Children’s Ministry Prayer Challenge Week 8 Focus: Children with Special Needs

December 27, 2020

We invite you to pray with us this week of Christmas Day our children with special needs.

We are very grateful for our schoolteachers who are committed in teaching and helping our children with special needs learn. Our teachers specializing in special education are our heroes together with our children with special needs that inspire us.

Although we are all facing the challenges of the pandemic, and yet we are very excited with you to think about how creative our churches are in our California-Nevada Conference of the United Methodist Church in preparing for virtual Christmas Eve candlelight services, Christmas pageants, smaller family gatherings with intentional practices of social distancing and wearing facemasks and face shields because we care for one another. These are all in addition to reaching out and minister to the members of our communities that are experiencing very difficult situations in their mental health, finances and are striving to survive with their faith in God and fellow human beings.
 
The celebration of the birth of the child Jesus is an inspiration to all of us that Incarnation is our common call with God to love our neighbors, to immerse with children, youth and young adults and mentor them and grow with them to do what the Lord requires of us but to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.

The Incarnation of God in Jesus is a witness to us that we too are called to birthing to equality, equity and participate in the realization of the Kingdom of God where there is Social Justice, Economic Justice and Ecological Justice.

Our children with special needs could join us and lead us in lifting this vision for our future. Having come across with an article in Sojourners Magazine with a quote about the anniversary of the Special Olympics, it inspires us to quote its motto, "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”[1] We can all win in attempting to be the champions of all our children.
 
Merry Christmas and may the child called Emmanuel[2] live among us. Amen.
           
WORD             “I give you a new commandment: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples when you love each other.”[3]
                                   
WISDOM         “I have frequently caught myself, when talking about disability ministry, saying
Some version of, “Well then you think about it, everyone has some kind of
special need.” My intent was to engender empathy and bring equality to the
conversation. The problem with this kind of statement, I have learned, is that it
can easily discount the barriers to inclusion that people with disabilities
experience. Disability often means not belonging. It is our job as ministry leaders
to make the church a place where everyone can find Belonging.”[4] 
 
PRAYER
                       
Pray for:

  • Children with special needs to receive appropriate care
  • Children with special needs for acceptance in the extended family, inclusion in the church, school, and community
  • Support for children with special needs regarding their uncertain future
  • For parents who are experiencing stress
  • Other needs (as you identify them)
           
           
 
[1] From an article written by Trevor Barton in Sojourners Magazine, Leo and the Special Olympics | Sojourners
[2] Emmanuel, Matthew 1:23, New Revised Standard Version of the Bible
[3] John 13:34-35, Contemporary English Bible
[4] Sarah Flannery from Children and Family Ministry Handbook