Are You Ready?

It’s coming! Stand 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 Stand Sunday has officially aligned with the More Than Enough initiative at CAFO – a movement to ensure every local community, utilizing the power of collaborative networks, has more than enough for children and families before, during, and beyond foster care! Together, we will all work to grow the catalytic power of Stand Sunday across the US. This work will not only leverage the power of Stand Sunday but will integrate fully with year-round church-led community action so that everyone will be given the opportunity to stand, but no one will stand alone.

Stand 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 community who are touched by the foster care system.

We’ve compiled resources for steps towards More than Enough in your community, 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.

Stand Sunday Field Guide

We know every community is unique, and there’s no one resource or tool that can solve every problem or answer every question as it relates to supporting the complex and nuanced needs of vulnerable children and families. So, consider this field guide to be a starting point for you as you explore your own unique and creative ways to leverage the power of Stand Sunday in your community and form collaborative partnerships that will continue to stand together for the sake of vulnerable children and families long after Stand Sunday is over!

Stand Sunday Graphics

Customizable Stand 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.

Stand Sunday Video

How Stand Sunday got started. This November, join churches across America standing for kids in foster care.

This video is freely available to view and download.

Engrafted

Bishop Aaron Blake and his wife Mary engrafted 6 teenage boys from foster care into their family just shortly after empty-nesting. They always told the boys that they were engrafted into the family, but this is the story of what it took for them to understand what that really meant. Featuring interviews with Bishop Aaron Blake and Diego Fuller. Also features the song “Engrafted” by Diego Fuller.

This video is freely available to view and download.

Shirts

Order tees for yourself, family, church and organization! More information about 2022 tees coming soon.

As we launch the 2022 Stand Sunday campaign, we encourage churches to use this opportunity to catalyze Christians towards ongoing care and collaboration. As each of you are inviting churches to participate, let’s consider how each church may equip and empower local Christians to serve long after Stand Sunday is over. To put it simply – we’re not merely interested in churches participating in Stand Sunday; we are primarily interested in churches utilizing Stand Sunday as a launch pad for further, on-going, long-term engagement in the lives of vulnerable children and families. This may include strengthening existing ministries to children and families – or may involve connecting them with other ministries in their area to offer opportunities to serve. You have a great opportunity to help churches go beyond a one-day event/service to inspiring and supporting them in active service throughout the year!

When Bishop Aaron Blake, a pastor and foster/ adoptive father, left his breakfast table for church on the second Sunday in November of 2004, he had a sermon prepared – and it wasn’t about foster care.  “I had prepared a sermon to preach that morning that I had worked on all week. I stood up to bring the message, when the breakfast table image of our boys came back to my mind. The faces of our sons seemed to multiply in my emotions as I recalled the image from the breakfast table earlier. I knew then that God was prompting our church to answer the call to care for children and broken families,” Bishop Blake recalls.

Without explanation, Bishop Blake said to his congregation, “Brothers and sisters, there are about 30,000 children in the foster care system in Texas and nearly a half a million in the U.S.”  He then asked this one simple question (while not expecting a verbal answer), “Who will stand with me to defend, care, and support abused, abandoned, and neglected children in our community?”  After a brief moment of silence, one lady in the back of the church stood up and simply replied, “Pastor…I will.”  And, Stand Sunday was born.

Like a tiny, smoldering ember dropped in a pile of thirsty pine needles, her voice began to multiply.  To his amazement, Bishop Blake watched as one family after another stood up and joined their voices to hers. As a result of that day, this church and the surrounding community has cared for and adopted hundreds of children in foster care over the last 18 years. In fact, their county actually has more than enough foster families to meet the need there.  Each year since 2004, Bishop Blake’s church has marked that very special second Sunday in November.

Seeing the need to focus on children in the US foster care system, the Orphan Sunday leadership team began conceptualizing “Stand Sunday.” In 2017, Stand Sunday officially merged with Orphan Sunday. Orphan Sunday holds the purpose of inviting the global church to care for vulnerable children and families worldwide. Stand Sunday holds the purpose of calling the US church to stand and collaborate for vulnerable children and families touched by the foster care system.

Stand Sunday officially aligned with the More than Enough (MTE) initiative at CAFO – a movement to ensure every local community, utilizing the power of collaborative networks, has more than enough families for children and support for families!  Stand Sunday will serve as one of the many tools that can be utilized to pursue and strengthen year-round collaboration in your sphere of influence.  Beyond the catalyst of Stand Sunday, MTE stands prepared and eager to resource your local network with resources and support. 

More Than Enough is a community united by our faith and committed to helping churches care for children and families in foster care. Composed of churches, organizations, and advocates working together to fill the biggest gaps in foster care, we are determined to achieve our shared vision of more than enough for children and families before, during, and beyond foster care in every US county. More Than Enough is facilitated by the Christian Alliance for Orphans, which supports the community to multiply on-the-ground care for children and families.