Today is the Fifth Sunday. I copied the idea from a friend in another church...On each fifth Sunday of the year, we have only a brief worship service at 9:00, then we choose a service project to do (which our Christian Service folks have pre-arranged for us) in our neighborhoods. I went with the group that served at the Samaritan House for people with HIV. It's a large facility with 357 families. We cleaned the kitchen for them. Others cleaned and straightened the yard at our neighboring elementary school, while smaller groups did a few smaller projects. Then we all gathered at the church again at 12:30 for a spaghetti lunch.
I'd say we had about 40% participation, which is amazingly good, really. Fifth Sundays' Service isn't something that everyone will want to be a part of. The folks that came today have a real calling to serve, I think.
I tried to set the stage this morning in the sermon by talking about motivations for service, and how when we serve others we can catch a small glimpse of the Reign of God.
A different way of worshiping today. Change. It isn't always easy, but wow, it can really be worth it!