July 6, 2007

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Kids’ Voice: Excellent ways to help children

Shirley Vogler Meister“Lord, listen to your children praying. Lord, send your Spirit in this place. Lord, listen to your children praying. Send us love, send us power, send us grace. …”

The first time I heard this verse sung by the Indianapolis Maennerchor, I fell in love with the words and music by Ken Medema.

Although we are all children of God, I immediately visualized this as a prayerful song for or by children, who are the future of our world.

In fact, in many places worldwide, Children’s Day is celebrated. In America, it was once celebrated on various days in June. I say “once” because I haven’t seen or heard it mentioned much in recent years.

Years ago, when I first heard about Children’s Day and mentioned it to others, most parents said with a laugh, “Every day is children’s day in our home.”

Children should still be a central focus in families. However, some children are caught in horrendous situations ranging in severity from neglect and abuse to child slavery, exploitation and death—even in America.

Researching this brought me to tears—and to my knees to pray. There’s no way to convey in this column the severity of such problems.

For years, my daughter, Lisa, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., has been involved with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).

When I researched CASA on the Internet, what I learned pleased me.

Eventually, I also learned that my young friend, Bethanne Gruner, a fellow member of the National League of American Pen Women, is the operations manager for Kids’ Voice of Indiana Inc., which promotes and represents children’s best interests while serving as an advocate for them and their families.

For two decades, Kids’ Voice has provided critical legal resources, information, training and support for the legal system and child service professionals. It is the only not-for-profit organization of its kind in Indiana, helping anyone on the front lines of child protection.

Kids’ Voice manages and oversees three key programs vital to child protection and law: The Children’s Law Center of Indiana, CASA for Kids and the Parent-Child Visitation Program.

If we believe in a moral society that provides environments in which children grow in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, then it is up to us to be involved in solutions that rectify problems through volunteering, financial help and, naturally, ongoing prayer.

Eddie Rivers Jr. is president and chief executive officer for Kids’ Voice of Indiana, which recently relocated to 9150 Harrison Park Court, Suite C, in Indianapolis.

For more information about the organization, call 317-558-2870 or send an e-mail to info@kidsvoicein.org or check out the Web site at www.kidsvoicein.org.

And remember: “Lord, listen to your children praying. Lord, send your spirit in this place. Lord, listen to your children praying. Send us love, send us power, send us grace.”

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.) †

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