Author: The Branch
On November 23rd, the day before Thanksgiving, at Varsity House, we will be hosting our 4th annual International Thanksgiving Dinner. We host this event every year as a church; we gather food, volunteers, and decorations to throw a huge thanksgiving celebration for international students.
Students from all over the world come and experience an American tradition which they have likely never been a part of before. They get to feel the hospitality of the family of God and receive the love and friendship of Jesus through us, His own people. This meal has been a landmark experience for me in the church, and has defined a season of thanksgiving, generosity, and community in my life year after year.
These students come from nations where the Gospel is rarely spoken of. Many come from Saudi Arabia or China, most likely grew up in families where Jesus was not worshipped, and often have never had a conversation with a follower of Jesus. They come from communities without christians, and thus are without Christ. These are some the unreached people from the nations Jesus spoke of when he said “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations” (Matt 24:14)
Have you ever considered your role in Christ’s call to preach the gospel to every nation? Does it seem daunting, overwhelming, out of reach? Here is an opportunity to bring the Gospel to the unreached people of the world, no plane ticket needed, no new language to learn. The nations are at your doorstep, and they want to have a meal with you. Will you join the dinner party?
– Ways to Serve –
- Volunteer for setup / tear down / serving at the meal. We are always in need of people to come a couple hours early to help put up decorations, make food, and arrange chairs and tables. We invite you to act as a server during the meal, bringing out food and keeping tables loaded with thanksgiving dishes. Tear down has been a great experience every year; so we also invite you to stay after the meal to help clean floors, wash dishes, and dance the night away (dancing optional).
- Volunteer to spread the word to international students. We gather in teams of 2-6 in the weeks prior to the meal to hand out invitations, meet international students, and put up flyers. Send Sarah or I an email for details and come help spread the word!
- Volunteer to cook a component of the thanksgiving meal. Whether you can cook a turkey, buy a pack of rolls, or mash potatoes, we are in need of volunteers who can contribute to the meal and help make the dinner itself a delicious success. Contact Sarah for what foods are needed and sign up to bring a dish for a traditional thanksgiving dinner.
- Come, make a friend, and share the Gospel! Come to the dinner, sit at a table, meet the international students around you, and share with those you meet the hope you have in Jesus. All are welcome to the event!
– Ways to Pray –
- Pray for provision in food, volunteers, and seats. It is always hard to know how many will show up to the dinner. Last year we had nearly 200 come to the meal, so please pray that we will have enough servers, food, and table settings to accommodate the number of people God brings to us that evening.
- Pray for Gospel centered conversations and friendships. Each year the dinner tables are filled with gospel conversations, and friendships often blossom from these long talks over a meal. Pray that many international students come to faith in Christ and into a meaningful relationship with a follower of Jesus.
Can’t wait to have dinner with you all!
The Members’ Forum on November 20th from 6:30-7:30 pm is for members of the Branch to come together and hear about where we’ve been and where we are headed, make decisions as a church, welcome new members, and share a meal together. Childcare is also provided for our families. If you are a member, this is a very important time for us to spend together, we hope you will make being there a priority.
Hey ladies! Join us December 3rd, from 2-4 pm for an afternoon of fun, tea & treats. This will be a great opportunity to relax, meet other women in all stages of life at The Branch and lift each other up in prayer. Contact Victoria Renard if you plan to attend, or if you have any questions.
This summer we’ll be sending two mission teams overseas (East Asia & Haiti) You can find an application online or grab an one at the Connect Table on Sunday. The cost will be around $3,000 and the deadline to apply is December 19th. Contact Stephen for more information.
In addition to our Sunday offering baskets, The Branch offers safe and secure online giving. Use this tool to give to international missions, support one of our interns, give your one-time tithe or even set-up a recurring tithe. Use our website or download our App on iTunes or Google Play.
Even though you might be home for the holidays enjoying Grandma’s pumpkin pie, you don’t have to miss a sermon. All of our sermons are available right here on the blog and on iTunes.
A teaching from 1 Samuel 5 by David Walker.