Due Date: 08/01/2014
“I don’t know how to talk to God.” “How do I know God is listening?” “Why doesn’t God speak to me?” As we receive these and other comments and questions from children, we are reminded that they want to be in regular communication with God. Children are serious about prayer. They want to know how to have conversation with God. We do not want to prescribe a “right way” to pray but rather to help them realize there are many avenues of prayer in which to pursue their relationship with God. We want children to understand that God can be a part of every moment of every day. Quiet time, journaling, breath prayers, music, movement, the beauty of creation, everything and everyone they encounter in a day can point to God. We want this issue to help children come to the understanding that living each day can draw them close to God.
Due Date: 09/01/2014
Economic turmoil, terrorism, war, natural disasters—as we are inundated with these and other accounts and images of suffering, it is easy to feel despair. Yet the message of Easter, of the Resurrection, is hope! Our faith in God and our decision to follow the risen Christ call us to live with hope. And it is out of hope that we are able to respond to the needs of our neighbors—next door and around the world. This issue will look at how the sure knowledge that a loving God created both us and our world helps us to have hope, how the good news of Jesus’ resurrection turns our eyes from despair to hope, how we respond to seemingly hopeless situations with the confidence of children of God.
Due Date: 10/01/2014
Family is the basic community in which faith is lived out and passed on, and each year our May issue focuses on some aspect of family life. This year we want to look at some of the challenges faced by families. Some possibilities: economic circumstances that add stress to family life, the encroachment of technology into family time, demands on both parents and children in our fast-paced world, as well as the more familiar topics such as changing family configurations, sibling rivalry, family rules, and living respectfully with one another. One of our overall goals in Pockets is to show children that faith is part of our everyday lives, so we are particularly interested here in the ways faith equips us to face the challenges we face each day.
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.
- 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.