There is no better time to celebrate your church than on an anniversary, especially a major anniversary like the church's 10th, 25th, 50th or 100th anniversary. By focusing on both the history of the church and its current congregation, you can create a memorable anniversary program.
Letting the oldest members of your church play a significant role in the anniversary celebration is a sign of respect. Church members who have been with the church for a long time also are a great source of information about the church's history. At the anniversary program, you may want to take some time to recognise these parishioners. Give each member a few minutes to speak during the service or create a video project of the members discussing their memories of the church, then play it during the program.
Even though the basic service for an anniversary is similar to a regular church service, anniversary programs usually have one or two guest speakers. These speakers can be public figures, clergy from neighbouring churches or past ministers of the church.
Re-Dedicate the Church
Some churches like to hold ribbon-cutting ceremonies on major anniversaries as part of the re-dedication of the church building. In addition to the re-dedication ceremony, you might consider burying a time capsule somewhere near the church. This time capsule can be dug up when the church celebrates its next major anniversary.
Church Records and History
The church's past is a good place to start when creating your anniversary program. Church records are a source of information about past members, past clergy and even past sermons. There may be copies of old bulletins, church newsletters and photographs of the church throughout the years.
Your congregation is also a good source of information about the church's history. Members may have copies of old bulletins and newsletters if your church didn't keep them on file. Current congregation members may have relatives who were once members of the church as well.
Ask current parishioners to write about their experiences in the church. Use the information to create a detailed time line from the church's beginning to the present. Once you have your church's history gathered, publish it in a book for congregation members at the anniversary program.
Record the Event
Capture the event on film. Hiring a professional photographer will ensure you have lots of good photos of anniversary celebration. A videographer can capture the entire program on video. These can go into the church records and be offered to church members who may want copies.