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:            May 26, 2021
TO:                 The Zionsville Great Banquet & Awakening Communities
FROM:           Zionsville Great Banquet & Awakening Board of Directors

             Since our last communication in February, the COVID-19 situation has continued to evolve and there are signs of hope as the ability to receive vaccination for the virus is now open and available to all over the age of 12. The Board of Directors of Zionsville Great Banquet and Awakening have decided, after much prayerful consideration, to continue to move forward with Women’s Great Banquet #134 on November 4-7, 2021. This introduction back into having a Banquet weekend will look different for the women of Great Banquet #134; with fewer guests than typical in attendance, a strong recommendation to be vaccinated to participate in the weekend, and a strong recommendation to wear a mask for those who are not vaccinated. We are excited to have the women gather together in November. 

            Now, as we look further into 2022, The Board of Directors of Zionsville Great Banquet and Awakening have decided that the Great Banquets and Awakenings will return to their normal schedules, as they had been prior to the pandemic. We have posted the dates of the Spring 2022 Great Banquets and 2022 Awakenings on the website at Continue to look for other events related to preparing for the November 2021 Women’s Banquet in your emails as we move closer to this fall date. 

             We are thankful for how we all have continued to put our hope and full trust in God as He has led us over the past year and a half.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

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

2021 Fall Great Banquet 

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

2022 Spring Great Banquets 

Men's Great Banquet #135
Date: Thursday, March 3-Sunday, March 6
Lay Director:  Mark McDonald

Women's Great Banquet #136
Date: Thursday, March 17-Sunday, March 20
Lay Director:  Laura Nelson




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.

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

2021 Awakenings Reunion

Date: Sunday, August 15, 1-2:30
Location:  ZPC parking lot
(ZPC sanctuary if inclement weather)

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