What do hot dogs, face painting, and the Holy Spirit have in common? Not much, but add in music, a dinosaur shaped bouncy house, and over 100 hungry Christians and you’ll get an exciting Labor Day barbecue. Immediately following Sunday service at the Chesapeake Arts Center, members gathered in the parking lot, started up grills, set up tables, prepared food and began an amazing time of fellowship. For many the barbecue was a homecoming, as many college students returned to classes the week prior. For younger students, it was their last weekend of the summer. And still, for some it was their very first visit to the Church. For all, it was a time to enjoy the company of one another and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
This year’s menu included a delicious line-up of creamy macaroni salads, barbecue ribs, fire-grilled burgers and hotdogs, melons, grapes, and cookies. Although each ministry brought their own food, all were free to go from table to table trying various foods. The best thing about a Church that truly celebrates their diversity is when it comes time for gatherings like the holiday barbecue, it makes for a delicious blend of home-cooked meals. This was especially true for families such as the Knights who are known for throwing it down with their Jamaican inspired cooking.
The food was amazing. But what was even more amazing were the games! Not only were there water-balloon tosses, but guys from the Singles Ministry and Marrieds Ministry joined in mini kickball tournaments in the courts behind the Center. In the toss, many watched and cheered along as, one by one, balloons exploded on the ground or on team players. Participants represented various ministries: children’s ministry, middle school ministry, Campus, Singles, and even Marrieds. But what was even more amazing than these was the fellowship through the Holy Spirit. Summer barbecues have become a part of tradition. There’s hardly a summer that passes without having at least one unforgettable cookout.
The congregating and reuniting of family members, children from small to old bonding with grandparents, and long-lost relatives that show up to eat and take plates and plates of food home. No matter where you come from, or what you call it it’s a time of fellowship. But unlike other kinds of gatherings, the fellowship at the Greater Baltimore Church was one that embodied, true joy, true service, and above all the love of God which binds all these together. At this year’s Labor day Barbecue family and friends left having had their fill but more than this they left with a soul that was replenished, refreshed, and reunited.
Written by Whitney Mugula