Big Tent 2015 Registration Form
The detailed schedule of events for Big Tent 2015. Word Document. Check back for updates.
BIG TENT SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
In addition to Big Tent worship, Bible study, workshops, meals, and other activities, the schedule includes pre- and post-Big Tent opportunities. Please review this entire schedule beforeyou begin to register and make travel plans!
All activities are in various locations on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
There are several opportunities for education and networking before Big Tent begins, starting as early as Tuesday evening. University of Tennessee dormitory accommodations are available from Tuesday for those who will participate in one of these pre-Big Tent events. Additional charges for Tuesday and/or Wednesday night (which include breakfast in the cafeteria the following morning) are included in the fees for these events.
The registration process shows two options for each pre event—one that includes dormitory lodging, and one without (for those who live in the area or who are otherwise making other housing arrangements). Even the pre-conferences with no fees (with costs covered by the sponsors) include a “with lodging” and “no lodging” option. Please be sure to select the correct one if you will attend one or more of these and plan to check into the dorm before Thursday.
TUESDAY, JULY 28
Whom Shall I Send? Pastoral Responses to Trauma and Violence: Trauma Crisis Counseling Consultation
Sponsored by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
Begins with dinner and reception, ends by noon on Thursday.
Fees: $100 (includes Tuesday and Wednesday dormitory lodging) or $75 (no lodging).
Both fees include Tuesday dinner, Wednesday and Thursday breakfast (in the cafeteria), Wednesday lunch, and campus parking.
Sessions include: The Trajectory of Trauma Response, Being a Less Anxious Presence, Laments and Liturgies, What Do We Tell the Kids, Communities in Trauma and Conflict, the Cost of Caring for Others, and The Importance of Self-Care. For more information, contact Beth Snyder (email@example.com).
National Filipino Presbyterian Council Pre-Conference
Theme: Seeking God’s Will in the Bible and Making Decisions for the Church
Begins Tuesday at 5:00 p.m., ends at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
Fee: $100 (includes Tuesday dormitory lodging) or $45 (no lodging). Both fees include Tuesday dinner, Wednesday breakfast (in the cafeteria), Wednesday lunch, and campus parking.
We believe the Bible contains the word of God, necessary for our salvation and authoritative for the church’s mission. How then do we understand, interpret, and appropriate the scriptures accurately to make right decisions for our faith and life as individuals and as a church? When there is a major controversy or crisis, how do we seek and find God’s will through the scriptures to guide us? In this study, we will discuss three challenging issues and reflect on the proper use of the Bible for the decision-making of the church, a task particularly important for leaders of the church in crisis.
Rev. Dr. John Yieh is the keynote speaker. All members of the NFPC, NAPC, and others are welcome to join the study. For more information, contact Emmanuel Orendain (firstname.lastname@example.org).
WEDNESDAY, JULY 29
Whom Shall I Send? continues
National Filipino Presbyterian Council Pre-Conference continues
Sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Ministries (RE&WM, PMA) and the Presbyterian Intercultural Network
Begins 9:00 a.m., ends with lunch on Thursday.
No fee: The sponsors will cover Wednesday dormitory lodging, Wednesday lunch and dinner, Thursday breakfast (in the cafeteria), and lunch for up to 40 participants.
In sharing our stories of race, culture, and identity, we will enter God’s story of a beloved, intercultural community. Shared stories can increase understanding, enrich us all, ignite missional living, empower us for greater advocacy, and equip us to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God and one another. For more information, contact Sterling Morse (email@example.com).
Mid Council Pre-Big Tent Consultation
Sponsored by the PMA and the OGA for presbytery and synod executives (or equivalent), associate executives, and stated clerks.
Begins 2:30 p.m., ends at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Fees: The OGA and the PMA will cover Wednesday dormitory lodging, Wednesday dinner, Thursday breakfast (in the cafeteria), and Thursday lunch for up to two leaders from each mid council. The fee for others is $110 (includes Wednesday dormitory lodging), or $70 (no lodging). These participants will be contacted about paying this after they have completed their registration.
The schedule will include worship, three sessions of breakouts, and opportunities for the whole group to gather. For more information, contact Sue Krummel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
National Middle Eastern Presbyterian Caucus Meeting
Begins 2:00 p.m., ends by noon on Thursday.
This meeting will be held off-campus, and is by invitation only. For more information, contact Raafat Zaki (email@example.com).
National Asian Presbyterian Council Pre-Conference
Begins 5:00 p.m., ends before 4:00 p.m. on Thursday.
Fees: $100 (includes Wednesday dormitory lodging) or $45 (no lodging). Both fees include Wednesday dinner, Thursday breakfast (in the cafeteria), Thursday lunch, and campus parking.
The council will gather to tell the story about racism from an Asian American perspective. Racism is a systemic problem. All of us have been victims of racism from others, as well as victimizing others through our actions, whether intentional or unintentional. How do we relate with one another among the diversity of Asian groups as well as the others? Wendy Tajima is the guest speaker. Come and share your journey and story with us. For more information, contact Victor Hamel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
THURSDAY, JULY 30
Whom Shall I Send? continues
Intercultural Pre-conference continues
Mid Council Pre-Big Tent Consultation continues
National Middle Eastern Presbyterian Caucus meeting continues
National Asian Presbyterian Council Pre-Conference continues
Haiti Mission Network Meeting
9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Fees: $125 (includes Wednesday dormitory lodging) or $85 (no lodging). Both fees include Thursday cafeteria breakfast, Thursday lunch, and campus parking.
