Hannah and Je together

Friday, 16 October 2015

Indian Prairie Great Banquet

Last weekend, I attended Indian Prairie Great Banquet first time.  Rev. Eric Heinekamp is the spiritual director and he asked me to attend it every year twice, for three years.  But first year, I was taking Hebrew, and the second year, I was doing Hebrew EA (or TA; Educational Assistant or Teaching Assistance), and I did not want to miss a class.  This year, I was still doing Hebrew EA again, but I could not say NO to Eric any more.

Indian Prairie Great Banquet is Cursillo model event, or protestant version of it.  The similar or cooperating ones are Greater Chicago Great Banquet, Indiana Dunes Great Banquet, Walk to Emmaus and possibly more.

Last weekend was men’s banquet, and this weekend will be women’s banquet.  Thursday evening, men gather at the site which is Knox Presbyterian Church in Naperville, IL, and stay together until Sunday evening–that is exactly three full days or 72 hours.  Because it is spiritual event whose name is banquet, we eat a lot, we pray a lot, we eat a lot, we (spiritual) talk a lot, we eat a lot, we sing a lot, we eat a lot, and eat a lot.  Men sleep together for three nights and begin and end a day with worship at the sanctuary.

Men reveals of their deep secrets in front of God and other party people–thus whatever we hear and see, stays there.  For some people, it is a life changing experience.  For some people, it is an event of strengthening their spiritual power such as spiritual booster.  For some people, it is eating a lot event.

Interesting thing is after this event, guys began to form a very strong bond with each other (in their table or small group).  And a guy still meets after 23 years with his original table mates, which they call it reunion.  And quite many of the people come again to volunteer.  The whole staff (cleaning, cooking, assisting, directing…) is entirely volunteer based.  And when I see them, I can tell that they so love it.  They all sacrifice their time (WEEKEND, eh!), money, energy for strangers so that they can have good experience!

It was such a good experience, and I would like to encourage everyone–man and woman–to come and eat with us both physical and spiritual foods.

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