Are You Ready?
It’s coming! Orphan Sunday is just around the corner, and we’re thrilled about this new season and all it has to offer. In particular, we are very excited about how Orphan Sunday has officially aligned with the Global Network initiative at CAFO – a movement to ensure all nations, utilizing the power of healthy networks, will see every child in a loving family, embraced within a collaborative community! Together, we will all work to grow the catalytic power of Orphan Sunday around the world. This work will not only leverage the power of Orphan Sunday but will integrate fully with year-round church-led community action so that everyone will be given the opportunity to be Better Together for vulnerable children and families.
Orphan Sunday has been a powerful tool to invite churches to join the movement, and is used by many to raise awareness of the needs of vulnerable children and families in their communities.
We’ve compiled resources for steps towards becoming Better Together for vulnerable children and families where you live, inspiration for year-round collaboration, ideas, and a sample rollout plan to help equip you for the year ahead (and beyond!). Use any of the ideas throughout this field guide or come up with your own.
Orphan Sunday Field Guide
We are so grateful to partner alongside you as you work to convene, connect, and mobilize churches, organizations, businesses, and individuals in your community. This brief Orphan Sunday field guide is filled with resources, ideas, and tools that are uniquely designed to support you as you engage churches and convene local partners in your community.
Orphan Sunday Graphics
Customizable Orphan Sunday graphics for you to create posters, postcards, Pastor Invitations, FaceBook posts, and Instagram Posts.
To help you easily customize these resources on your own, click the links in the document to access Canva templates.
Freely use any of these legacy videos for your Orphan Sunday observance. These videos are hosted on Vimeo and are freely available to download.
Order tees for yourself, family, church and organization!
Use any of these legacy resources to take the guesswork out of planning your Orphan or Stand Sunday observance.
Throughout this Orphan Sunday season, you will notice a continued emphasis on leveraging the power of Orphan Sunday for building local collaborative networks. We know that’s a mouthful! Simply put, here’s what that means: We believe in the power of collaboration to effect change in our communities, and we believe Orphan Sunday has the ability to bring churches, organizations, and community partners together in unique and powerful ways. We want everyone to have the opportunity to be Better Together for vulnerable children and families.
We have all heard the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” From Paul’s passage on the “Body of Christ,” to Nehemiah’s rebuilding a united community in Jerusalem, to Moses appointing 70 elders to “…bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it alone,” God’s Word exemplifies repeatedly that the “true religion” of James 1:27 is best fulfilled in community. We are truly Better Together.
This year, we invite you to leverage the power of Orphan Sunday to catalyze communities of Christians toward ongoing care for vulnerable children and families. Your mobilization of churches, organizations, and advocates in your community will accomplish far more for children and families than any could alone.
We also invite you to affirm the Better Together Vision of CAFO’s Global Network.
Every child in a loving family, embraced within a collaborative community
The Better Together vision will be accomplished through these shared goals:
- Collaborating to enable family and community-based care
- Partnering with churches to inspire and support Christians in action
- Cultivating competency with evidence-based approaches and best practices
Orphan Sunday can be a powerful tool that catalyzes movement towards these shared goals – for every child and family to have more than enough support and to ensure that everyone is Better Together.
The role you play is crucial. You’re a “convener” – someone that helps “set the table” and invites key stakeholders to have a seat, including churches, organizations, child welfare professionals, businesses, individuals, and other community partners. Each stakeholder brings unique resources and opportunities to the table – a table they likely otherwise would not have had the opportunity to sit at had you not created the space. It’s around this table that relationships form, trust is built, and collaboration begins to take root. This is the long term vision for how Orphan Sunday can be utilized as a tool for collaboration – not just for the execution of Orphan Sunday (especially as a one-day event) within individual churches and organizations, but for long-term collaborative partnerships in your community.
The seeds of Orphan Sunday come as a gift from the church in Africa, through a Zambian pastor’s passionate call to care for orphans in a community that had been ravaged by AIDS and poverty. Members of the church faced deep needs 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.
In 2009, the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) began providing united leadership to make Orphan Sunday a catalyst for awareness and year-round action worldwide. Today, churches and organizations around the world observe Orphan Sunday annually.
In 2012, CAFO launched the Global Movements Initiative to catalyze, equip, and connect locally-led networks of churches, NGOs, and agencies as they sought to care for vulnerable children and families in their communities. The following year, the first Collaborate forum was held alongside Summit, gathering leaders from around the world to grow spiritually and professionally by learning and discussing good practices and leadership.
Growth in the movement led to launching the CAFO Global Network in 2018, which today unites over 50 networks with a shared Better Together vision and common goals. Serving as a global hub for these member networks, the CAFO Global Network strives to develop thriving leaders, promote excellence in practice, and create collaborative communities throughout the world.