The Big Tent ― the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s biennial celebration of ministry and mission ― will be pitched in Indianapolis June 30-July 2.
The decision to keep the Big Tent event in Indianapolis this summer was made after church leaders examined the final text of the newly passed Indiana immigration bill (Senate Bill 590) and confirmed that it does not contain elements that would have necessitated a change of venue.
Church leaders were compelled to consider the change after the 219th General Assembly (2010) of the PC(USA) voted to “refrain from holding national meetings at hotels in those states where travel by immigrant Presbyterians of color or Hispanic ancestry might subject them to harassment due to legislation similar to Arizona Law SB 1070/HB2162.”
The assembly’s action was in response to Arizona legislation that includes provisions that allow law enforcement officers to check a person’s immigration status in some situations and make illegal the harboring or transporting of an undocumented immigrant in some cases.
“While the Indiana bill still contains objectionable language that we consider inhospitable and unjust toward immigrants, we are encouraged that the legislation in its final form falls short of the extreme measure of racial profiling,” said Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly.
Kerry Rice, one of the managers of General Assembly Meeting Services, is pleased with the decision to remain in Indianapolis. “It’s a perfect location for the Big Tent event,” Rice said. “The facilities are excellent and the hospitality of local Presbyterians in Indianapolis is incredible.”
Thousands of Presbyterians from across the country are expected to attend the Big Tent. Participants will have the option to attend one of nine different partner conferences or design their own experience by attending workshops from any of the nine.
Visit the Big Tent website for more information and to register.