There can be no price tag attached to hope, and there can be no price tag attached to the value of people within a community joining together to be there for one another to strengthen each other’s hope.
On Sunday, September 8, over 75 people attended the Second Annual Hands Across Craig County for Christ at the Craig Valley Baptist Church Picnic Shelter.
People greeted each another with smiles, handshakes and hugs, as people brought their favorite dishes for a potluck dinner before the afternoon event.
People from nine churches and many who do not attend church regularly, met with not only an expectation of unity, but of seeing God answer prayers for Craig County.
Founder Dorcas Martin welcomed everyone with a smile that lit up the entire area, giving emphasis in praising God and coming together as one for Christ.
The event began with the intent of being open to everyone in Craig County, whether a church member or not and regardless of denomination.
“It provides an afternoon to get together with your friends and neighbors in fellowship and praise our Savior Jesus Christ,” Martin said. “Just like everything else in the world we live in, we are all different and this gives us an opportunity to join together, meet new people and discover that small differences can be overcome for an enjoyable afternoon with our friends and hopefully build new and lasting friendships.”
Father Steve McNally from the St. John Evangelist Catholic Church gave the blessing over the food. He noted that just as the food strengthens lives, the joining together in friendship strengthens people’s lives and souls.
Bob Stebar offered a prayer for all of Craig County, especially for people going through difficult situations and for the people in the Bahamas and ended it by thanking God for all who showed up for a common cause.
A potluck was enjoyed by all with leftovers to take home to their loved ones and the sick at home.
Songs of praise and worship started the afternoon event, as the musicians joined together. They were Helena Arthur, Cathy Davis, Betty Kendall and Dorcas Martin. They were led by Ike Craft and Jennifer Crawford.
Speakers prayed and read scriptures between song selections.
Danny Kendall from Crossroads Church read I John 4:7-16 which speaks to loving one another as God loves and gave His only Son, Jesus Christ for everyone’s sins.
Ken Looney read verses from I Corinthians, Chapter 12, which paralleled with the mission of the event. But first, he thanked the person that made the blueberry cobbler, sharing that his wife said he could take some extra home, but not on his pants. As all laughed, he told another joke before reading from the Bible.
It spoke of ‘Spiritual Gifts,’ which emphasized that every person is important to God, regardless of their ministry gifts. Explaining that one person may be an ‘eye’ whereas another an ‘arm,’ but when all come together, they create a body as one. Looney emphasized, “Just as each person has different gifts, whether word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues or interpretation of tongues, each is designed by God to do that so that the whole body of people will benefit from one another.”
The scripture paralleled with the purpose of Hands Across Craig For Christ.
As the afternoon went on, many songs were sung. Billy Lee from Craig County Community Church and Gary Burch from CCCC and Crossroads Church spoke too.
“No event can be a success without the assistance and support of the community and all the volunteers,” Martin said. “I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to the following, first to Craig Valley Baptist Church for once again being gracious in the use of their picnic shelter, to the Wednesday Morning Ladies Bible Study Group for their continued assistance and moral support, all the parking assistants, the set up and clean-up crew, the choir members Mike and Sarah Hunter Faw, Kathleen Loan, Pat Crawford and Wayne Crawford, the musicians and everyone in attendance.”
She added, “We were blessed with a lovely sunny afternoon to spend three hours in fellowship.”
Martin extends an invitation to everyone in Craig County to join next year’s Hands Across Craig for Christ on Sunday, September 13, at 1:00 p.m.
“Once again, this event is open to all churches and everyone who does not have a church, regardless of your beliefs or non-beliefs,” Martin said.