If your congregation or presbytery is partnering with an organization or institution in Haiti or is considering such a partnership, join us for a meeting of the Haiti Mission Network. In mission, we strive to find ways of improving the lives of the Haitian people, giving precedence to their voices and working with them to achieve shared goals. We envision a Mission Network that allows Presbyterians working in Haiti to share the challenges, accomplishments, obstacles, and joys of accompanying our Haitian brothers and sisters toward a healthy future. Join us as our mission co-workers in Haiti share what’s going on five years after the earthquake and hear from Presbyterians involved in holistic ministries there. For more information, contact Suzette.Goss-Geffrard (email@example.com) or Jo Ella Holman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Guatemala Mission Network
9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Fees: $100 (includes Wednesday dormitory lodging) or $60 (no lodging). Both fees include Thursday breakfast (in the cafeteria), Thursday lunch and campus parking.
For everyone who has ever been involved with supporting the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Guatemala (IENPG); who has taken a trip to Guatemala; or who would like to know more about the accompaniment, work, and ministry with the IENPG, please join us for this meeting. In mission, we strive to find ways of improving the lives of the Guatemalan people, giving precedence to their voices and working with them to achieve shared goals. We envision a Mission Network that allows Presbyterians working in Guatemala to share the challenges, accomplishments, obstacles and joys of accompanying our brothers and sisters toward a healthy future. Come and share memories, learn how we can help in this important work and have your spirit refreshed. For more information, contact Amanda Craft (email@example.com).
CEDEPCA Mission Network Meeting
Thursday, July 30, 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Fees: $110 (includes Wednesday dormitory lodging) or $70 (no lodging). Both fees include Thursday breakfast (in the cafeteria), Thursday lunch and campus parking.
CEDEPCA is the Protestant Center for Pastoral Education in Central America. For everyone who has ever been involved with CEDEPCA, who has taken a trip to Guatemala, or who would like to know more about the work and ministry of CEDEPCA, please join us for this meeting. Members of the CEDEPCA staff will be leading us in Bible study, updating us on the current situation in Guatemala and the ways in which CEDEPCA is providing biblical and theological education, empowering women, strengthening people’s resilience to recover from disasters, and facilitating experiences of intercultural encounters between people of the U. S. and Guatemala. Come and share memories, learn how we can help in this important work, and have your spirit refreshed. For more information, contact Kathy Carpenter (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Leslie Vogel (email@example.com).
BIG TENT OPENS!
1:00–4:00 p.m. Children’s and Youth Programs Orientation and Registration
4:00–5:30 p.m. Gathering Worship and Communion—Alumni Memorial
Preacher—Jana Childers, Professor of Homiletics and Speech-Communication, San Francisco Theological Seminary.
5:00–7:00 p.m. Presidential Court Cafeteria open for dinner
7:00–8:00 p.m. Bible Study—Alumni Memorial
The Lost and Found of Missional Living, focusing on Luke 15. Led by Kang Yup Na, Associate Professor in Religion, History, Philosophy and Classics, Westminster College.
8:00–?? p.m. Thursday Hospitality Hour
Join us in the Presidential Court for a hospitality hour after Bible Study! This will be a time to enjoy light refreshments and live music. It will be a great opportunity for relaxation and fellowship that you don’t want to miss!
FRIDAY, JULY 31
6:30–9:00 a.m. Presidential Court Cafeteria open for breakfast
8:30–9:30 a.m. Big Tent Worship—Alumni Memorial
Preacher—Laurene Chan, Director of Youth Ministries, Cameron House, San Francisco.
10:00-10:45 a.m. Big Tent Featured Workshops—Session A
Big Tent is focusing on three areas of missional living: Advocacy, Poverty, and Discipleship. The featured workshops in Sessions A and B on Friday morning offer opportunities of encouragement and insight from three church leaders engaged passionately in these ministries.
Ministries of Advocacy and Renewal
Led by Scott Weimer, Pastor, North Avenue Presbyterian Church, Atlanta
North Avenue Church has committed itself to leadership in the Atlanta area in several areas of advocacy, especially in areas of human sexual trafficking. He will focus on the why’s and how’s of a congregation choosing to engage in ministries of advocacy.
Ministries for Poverty and Hunger
Led by Sister Simone Campbell (Sisters of Social Service), Director of NETWORK and author of Nun on the Bus.
Sister Simone and NETWORK, the social advocacy agency she directs, have advocated loudly and persistently for justice for the poor in Washington and in travels across the nation. She will bring her extensive experience and wide perspective to the gospel call to engage in ministries combating the effects and causes of poverty.
Ministries Equipping Leaders for Discipleship and Evangelism
Led by Rodger Nishioka, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Columbia Seminary
Rodger Nishioka has been a national leader for many years in developing hearts and minds for discipleship in youth and young adults across the church. He will be addressing the essential ministries that equip all Christians for the role of discipleship.
11:00-11:45 a.m. Big Tent Featured Workshops—Session B
The three featured workshops in Session A will be repeated at 11:00 a.m.
11:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Presidential Court Cafeteria open for lunch
1:30-2:30 p.m. Big Tent Workshops—Session C
Working While White: Working for Racial Justice as White People with White People
When the spaces you occupy are all white or nearly all white, they are racialized spaces. Noticing and speaking up are important skills to working for justice in the world. Silence is complicity. We promise to sit with Holy discomfort. Led by Molly Casteel, Assistant Stated Clerk and Manager for Representation, Inclusiveness, and Ruling Elder Training, OGA.
