Giants celebrates Christian role models PDF Print E-mail
Written by George Browning   
Tuesday, 18 June 2013 00:00

Parents, friends, pastors, fellow volunteers, and admirers stepped forth this year to help shine a spotlight on God’s work in the lives of 25 Christians designated as Giants in the Faith. The public is invited to enjoy their stories and help honor God and them at the seventh annual community celebration of the same name on Sunday, Aug. 4.
From 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. that day, Plantation Hall at Huber Winery in Starlight, Ind., will be the site for the “Giants in the Faith” luncheon and program sponsored by Hope Southern Indiana. Representing a variety of denominations, these individuals and their varied stories, humility, and significant ways of touching others will punctuate the afternoon of food, fellowship, and inspiration. Doors will open at 1, and free activities will be offered afterward in the Family Farm Park there, along with free drink refills until 6 p.m.
The News and Tribune is the title sponsor. Supporting sponsors are Seabrook Dieckmann & Naville Funeral Homes and First Harrison Bank.
Since April, people have responded to Hope Southern Indiana’s public invitation to submit--not nominate, since there is no selection involved--those whose actions and deep faith have had an impact that others may want to emulate. The afternoon honors those who specifically do not seek that spotlight but whose stories glorify God and His presence in so many ways, according to Christine Harbeson, executive director of Hope Southern Indiana.
The 2013 honorees, who live or worship in Floyd County, are: Lana Aebersold of Centenary United Methodist; Pastor Tony and Rhonda Alstott of Wesley Chapel United Methodist; Bob Battles of St. Paul’s Episcopal; Pastor Allen and Jacqueline Colwell and Bob and Karen Goodwell of St. John Presbyterian; Sonny and Ginger Combs, Vicki McCombs, and Katelyn Walker of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic; James Furber and Kathy O’Day of Grace Lutheran; Major Steve and Major Pam Kiger of the Salvation Army of Southern Indiana; Wendy Moody and Al and Sharyn Whitman of Faithpoint United Methodist; Rev. Dr. Curtis and Pam Peters of Concordia Lutheran in Louisville; Dianne Schladand of Holy Family Catholic; and Pastor William and Joyce Shannon of Trinity United Methodist.
It’s obvious that God uses these behind-the-scenes servants to reach others, Harbeson said. She hails the celebration as an opportunity for people of all ages and denominations to come together “to celebrate the power of God’s movement in our lives.”
The “Giants in the Faith” celebration was first held in 2007 to recognize these Christians in the present, not after they are gone, and to encourage others to likewise be Jesus with skin on, according to event co-chair Jim Kanning. In those first six years, 201 people were honored, and more than 2,200 attended.
Several past Giants in the Faith will participate in the program. Jeff and Lou Ann Ganote (2008) of Wesley Chapel United Methodist will lead the event’s signature hymn, “To God Be the Glory,” followed by the invocation by Cynthia Schultz (2007) of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. Following the buffet luncheon, Harbeson will recognize the honorees and share their backgrounds and special influences, and Bobby Sorrells (2012), pastor of The Crossing Christian Church, will give the benediction.
This year’s honorees will be guests of Hope Southern Indiana. Others may attend at a cost of $25 for adults (ages 12 and older) and $20 for children (ages 4 to 11). Those ages 3 and under are admitted free. Harbeson pointed out that prices are as low as possible to encourage families to attend.
Reservation forms, which must be submitted with payment, are available at Hope Southern Indiana at the Brown-Starks Neighborhood Place at 1200 Bono Road in New Albany between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays; at area churches; and in The News and Tribune on weekends until the firm deadline of Wednesday, July 17. Reservations will be confirmed via the email address provided on the form by the ones making the reservations. To ensure accuracy and fairness to all attendees, no reservations can be accepted on the phone, email, or voice mail. There is no limit on the number of people who can attend.
For additional information, call Carol Kannapel at Hope Southern Indiana at (812) 948-9248/Ext. 1804 or Harbeson at Ext. 1800.