Spiritual Services

Spiritual Services

Cunningham Children's Home is a mission and ministry of the United Women in Faith of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.

Throughout the history of Cunningham Children’s Home the spiritual nurturing of children and youth has been an integral part of our provision of care. Chaplain Gay King Crede, our United Methodist Chaplain, is available to children, youth, and families to provide support during times of crisis as well as leadership during times of community celebration. Participation in spiritual services is optional, and services are tailored to the unique needs of individual clients.

Spiritual services can include individual pastoral counseling, group story time, Bible study, staff devotions, memorials and community celebrations. In consultation with clients and their treatment team, Chaplain Gay also assists young people in accessing religious communities and support networks in the local community.

Spiritual Life Programming: 

Chapel: Wednesday evening worship services are offered that include prayer, song and Biblical truths.
  • Guest speakers and musicians offer a variety of faith expressions and perspectives.
  • Chapel Leadership Team helps spiritually maturing youth to develop leadership skills and deepen their faith experience.
  • Chapel Choirs for boys and girls allow them to learn new songs and lead worship and praise music.
  • Praise Dancers add to the Chapel experience with their interpretation of songs of faith.
  • Holy Communion is offered monthly.

Spiritual Life Groups: Weekly Bible Studies offer a relaxed time for questions, answers and prayer.

Special Events and Seasonal Programming:
  • Walk Through Bethlehem allows youth to imagine the first Christmas.
  • Christmas Celebration involves youth telling the birth story of Jesus.
  • Christmas Eve Service a candlelight service for youth remaining on campus.
  • Vacation Bible School during summer school break
  • Easter Sunday Service to celebrate the resurrection of Christ
  • Conversation Partners matches youth with trained and supervised volunteers as they engage in nine weeks of conversations about important values.
Spiritual Assessments: Chaplain Gay meets with youth shortly after admission to understand each young person’s spiritual journey, strengths, needs and areas for potential spiritual growth.  Youth involvement in spiritual activities is recorded and notes related to spirituality are included in the individual’s quarterly staffing report.
Spiritual Resources: Chaplain Gay provides Bibles, daily devotion books, journals and other spiritual guides in keeping with the youth’s faith background.
Thank you for remembering our kids and staff in your prayers. Your prayers mean so much!  Some of the specific prayer requests from our kids: 
  • For my new dad to love and care about me
  • Help me get along with others
  • Help my mother to find her way back to her family
  • To be reunited with my family
  • That my anger will not get out of control
  • I have so many worries that I can't even name
  • That everyone will do well through tough times

Please also print our Prayer-A-Day Calendar.

The programs at Cunningham Children's Home are open to any individual or family regardless of their religious beliefs. Read more about Cunningham's affiliation with the United Women in Faith.


Let's Get Fired Up...for Kids

Cunningham Children's Home is a mission and ministry of the United Women in Faith of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference (IGRC).

The Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference gathered around the theme, Let's Get Fired Up which officially launched a $2.5 million Our Conference, Our Kids campaign for the spiritual programs of the five child welfare agencies in the conference - The Baby Fold, Chaddock, Cunningham Children's Home, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, and Spero Family Services. Funds raised will be used for the spiritual care programs at each agency. Four of the agencies have staff chaplains and so different models of ministry will use the proceeds in different ways to disciple children and youth.

Learn more about  Our Conference, Our Kids:
Our Conference, Our Kids promotional video
Our Conference, Our Kids tri-fold brochure