Grace and Gratitude—Part I
Christine Pohl introduces us to the theme of grace and gratitude as a way to articulate our faith as Reformed Christians. Explore our Presbyterian identity through this lens that compels us to practice Christian community, proclaim the gospel, and work for justice. (Part II offered Friday at 3:00 p.m.) Led by Dr. Christine Pohl, Associate Provost and Professor of Church and Society/Christian Ethics, Asbury Theological Seminary.
Using Human Rights Based Approach to Address Human Trafficking
Human trafficking—modern-day slavery—is a multidimensional threat, one that deprives men, women, and children of the most basic of their human rights. From sex trafficking to debt bondage, from the tomato fields to the mining industry, it is a complex phenomenon—lucrative, widespread, and growing. Explore how the PC(USA) is partnering with others to address human trafficking through human rights, a victim-centered approach that puts the rights of trafficked persons at the center of all advocacy and assistance efforts. Find out what works, what doesn’t work, and how you can be part of a movement for justice for trafficked persons. Presented by members of the PC(USA) Human Trafficking Roundtable.
Training Ruling Elders—A Conversation for Teaching Elders
Come and learn about models for training of ruling elders and sessions. Bring your own experience and best practices to share with the group. Led by Kerry Rice, Associate Stated Clerk and Director of Ordered Ministries and Certification, OGA.
On Earth as It Is in Heaven: Middle Eastern Christians—Roots, Destiny, Calling
Learn about the challenges and opportunities facing Christians in the Middle East and in the diaspora, and what difference Middle Eastern Presbyterians can make. Led by Rev. Raafat Zaki, Chair of the National Middle Eastern Presbyterian Caucus.
The Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence and the Positive Impact it can have on Your Ministry
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand yourself and other people in order to be able to relate and work more effectively with others. Time after time, emotional intelligence is cited as one of the most important skills related to success in one’s work, and it is particularly applicable to those in fields of ministry. Learn about the dimensions of emotional intelligence and complete a quick self-assessment. You’ll discover how greater skill in this area can have a positive impact on your everyday ministry as you work both with individuals and groups. Led by Teaching Elders David Harris and Kimberly Secrist-Ashby, trainers from Center for Emotional Intelligence and Human Relations Training (http://www.eqhrcenter.org/).
Camps as Places for Helping Youth Affected by Disaster/Trauma
Camps can be amazingly effective places of healing for survivors of school violence, natural disaster, traumas of all sizes, or more chronic trauma such as experienced by children of homeless families, children of parents in prison, etc. Ferncliff Camp (Arkansas) has conducted many such camps and has worked with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) to forge a network of healing camps. Come and get ideas for how your camp/retreat center might be a partner in healing. Led by Rev. David Gill, Ferncliff Director; and Brian Frick, Coordinator for Camp and Conference Ministries, PMA.
Una comunidad carismática: El sacerdocio/ministerio de cada creyente
En este taller vamos a compartir y aprender sobre los dones y capacidades de ministerio de cada creyente; y que la Biblia, la teología reformada y nuestra experiencia en la iglesia nos enseñan sobre el sacerdocio de cada creyente. Habrá oportunidad para compartir reflexiones y dialogar sobre el discipulado y el liderato transformacional. Presentado pro Rev. Dr. Hector Rodriguez, asociado para la oficina de “Apoyo congregacional hispana/latina.”
The Spirit (Still) Calls Women and Men to All Ministries
What does the Reformed theological understanding of “call” as a personal response to the leading of the Spirit and the invitation of the community have to contribute to the process of discernment about our own gifts for ministry and those of others in a culture so focused on individual fulfillment? Led by Tim Cargal, Assistant Stated Clerk and Manager, Preparation for Ministry, OGA.
1001 New Worshiping Communities
Healthy presbyteries and congregations participate in giving birth to new worshiping communities. What is a new worshiping community? What leadership skills are needed? What can presbyteries and congregations do to encourage, equip, and nurture new communities? Find out what kind of funding is available through Mission Program Grants. Come and see how you can be part of a Holy Spirit-led movement that is transforming the church. Led by Vera White, National Associate for 1001 New Worshiping Communities, PMA.
Presbyterians: Our Roots
An overview of the history of the PC(USA), where we came from and how we became the church we are today. Led by Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, and Beth Hessel, Director of the Presbyterian Historical Society.
Training Leaders for Community Transformation—Lessons from Egypt
(Repeated in Session F, Saturday, 9:45 a.m.) U.S. Presbyterians are partnering with Presbyterians in Egypt to train leaders who share the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ, to plant churches, and to develop movements of holistic transformation. Learn more about how the global Church is training its leaders; find out how you can be involved in this exciting international evangelistic movement; and explore how these ways of training leaders may impact your congregation’s community outreach efforts. Co-Leaders: Dr. Atef Gendy, President of Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo; and Juan Sarmiento, International Evangelism Catalyst, Presbyterian World Mission.
Connecting with Young Adults
Where are the young adults? Who are young adults? How are young adults engaging with faith and faith communities? If you or your church is wondering about any of these questions, come hear about trends and dynamics of young adults in America. Learn 10 tips for connecting with young adults that you can immediately take back to your church. Led by Rev. Emily Morgan, Young Adult Ministry Specialist, PMA.
