Advocacy & Communications

50 Ideas for your Orphan or Stand Sunday

Is your church new to Orphan Sunday or Stand Sunday and you need ideas to create your first event? Or, has your church been doing Orphan Sunday for many years and you need fresh creativity? Either way, this is for you! You will leave this workshop with your hands full of many great, easy to execute, and meaningful ideas that will help to make this event have impact in your church – and for orphans and foster children! Our team will take you through the best ideas from the last 10 years of this amazing movement. Handouts and visuals will be provided to get you started.

(Jodi Jackson Tucker & Michelle Vernon, CAFO)

Becoming a Statewide Orphan and Stand Sunday Coordinator (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Bringing Together the Pro-Life and Orphan Care Communities

This workshop is an exploration of how orphan care ministries can integrate with and draw strength from the larger pro-life community. Participants will gain insight into the messaging and strategy for engaging the wider pro-life community to address the needs of orphans in our own communities and around the world. This workshop is intended to benefit orphan care ministries at all stages from beginner to well established.

(Herbie Newell, Lifeline Children’s Services)

Building Passion: Communicate Who You Are in Three Minutes or Less!

Many opportunities will come your way to tell an audience of one, or many, about your ministry. It may be a church or civic group. Their time is valuable and so is yours. If you were invited to tell ALL about your ministry in three minutes – could you? No public speaking experience required.

(Jeff Juhala, Royal Family KIDS)

Building Teams With Thriving Souls

Nothing will more determine the fruitfulness of an organization than the health of the people within it. Certainly, mapping an incisive strategic plan is important. But that external plan will rise or fall based on the vitality of the people executing it. So, a true leader must be as intentional about cultivating the health of his/her team as they are about their external work. In this workshop, we’ll each begin creating our own plan to do just that – drawing from CAFO’s “Strategic Plan for Thriving Souls” – including simple ideas and small choices for cultivating the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, and relational health of your team.

(Jedd Medefind, CAFO)

Clarify Your Message with StoryBrand

Breaking through the clutter in the nonprofit and ministry space can feel impossible. But it doesn’t have to be. In this workshop, we will teach you a repeatable framework to clarify your message and simplify your marketing using the proven StoryBrand method. You will see real world examples of how nonprofits are using this framework to revolutionize their marketing.

(Jordan White, 5by5 Agency)

Fostering Hospitable Hearts: Redefining Accessibility and Creating the Space to Learn From Those Who Are Differently-abled

As His image bearers, our understanding of what it means to be fully human flourishes when our lives reflect the very nature of a Triune God who has forever existed in a perpetual outflowing of love, connection, and community. Furthermore, the degree to which we can rightly view our own “belonging” within the context of community impacts our ability to offer transparency in our own relationships. As individuals and societies, we find many ways to mask it, but at the core, we each carry a deep vulnerability. This foundational truth can offer a divine invitation to enter more fully into the vulnerability of those with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Join us for a dynamic conversation as we challenge the mindset that instead of simply being recipients of aid, these individuals may be among our greatest of teachers.

(Emily Richards, Show Hope)

Leading Millennials in Orphan Care Ministry (CAFO Member Organizations Only)

With the youngest millennials reaching adulthood, the world’s largest generation represents the primary adult cohort able to address and end the world’s orphan crisis. In this workshop, Herbie Newell and Rick Morton will share insights gained from leading millennial families and a millennial workforce to reach and care for orphaned and vulnerable children. Whether you are new to orphan care ministry, or a seasoned veteran, you will benefit from this workshop in developing a strategy to recruit, train, mobilize, and retain young adults in ministering to orphaned and vulnerable children.

(Herbie Newell & Rick Morton, Lifeline Children’s Services)

Marketing in a Box

PR & marketing helps organizations grow in unimaginable ways. Come receive your own “Marketing in a Box” and discover each item in it as we discuss communications plans, branding guidelines, social media, staffing, influencers, measurement tactics, and other tools your organization should have in place to expand its reach.

(Katy Martin, One More Child)

Practical Guidance for Planning Your Orphan/Stand Sunday Event (Coaching Table)

Are you interested in using Orphan/Stand Sunday as a tool to engage your church or community and don’t know where to start? Speak to a seasoned pastor about the power of Orphan Sunday and get your questions answered about everything from seeking approval to available resources to implementation, for any size congregation or group.

Coach:Eric Mills, CAFO Orphan Sunday

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Shame, Beauty and the Healing Power of Community

Beauty lies in wait for us around every corner. Who would guess that it is God’s invitation to vulnerability and one of His most profound resources for the healing from shame that we so deeply long for? Who knew that—if we would only open our eyes to it—beauty is the wellspring that God uses to nourish who we are such that we can flourish as we care for the orphan and draw them into doing the same? The good and the hard news is that beauty will find us in an infinite manner of forms and places—but never more profoundly than in the context of deeply connected interpersonal relationships. For indeed, beauty is not merely something that we seek, but something we are becoming. This two-hour workshop will explore the nature of shame and the necessary place of being deeply known in community as the way home to the goodness and beauty that God imagines for us and the orphans for who are in our care.

