A multicultural faith experience under the Big Tent
Looking at faith from all sides
July 23, 2013
The third Big Tent event runs Aug. 1-3 in Louisville. This time around, the event’s over-arching theme — “Putting God’s First Things First” — is drawn from Matthew 6:33-34.
A multitude of Presbyterians will converge for 10 individual national conferences and collegial conviviality.
The National Multicultural Church Conference is on the menu again this year. Sponsored by the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s office for Multicultural Congregational Support and the Presbyterian Multicultural Network, this year’s gathering takes on a bit more significance in light of the Capitol Hill debates surrounding immigration reform.
“I see the fullness of God’s creation in multiculturalism, as well as the promise that we should all be one with Christ,” wrote Eliana Maxim in an email to the Presbyterian News Service.
Maxim is a teaching elder serving as the associate executive for the Presbytery of Seattle. Her primary focus lies in immigrant fellowships, worshiping communities, new church development and congregational revitalization.
“I grew up in a multicultural family surrounded by a kaleidoscope of diversity both in and outside of home,” Maxim wrote. “It is both familiar and essential to my own identity.”
She’ll bring all her experiences — personal and professional — to bear in leading the “Mid Councils as Partners in Immigrant and Multicultural Communities” workshop. Other workshops will be led by the Rev. Jin S. Kim, the Rev. James Lee, Victor Aloyo Jr. and the Rev. Jake Kim.
Scheduled keynote speakers include the Brazilian theologian Cláudio Carvalhaes; Egyptian-born gospel singer and evangelist Monir H. Michael Monir (known as Monir Habib in the Arab world) and the Rev. Nancy Benson-Nicol, the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s associate for gender and racial justice. Laurel Underwood, pastor of Northwood Presbyterian Church in Silver Spring, Md., will lead music.
Registration for Big Tent is still open; if you are interested in the National Multicultural conference, check the appropriate box on the online registration form.
Jim Nedelka, a ruling elder and member of Jan Hus Presbyterian Church & Neighborhood House in New York, has been writing for the Presbyterian News Service since 2007. This will be the third Big Tent Event he’s covered but just his first visit to Louisville.