LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Opening worship for Big Tent welcomed more than 1,400 Presbyterians into the Kentucky International Convention Center on Thursday afternoon.
The sermon was given by Ronald Peters, president of Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta. Drawing from the account of Pentecost in Acts 2, Peters focused on the uncertainly faced by the people gathered in Jerusalem and their state of trauma as they tried to figure out the next steps. Their anarchy was transformed to awe by the Holy Spirit, said Peters, comparing it to modern experiences of alienation and tribalism. Peters urged those gathered to identify cohesively God’s kingdom, moving from anarchy to awe by taking advantage of what the Spirit is already doing.
Speaking of the Big Tent gathering, he said in closing, “When all of this is done, we will not be able to leave as we have come! … We will leave this place in the presence of God’s Holy Spirit!”
Neal Presa, moderator of the 220th General Assembly, and Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, led worshippers in a reaffirmation of baptism and commissioned 24 mission personnel to serve around the globe, including in South Sudan, Malawi and Colombia.
An offering was received to benefit the Hispanic/Latino ministries of Mid-Kentucky Presbytery and partners of the Presbyterian Hunger Program.