The United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church designates a number of Sundays throughout the year as opportunities for recognizing and supporting particular ministries. These are referred to as Special Sundays and most include an offering used to fund the work of these programs. Special Sundays fall into three different categories:
Churchwide Special Sundays with offerings
Churchwide Special Sundays with offerings enable United Methodists like you to offer refuge in times of disaster, promote peace and justice, provide scholarships and student loans, reach out to the community, teach skills to encourage self-sufficiency and share the love of Jesus Christ with God's people everywhere.
- Human Relations Day (Sunday before the national observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday) strengthens United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, encouraging social justice and work with at-risk youth.
- UMCOR Sunday (fourth Sunday in Lent) Previously known as One Great Hour Of Sharing, this Sunday enables the United Methodist Committee on Relief to reach out through worldwide ministries of food, shelter, health and peace.
- Native American Ministries Sunday (third Sunday of Easter) nurtures mission with Native Americans and provides scholarships for United Methodist Native American seminarians.
- Peace With Justice Sunday (first Sunday after Pentecost) enables The United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs.
- World Communion Sunday (first Sunday of October) provides scholarships for U.S. racial- and ethnic-minority students and international students, on both undergraduate and graduate levels.
- United Methodist Student Day (last Sunday of November) furnishes scholarships and loans for students attending United Methodist-related and other accredited colleges and universities.
Special Sundays approved for Annual Conference offerings
Four Special Sundays are observed on dates determined by the annual conference. Offerings are used for ministries within the annual conference.
- Christian Education Sunday “calls the Church as the people of God to be open to growth and learning as disciples of Jesus Christ.”
- Golden Cross Sunday offerings are used for health and welfare ministries in the annual conference.
- Rural Life Sunday celebrates the rural heritage of The United Methodist Church and recognizes “the ongoing crisis occurring in rural areas of the nation and the world today.”
- Disability Awareness Sunday celebrates “the gifts and graces of persons with disabilities and calls the Church and society to full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community.
Special Sundays without offerings
These Special Sundays are designated to focus attention on a specific aspect of the church's ministry; no special offering is taken.
- Heritage Sunday (May 24 or the Sunday preceding) is a day for United Methodist congregations to reflect on our heritage, to celebrate where the church has been, how it understands itself as it shapes us today and the meaning of Christian conferencing.
- Laity Sunday (third Sunday in October) celebrates the ministry of all lay Christians.
- Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday (second Sunday in November) celebrates organ donation as an act of love and ministry to others in need.
- Men's Ministry Sunday (Sunday designated by the congregation) celebrates men’s ministry in the church and the community.