God calls His people to bring to each child the love of Jesus Christ in both word and deed. On Orphan and Stand Sunday, the Church is reminded of this truth and invited to act upon it and respond to His heart for the orphan through adoption, foster care, and other global orphan ministry opportunities.

Curious as to the differences in the two names? 

In 2017, these two efforts merged. The choice of focus is yours

On Orphan Sunday, Christians stand for orphans globally 

The seeds of this united Orphan Sunday come as a gift from the church in Africa. While attending a church service in Zambia, an American visitor was struck by the local pastor’s passionate call to care for orphans. As the service ended, one after another stepped forward with money, food, some even taking off their own shoes and placing them in the offering for orphans. Today, churches in more than 90 nations observe Orphan Sunday annually.

On Stand Sunday, Christians stand for the children in foster care 

One Sunday, Bishop Aaron Blake said to his congregation, “Brothers and sisters, there are about 30,000 children in the foster care system in Texas and nearly a half a million in the US.” He then asked this one simple question, “Who will stand with me to defend, care, and support abused, abandon, and neglected children in our community?” After a brief moment of silence, one lady in the back of the church stood up and simply replied, “Pastor… I will.” As a result of that day, churches nationwide have cared for hundreds of children in foster care. 

This year, Orphan and Stand Sunday takes place on November 7, 2021. Your church can participate through sermons, small group classes, prayer gatherings, fasts, foster family recruiting, and even a live concert. While observing the day with the entire congregation is ideal, it’s also possible to observe the day via the Children’s Department, Youth Group, Women’s or Men’s Ministry, Prayer Team, or in Sunday School classes. 

Need ideas? Take a look at our 50 IDEAS TO OBSERVE Orphan and Stand Sunday

1. Collection Drive for items needed for foster care, intl orphanages, local children’s home, crisis pregnancy center

2. Create and/or distribute prayer cards, children awaiting adoptive families, needing sponsorships, needing hosting

3. Set aside a time for intercessory prayer

4. Fasting

5. Write letters or cards of encouragement to orphaned and vulnerable children

6. Gather together a small group and read an orphan care related book together and discuss 

7. Prepare/Present curriculum related to orphan care to a small group or class, geared to adults, youth, or children

8. Orphan Care related sermon on Orphan Sunday

9. Plan a set of worship songs that reflect God’s heart for the orphan, include the church youth or children’s choir

10. Commission the families in your church or workplace who have decided to step into orphan care in the next year

11. Plan a baby/child dedication or shower for the new adoptive and foster children in your congregation

12. Invite a former foster or orphaned youth to speak to your group

13. Invite an adoptive, foster, host, or respite family to speak to your group

14. Invite a nonprofit organization working with vulnerable children to speak to your group

15. Plan a fundraiser to benefit OVC

16. Take a love offering to benefit OVC

17. Gather together a small group and watch an orphan care related MOVIE together and discuss 

18. Plan a service project to benefit an adoptive or foster family, local children’s home or crisis pregnancy center

19. Host a breakfast or lunch for local CASA volunteers and/or DFCS workers

20. Host a ‘date night’ for local adoptive, foster, and host families

21. Sew dresses and other handmade items (dolls, jump ropes) for overseas orphans

22. Bake/Take a meal to a local adoptive, foster, or host family 

23. Show the CAFO Orphan Sunday video to your group/congregation

24. Host an orphan care forum to recruit and educate your community of the needs locally and globally

25. Setup info table to share orphan care resources/opportunities at a church, concert, festival, workplace, or school

26. Host a live webinar on social media to educate others on the orphan care issues that burden your heart

27. Lunch and Learn in the workplace to present orphan care related issues and needs locally and globally

28. Donate a portion of your business proceeds to raise awareness near the time of Orphan Sunday

29. Begin an adoption grant or college scholarship fund for aging out foster youth in your church or workplace 

30. Distribute OS flyers to local libraries, coffee shops, bookstores or post them in your own business or workplace

31. Offer to be interviewed on a local Christian radio station near the time of Orphan Sunday

32. Share the official OS PSA with the radio stations in your area

33. Mail the OS “Save the Date” cards to local pastors in your area

34. Submit the official OS Press Release to local publications in your area

35. Write letters to your local and state politicians requesting participation and support in OS

36. Stage a visual representation of the 140 orphans worldwide, such as 140 pairs of shoes on the church stage

37. Include the OS Bulletin Insert on OS

38. Signup to mentor and/or tutor a local foster youth or child residing in a local children’s home

39. Host a birthday party for children in foster care or in your local children’s home

40. Kickoff or relaunch an orphan care ministry in your church

41. Signup to serve on a mission trip to serve OVC

42. Signup to volunteer in your local children’s home

43. Signup to volunteer for DFCS as a court babysitter, supervise visitations, etc

44. Signup to become a CASA

45. Signup to HOST

46. Signup to FOSTER

47. Signup to provide RESPITE care

48. Signup to ADOPT

49. Signup to SPONSOR a child

50. Donate to make it possible for OVC to attend Christian summer camp

 For more help, Contact Michelle Vernon, michelle@michellevernon.org