Using Coaching Skills in Pastoral Ministry
We hear a lot about coaching these days. Coaches help people and groups in many ways, and are excellent resources for congregational leaders. Not everyone is called to be a coach, but many of the skills used in coaching are appropriate for all leaders, including pastors, educators, and ruling elders. Learn what coaching is, what key skills can help you in your ministry, and how you can use these skills to enrich your pastoral identity and presence. Led by Rev. Peggy Cecil Hinds, DMin., Congregational and Leadership Coach, Consultant, and Trainer.
Working for Racial Reconciliation: An Inter-Generational Conversation
A core tenet of the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program is Cross-Cultural Mission, which means “YAVs will intentionally explore the diversity of God’s creation, living and working outside of their comfort zone. YAVs will work to confront the systemic challenges of race, class, gender, and power, while learning to examine their own lives and actions.” Learn what the YAV program is doing in terms of racial reconciliation, and be guided by representatives from the Highlander Center in Knoxville. Learn about the history of their work, and explore what it means to participate in racial reconciliation in our own communities and relationships. Led by Rev. Richard Williams, Director of the Young Adult Volunteer program, Lydia Kim, Associate for Administration for the Young Adult Volunteer program, and a staff member from Highland Research Education Center.
On Calling a Pastor
An introduction to the revised On Calling a Pastor resource. PNCs, presbytery representatives, and those assisting congregations through transitions in pastoral leadership will explore together how to use this new resource to call pastors and develop efficient call processes. (A longer version of this workshop is offered Saturday afternoon, 1:45–3:15 p.m.) Led by SanDawna Ashley, Assistant Stated Clerk and Manager, Leadership Development, COM Support and Church Leadership Connection, OGA.
Men in the Mirror: Orienting Our Lives Towards a Christ-Centered Masculinity
Sponsored by the CEDEPCA Mission Network. Hear an overview of this 13-session curriculum and the experiences of its author, who has been leading workshops for men in Guatemala. It is designed to encourage men to critically examine the internal messages about masculinity that influence and often damage the relationships men have with spouses, children, and other family members and other close relationships, and explores a relational ethic revealed in scripture that conveys healthy relational skills modeled by Jesus Christ. By looking to learn from Christ, all men can grow in discipleship by exploring this curriculum with other men. It is available at no cost in both English and Spanish at www.pcusa.org. Led by Rev. Dr. Kevin E. Frederick, author of Men in the Mirror.
3:00-4:00 p.m. Big Tent Workshops—Session D
Sustaining Young Women and Women Leaders
Explore how to develop and build relationships between women leaders (young women, new immigrants, seminarians, newly ordained, and clergywomen), how to connect with mentors and mentees, and sustain relationships during ministry, building support systems, and connecting with women leaders in the church. Led by Jewel McRae, Associate for Women’s Leadership Development and Young Women’s Ministries, PMA; and Jackie Spycher, Field Staff for Young Women’s Ministries and Presbyterian College Women, PMA.
Earth Care Congregations: Stories and “How To’s”
In this workshop, we will explore the biblical foundations and practical activities that 160 certified Presbyterian “Earth Care Congregations” have used to transform their Christian ministry. Both inside the congregation and extending into the community, Presbyterian churches are finding multiple ways to answer God’s call to care for all creation. We will share challenges, success stories, ideas, and practical tips for getting started. Led by Rebecca Barnes, Associate for Environmental Ministries/Presbyterian Hunger Program.
Financial Stewardship with Racial Ethnic and Multiracial Communities
This workshop will focus on the experiences and approaches utilized by African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Middle Easterners, and Native Americans in financial stewardship. Special attention will be given to cultural dynamics and styles. An additional focus will be on long-range giving: wills, bequests, etc. Led by Rev. Jim Reese, Minister for Specialized Interpretation, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation and Former Director of Racial Ethnic Ministries Unit
The Church’s Faithful Response in a Troubled World
We live in a world of abundance, yet millions of people live in poverty in the U.S. and around the globe. Our trade policies force migration of peoples and deprive them of their very rights to the benefit and profit of multinational corporations. We know that education is a gateway out of poverty, yet our education system fails too many. The U.S. professes to value freedom, yet we incarcerate more people than any other nation. As the church, we are called into the Public Square to respond to injustice and to seek to change our society. Join PC(USA) Office of Public Witness staff for a discussion of some of these interconnected issues and the ways the Church is seeking to address injustice at its roots. This workshop will be a hybrid that combines a discussion about issues in the Public Square and concrete skills for effective advocacy. We’ll explore the tools in the Advocate’s Toolbox and imagine new ways to bring justice advocacy into our ministries. Led by Catherine Gordon, Representative for International Issues; and Leslie Woods, Representative for Domestic Poverty & Environmental Issues, both in the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness.
Creating Abuse Policies
The Book of Order mandates that all councils (including sessions) create and implement a sexual misconduct policy. This may be expanded (in June 2015) to include a mandated child-protection policy. Learn the who, what, when, and where of creating and implementing policies. Led by Laurie Griffith, Manager of Judicial Process and Social Witness, Assistant Stated Clerk, OGA.
Building the Beloved Community of God (Antiracism Training), Part I
This workshop continues in the Friday, 4:30 p.m. session. As people of faith, our commitment to antiracism work begins with the affirmation that all people are made in the image of God. Building the Beloved Community training is an experience in cultural competency. This experience-based workshop helps participants gain a deeper understanding of the systems of power and privilege that perpetuate racism, learn about the tools and resources for antiracism work, and become equipped to be agents of change. Individuals are encouraged to assume an antiracism identity by gaining a better understanding of power and privilege and their impact on society. Led by Sera Chung, Associate for Gender and Racial Justice, PMA, and Rev. David Bowie, Pastor, Rice Memorial Presbyterian Church, Atlanta.
