It starts Thursday at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville – Big Tent 2015, with Big Tent having become the gathering spot for Presbyterians in years when the General Assembly is not meeting.
The Tent this year – from July 30 to Aug. 1 – will bring some changes.
- Instead of consisting of 10 or so partner conferences meeting concurrently, this year’s event features one theme – “Live Missionally” – with programming including dozens of workshops organized by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) national staff.
- The event will include large-group Bible study led by Kang-Yup Na, an associate professor of religion, history, philosophy and classics at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, who will focus on the 15th chapter of Luke’s gospel, using the title “Lost and Found.”
- For the first time, Big Tent is being held on a college campus, with most participants being housed in on-campus dorms. Participants are being told to bring shower shoes and their own toiletries; meals will be held group-style on campus; and the fun will include an ice cream social, karaoke and Ultimate Frisbee. Part of the intent: keep costs down, and build community by keeping people together.
Big Tent preachers are Jana Childers, dean of San Francisco Theological Seminary and professor of homiletics and speech-communication; Laurene Chan, director of youth ministries at Cameron House in San Francisco; and Paul Roberts, president of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary in Atlanta.
As of July 26, the 2015 Big Tent advance registration was 750, including participants, speakers and staff – although registration figures may increase as the week goes on. That compares to 963 who attended in 2013 (counting speakers and staff).
Yes, the Presbyterian Outlook will be at Big Tent!
Catch our #BigTent15 coverage: