The combined service saw Christians from many churches and denominations gather together at HumeRidge Church of Christ to celebrate the importance of family and to focus on the significant role of the family dinner table.
“There is no doubt that families are the bedrock of our community,” said Mayor Paul Antonio, as he addressed those in attendance. “And I want to thank those who have organised Family Week this year for bringing our attention to the critical role of the family table in supporting and sustaining strong and stable families.”
Throughout the night, through live interviews, as well as video presentations, testimonies were shared from people of all walks of life about the impact spending time around the table has had on their families and homes.
The special guest speaker, Anglican Bishop Cameron Venables, shared from his experience of opening their home and family table to students, friends of their children, refugees, and victims of domestic violence and depression.
As he reflected on some of the social, academic, relational and financial benefits of spending regular time together around the table, he added his own profound suggestion.
“It can draw people into life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.”
“In that space, like Zacchaeus, God can break open hardened hearts and people can come alive to God in new ways.”
The Bishop concluded with a challenge.
“Who do you think of as family at this time? Harder question: who is God calling you to invite to your table, to be part of your family for a season, at this time?”
The service drew to a close as the combined congregation joined together as one family around the Lord’s table, and were served communion by various ministers from different churches.