Grace and Gratitude—Part II
(Part I of this workshop is offered Friday, 1:30 p.m.) Christine Pohl continues to explore our Reformed faith through the lens of grace and gratitude.
Short-term Mission for Long-term Impact
Do short-term mission trips “work”? Can brief experiences in mission have a positive impact in the long-term? Come to this interactive session to learn about and share best practices for planning and leading mission trips. Hear how to plan mission trips “hand-in-hand” with the mission site hosts. Walk away with practical tools to make the most of your mission as it impacts your congregation’s participants, your mission partners in the U.S. and around the world, and the people whom you seek to serve. Led by Emerson Morales, International Encounters Facilitator for CEDEPCA, and Ellen Sherby, Coordinator for Equipping for Mission Involvement, Presbyterian World Mission.
Is your church dying? Or shrinking? Or getting older? Or getting stale? Or okay but not what it used to be? Explore the dynamics of congregational development that help us understand what might be going on as well as give us some clues as to the attitudes and actions that can help us find new energy and life again. Led by Ann Philbrick, Associate for Church Growth and Transformation, PMA.
Congregations That Thrive: What Are They Doing Right?
Thriving congregations are not always large congregations. Nor are they always growing congregations. Yet there is something about them that inspires and invites. Through stories of thriving congregations, you’ll learn (and possibly share) some of the most prominent characteristics of thriving congregations. Get ready to be inspired! Led by Deb Coe, Coordinator, Research Services, PMA.
The Ministry of Communications
How do you get your church’s story beyond the pew? Learn the keys to communications success: communications planning; telling your story; media relations; and media training. Presenter TBD.
Presbyterians: Our Foundations
An overview of the Foundations of Presbyterian Polity, including the mission of the church and the principles of order and government. Presenter TBD.
UnGodly Silence: Compassion to Action. Stop Sexual Violence Around the World
(Repeated in Session G, Saturday, 11:15 a.m.) As followers of Christ, we honor and celebrate the image of God in all people. As Presbyterians, we are called to open spaces in our hearts, families, communities, and churches to promote healing and reconciliation for those most at risk and marginalized. As children of God, we recognize that remaining silent about sexual violence is no longer an option. Explore ways you can speak up and help the Church stop sexual violence around the world. Led by Shannon Beck, Reconciliation Catalyst, Presbyterian World Mission, and Shelly and Barry Dawson, South Asia Regional Liaisons.
Conversation with the Moderator and Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly (2014)
(Repeated in Session G, Saturday, 11:15 a.m.) Come and hear the stories from across the denomination and around the world as we reflect on the way that we are called to be the Church today. As Moderator Heath Rada and Vice Moderator Larissa Kwong Abazia travel to visit congregations, presbyteries, synods, and international ministry partners, they have discovered ways that God is calling us into new ways of living and being. Join in lively discussion about the status of the denomination and the future of our ministries near and far.
The Changing Face of Ministry
A look at changing demographics among teaching elders and inquirers/candidates, and how it impacts leadership in developing disciples. Led by Tim Cargal, Assistant Stated Clerk, Manager, Preparation for Ministry, Mid Council Ministries, OGA.
4:30-5:30 p.m. Big Tent Workshops—Session E
Where Is God Calling Your Congregation? How to Discern Congregational Mission Involvement and Take Action that Makes a Difference
Looking for ways to shape your congregation’s mission focus? Join your colleagues from Presbyterian World Mission as we share tools for discerning your congregation’s mission involvement. Walk away with practical resources for shaping your mission work in a way that glorifies God and lives into your collective sense of call. Led by Christine Coy Fohr, Consultant for Mission Leaders, Presbyterian World Mission, and a Mission Worker TBA.
Presbyterians: Our Beliefs
An overview of the confessions of the church and what they mean for the church’s life and witness. Led by Kevin Park, Assistant Professor of Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary.
Grace and Gratitude in the Worshiping Community
How does the biblical story of God’s grace in creation, the law, the prophets, and in the person of Jesus Christ shape our worship? How might we shape our worship more faithfully to reflect God’s gracious love in Christ? How might we encourage openness to the Spirit in our worship practices? Led by Dr. Martha Moore-Keish, Associate Professor of Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary.
Essential Functions of a Presbytery
As presbyteries change in size and resources, the work of the presbytery necessarily changes. What are the essential functions of this mid council and how can those functions be accomplished in these new circumstances? Led by Susan Krummel, Associate Stated Clerk and Director of Mid Council Relations, OGA and PMA.
Equipping a Multigenerational Church
Church communities contain people of all ages and stages of life. As the Body of Christ we need people of all ages who the Spirit has gifted for our communal journey of faith. This workshop will look at generational trends and communication styles that can build up our congregations as well as give you concrete examples of multigenerational activities and ministries. Led by Rev. Emily Morgan, Young Adult Ministry Specialist, PMA.
Building the Beloved Community of God (Antiracism Training), Part II
This is a continuation of the antiracism training that begins in Session D, Friday, 3:00 p.m.
Jesus, Peacekeeping, and 14 Years of War: What Would Presbyterians Do?
