What is Orphan Sunday?

On Orphan Sunday, Christians around the globe celebrate the love of the God who “defends the cause of the fatherless” and calls us to do the same. Ultimately, Orphan Sunday makes God’s true character and the Gospel itself visible as God’s people explore and respond to His heart for the orphan in adoption, foster care, and global orphan ministry.

Why Orphan Sunday?

God is vested, deeply and personally, in the plight of the orphan (i.e. Deuteronomy 10:18; Psalm 68:5-6). He calls His people to share this passion and bring to each child the love of Jesus Christ in both word and deed (Isaiah 1:17; James 1:27; Matthew 25:40). On Orphan Sunday, the Church is reminded of this truth and invited to act upon it.

What does an Orphan Sunday event or activity look like?

Each local Orphan Sunday event or activity is created by local believers in their local church. So, events vary as much as the people and churches involved. For example, events in 2014 included sermons and Sunday School classes on God’s heart for the orphan, prayer gatherings, fasts and simple meals, student-led fundraisers, foster family recruiting and live concerts.

What resources can we draw from?

The Orphan Sunday website holds an array of ideas and resources for local events, from posters and bulletin inserts to videos, study guides and sermon notes.

Browse Resources

Whom does Orphan Sunday impact?

As Christians respond to God’s call to care for orphans, lives are transformed. Certainly, orphans and foster youth are changed forever. But it doesn’t stop there. Individual Christians are drawn beyond a self-focused religion to vibrant, sacrificial discipleship. Their churches grow, too, as the community sees God’s heart and mirrors it. Finally, a watching world is changed as it sees the Gospel made visible in Christian adoption, foster care and global orphan care.

Who leads the Orphan Sunday campaign?

The Orphan Sunday campaign is led by the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO), a national coalition of organizations and churches committed to the Gospel and the orphan. CAFO includes more than 180 trusted organizations, from Family Life, Bethany Christian Services, and Show Hope, to Focus on the Family, Buckner International and Compassion International. Most importantly, thousands of Orphan Sunday events are held worldwide each year.

What is expected of me as an Orphan Sunday Coordinator?

If you share the Lord’s heart for the fatherless, you have all it takes to be a Coordinator!  In addition to having a passion for the fatherless:

1. Contact at least five local churches to tell them about Orphan Sunday.

2. Support at least three Orphan Sunday activities/events in your state of residence.

3. Use your entrepreneurial skills to suggest, enhance and develop ideas.

4. Participate in monthly “group” phone calls when possible.

5. Post local activities/events on the Orphan Sunday “Map” as they are reported to you during the months of June through November.

May I help a church or community group plan an "activity" instead of an event?

Absolutely!  CAFO recognizes every activity and event carries value and moves people closer to the awareness of what the Lord is doing worldwide to help the fatherless.  Whether you order “The Orphan’s Table” meal, or a pastor tells his/her story from the pulpit about adopting from the foster care system – we know the Lord is using those moments to inspire us to reach beyond ourselves and into the orphan community.

Where can I find resources to help me?

Great question!  We have a wonderful library of resources available to you.  We understand your Orphan Sunday focus may be specific: global adoption, orphan care outreach or foster care. We provide something for everyone!  Have fun perusing our resources such as: activity/event ideas, sermon notes, downloadable videos, and marketing resources.  Don’t forget to share your great ideas with us!

Browse Resources

Are there experts I can rely on?

Yes!  Orphan Sunday is led by a team of folks who are lay-experts in their areas of interest.  You can contact our Orphan Sunday Directors.  We strongly encourage you to also rely on others doing just what you’re doing all over the world!  For a personal exchange of ideas and experiences, please visit our Facebook page.

Contact OS Directors

Visit our Facebook Page

What are 3 easy suggestions for a church's first time Orphan Sunday event?

Here are three easy options to get involved:

1. Set aside a time on Orphan Sunday to pray and/or fast as a church or with a friend

2. Show a video in Sunday services or Sunday school

3. Order ”The Orphan’s Table” meal.

Don’t forget to post your “activity” on the OS Map!  No activity is too small!

Interested in being a Regional Coordinator?