The Great Banquet

If you want to grow spiritually and learn more about your own journey through this life, The Great Banquet may be for you. During this 3-day experience we explore God's grace and the basics of Christian thinking in a worshipful setting of talks, discussion, prayer, singing, fellowship and fun.

Men and women attend separate banquets, which are scheduled each Spring and Fall. Each banquet lasts from Thursday evening through Sunday evening and takes place on-site at ZPC. Please fill out an application in advance as reservations are required.

Submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance. Applications are accepted in the order received. Space is limited. You may be placed on a waiting list until the next space is available. Notifications of acceptance will be emailed in the form of an invitation. Please confirm or decline promptly when you receive your invitation.  


DATE:            February 13, 2021
TO:                 The Zionsville Great Banquet & Awakening Communities
FROM:          Zionsville Great Banquet & Awakening Board of Directors

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve (with new variants emerging and vaccines in the early stages of distribution), the Board of Directors of Zionsville Great Banquet and Awakening have decided, after much prayerful consideration, to once again postpone Men’s Great Banquet #135 and Women’s Great Banquet #136 to now Spring 2022. We have also decided to move Women’s Great Banquet #134 from March 2021 to now tentatively November 4-7, 2021, pending conditions as that date gets closer. It typically takes six or more months to effectively prepare weekends. The team of Great Banquet #134 completed their preparations in the Spring of 2020. If it is safe to reconvene in early November, we should be able to reassemble the team and execute a weekend with roughly one month of preparation.

It saddens us all to have to make these decisions and take these steps. Please know that we have done so out of an abundance of caution and love for those around us – our families, our guests, and our broader Great Banquet and Awakening Communities. We ask all of you, in this time of separation, to remain close to God and continue to lift up our Communities in prayer throughout the weeks and months ahead. In this difficult time, we will continue to put our hope and full trust in God.   

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you; don’t be discouraged, for I am your God; I will strengthen you and help you, I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

De Colores,

Zionsville Great Banquet & Awakening Board of Directors

Clay & Karen Barnes
Brian & Susan O'Dell
Christie Turnbull
Randy & Julie Judd
Kara Ranieri
Butch West
Randy Laffoon
Scott Shelton
Todd & Laura Nelson
Kurt & Lynn Strueh

Tentative Fall 2021 Weekend

Women's Great Banquet #134
Date: Thursday, November 4-Sunday, November 7




The Awakening

The Awakening is a similar opportunity available for high school students. It is designed for 9th-12th graders who want to grow spiritually and learn more about the journey of walking with Jesus. During this 3-day experience we explore God's grace and the basics of Christian thinking in a worshipful setting of singing, prayer, talks, discussion, fellowship and lots of fun! There is a boys Awakening and a girls Awakening every year in January or February.

Tentative 2022 Awakenings

Girl's Awakening #47
Date: Friday, January 28-Sunday, January 30
Lay Director: Heather Sheehan

Boy's Awakening #48
Date: Friday, February 4-Sunday, February 6
Lay Director: Brian Robinson

Register for the Awakening

Volunteer to Serve

Great Banquet History & FAQs

Image of the Great Banquet

The Gospel of Luke presents the parable of the Great Banquet. Jesus tells of a master who prepared a great banquet and invited many guests, saying, “Come, for everything is now ready.” After so many excuses for not attending by his invited guests, the master became angry and ordered his servants: “Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.”

After this had been done and room still remained, the master told his servants: “Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.” Then, as additional invitations were given, the banquet was presented to his guests. The result of the master’s invitation was to feast and fellowship at a banquet given by God. (Luke 14:15-24)

The parable above provides a picture for the Great Banquet. The Banquet examines Christianity as a lifestyle and is an orderly, structured weekend designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christians. Through a combined effort of laity and clergy, the Great Banquet focuses on the renewal of the Church.

Great Banquet History

To become familiar with the Great Banquet, let’s look first at the history of its counterparts, the Cursillo and the Walk to Emmaus. The Cursillo (3-day course in Christianity) began in Spain in the 1940s in the Catholic Church. It spread to the United States and evolved for Protestants into the Walk to Emmaus under the auspices of the Upper Room and the United Methodist Church. An Emmaus Movement was started at the First Presbyterian Church in Madisonville, Kentucky in 1982. After a 10-year history of the Walk to Emmaus in Madisonville, the Great Banquet was formed. Governed by an ecumenical board of directors, the Great Banquet continues to emphasize personal Christian discipleship.


Brian and Susan O'Dell  [317.873.6503 x 1098]

Q: How do I learn more about the Great Banquet?

A: Contact: 
Brian and Susan O'Dell
Zionsville Great Banquet
4775 West 116th Street
Zionsville, Indiana 46077
317.873.6503 ext. 1098

Q: What happens after the Great Banquet?

A: One of the most important parts of the Great Banquet is the follow-up. Although the Banquet lasts only three days, guests are invited to use its lessons for the rest of their lives. After attending the Great Banquet, they are challenged to:

  1. Strengthen their spiritual lives through study and active congregational participation.
  2. Strive to become active disciples of Jesus Christ in the world through their church.
To assist in this discipleship, the Great Banquet offers specific opportunities.
  1. Reunion groups meet weekly to examine goals of spiritual growth and to encourage one another to a life of discipleship.
  2. There will be opportunities to assist in future Great Banquet weekends through prayer, support, and team involvement.
  3. Guests are made aware of community needs through an e-newsletter of Great Banquet activities, both locally and regionally.

Q: What happens at a Great Banquet?

A: The Great Banquet is a 72-hour experience, beginning on Thursday evening and ending on Sunday evening. For three days, guests live and study together in a worshipful time of singing, prayer, and discussion. During each of fifteen talks given by laity and clergy, the theme of God’s grace is presented. Guests participate in the daily celebration of Holy Communion and examine more fully the presence of Christ in his body of believers. They personally experience his grace through the prayers and acts of a loving, Christian support community.

Q: What is the purpose of the Great Banquet?

A: The focus of the Great Banquet is to know Jesus Christ 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. The purpose of the Banquet is to live a life of grace and to respond to higher levels of Christian discipleship.

Q: Who should attend the Great Banquet?

A: This weekend experience is for anyone who:

  • wishes to strengthen his/her own spiritual life
  • wants to have a better understanding of prayer, baptism and communion, study, and Christian action
  • strives to live a Christian life that bears fruit for God
  • seeks to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and to make him known