Caring for Creation
Due Date: 11/01/2014
Being good stewards of God’s creation is not only a matter of our self-interest or good intentions. It is a basic way of honoring our Creator. The aim of this issue is two-fold: a celebration of the wonder of creation and a challenge to look at practical ways we can address the earth’s problems. Typically this theme draws many stories on recycling and litter pick-up. While these are certainly important efforts (and we may feature one such story), we encourage writers to think more broadly about realistic ways children can have a positive impact on the environment. The tone should be hopeful and show that we can accomplish great things when we open ourselves to God’s power working through us.
Due Date: 12/01/2014
Competition for Pockets readers could be many things: striving to make the best grades, wanting to have the coolest clothes, trying to be the best player on the soccer team or in the school orchestra, or consistently vying to be the center of attention. Competition can be healthy when it encourages us to do our best, but it is unhealthy when it causes us to make “winning” too important. We want this issue to help children examine their motives for competing and the role of competition in their lives. Does competing make them feel energetic and excited? Do they like to be with other competitors because of their shared interest? Or does competition make them anxious or cause them to dislike those with whom they are competing? Do they find themselves thinking that being first or best is more important than anything else? We want to invite children to view the competitive arenas of their lives (as we want them to view all of their lives) in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Due Date: 01/01/2015
One of the paradoxes of our age is that we are, arguably, both more connected and more isolated than ever. One of our Kids’ Advisory Board members reported that other children she encountered in an on-line game (with the benefit of anonymity) made comments questioning whether anyone truly cares about them and expressing the wish that someone would love them. Sad as this is, it’s perhaps not surprising. In our highly mobile, extremely busy, increasingly impersonal society, many people are lonely. Many of us live far from extended family and may not even know our neighbors. Technology encourages us to interact with others through devices instead of face-to-face. Violence causes us to spend more time behind locked doors, and even then we may be suspicious of others. Consequently, we find ourselves increasingly isolated from one another. Children do not escape this phenomenon. Perhaps they have difficulty making friends. Perhaps their families are too busy or in too much turmoil to offer comfort and companionship. Perhaps the families themselves are isolated from the larger community. Through this issue we want to help children understand that they are never truly alone, that God is with them always. We want to offer them comfort as well as creative ways to deal with their loneliness.
Due Date: 02/01/2015
Just as it is for us, life for children is full of choices and temptations. To do homework or spend an extra hour watching YouTube videos? To ignore a shy newcomer or go out of your way to include him or her? To cheat on a test or risk being grounded for getting a bad grade? To experiment, just this once, with alcohol to impress daring friends or risk being ostracized? To speak up for what you believe or remain silent and let others assume you agree with them? So how do we choose? And how do our choices impact our lives and our relationships with others? How do we find the strength to avoid temptations and make the right choices? How do we help others to make good choices? And where do we find grace and forgiveness when we’ve made the wrong choice?
Due Date: 03/01/2015
We’ve all heard of the poorly behaved sports or entertainment star who says that it’s not his or her job to be a role model for children. And we ourselves tend to forget that we are role models—whether of good traits or bad ones—in all that we do. Children are always looking up to someone. But how often do they think of themselves as role models? This issue should help children understand that they too are called to be role models of the Christian life to those around them, to both adults and other children. Paul’s words to Timothy inspire us here: “Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12, NRSV).
Due Date: 04/01/2015
What is enough? We live in a society that encourages us to buy, buy, buy. Whether we admit it or not, we often behave as if happiness is just one more purchase away…and then one more…and then one more. And what do we do with all that stuff? Use it up and throw it out, or stow it away somewhere and forget about it. We don’t like to consider how these tendencies affect the people in developing nations who produce much of what we consume. Our children watch and learn from our behavior. How do we help them understand that the world has limited resources; and therefore, we must practice good stewardship of money and things? How do we help children understand that happiness doesn’t depend on wearing the best clothes or having the newest toy? Are we ever truly thankful in the midst of trying to obtain more?
Due Date: 05/01/2015
The December issue of Pockets takes on a life of its own as we turn to Advent themes such as waiting, hoping, journeying, giving, and sharing love, joy, and peace. This issue should help children begin to understand how Jesus’ birth, God’s incarnation, is made new for them each Advent and Christmas and how this sense of Emmanuel, God with us, guides our lives throughout the year.
- Articles about real children involved in environmental efforts, peacemaking, and helping others. Please send photos of these children with your manuscript and indicate the name and address of the photographer. We prefer photos of the children actively involved in their project. Digital photos must be 300-dpi for clear print resolution. Please include parents‘ permission to use photos.
- Interviews with well-known people, relating how their faith in God is important to them in their daily lives
For More Information About Writing For Pockets
Refer to our Writer’s Guidelines on-line or by mail with an SASE.
SEND ALL MANUSCRIPTS WITH SASE TO:
Lynn W. Gilliam, Editor
P. O. Box 340004
Nashville TN 37203-0004
Please do NOT send submissions via FAX or e-mail. POCKETS is a publication of THE UPPER ROOM. POCKETS, THE UPPER ROOM, and design logos are trademarks owned by THE UPPER ROOM, Nashville, TN. All rights reserved.