Discipline ¶265

Print this page
General Provisions Regarding Special Sundays
Without Churchwide Offerings
265. Four special Sundays without churchwide offering shall be approved by General Conference upon recommendation of the Connectional Table after consultation with the Council of Bishops. The program functions assigned to the general agencies are carried out by the respective agencies through normal programmatic channels. Special Sundays are not needed for these program functions to be implemented.
1. Heritage Sunday-Heritage Sunday shall be observed on Aldersgate Day (May 24), or the Sunday preceding that date. The day provides an opportunity for reflection on heritage, celebration of where the Church has been, how it understands itself as it shapes us today, and the meaning of Christian conferencing. Heritage Sunday calls the Church to remember the past by committing itself to the continuing call of God. The observance of Heritage Sunday shall be under the general supervision of the General Commission on Archives and History. Any general agency of the Church which desires to recommend a theme for a given year for this Sunday may do so one year prior to the observance for which the recommendation is made. This recommendation is to be made to the General Commission on Archives and History, and the decision of the annual theme of this Sunday shall be made by the voting members of the General Commission on Archives and History.
2. Laity Sunday-Laity Sunday shall be observed annually, preferably on the third Sunday in October. Laity Sunday calls the Church to celebrate the ministry of all lay Christians, as their lives are empowered for ministry by the Holy Spirit. The observance of Laity Sunday shall be under the general supervision of the General Board of Discipleship. The Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders will recommend themes for an entire quadrennium to the General Board of Discipleship two years before the beginning of a new quadrennium.  
3. Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday-Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday shall be observed annually, preferably on the second Sunday in November since the date is close to Thanksgiving and is viewed as a time to come together around the issues of life and Thanksgiving. Congregations are encouraged to support Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday by including the topic in their worship services. The General Board of Church and Society will have responsibility for the supervision and promotion of the observance of this special Sunday. Worship resource materials are available at all of the not-for-profit donor programs in the United States.
4. Men’s Ministry Sunday-Men’s Ministry Sunday may be observed annually on a Sunday designated by the local congregation. The day is to celebrate the men’s ministry within and beyond the local church. This includes: organized (chartered or unchartered) units of United Methodist Men; male Emmaus reunion communities; work teams; prayer groups; Bible studies; study and enrichment groups; and other places and organizations where men of The United Methodist Church join together for fellowship, nurture, spiritual development, witness, and outreach. Resources for this observance shall be provided by the General Commission on United Methodist Men.