That was the question and theme of the Board of Child Care’s second annual Children’s Sabbath workshop, hosted at BCC’s Baltimore campus on Saturday, October 17, 2015.
Rev. Stacey Nickerson, BCC’s Director of Church and Community Engagement, said the program reached attendees on a deeper level.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t understand what children and young adults at BCC have been through, what they’re afflicted by, and what BCC’s programs actually do for them,” said Nickerson,. “The Children’s Sabbath represents so much of who and what we are at Board of Child Care. We are advocates for children who need a voice.”
“It can be transformative when people see firsthand what we do,” said Nickerson, who served as emcee for the workshop. “For most people it’s the first time they’ve been on one of our campuses.”
BCC President & CEO, Laurie Anne Spagnola, attended the program and spoke to the group.
“To have her out there with us was great because she’s one of our biggest assets in a context like that – she’s so engaging,” Nickerson said. “She sits with people, has real conversations, shows genuine interest and makes such a difference for us.”
The celebration moved Eboni Roach, one of the attendees, to offer her thanks in a letter to Spagnola.
“I was just inspired and richly blessed during 2015 Children’s Sabbath,” Roach said. “I am still taking in the impact the meeting has made and what impact it will make for my future.”
During the program, children from Ames Memorial UMC in Baltimore sang in a music ensemble (pictured above) – directed by Rev. Randy Hudson – the same children who attended Camp Life, a camp funded by both a monetary grant and also the use of some BCC social workers and staff from BCC.
A sermon was offered by Rev. Michael A. Parker, II from Ames United Methodist Church in Bel Air, MD (pictured above). Parker‘s perspective was unique because his cousin was a former resident at BCC. Following a served lunch, a panel convened to engage discussion about ending child poverty issues.
Nickerson offered special thanks to Darlynn McCrae, a staffer from the Baltimore Region of the United Methodist Church, Parker and Spagnola.
“One of the things we’re focused on is measuring outcomes … I think events like this help us learn how spirituality fits towards achieving better outcomes,” Nickerson said.
A very special thank you to all the participants who came out for the 2015 Children’s Sabbath Workshop. We hope to see you all again next year!