The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Fifth Sunday options

We do a family night.” “Healing service.” “Youth service.” “Special offering.” “Potluck.” “We call it ‘Fifth Sunday at Five’ vespers and concert (evening prayer followed by music programs).”

Those are just some of the responses to The Lutheran’s Facebook query: When there are five Sundays in a month, do you do anything special or different? Of course in March that day was Easter, but several congregations use the fifth Sunday in other ways. There’s another one approaching in two months. Perhaps these congregations will inspire you to put on your creative “Fifth Sunday” thinking cap.

Mount Carmel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee blesses prayer shawls on the fifth Sunday. Last summer members shared prayer shawls with their neighbors at the Sikh Temple after the deadly shooting. “We were able to deliver them to a member of the temple, and it certainly let them know how we can all come together and [about] the power of prayer in our community,” said member Jenny Goetzinger Baker.

Members also shared prayer shawls with the Wauwatosa [Wis.] Police Department after one of its officers was murdered while on duty Christmas Day.

After the shawls are blessed, members are encouraged to give them away to friends and family, so they’ve made their way not only across town but across the country.

A few readers said fifth Sundays are designated for youth-led worship. In Springfield, Ohio, First Lutheran Church middle- and high-school students plan and lead the service, which is based on one-word themes.

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