By Michael C. Mack
National Day of Prayer—May 5: Consider visiting local businesses and government officials to ask how you may pray for them. Gather people on that day to ask God’s blessings on your community. The National Day of Prayer, observed annually on the first Thursday of May in the United States, invites people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.
Mother’s Day—May 8: Churches typically focus their Mother’s Day observance on moms and their families who attend Sunday services. Go external this year by ministering to moms in the community, perhaps on Saturday, May 7. A few ideas from Outreach magazine (www.outreachmagazine.com):
• Offer free basic car care for single or disadvantaged moms—oil changes, service checkups, etc.
• Provide “mommy makeovers”; ask manicurists and stylists from the church to volunteer their services for singles and disadvantaged moms in the community. Combine this with a pampered lunch and free child care for a special day.
• Pass out roses or carnations to women at a local park.
• Work with a local day care center, and send home with the kids a free gift card or care package from the church. Let moms know other ways you minister regularly to their needs.
National Peace Officers Memorial Day—Week of May 15: In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. To help raise awareness of the special needs of police officers and the stress created by the job, consider holding a special prayer service for local and national police officers. Brainstorm creative ways to thank peace officers for their service and sacrifice, perhaps through a newspaper ad or billboard, or by carrying out a service project.
National Waiters and Waitresses Day—May 21: This day is an opportunity to appreciate, beyond the customary tip, the value of excellent restaurant service. Encourage church members to go out to eat on this day and to leave a larger than normal tip. Ask your waiter or waitress questions (nothing too private, of course, and be sure to honor their time). Give them a thank-you card signed by everyone in the party, including a personal note of encouragement, perhaps tied to something you learned in your conversation. Give your waiter or waitress a gift card to a nice clothing store or a grocery, for instance. Or just leave them an extraordinary tip (without Christian tracts). Let them know it’s National Waiters and Waitresses Day and that you and your church want to thank them for their hard work.