2011- Big Tent: Faith meets action: Group helps convert bus stop into community greenhouse

Indianapolis (PNS) About five miles away from the excitement of Big Tent on the afternoon of July 1, a small group of Presbyterians worked with picks, shovels and wheelbarrows to dig a hole about six inches deep, eight feet wide, and 20 feet long. The area will eventually serve as the floor of a greenhouse made from an old bus stop shelter.

“There’s no grocery store here, so all the people around here have is unhealthy or processed food,” Jordan Akin, a college student from Little Rock, Ark., said. “So, this is important and I wanted to help.”

Akin and four other young adults were taking part in a unique trip to Urban Mountain Farms in Indianapolis. Through a combination of service and prayer, the organization is cultivating a garden to provide fresh produce for an underserved and impoverished area of the community.

The field trip was organized by Adrian McMullen, associate for collegiate ministry at GAMC, as part of the Pathways Conference at Big Tent. The conference focused on discipleship exploration and leadership development for youth, young adults and collegiate ministry leaders.

“It feels good to do something for the people here,” said Beatrix Weil, a student from Long Island, N.Y. “This community is hosting us for Big Tent and so I felt it was important to do something to give back.”

“Through this work, [these young adults] are putting their faith into action physically, not just through spiritual acts,” McMullen said. “They care about eco-justice, and they care about social issues, so this program integrates the two. It meets them where they are in their faith journey.”

Jessica Reid is a communications associate working on Presbyterian Disaster Assistance’s Haiti Response. She helped cover the Pathways Conference at Big Tent for PNS.