One of the new things in the Peace Discernment process approved by the 219th General Assembly (2010) is its focus on Jesus and nonviolence. Reformed Christians have rarely been pacifists, but Presbyterians have been looking more at the example of Jesus, partly due to the recent wave of historical scholarship. The “Five Affirmations” voted on by presbyteries also lifted up the nonviolent changes in Eastern Europe, South Africa, Philippines, and Northern Ireland, before the initial successes of the Arab Spring, but military action has dominated U.S. foreign policy since 9/11. What does the vote on the Five Affirmations show, and what actions of advocacy and accompaniment have Presbyterians been doing? (http://oga.pcusa.org/section/ga/ga221/peace-discernment/) Co-leaders: Rev. Mark Davidson, Chair, Peace Discernment Steering Team, Pastor, Church of Reconciliation, Chapel Hill, N.C.; and Dr. Chris Iosso, Coordinator, Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy.
Coded Messages, Dog Whistles, and Stereotype Threat: When What We Say Is Not What We Mean.
What are we saying and what is the impact of what we say? We’ll examine how people hear different things when leaders speak and that ambiguity may be intentional. We will explore commonly used rhetoric and listen for the coded messages that build barriers for fully living with one another. Decoding work helps us to connect rather than remain divided. Led by Molly Casteel, Assistant Stated Clerk and Manager for Representation, Inclusiveness and Ruling Elder Training, OGA.
First Decolonize Your Mind: Imagination, Poverty, Food, and Eco-Justice
An experiential workshop energized by our collective desire to liberate minds, hearts, and hands. New consciousness is needed to find our way out of the social and environmental mess we have created with past thinking. We will shake loose negative socialization and open a space to imagine a fruitful, fulfilling, and sustainable world seven generations forward. By dismantling learned limits, we take a step towards a more harmonious and God-centered life. Together we will flex our hope muscles and creativity as we envision the transformed future, and identify our contributions to the Great Turning. Food justice and eco-justice provide a framework for us to explore ways our gifts can be used for healing self, community, and planet. Come willing to be moved by Spirit and the group field! Led by Vickie Machado, Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP) Food Justice Fellow and member of the Eco-Stewards Program leadership team; and Andrew Kang Bartlett, National Associate for PHP, PMA.
Presbytery Conversations on Commissioning Ruling Elders to Pastoral Service
In this forum for persons with responsibilities of overseeing presbytery mission strategies, we will discuss options for “commissioning ruling elders to particular pastoral service” (Book of Order, G-2.10). What ministry contexts are conducive to this form of spiritual leadership? How are you providing both initial training and ongoing support to these ruling elders? Led by Tim Cargal, Assistant Stated Clerk and Manager, Preparation for Ministry, OGA.
Education for Transformation: Addressing the Root Causes of Global Poverty
Quality education is one of the best pathways out of poverty. The PC(USA) has a deep and rich history of providing access to quality education for children in this country and around the world. Learn how you can get involved in the campaign to provide quality education to one million children. Led by Frank Dimmock, Poverty Alleviation Catalyst, Presbyterian World Mission, and a Mission Worker TBA.
Intercultural Ministries: No Root to Bitterness
Learn what it means to be an intercultural church. Participants will also have an opportunity to share and expand their knowledge of the obstacles that impede effective intercultural relations and explore together how to overcome them. Led by Rev. Sterling Morse, Coordinator of Intercultural Ministries, PMA.
Learn about the New Beginnings process, which is an assessment based discernment process offered by the PMA’s Church Transformation Office. It has been used by more than 400 churches in the past few years to bring structure and focus to the task of making a decision about their future. It is focused on helping a congregation produce a shared vision of its future, which increases its potential for effectively and successfully living into that future. Led by Ann Philbrick, Associate for Church Growth and Transformation, PMA.
Paradigm Shift in the Korean Campus Town Ministries
Korean students who are enrolled and study in universities and colleges in America are the third largest international student group after China and India. There are more than thirty PC(USA) Korean churches that are located in university campus towns and that have been engaged in successful and vital campus town ministries for Korean students including second generation students. The context of Korean campus town ministry has been changing, and the ministry needs new inventions with creative and contextualized ministry approaches and strategies. This workshop is a collection of ideas and experiences of Korean campus town leaders who are actively engaged in this unique and valuable ministry. Led by Rev. Sun Bai Kim, Associate for Korean Emerging Ministries, PMA.
Why We Are Stronger Together
In a time of social turmoil in which some are considering departure from our church, we will focus on ten biblical, theological, and practical reasons to redouble our commitment to the PC(USA) and to one another as the one body of Christ, and to encourage others to do the same. Led by Rev. Dr. Philip W. Butin, Co-Pastor, First United Presbyterian Church, Fayetteville, Arkansas.
African New Immigrants and Leadership Responsibilities in the PC(USA)
The landscape of mission in the PC(USA) is changing due to increasing numbers of African and other new immigrants serving as teaching elders, ruling elders, and deacons. Specific training is needed to prepare African new immigrants for effective leadership in the PC(USA). Learn some of the benefits of African Presbyterians serving in leadership roles, the cultural issues that need to be addressed, and some of the challenges that should be anticipated—all in an effort to increase the number of transformational leadership skills of African new immigrants who feel called to serve. Learn about the work of the African Emerging Ministries Office. Led by Rev. Sam Atiemo, Associate for African Emerging Ministries, PMA.
