By Sharon Mager, BaptistLIFE Correspondent
SALISBURY, Md.—Remedy Church members are taking advantage of every fifth Sunday in a month to serve their community. Instead of the normal Sunday format, the church gathers for prayer, then they go out to engage their neighborhood. They are literally taking the church out of the building for that Sunday.
For Christmas, one of the projects is constructing a painted story board out of plywood, situating it in the middle of Salisbury and asking folks to write their favorite Christmas memories on the board. Chris McIntosh, church web designer and a “5th Sunday Serve” project manager said the purpose of the board is to reach out to the community and have them interact with each other. The board will then be part of the church’s Christmas Eve service. Afterwards, it will be repainted with a new question for the community.
Other “5th Sunday Serve” projects have included helping local businesses and neighbors, raking leaves, cleaning, painting and light construction work.
McIntosh said that while the service projects have blessed the community they have also served as an opportunity for spiritual growth for the congregation.
“The first couple of ‘5th Sunday Serves,’ we had 20 or 30 people working on one project. The past few Sundays we have up to six projects going on at once with five to ten people working at each project. It’s awesome to see the different projects and the growth,”says McIntosh.
Ryan Weaver, founding planter and lead storyteller of Remedy Church, adds, “We have been studying the book of Acts each Sunday since the spring of 2012. This is also when the elders at Remedy decided to begin experimenting with 5th Sundays as a catalytic discipleship and fellowship opportunity. What we find in Acts is the local church gathering and the local church scattering. The Church is intended to carry the never-changing gospel to the cities and cultures in which we have been planted. This is the model we discover in Acts… and the legacy we have been gifted from the first-century Church. Fifth Sundays occur 4 to 5 times a year. They provide us with a beautiful moment to press pause on our organizational structures and weekly rhythms… and carry the gospel to our neighbors in Downtown Salisbury in a tangible way.”