Orphan Sunday Primer for Church Leadership

What is Orphan Sunday?

The first Sunday in November is an opportunity for the local church to explore and respond to God’s heart for the orphan. On Orphan Sunday, churches across America and beyond celebrate the love of the God who “places the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6) and calls us to do the same. Often, believers who’ve been stirred by this call harness Orphan Sunday to spread passion and vision to their church community.

Why Orphan Sunday? 

God is vested, deeply and personally, in the plight of the orphan (i.e. Dt 10:18; Ps 68:5-6). He calls His people to join Him in this, sharing His passion for orphans and bringing to each child the love of Jesus Christ in both word and deed (Is 1:17; Jms 1:27; Mt. 25:40). On Orphan Sunday, the Church is reminded of this truth and urged to act upon it.

What does an Orphan Sunday event look like? 

Each Orphan Sunday event is designed and led by local believers in the local church. So events vary as much as the people and churches involved. Events range from sermons and Sunday School classes on God’s heart for the orphan, prayer gatherings, and student-led fundraisers to foster family recruiting and live concerts.

What resources can we draw from? 

The website orphansunday.org/resources holds a host of ideas and resources for local events, from posters and bulletin inserts to videos and sermon notes.

Whom does Orphan Sunday impact? 

As Christians see and respond to God’s call to care for orphans, lives are transformed. Certainly, orphans and foster youth are changed forever. But it doesn’t stop there. Individual Christians are drawn beyond a self-focused religion to vibrant, sacrificial discipleship. Their churches grow deeply, too, as the community catches the vision. Finally, a watching world is changed also as it sees the Gospel story made visible in Christian adoption, foster care and global orphan care.

Who is involved with Orphan Sunday?

The Orphan Sunday campaign is led by the Christian Alliance for Orphans. CAFO unites more than 150 respected Christian organizations and a national network of churches.  Working together, our joint initiatives inspire and equip Christians to “defend the fatherless” (Isaiah 1:17).

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