Café Justo, A Hopeful Supply Chain Story
Too often following the supply chain of our consumer goods leads to a workforce that is impoverished, exploited, and leaving their homelands to find work in other countries. Learn how one cooperative in Mexico is structured to compensate farmers and enable them to keep their land and be with their families. Presenters: Adrian Gonzalez, Director of Customer Relations, Café Justo; Jessica Maudlin, Mission Specialist, Presbyterian Hunger Program, PMA; and Teresa Waggener, Manager of Legal Services, Office of Immigration Issues, OGA.
6:00–7:30 p.m. Dinner on the Lawn—Humanities Building amphitheater and lawn
7:30–?? p.m. Friday Homecoming
Friday evening brings an opportunity to join in a variety of family friendly activities, including movies, ice cream socials, etc.—all on the UT campus. No advance sign-up needed.
McCormick Theological Seminary Alumni/ae After Dinner Gathering—location TBD.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 1
6:30–9:00 a.m. Presidential Court Cafeteria open for breakfast
8:30–9:15 a.m. Bible Study—Alumni Memorial
Kang Yup Na will continue the study of The Lost and Found of Missional Living, focusing on Luke 15.
9:45-10:45 p.m. Big Tent Workshops—Session F
Presbyterians: Our Polity
An overview of who, how, and why of the church governance. Led by Joyce Lieberman, Associate Stated Clerk and Director of Constitutional Interpretation, OGA.
Addressing Racism through Collaborative Peacemaking
Because peacemaking is integral to reconciliation, this workshop will explore how active, collaborative peacemaking can address current issues connected to racism in the U.S. We will examine peacemaking and its relationship to justice issues with an emphasis on identifying and addressing various aspects of systemic racism, and equip participants with practical and tactile ways to build networks and partnerships as they relate to critical issues of race and reconciliation. Led by Rev. Alonzo Johnson, Mission Associate for Peacemaking, PMA; and Blake Collins, Mission Engagement Specialist, Young Adult Volunteer Program, PMA.
Living Missionally in a Consumer Society
In an effort to “de-stress” and reconnect with the important things in life, the Dannemiller family embarked on a yearlong quest to stop shopping and start living. Filled with humorous stories, curious statistics, and poignant conclusions, this workshop chronicles the highs and lows of dropping out of our consumer culture and encourages all of us to think about our own relationship with “stuff” and how we can all find the balance of being in the world but not of it. Led by Scott Dannemiller, former PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer, blogger at The Accidental Missionary, and author of the upcoming book The Year without a Purchase.
Speaking Truth to Power: Living as Global Disciples in Washington, D.C., and at the United Nations
What is the church’s call to prophetic witness? How can individual Presbyterians and congregations engage God’s call to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God? The Office of Public Witness represents the social witness statements of the General Assembly in Washington, D.C., and equips Presbyterians to do their own good advocacy. The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations equips Presbyterians to live as followers of Jesus in the global neighborhood and advocates in the United Nations community for peace and justice in the name of Jesus. Staff members from both offices will discuss the Reformed theological basis for doing advocacy, the work Presbyterians do in Washington and at the United Nations, and best practices for individual Presbyterians to become more effective disciples and advocates. Led by Mark Koenig, Director, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations; Ryan Smith, Presbyterian Representative to the United Nations; Catherine Gordon, Representative for International Issues, PC(USA) Office of Public Witness; and Leslie Woods, Representative for Domestic Poverty & Environmental Issues, PC(USA) Office of Public Witness.
Missional Vocation through the Lens of Grace and Gratitude
Missional Vocation recognizes that the primary calling of disciples of Jesus Christ is to be sent by the Holy Spirit to proclaim God’s love in Jesus Christ. Steve Yamaguchi has spent years helping to form congregations to claim their missional vocation, and has been particularly shaped by the Fresh Expressions movement in the U.K. This session will focus on how our core identity of grace and gratitude can shape missional vocation. Led by Steve Yamaguchi, Dean of Students at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Using Social Media to Tell Your Story
Congregations have many opportunities to share God’s love through social media and to connect with your communities. We’ll show you how to capture stories from your leadership, members and their families, and how to effectively share those moments on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. You’ll leave with tips and tricks that will make your work effective and help increase your reach. Led by Robyn Davis Sekula and Sara Otoum, PMA.
A New Paradigm in Mission
Mission has changed. It’s no longer “us” going to help “them” but about working together in God’s work to share and live out the gospel. Come hear how God is working today in a dynamic new paradigm for mission. Led by Rev. Dr. Marsha Snulligan-Haney, Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary; and Rev. Jo Ella Holman, Regional Liaison for the Caribbean Region, Presbyterian World Mission.
Pastoral Leadership Beyond Teaching Elders
Not all congregations or worshiping communities have a teaching elder committed to providing pastoral ministry exclusively to them. What models are emerging for individuals in the ordered ministries of ruling elders and deacons to serve in pastoral functions? Led by Tim Cargal, Assistant Stated Clerk, Manager, Preparation for Ministry, Mid Council Ministries, OGA.
Crafting Our Stories of God’s Missions and Inspiring Partners for the Journey
(Repeated in Session G, Saturday, 11:15 a.m.) You have seen God at work through mission trips and projects. Learn how to craft an engaging short talk that will inspire others in your congregation to join you in mission. Create your own impactful stories through an easy-to-follow process. Bring at least two ideas for stories of how you have seen God at work in your area of mission involvement. Participants will do practical exercises in developing an engaging three-minute talk. Led by Michelle Lori, Coach for Mission Interpretation, Presbyterian World Mission.
