Full Legislative History
Resolution Number: 1997-B005
Title: Adopt Statement "A Children's Charter for the Church"
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred
Final Text:

Resolved, That the 72nd General Convention of The Episcopal Church adopt "A Children's Charter for the Church" as a vision of children's ministries; and be it further

Resolved, That the 72nd General Convention request that each diocese study "A Children's Charter for the Church," and live out its vision locally.


Nurture of the child

Children are a heritage from the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is a gift. Psalm 127:4

The church is called to

  • receive, nurture and treasure each child as a gift from God;
  • proclaim the Gospel to children, in ways that empower them to receive and respond to God's love;
  • give high priority to the quality of planning for children and the preparation and support of those who minister with them;
  • include children, in fulfillment of the Baptismal Covenant, as members and full participants in the Eucharistic community and in the church's common life of prayer, witness and service.

Ministry to the child

Then Jesus took the children in his arms, placed his hands on each of them and blessed them. Mark 10:16

The church is called to

  • love, shelter, protect and defend children within its own community and in the world, especially those who are abused, neglected or in danger;
  • nurture and support families in caring for their children, acting in their children's best interest, and recognizing and fostering their children's spirituality and unique gifts;
  • embrace children who seek Christian nurture independently of their parents' participation in the Church;
  • advocate for the integrity of childhood and the dignity of all children at every level of our religious, civic and political structures.

Ministry of the child

A little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:6

The church is called to

  • receive children's special gifts as signs of the Reign of God;
  • foster community beyond the family unit, in which children, youth and adults know each other by name, minister to each other, and are partners together in serving Christ in the world;
  • appreciate children's abilities and readiness to represent Christ and his Church, to bear witness to him wherever they may be, and according to gifts given them, to carry on Christ's work of reconciliation in the world, and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church. (Ministry of the Laity BCP p.855)
Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of...The Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, 1997 (New York: General Convention, 1998), p. 744.