How do churches celebrate the “other” holy days?

The_Other__Holy_Days__01 SmallerThroughout the Christian calendar there are days that it seems like the community is more likely to accept an invitation to come to church. For our church it’s Christmas and Easter … but what about those “other” holy days? You know … the one’s that our culture (and greeting card companies) have made super important for people to celebrate. Does your church do something special for Mom’s on Mother’s Day? Do you serve bacon ice cream Sundae’s on Father’s Day? We surveyed 80 churches from across the country and asked them to rate how “big of a deal” they make these sorts of days. We also ask them to give us some ideas of what they do to celebrate these days. We compiled all these findings into an ebook that members of unSeminary can download for free.  Not a member already? [Simply click here to sign up for our free email newsletter and you’ll gain access to this resource and $150 of other great stuff!]

Here is just a sample of dozens of ideas that were shared by churches from across the country:

Father’s Day

My favorite is that this year one campus is holding “Bacon Fest” for Father’s Day with a breakfast before service and a lunch afterwards incorporating bacon in every dish…
– Kristy Rutter, The Chapel

Father’s day is huge for us! We have Father Fest. We have a bacon bar on sunday morning, after church we have games where dad’s can compete, we grill steaks for dad’s and everyone else can have hotdogs and burgers. We start a new series that focuses on what it takes to be a biblical man, ManCard this year.
-Justin Banks, Audacity Church

Mother’s Day

Gave away a housecleaning in each service.
Had a special area set up for moms only. Massage, drinks, etc. Spa feel
Created a man cave area for dads and kids to go and wait. Snacks and either a game on or Duck Dynasty (depending on day/time of service).
– Daniel McCabe, Legacy Church

Mother’s Day is big. We honor moms and make a big deal. We pray for them and then we specifically honor single moms. We pray for them and then have our people bless them financially in the service by giving the. Money. Very powerful. People cry all over the place.
– Shawn Vandop, Promontory Ministries

Other Big Days

We have a Bread Communion for Thanksgiving, in which people bring bread from their own ethnic heritage. Lifts of the diversity among us and gratitude for our myriad traditions.
– Kathleen Ellis, First Unitarian Universalist Church-Houston

Next year, we are planning a racial reconciliation day on MLK Day as part of our attempt to give a picture to our community (racially charged) of what that means for the Body of Christ.
– Scott Marshall, Real Life Community




  1. Every year, we celebrate our volunteers during a Volunteer Appreciation Sunday. We make (funny as well as serious) certificates for committee chairs and other special volunteers, and always have an “unsung hero” award.
    The board members bring – and serve – all the food for the potluck on that Sunday.
    Rev. Gabriele Parks, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Houghton, MI

    1. Fun!

      Does the “unsung hero” award include a certificate or a trophy or something like that?

      Great stuff … thanks for sharing.


  2. […] Recently, I connected with church leaders from 33 churches from across North America and asked them to share with me what they are doing for gifts for their first-time guests. This continues in a series where I’ve asked other church leaders to help us learn what is happening at their church … earlier I’ve done posts on church bulletins, adding new services and the “other holy days.” […]

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.