In this week’s gospel, the Pharisees ask Jesus whether it’s legitimate for Jews to pay taxes to their Roman occupiers. To their surprise, he says yes. In the memorable words of the King James Version: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” The point gets twisted sometimes into an argument that the church should leave the state alone. In context, though, he’s calling his followers to get involved.
Trinity parish has a long history of getting involved for the sake of justice. This weekend we join churches all over the United States for Children’s Sabbath, an initiative of the Children’s Defense Fund. Through prayers, worship, education, and action, Children’s Sabbath helps to raise awareness of the urgent problems facing our nation’s children, problems that often fly under the radar. For example, Ibram X. Kendi observes that, while many know that white supremacists bombed a church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, killing four Black girls, not many are aware that “five hundred Black babies die each year in Birmingham ‘because of the lack of proper food, shelter, and medical facilities.’”¹ As citizens, we need to know how the policies we knowingly or unknowingly support affect the most vulnerable among us. Children’s Sabbath will figure into this week’s Family Worship video and Sunday morning Children’s Time, and special prayers appear below.
One of the things that brings together civic and spiritual life is the importance in both of owning up to our own stories. The adults in Discovery this Sunday at 10am will look at Trinity’s history with slavery, asking what else we need to know about our heritage and discerning how that knowledge can strengthen our commitment to achieving racial equity. The group will screen a video, The Shadow of Slavery, and engage in facilitated conversation led by Roz Hall of Trinity’s Task Force Against Racism.
In this election season, voting is a vital way to get involved. On Sunday, October 25, Ruth Frey and Kathy Bozzuti-Jones will facilitate a time of reflection and sharing, “How to Ground Your Vote.” The 90-minute session, starting at 1pm, will offer spiritual practices to keep you grounded and connected in the election season and its aftermath.
For the time being we can’t all be together in a room. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to limit our impact as a community. These virtual opportunities for worship, prayer, learning, and action invite us to continue to focus on the things that matter.
Director, Faith Formation & Education
¹Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist (New York: One World, 2019), page 220, 221.
Prayers for Children’s Sabbath
Pray with Children
Dear God, thank you for promising us that you will always be with us even during scary times. Thank you for reminding us that you are creating something new. Help us to keep using our imaginations to see a better world for all children. Thank you for our church on this Children’s Sabbath that will be your partner in making our world better. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
God of infinite possibility, we confess that too often we are stuck in what is rather than working toward what could be. We doubt we can make a difference and so we just try to get through the day. We become overwhelmed by pain, problems, and the pandemic, and want to hide our hearts, sit on our hands, wait for it to end. Forgive us, O God, for living too little in the largeness of your love. Fill us, we pray, with courage and compassion, vision and determination to embody your love, seek your will, and strive for your justice that will enable all children to thrive and live with joy in the fullness of life that you intend. These things we pray in the name of your child, Jesus. Amen.
This Sunday at 10am, we’ll gather for an opening assembly and then children can choose from two breakout groups. If you haven’t already, please register to join and receive the Webex link to the live program and a supply kit sent to your home.
Preschool through 5th grade, 30 minutes
We’ll hear the story of The Great Family.
Whole People of God
2nd through 5th grade, 30–45 minutes
We’ll talk about Children’s Sabbath. Bring a coin with you for the activity.
This Sunday at 10am, we'll look at Trinity’s own history with slavery, asking what else we need to know about our heritage and discerning how that knowledge can strengthen our commitment to achieving racial equity. We will screen The Shadow of Slavery video and engage in facilitated conversation led by Roz Hall of Trinity’s Task Force Against Racism.
- Family Worship: Home Edition
- Antiracist Prayer by Kathy Bozzuti-Jones
- Children’s Sabbath Celebration information and resources