For the churches in the Kentucky Annual Conference, 5th Sunday is synonymous with our 5th Sunday Children’s Home offerings. During these four Sundays congregations have the opportunity to financially invest in the lives of children and youth within our Commonwealth through this wonderful ministry.
At Winchester Trinity we are not only financially investing into the Children’s Home every 5th Sunday, but we have also begun investing physically in our local community through acts of service. Instead of having our typical worship service on these 5th Sundays, we have begun gathering at 9am for Communion Worship and receiving our Children’s Home offering; then, at 9:30am, we go out into our community to worship through acts of service.
This ministry began on December 29, 2013 and we just had our fourth 5th Sunday Service opportunity on August 31, 2014. The types of service we have done include offering a free breakfast to the community in our Fellowship Hall, passing out water in the community, picking up litter in some of our city parks, and offering a time of intentional prayer for some in our congregation who are unable to do some of the more physically demanding services. We have also partnered with some of our local service agencies by doing general cleaning, sorting clothes, staining chairs, painting, and doing some minor construction and repair work.
This has, indeed, marked a dramatic shift in understanding what worship looks like for many in our congregation. One of our members admitted to me that she was initially hesitant about not having “normal” worship on Sunday mornings. She said, “I don’t like cleaning the toilets in my own house, why would I clean someone else’s?” So I was pleasantly surprised when, in June, she joined me in handing out water and told me that she now sees the positive affects these service opportunities have on our community and our church family. She also said, “I would be willing to clean bathrooms for God after all.”
Since last December, Trinity has offered around 320 hours of worshipful community service to the residents and organizations in Winchester! It has truly been exciting to see God at work in our acts of service and to know that worship does not have to be “typical” or “normal” and can be done outside our church’s walls. We look forward to continuing to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of Winchester, KY and the world…one clean toilet at a time.