By Dianne Klafehn

Q. How can we start a Cherish All Children ministry?

A. Give us a call: National Director Amy Hartman, 612-280-1259, or Upstate New York Synod Leader Dianne Klafehn, 315-216-4416. We can help you explore ways in which your congregation can begin and/or sustain this ministry. Our Congregational Manual has tips, practical examples and a suggested structure for developing a Cherish All Children team. Our website has resources for safe church policies, prayer booklets, books and Internet resources. Join our email lists to receive the weekly Wednesday Prayer and the E-Quipped for Prevention newsletter which provides ideas and resources for congregations.

Also: attend our bi-annual National Gathering where congregations from around the country receive training and share best practices. The National Gathering is a time for pastors and lay leaders from around the country to meet one another, share ministry stories, work through challenges, grow in leadership, and live in God’s abundant grace together. The Fourth National Gathering of Cherish All Children, to be held in Whitehouse, OH at the Lial Renewal Center http://www.lialrenewalcenter.org/ in the Northwestern Ohio Synod, September 18-21, 2014. We have chosen the theme “One generation shall laud God’s works to another…” (from Psalm 145:4) for this year’s National Gathering. The registration fee $150 person (registration ends August 15, 2014) includes all the Gathering sessions, Fri/Sat/Sun breakfast and lunch, Fri/Sat dinner, snacks, and drinks. The Saturday evening banquet, with Bishop Marcus Lohrmann speaking. Bishop Lohrmann was instrumental in starting Cherish All Children in the Northwestern Ohio Synod, and he remains a consistent supporter of this ministry. Go to http://www.cherishchildren.org/ and click on National Gathering for more information. There is some housing available at Lial Renewal Center. Reservations for this housing are first-come, first-served. To reserve a room at Lial Renewal Center, contact Sister Mary Dean Pfahler at mdpfahler@toledosnd.org or 419-877-0432.