Nine women gathered around a picnic table for a weekly Bible study on Tower Drive in Hillsboro on Wednesday told The Times-Gazette they were preparing for an event called The Return, an all-day extravaganza happening Saturday on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
“We usually have around 12 to 15 ladies in our group,” Letty Allen said. “And God Himself turned the world upside down with only 14 men, when you count Jesus, the 12 disciples and the apostle Paul, so we’re in good company.”
Allen and the others are members of a women’s group from the Good News Gathering church.
According to their website, The Return is described as a movement, an appointed time and a specific day set apart to encourage people to return to God by coming before His presence in humility, in sincerity in prayer and repentance.
“We’ll open up everything Saturday night at six with trumpets playing the national anthem,” Holly Braden said. “We’ll use trumpets because that’s how the warnings went out in Bible times from the watchmen on the watchtowers, so we’re going to blow the trumpets to warn people that it’s time to return to God.”
Following that invocation, she said that J.D. Lyle, pastor of Good News Gathering, will speak on how America was founded on Christian principles, and then she would welcome everyone and speak on what Saturday’s rally was all about.
“The evening will be filled with inspirational music, scripture and prayer,” Allen said. “Then at the end, around seven or so, we’ll wrap everything up with the trumpets playing ‘Amazing Grace’ and they’ll continue playing as everybody disperses.”
The emphasis of the Saturday event, both locally and nationally, can be found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, where the prophet Ezra described the Lord appearing before King Solomon at night following the building of the temple, imploring His people to turn from their wickedness.
“It’s a tall order and I think we need to pay attention to that,” Elora Fleming said. “We need to take heed and do as He’s asking, and we need to take a stand.”
With both division and strife increasing dramatically throughout the nation, it seems almost impossible to get people of opposing points of view to agree on anything, and Cathy Siefer said that conflict sometimes can be found in Christian denominations.
“I think that times have changed so much and the young people haven’t been taught the things that we were taught,” she said. “Everybody is confused as to what to believe and what not to believe, and they’re questioning everything, but no one has the answers and it’s dividing everybody.”
What the ladies as a group hope to see come out of Saturday’s courthouse square event is much bigger than just preaching to people of all walks of life that they must return to God, according to Lisa Kidder.
“Obviously, we’re looking at our nation and praying for it come back to God,” she said. “But the answers we seek aren’t found in politics, and not in all the craziness we’re seeing in rioting and burning things down. We want to see people find Jesus, because when we find Him, we find unity, peace and love.”
“The Return” will begin on the Highland County Courthouse square at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.