“The church should help to make sure that everybody knows about the rights of children and adolescents.” Child in South Africa
“Churches’ Commitments to Children” is an open invitation to the World Council of Churches member churches and partners to address the needs of children as an integral part of the ecumenical commitment to the pilgrimage of justice and peace.
A document has been developed to stimulate and strengthen action with and for children by WCC member churches and partners. It is also a living resource which will be further developed over time through the WCC on the basis of member churches’ responses and experiences.
The document is downloadable from the following web page :
Quoting from the introduction :
“WHAT IS YOUR CHURCH INVITED TO DO?
The Churches’ Commitments to Children outline specific actions and strategies that any church can adopt in response to pressing challenges impacting children. They are aimed at church leader, pastors, church employees, catechists, parents, caregivers, households and church members. Church communities are encouraged to discuss them within decision- making bodies and adopt them, and make them their own, for dissemination and implementation. Support for implement is provided on www.oikoumene.org/resources-children.
AS CHURCHES YOU ARE INVITED TO ENDORSE THE COMMITMENTS AS A WHOLE OR TO CHOOSE ONE OR MULTIPLE COMMITMENTS, OPTING, FOR EXAMPLE, TO ADDRESS AN ISSUE THAT YOU FIND PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT TO ADDRESS IN YOUR LOCAL CONTEXT.
Churches which do not yet have a safeguarding policy will be especially motivated to prioritize Commitment 1a (Ensure a child- safe church environment)
The success of these initiatives will multiply when WCC members and partners share the experience, skills and results of their pilgrimage for justice and peace for and with children. Mutual support among churches and partners is greatly encouraged along this common journey.”
As this is also the YEAR of the YOUNG in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA), it is most appropriate to create a Province wide awareness of this most important aspect of our ministry, and to encourage ALL Parishes to discern the needs of the children and youth in the church and community, and to implement appropriate strategies according to the recommendations of the document.
The document gives ample examples of actions that could be taken, and should anyone need assistance in this regard, they are welcome to contact the Provincial Youth Office for assistance.
We also request our Bishops to help us to communicate this as widely as possible.
May we appreciate our children with the love and compassion of Jesus, for the sake of the Gospel and the development of God’s Kingdom here on earth.
Provincial Youth Coordinator