We All Live Here!

February 15, 2017

Recently I had the privilege of hearing the famous Chicago Children’s choir at its World Musical Festival, featuring over 400 singers and dancers. This group was founded in 1956 at the height of the Civil Rights Movement “uniting youth from diverse racial and economic backgrounds to become global citizens through music.” This program currently involves 80 Chicago city schools in 10 neighborhoods. I was especially struck by the choir’s common theme: WE ALL LIVE HERE!

I find this phrase fitting in considering the relevance of United Voices for Children’s role in addressing the public policy issues that affect all the children and youth living in the communities served by our congregations in the Northern Illinois Conference.

Since we all live here, the laws, practices, and services provided by our state and local communities should enhance the nurture of our children and youth and reach out to embrace all of our children and youth, and not just those families who have the financial capacity to provide for their own children’s needs.

Wherever possible, all of our children need to feel safe in their neighborhoods, have schools that provide them with a good education, have a stimulating environment that nurtures their development toward adulthood. This is why our three NIC/UVC United Methodist affiliated agencies (Rosecrance, ChildServ, and MYSI) are so important in their services to the children, youth, and adults in our communities. This is why our local congregations through the efforts of their Mission and Social Justice outreach are so important in addressing these issues and needs in their local communities and throughout the Northern Illinois Conference.

Let us all resolve through our United Methodist connections to do as much as we can to address the issues of poverty, providing good schools, dealing with the violence in many of our communities, and providing a stimulating environment where our children and youth can develop into fine adults. United Voices for Children is devoted to stimulating congregations in the Northern Illinois to advance this process because we all live here.

The Rev. Mason Scholl, long-time ChildServ staff member now retired, is a lifetime Honorary Board Member of United Voices for Children.