July 13, 2015

Haystack-Lovers Fall Short of Clinching World Record for Largest Potluck

By Wilona Karimabadi, Adventist Review/ANN

On Thursday, July 9, a gathering of just over 1,100 mostly young adult Adventists attempted to get placed in Guinness World Records. Their goal: setting the record for the largest (and favorite Adventist-sanctioned Sabbath activity) potluck. And they went after it with an Adventist favorite: haystacks.

The current record holder is Arizona’s Chandler Christian Church, who had 1,275 people at their event in March 2014. Organizers from TheHaystack hoped to best the number with at least 1,276.

“We did this because we are at GC, where we have the largest gathering of Seventh-day Adventists every five years. And we as Adventists know how to potluck and know how to do it well,” says Jeff Tatarchuk, event organizer and TheHaystack founder. TheHaystack is a central posting site for Adventists with videos they want to network and share with other Adventists.

Participants, largely reached through social media and TheHaystack.Tv, were counted by bringing ingredients in true potluck style. They could also buy a t-shirt or make a $5 donation to be counted. While the effort fell short of the goal, with an official representative from Guinness World Records on hand to record it, fellow organizer Zack Payne was still encouraged. “So, we didn't quite make it, but we were encouraged at the turnout and at how well it went! It was a ton of fun to make this thing happen.”

“We believe the symbol of the haystack represents something significant to help us convey the message of TheHaystack: that each person can bring something to the table,” adds Tatarchuk. “Everyone has something to contribute, and each person can bring an ingredient; and yet we can create our own individual [and tasty] haystack. It’s a great illustration of how we can be as a church.”