(Curt Thompson, Being Known and author of Anatomy of the Soul and The Soul of Shame)

Shrinking the Problem: Three Simple Ways to Engage “Crisis”

Sometimes the problem feels really big, and our people feel really small. They don’t know where to start, what to do, or if they can really make a difference at all in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children. And if we’re honest, sometimes as leaders we don’t know what to do or where to start either. In this workshop, you will discover language, strategies, and tools you can use to help your people grasp and engage with the big and complex issues of orphaned and vulnerable children in simple, practical ways. As a leader, you will walk away with a plan of action, a new framework of language, and some clear and simple next steps you can immediately implement in your ministry that will help move your people from feeling paralyzed to empowered. If you have a passion to see more people in your church step into this ministry with clarity and confidence, then this workshop is for you.

(Jason Johnson, CAFO)

Social Media Strategy

Everyone can agree that social media is where the action gets communicated. But do you know how to take your organization’s social media to the next level? This workshop dives into social media strategy, how to do a well-check on your current nonprofit accounts, and what tactical approaches can best prepare your organization for the future.

(Christie Gibson, Buckner International)

Students as Change-Agents

One of the greatest opportunities—perhaps the greatest—we have to affect change in the orphan care and adoption advocacy landscape is to engage and invest in today’s students. These young women and men do not have to wait until tomorrow to lead change—they can begin leading today. A Gospel-centered, intentional plan to educate and equip high school and college students will impact the future more than any other strategic program. Join us and meet three students who are already leading the way as change-agents today. Hear their stories, and be moved to ways you too can begin engaging and investing in today’s youth.

(Emily Richards, Show Hope)


The Beauty of Relational Transformation

What, if anything, does beauty have to do with orphan care? So much of life is automatically framed in terms of answering the question, “What is the problem and how do we solve it?” Wired through our experiences, our brains tend to pay attention to the world in this way. This is not unhelpful insofar as it provides one way of interpreting the world as it is, especially when it comes to caring for the orphan. But there is an additional way that the brain longs to attune to the minds of our children that asks instead the question, “What is the next new beautiful thing that you want to create?” This query directs our minds with curiosity to beauty, opening our imaginations toward that which we most deeply long for ourselves and our children. In this workshop, we will explore how, as Dostoevsky wrote, beauty will save the world—transforming our relationships along the way.

(Curt Thompson, Being Known and author of Anatomy of the Soul and The Soul of Shame)

The Cost of Poverty Experience

The Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE) serves as a disruptor of the status quo, catalyst for paradigm shifts, and springboard for collaborative community action in holistically caring for children and families in crisis. COPE was developed with low-income individuals who shared their story to give participants an opportunity to move beyond stereotypes to a deeper understanding of the causes and effects of poverty. COPE gives participants an opportunity to experience simulated poverty firsthand through the eyes of real families. The experiential nature of this training helps churches, communities, and individuals more deeply understand the complexities of poverty. This paves the way for more meaningful and empathic relationships and connections created by working across all levels of engagement with vulnerable families and children.

The Road Ahead for the US State Department and Intercountry Adoption (CAFO Member Organizations Only)

Join a private conversation with Michelle Bernier-Toth, the new U.S. Special Advisor for Children’s Issues. You’ll have a chance to meet Michelle personally, ask questions about issues on your mind, and hear about her vision for the future of the State Department’s adoption-related programs. This includes structural changes intended to enable positive, proactive work with foreign governments on adoption issues – and also more open communication with all stakeholders. This discussion is open to leaders of adoption agencies and other CAFO member organizations involved in intercountry adoption.

(Hollen Frazier, All God’s Children & Michelle Bernier-Toth, U.S. Special Advisor for Children’s Issues)

Vulnerable Children in a Digital Age: How Technology is Impacting Your Child and What You Can Do About It

Children from hard places are more susceptible to harm from technology. Adoptive and foster parents, and leaders serving these children, need to be educated and thoughtful about the impact being seen on the children we love. We will address difficult issues like pornography and social media addiction – and how these uniquely impact children who have experienced trauma. Hear from experts, parents, and an adopted youth who has overcome pornography addiction. Materials and new publications will be shared with the audience. This session will not be recorded so that participants may openly share their journeys.

(Facilitated by: Jodi Jackson Tucker, CAFO. Joined by: Aszia Pearson, pureHOPE & Pam & Trent Taylor, Fost/Adopt Mother & Son.)

What We Should Know About Loving and Serving Birthmoms Well

Adoption talk tends to focus on pre-placement considerations – matching birthmothers with adoptive families and helping adoptive couples to navigate the requirements, paperwork, and funding involved. But once the baby is placed with the adoptive couple, what happens to that birthmom? How does she deal with her emotions? What services does she need? What services are available? What can the adoption agency, or her church, or others do to help? Our panel of birthmothers will share their experiences, and their hearts, as we get a picture of their experience – what support they were offered and what they really needed. We’ll hear from them about how we, as a community, can understand and be more helpful in this delicate transition.  Our recent survey of ~120 birthmoms uncovered the status of birthmom support today and provides a look into what they say their needs are. Our panel of birthmoms will discuss these findings and share their own experiences. Adoption professionals will glean some great ideas and insights in the area of birthparent support, post-adoption, including: (1) Get a first-hand glimpse into the mind, heart, and emotions of a woman after she places her baby with an adoptive family, (2) An updated approach to offering a variety of support options and methods, including how to take advantage of technology as seen in other industries such as healthcare, and (3) An understanding that the needs are different for every woman.

(Theresa Marcroft, Unplanned)