Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions and answers. If you need more information or clarification, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page to let us know.
What is the Great Banquet?
The Great Banquet is a 72 hour spiritual renewal weekend similarly patterned after the Cursillo, the Walk to Emmaus, Tres Dias, and Discipleship Walk. The Cursillo (a Catholic 3-day course in Christianity) started in the late 1940s in Spain. It came to the USA and was altered for Protestants into the Walk to Emmaus under the United Methodist Church. The First Presbyterian Church in Madisonville, Kentucky started an Emmaus Movement in the early 1980s which evolved into what is now the Great Banquet. The Great Banquet is governed by an ecumenical board of directors and uses the “Cursillo model”, but with the Luke 14:15-24 image. the Great Banquet emphasizes personal Christian discipleship.
What is the Purpose of the Banquet?
The focus of the Great Banquet is to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and to make Him known. The objective of the Great Banquet is to continue the 3-day weekend by serving Christ in local churches, homes, and work places. To live a life of grace and to respond to higher levels of Christian discipleship becomes the purpose of the Great Banquet.
Who Should Attend the Great Banquet?
This weekend experience is for anyone who:
- wishes to strengthen their spiritual life;
- wants to have a better understanding of prayer, the sacraments, study, and Christian action;
- strives to live a Christian life that bears fruit for God;
- Seeks to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and to make Him known.
How Do I Attend?
You need a sponsor, someone who has attend a Great Banquet or similar 72 hour experience. If you don’t have one, fill out the contact form below and we will assign you a sponsor.
What Do I Need to Bring?
Below is a list of items to bring on your weekend:
- You will be sleeping at the church, so you will need bedding – including pillow(s), twin bed sheets and blanket, or a sleeping bag; anything (within reason) that makes you comfy at night. No, you will not be able to sleep at home – it’s all part of the experience.
- Toiletry items – Tooth Brush, Shaving equipment, deodorant, Shampoo, soap, etc. (If you forget something, don’t panic, we’ve got you covered)
- Towel and washcloth (there are showers)
- Prescription medicine in a dispenser or bottle with your name and times you need to take the medication on it. (We will make sure you get your medications on time.)
- Comfortable, casual loose fitting clothes for 3 days. (Temperature varies inside conference room and chapel so you may want to bring a light jacket/sweater)
- There is no need for you to bring a watch, clock, or mobile phone. (You won’t need to know the time, and your sponsor or someone on team will be able to contact family (or you) in case of an emergency.)
What Happens at the Great Banquet?
The Great Banquet is a 72-hour experience, beginning on Thursday evening and ending Sunday evening. For three days and three nights, guests live, eat (after all, it is a banquet), and study together in a worshipful time of singing, prayer and discussion. During each of the fifteen talks given by laity and clergy, the theme of God’s grace is presented. Guests participate daily in the celebration of Holy Communion and examine more fully the presence of Christ in His body of believers. Guests have the opportunity to personally experience His grace through the prayers and acts of a loving, Christian support community.
What Happens After the Great Banquet?
One of the most important parts of the Great Banquet is the “4th Day”. Although the weekend is only three days, guests are invited to use its lessons for the rest of their lives. After attending the Great Banquet, guests are challenged to:
- Strengthen their personal spiritual life through study and active congregational participation; and
- Strive to become active disciples of Jesus Christ in the world through their church.
- To assist them in their discipleship, the Great Banquet offers specific opportunities.
- First, reunion groups of three to five people meet regularly to examine their goal of spiritual growth and to encourage one another to a life of discipleship.
- Second, there will be opportunities to assist in future Great Banquet weekends through prayer, support and team involvement.
- Third, guests are made aware of community needs through a newsletter of other Great Banquet weekends, both locally and regionally.