for Orphans. “Ultimately, it’s about God’s people understanding his heart more deeply. When we truly understand how our God cares for the most destitute, we begin to grasp how deeply he cares for us as well. And, as we mirror his love of the fatherless in our actions, we reveal his heart to a watching world.” (And, I might add, we understand the gospel like never before—for our adoption came at great cost as well.)
And it’s not just about adoption, either. While every believer is not called to adopt, everyone can be involved in caring for the orphaned or distressed. It may be as uncomplicated as mentoring the kid next door who never knew his dad.
Here’s just a few simple ways your church can participate in Orphan Sunday on November 6:
- Show the two-minute Orphan Sunday video and devote a few minutes to prayer for orphans near and far.
- Gather your church or family on Sunday evening for the one-hour live web-cast of guided prayer and global worship for the fatherless.
- Ask a few families from your church currently involved in orphan care to share how their understanding of the gospel has changed as they’ve sponsored, adopted, or fostered a child.
- Invite your small groups or families to participate in The Orphan’s Table—a simple meal made up of the same food provided to orphans worldwide.
- Ask families who’ve fostered or adopted to share how others in the church can offer support and encouragement.
Be sure to visit the official Orphan Sunday website for more ideas and easy resources to get involved.
Plan to participate? Leave a comment to let us know what your church is doing!