St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Cole will host its second annual all-day area church gathering and revival Saturday, which extends the hand of fellowship to all denominations and will focus on faith and resiliency.
Co-organizer Emily Kullman and the Rev. Kimberly Knowle-Zeller said the free event will be a 12-hour gathering running from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and feature a variety of interactive programs. The Church is pastored by the Rev. Stephen Zeller.
Keynote speaker will be Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Pastor and U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain Kerstin Hedlund, of Chicago.
“She’s also a Ph.D. student at a seminary,” Knowle-Zeller said. “She’s been in Iraq and Afghanistan. Having been deployed as a chaplain, her focus has been on resiliency and faith — so what that looks like in light of soldiers but also knowing that all of us have questions about why God, can I do this, why me, am I going to get through?
“We have all these questions,” she added. “What is it about our faith that teaches us and helps us in those times? She is going to use her experience with soldiers overseas as well, but then also the Biblical side.”
During the day Hedlund will be on-hand for conversations and she will preach at 5:30 p.m. during a worship service.
“The hope for the day is inspirational,” Knowle-Zeller said. “Not to just sit and take in, but to be a part of the learning, the fun, and the faith formation.”
Kullman noted that after Hedlund speaks at 9 a.m. there will be a question-and-answer panel available with the Assistant to the Bishop of the Missouri and Kansas Synod. the Rev. Donna Simon, of Kansas City, and others will discuss resiliency.
At noon the church will provide a sandwich lunch for those attending the event. The day is set up with various afternoon activities so those attending may come and go.
“If people can stay all day, that’s great,” Knowle-Zeller added. “But, knowing schedules and all that, people can plug into what they are interested in. This is for all churches, it’s funded by our Lutheran churches in the area, but we want it to be broader. Last year a couple came from Jeff City, and they plan to come for the morning, and they had so much fun that they literally stayed all day.”
“At 1 o’clock we’re going to meet back together and we have someone called a ‘passion painter,’” Kullman said. “He does a little sermon and he paints as he’s doing it.”
Andy Raines will paint as he preaches and will give the finished painting to St. Paul’s.
“Then on the hour we’ll have different activities going on, so people can choose,” Knowle-Zeller said. “Two of them are service projects.”
One of the projects is for Benton County Division of Family Services. Volunteers will make 30 foster-care bags for children of all ages. Kullman added that the bags will contain items such as blankets, stuffed animals and other items children can take with them during the transition.
“Something they can call their own,” she noted.
The second project is similar to the first. Volunteers will make autism bags.
“Bags with tactile appropriate books and toys, to engage kids or adults in worship,” Kullman said.
Those that attend may also make a craft during one afternoon class. Knowle-Zeller said people can choose to make a wood cross craft. A $5 fee will be changed to cover the cost of supplies.
Last year the event drew 75 people; organizers hope to double that number this year.
An evening meal of pulled pork will be served at 6:30 p.m. and local Christian band, Changed by Grace, will perform from 7 to 9 p.m.
Knowle-Zeller said the reason for beginning the event was because St. Paul’s adults wanted to have a gathering that was fun and interactive similar to the church’s youth programs.
“That’s where it stemmed from,” she added. “That’s why it’s interactive and they move around, it’s not meant to sit all day.”
Kullman added that the event is for adults of all ages 18 to 100 and older.
The event will be hosted from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the church, located at 205 W. Jefferson St. in Cole Camp. The events are free; a freewill donation is accepted for lunch and dinner.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.