The Hay Adams Dinner - 2023

01 — A unique event reconvenes after a COVID hiatus

The Hay-Adams gathering is one of a kind. Beginning 13 years ago as a small dinner at the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C. of close friends, it's grown to be an annual pilgrimage for many to the nation's capital for a time of deep kinship between friends and a chance to connect with new people, but mostly to hear a few stories of some of the spectacular things God is up to in the world.

Attended by CEOs, members of the U.S. Federal Government, pastors, missionaries, nonprofit leaders, philanthropists, authors, speakers, and musicians, the room is filled with highly influential people, all with the same goal of following God in obedience every step of the way. This year even included a former member of Cabinet and a current U.S. governor. Praise God; his followers are everywhere, even in the least expected places.

02 — Creative process

I am a great lover of a shared meal around a table with new and old friends, and drew inspiration from my own mediations on Christ's hospitality at the table (Psalm 23, The Last Supper, and so much more) as I thought through each step of the event.

That meant eliminating the registration table in favor of having the person who invited each guest welcome them and give them their escort card personally, usually with a hug and a smile. It also meant that through the registration process, each guest got to know me via countless emails as I crafted each person's unique weekend itinerary, sometimes even setting up D.C. activities for them during the day.

To preserve the feeling of total honesty, vulnerability, and true connection in a room of over 100 people, no photography or videography is allowed.

I'm pleased, in this case, to display the print pieces I designed for use throughout our evening.

The menu was created to layer at each place setting below the place card and on top of the Scripture passage and song lyrics.
As I meditated on the event, the Lord gave me the words "For Glory & For Beauty." It's featured on most of the print pieces.
The theme passage was taken from John 15, the Vine & the Branches. I included art inspired by Jesus' words throughout.
Our evening finished with a rousing "Great is Thy Faithfulness," followed by the Doxology.

This gathering is surprisingly difficult to describe, as it's an event that is not hosted by an organization and has no agenda, no pitch, and no offering requested. It's truly a meeting of Christ followers around tables spurring one another toward good works.

It takes all the usual headache and long hours to execute this kind of event, but I left the evening feeling poured into instead of having poured myself out.

It is one of the greatest honors of my career to have been entrusted with such a special gathering.