Last week our “Year of the Child” task force met to begin guiding us through a year of “child honouring” at St. Stephen’s. It promises good things not only for the children and youth of the Parish, but for all of us.
Someone asked about the “Year of the Child”—was this a United Nations designation or something? No, this is just our “Year of the Child”. Vestry, at its meetings in February and March, identified children and youth as deserving special attention in the coming program year. The reason was simple: as we enjoy the recent arrival of young families to our church, we want to ensure that we engage them—and therefore keep them—as they grow up in our midst.
There is another reason too. Raffi, the well-known Canadian “children’s troubadour”, has launched an initiative he calls “Child Honouring”. This is a way of seeing the world, with its many challenges and joys, through the eyes of children. By so doing, he says, many of the world’s problems solve themselves as we learn to work not for self-interest but for the sake of others.
So in the coming year our task force will examine all areas of church life with an eye for how we welcome, engage, and protect our young people. We will link with Raffi’s initiative and become part of a larger plan to see the world through the eyes of children. And we will become more attuned to God’s care for all of us.