SOURCE: Shepherding the Next Generation

April 25, 2014 10:22 ET

More Than 7.3 Million People to Observe Blue Sunday on April 27th and Pray for Victims of Child Abuse and Neglect

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - April 25, 2014) - More than 7.3 million people in congregations around the nation will observe Blue Sunday, a day of prayer for abused and neglected children, on April 27th. The need is dire: nearly 700,000 children were abused or neglected in 2012 alone, and more than 1,500 died as a result.

Blue Sunday is an annual event held on the last Sunday in April. Participating churches commit to praying for the victims and their rescuers. Participating congregations may also hold toy drives, host community forums, or pledge commit to volunteer in ways that support at-risk children and families. Shepherding the Next Generation, a national organization of evangelical pastors and ministry leaders, is encouraging prayer across the nation and urging everyone who cares about vulnerable children to take action to protect them.

Shepherding the Next Generation lists several ways to respond to and prevent child abuse and neglect at www.shepherdingthenextgeneration.org/bluesunday. This year, the organization is also urging everyday people to participate in the #ShareYourPrayer social media campaign by recording short, 6-second to 90-second videos of their prayers for children. Background on the campaign can be found at: http://www.shepherdingthenextgeneration.org/bluesunday/shareyourprayer/.

How to #ShareYourPrayer:

  • Record a 6- to 90-second video of your prayer
  • Upload or post the video to Instagram, Vine, YouTube, Vimeo, or your favorite video-sharing website
  • Share the video with @ShprdNextGen on Twitter, using the hashtag #ShareYourPrayer

The campaign encourages everyone who cares about children to participate, regardless of video experience. Shepherding the Next Generation will "Retweet" many videos.

Your video could be chosen for extensive visibility through Shepherding the Next Generation's online community. Videos will be selected with the help of three advisors:

  • Paul Strand, Senior Correspondent, Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Twitter: @PaulStrandCBN; Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN
  • Jay Dennis, Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church at the Mall, Lakeland, Florida, serving over 9,000 members and author of six books, including The Jesus Habits, Exercising the Spiritual Disciplines of Jesus.
  • Thomas Pearce, National Director, Shepherding the Next Generation.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO #SHAREYOURPRAYER

Make it real: Help people realize that nearly 700,000 children are abused and neglected each year; some are probably from your community.

Make it creative: Say your prayer directly into the camera, use motion graphics, use actors and music, and/or share personal experiences. The possibilities are endless.

Make it inspiring, with a call-to-action: Your #ShareYourPrayer video is a powerful expression and should encourage people to take action. Direct viewers of your video to http://shepherdingthenextgeneration.org/bluesunday to learn how they can protect vulnerable kids.

Shepherding the Next Generation is a national nonprofit organization of more than 250 evangelical pastors and ministry leaders who are committed to the development of strong and healthy American families. To learn more about Blue Sunday, visit www.joinbluesunday.org.

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