Celebrating a church's anniversary is a meaningful way to draw a congregation of believers together to pause and reflect on the life of the church. Whether marking the first anniversary of a small group of believers without a permanent meeting space or ringing in the 50th anniversary of a large, well-established cathedral, anniversaries offer opportunities for church members to acknowledge their preachers and fellow church members, reflect on the church's past and discuss the church's future.
Compile a written or oral history for the church or update an existing history with the most recent additions and information. Present or introduce the history during a special church service or activity. Print enough copies of the historical document to share with each church family, making sure to reserve copies for future members.
Draw together former and current members, including former pastors and church employees, for a celebration banquet. Serve a simple, healthy meal or snacks prepared by members of the congregation. Ask a pastor or other church leader to give a brief homily after the meal. Recognize key members of the congregation, such as committee chairs or oldest members, and acknowledge their service with a certificate or small token of appreciation.
Ask various members of the church family to write brief articles for the church newsletter. Include the voices of young church members and adolescents as well as adults and the longest serving members. Suggest that contributors write about a favorite church memory or a time of crisis when the church family responded and shared God's love.
Celebrate the ongoing mission of the church on an anniversary by organizing a family-friendly service project. Offer free haircuts to the homeless in the church parking lot, for example, or encourage all families to volunteer at least once in the anniversary year in the church's soup kitchen. Collect a special anniversary offering to fund a project or a youth mission trip.
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