Bishop Aaron Blake was the pastor of a small church in Brownwood, Texas. He and his wife Mary were also foster parents. Bishop Blake knew that there was a need for more foster families in their community so that children did not have to be moved away from their local networks of school, friends and extended family to a foster placement in a different town.
One Sunday, Bishop Blake asked his church members to stand with him in supporting this cause, and many of them did. This small church of 200 members was able to form and support enough foster families to ensure that no child in Brownwood had to wait for a foster home or be placed outside their own town. Remarkably, this call to action spurred a movement not only in Brownwood, but eventually, around the country and even the world.
The movement evolved into what is now known as Stand Sunday, which takes place the second Sunday in November—a day where faith communities across the globe pray and commit resources to serve children in foster care and their families.
A core thread of the majority of human faiths can be expressed as a universal calling: To value and care for all people, including those less fortunate than ourselves. Bishop Blake’s story is an example of how seemingly small efforts to answer this call can mobilize into something much bigger.
On any given day, there are more than 50,000 children in the foster care system across Texas. There are also more than 27,000 houses of worship in Texas, encompassing a multitude of religions and spiritual traditions—churches, temples, mosques and more. Imagine the impact if we could mobilize more of these organizations to serve children and families in foster care.
If you’re a member of a faith community, one easy and timely way to help is to speak with your leaders about participating in this year’s Stand Sunday observance on Nov. 8. Learn more and register to participate on the Stand Sunday website. While Stand Sunday is sponsored by a Christian organization, it can and should be adapted for use by non-Christian communities that also practice prayer.*
As Bishop Blake’s story shows, engaging faith communities can make a powerful, lasting impact. Every act and every conversation, big and small, makes a difference and ensures that more people are aware of foster care and how they can help. Interested in learning more about how you can get your community involved? Email Keri McDonald at email@example.com.
What’s more, know that CASA is always seeking volunteers from all beliefs and backgrounds to serve the diverse population of children and families in foster care. Whether you are religious or not, you are welcome in the CASA movement, and whether you practice prayer or not, we encourage you to think of these children and families on Stand Sunday and beyond—and to consider how you might get involved.
*Texas CASA does not endorse any one religion. Any testifiers associated with this event are speaking on their own behalf and not Texas CASA’s.