What a day!!! If you attended Holy Trinity Community Church's annual Homecoming service this past Sunday I hope you felt as excited and satisfied as I was! Over 140 folks attended the spirit-filled worship service; the potluck food multiplied like loaves and fishes; the ministry fair was exciting and engaging; and the talent that performed during our cabaret was exceptional! It was a fantastic day. My heart was full, and all of the hard work by so many folks to pull our homecoming events together paid off in a HUGE way.
I specifically want to thank Tim Causey for donating the beautiful center pieces, borrowing and transporting the round tables/tablecloths for our banquet seating arrangement, and providing the gorgeous gold plated silverware for our banquet display table. Much appreciation to Lora Lynn Frye for lending the absolutely stunning fine china and accessories for our banquet display table. Kudos to Deborah, Terry, Don, Bob, Walter, Kent and David for helping me with the setup of our tables and finishing touches of the decorations! Bravo to Bob Lutey and Wayne Smith for coordinating the food set up and teardown of our buffet table and putting the sanctuary back in order (and to all of you that helped with that!) Gratitude to Carolyn Ferguson for cleaning the church and making things shine for us! Cheers to Don Brown and Bob Allen for coordinating, emceeing and accompanying our singers for the cabaret (and also to all of you who shared your gifts and talents). Thank you to Jay Pickern for stepping in to rehearse and lead our band and worship team (and to all of you who sang, played and performed during the service). To Leonard and Toni for running our sound and video projection during worship and the cabaret. Blessings to the ministry team leaders who pulled together our informative and beautifully designed ministry display boards, and for recruiting folks to assist in our vital ministry work (and to all of you who signed up to participate in the future). Amazed by Michael, Deborah and Maureen for washing what seemed to be every dish in the church! You guys ROCK! And even to Roger for helping me return tables on Monday in exchange for some food and company along the way. Thank you to everyone who helped make this special day happen! There are many, many more I haven't named here...but please know that you are appreciated...and we couldn't have done it without you!
But most importantly, thanks to everyone that invited someone to come home and experience our loving community again or for the first time. I know that many, many were called to come...and I truly believe that those who chose to attend experienced something that will bring them back. Some may have come to just "check us out" and observe how we were doing, and others may have come just out of curiosity. But whatever reason brought them here, YOU are what will bring them back.
We had 117 chairs set up around 13 round tables for our heavenly Homecoming banquet and almost every seat was filled. We had to set up chairs in the back and along the sides to accommodate our attendees. Yet there were still 100 empty chairs stacked along the back wall, and another 50 in the side room. I challenged the congregation to commit to filling the empty chairs in the next few weeks. I asked you to go out into the highways and byways. Bring in the lost, the broken, the unruly, and the unwise. Invite the disrespectful, the oppressed, the fearful, the hurting. Summon the disappointed, the depressed, the disregarded and the downtrodden. Think of the one person in your life that none else thinks of…and save a chair for them. Because friends, these are the ones for whom God is building God's kingdom. And God needs us to show them God’s love.
Will you love the world with me? Amen!