The Children’s Interfaith Collaborative

Commonly Asked Questions

What is The Children’s Agenda?

(TCA) is a local non-profit advocacy organization whose mission is to advocate for effective policies and drive evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health disparities and trauma. Our Vision TCA partners with community organizations and residents to create a bold and unified voice advocating for evidence-based solutions and systemic policy change. TCA is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit created in 2004 by community leaders to champion policies and programs that have been proven to best help children. To maintain its independence, TCA does not accept funding from government or service providers.

What is The Children’s Agenda’s Interfaith Collaborative?

The Children’s Agenda’s Interfaith Collaborative is a diverse group of members and leaders of faith communities from many different traditions and locations throughout Monroe County, NY. The Interfaith Collaborative plans the annual Children’s Interfaith Weekend and works year-round as an advocate for systemic change to improve the lives of vulnerable children.

What is the Children’s Interfaith Weekend (CIW)?

The Children’s Interfaith Weekend is an opportunity to pray, learn about, and act on the troubles facing children in our community, planned by a local group of interfaith leaders and staffed by The Children’s Agenda.  It is adapted from the annual Children’s Sabbath, celebrated throughout the U.S. and sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund.

Why should my congregation participate?

Rochester’s children are in a state of crisis: More than half of children in the city of Rochester live in poverty; in Monroe County, more than one in 5 are poor.  Rochester has the highest rate of extreme poverty and the highest child poverty rate in the nation among comparable cities.  41,000 residents of Monroe County suburbs are living in poverty.  Most poor families have an adult who is working.  Our kids need our prayers, and they need our voices.

How can my congregation get involved?

  • Hold a worship service or part of a service on the moral imperative to care for children.

  • Educate the congregation on the local facts about children using The Children’s Agenda’s reports on the state of Monroe County’s children.

  • Engage in a “call to action” on programs affecting children’s health and well-being.

Sample Children’s Interfaith Weekend Activities

  •  Each congregation plans and holds its own celebration based on what works best for its faith tradition and community

  • All are asked to incorporate 3 activities: prayer/reflection for children; learning about how kids in our community are faring; and taking action to improve the lives of vulnerable children.

  • “Taking action” often means inviting congregants to sign an advocacy letter in support of an evidence-based strategy that benefits children in Monroe County; it can also be a service project or collection for a children’s organization.

  • Examples: guest speaker on child poverty; children’s choir; youth leading worship; youth performances and speakers; special activities with Sunday school or religious education; adult education session

For more information: Brigit Hurley, bhurley@thechildrensagenda.org, (585) 256-2620 ext. 2602

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