Make plans now to join old friends and make new ones at this summer’s Big Tent conference in St. Louis, July 6-8. The theme of this year’s conference is Race, Reconciliation, and the Reformation. Through plenary events, Bible study, workshops, and worship, attendees will be challenged and renewed by the power of the gospel message to overcome our current realities of anxiety, division, and inequality.
The three-day event, held on the beautiful campus of Washington University in St. Louis, will provide a variety of opportunities to engage with issues facing the church and society today. In addition to a selection of nearly 50 workshops on a variety of topics, participants can join in morning Bible study led by Dr. Eric Barreto of Princeton Theological Seminary and hear from local church leaders about the struggles the St. Louis community has faced around issues of inequality. PC(USA) Stated Clerk the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson will preach at the opening worship on Thursday, and the Rev. Dr. Christine Hong of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will preach at Saturday’s closing worship.
Friday night includes an invitation for Big Tent participants to travel to local Presbyterian congregations and participate in worship, share a meal, and engage in Holy Conversations around race. These conversations will be an extension of the ongoing dialog surrounding racial divisions and mistrust which have affected St. Louis and communities throughout the country. Participants will experience a process of honest and challenging conversations about race and leave with tools to further these discussions in their home congregations. This evening promises to be a unique and spirit-filled opportunity to join together with God’s people. Participating churches include: First Presbyterian Ferguson, Second Presbyterian St. Louis, Third Presbyterian St. Louis, Oak Hill Presbyterian, and Cote Brilliante Presbyterian.
“As we grapple with the emerging church of the 21st century, it is imperative that we come together to listen, learn, and envision the future,” said Stated Clerk Nelson. “God through Jesus Christ is providing us an opportunity at Big Tent to go deep in our theology and faith while renewing our spirits.”
Tony De La Rosa, the interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, added, “Three days of quality programming held in a central, convenient location at a reasonable cost for participants—this year’s Big Tent gathering promises to be among the best ever.”
Registration begins on March 15. The standard price of $395 includes registration, accommodations for three nights, and meals. A $225 rate for commuters is also offered. More information is at https://www.presbyterianmission.org/big-tent/.