“He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” (Matthew 18: 2-5)
United Methodist Book of Discipline
Once considered property of their parents, children are now acknowledged to be full human beings in their own right, but beings to whom adults and society in general have special obligations…
Children have the rights to food, shelter, clothing, health care, and emotional wellbeing, as do adults, and these rights we affirm as theirs regardless of actions or inactions of their parents or guardians.
In particular, children must be protected from economic, physical, emotional and sexual exploitation and abuse. (Social Principles, ¶ 162 C)
The legacy of United Methodist Women began, in part, by advocating for children through funding mission for their health and education. We have continued to be strong advocates for the rights and needs of children.
Until children have strong advocates in the general population, we will champion their cause. Our call is for the whole of church and society to share the urgency of this concern. (“Ministries with Women and Ministries with Children and Youth: A Gift for the Whole Church," March 1993.
Campaign for Children
Beginning in 1988, the Women's Division carried out its commitment to children through the Campaign for Children.
During Phase I (1988-1993), nearly 10,000 local units United Methodist Women made commitments to make a difference in the lives of children through worship, education, community service, and legislative action.
Phase II, from 1994-1999 and called “Making the World Safe for Children and Youth in the Twenty-first Century," placed greater focus on issues facing youth, including violence, teen pregnancy, and empowerment to become full participants in society.
Phase III, beginning in 2002, focused on advocating for greater support for public schools in the United States.