This year, congregants from the six Home of Christ (HOC) churches will meet at U.C. San Diego on August 19-21, where they will gather in order to strengthen the bonds of fellowship between their churches in California.
The guest speaker is Rev. Liu Dong Qin from Australia, who is a widely-known among the Chinese Christian community. So far, 520 members have registered, which includes families from both the Chinese and the English congregations.
Held once a year, these gatherings offer a time where the HOC churches can meet in a large venue and "gain strength" from one another. Rev. Robert Kou, senior pastor of the HOC church in west San Jose, said that all the HOC churches share the same vision, which is to create an idealistic place where newcomers can feel at home.
He also stated that the leaders have a strong grasp on the vision stating that the second to the sixth HOC churches were established because the leaders held onto the purpose of why they were creating this type of church.
The HOC churches hope, Rev. Kou said, to form a church where people can enter and feel comfortable enough to fellowship with the Lord. He said that, "we want to help people find their home in Christ."
The first HOC church was established in Menlo park, but as the church grew, the diversity changed, and the church needed a building in order to serve the increasing amount of Cantonese and English congregants that were attending at the time.
In addition, he said that when their churches started to expand, members traveled from as far as the south bay in order to attend the Menlo Park branch, as a result the HOC churches branched out throughout California in order to provide an outlet where members could worship at their convenience.
This provided a close home for them to gather, but moreover, it provided the HOC churches with more homes to serve their local communities. The HOC churches feel it is their responsibility to share the Lord’s grace with other people, said Rev. Kou.
He said, "The church is a spiritual home. We should care for each other and help everyone who comes to the Lord. This is the vision of the home of Christ. We are not an organization, but we are a home."
The annual HOC retreat gathering will give members a time where they can help each other in struggles as well as hardships. The workshops that are provided are chosen because of the needs of the HOC community. The topics are marriage, family, health, and evangelical preaching.