Engage: Effective Ministry in Our Ever-Changing Cultural Landscape
How can our churches be faithful and effective in a postmodern and post-Christian culture. Learn about equipping and training churches to engage their communities and join in what God is already doing in those communities. The Engage resource helps churches authentically share their faith and helps members to grow as disciples and be sent out beyond the walls of our churches. We know that if we are to reach our cities, towns, and neighborhoods with the Gospel we can’t just invite them to another church service. We have to be sent out into our homes, workplaces, public spheres, and communities. Led by Ray Jones and David Loleng, Evangelism and Church Growth, PMA.
What Is Race? Ever Wonder?
Explore questions of race, culture, and identity, and learn to work together to name the elephant in the room—the specific issues that prevent us from living together as people who have true respect and understanding for one another’s race, culture, and identity. Led by Rev. Connie Lee and Rev. Nibs Stroupe, Presbyterian Intercultural Network.
Satisfaction Can Almost Be Guaranteed
There are key principles in life that create a sense of rightness, fulfillment, and satisfaction. Explore these principles in connection with call and fit. Discover ways of finding joy in ministry again through reassessing your sense of call and answering the question, am I in the right ministry? Led by SanDawna Ashley, Assistant Stated Clerk and Manager, Leadership Development, COM Support and Church Leadership Connection, OGA.
A Seat at the Table
What does it look like to bring an authentic and compelling reformed witness to an ever-more religiously diverse context in our society today? What do Presbyterians believe about engaging those of other religious traditions? Join this conversation about how to build interfaith relationships of trust to respond to critical issues in our communities and our world. This highly interactive workshop will reference the Inter-Religious Stance of the PC(USA) that was overwhelmingly affirmed by the 221st General Assembly (2014). Come hear and share stories about the joys and the challenges inherent in building relationships across religious boundaries. Led by Rick Ufford-Chase, Co-Director of Stony Point Center and co-founder of the multifaith Community of Living Traditions.
Native American Ministry
Changes in society have affected these congregations and how they work with the denomination. Hear how Native American Presbyterians have adapted to the changing landscapes in society and the PC(USA). Led by Debbie Kleinman, Moderator of the Native American Consulting Committee, and Rev. Irv Porter, Associate for Native American Congregational Support, PMA.
Training Leaders for Community Transformation—Lessons from Egypt
(Also offered in Session C, Friday, 1:30 p.m.) U.S. Presbyterians are partnering with Presbyterians in Egypt to train leaders that share the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ, to plant churches, and to develop movements of holistic transformation. Learn more about how the global Church is training its leaders; find out how you can be involved in this exciting international evangelistic movement; and explore how these ways of training leaders may impact your congregation’s community outreach efforts. Co-leaders: Dr. Atef Gendy, President of Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo; and Juan Sarmiento, International Evangelism Catalyst, Presbyterian World Mission.
Reciprocal Revolution: Making Your Churcha Community Destination with Community Impact
Connect to a new, innovative way to make your church a community destination through community reconnection. Discover how your church’s worship, witness, and mission can achieve greater community impact by engaging in a Reciprocal Revolution. Earn the right to be a community destination. Learn new ways to tell your congregation’s story as it intersects with the story of your community. Led by Rev. Kevin Yoho, General Presbyter, Newark Presbytery.
Growing Churches through Nurturing Families – Reaching Generation Z
Whenever a child is baptized, the congregation makes promises to nurture that child in the faith. Beyond Sunday School, what are practical, creative ways that our churches can help children and families connect faith with daily living? How can we help parents (and increasingly grandparents) learn to be their children's primary faith guides? How can we equip children to grow in loving God and neighbor, and to work for God's peace and justice? Explore how caring for today’s diverse families in our communities can attract new families to our churches. Led by Bruce and Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, authors (with Freda Gardner) of the study/action guide for Transforming Families and Active Parenting Now in the Community of Faith and co-pastors of Limestone Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, Delaware.
11:00-12:00 noon Big Tent Workshops—Session G
Grace and Gratitude: Following Jesus
How can being baptized, gathering in God’s name shape, hearing the Word, and coming to the table shape lives of discipleship sent into the world to follow God’s mission? How do we grow as disciples with our whole lives in response to God’s gracious invitation? Led by Dr. Martha Moore-Keish, Associate Professor of Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary.
Crafting Our Stories of God’s Missions and Inspiring Partners for the Journey
(Also offered in Session F, 9:45 a.m.) You have seen God at work through mission trips and projects. Learn how to craft an engaging short talk that will inspire others in your congregation to join you in mission. Create your own impactful stories through an easy-to-follow process. Bring at least two ideas for stories of how you have seen God at work in your area of mission involvement. Participants will do practical exercises in developing an engaging three-minute talk. Led by Michelle Lori, Coach for Mission Interpretation, Presbyterian World Mission.
Presbyterians: Our Worship
An overview of the understanding and practice of Reformed worship. Led by David Gambrell, Associate for Worship, PMA.
Stop Fundraising and Start Stewarding Funds: Living Missionally through Stewardship
Help congregations move from bake sales and bingo night to a deeper understanding of God’s call to stewardship. Examine the biblical bases for financial stewardship and how church leaders can move their congregation members to joyful giving. We will also share tips on how to encourage giving by sharing the impact of their gifts in creative ways. Led by Elizabeth Little, Chris Roseland, Bruce Whearty, and Rachel Yates, Church Support Associates, PMA.
Asking the Right Questions: Using Research to Help Inform Your Ministry
Explore the art of question design to obtain information that is useful to your ministry and free tools that are available for your use. Led by Susan Barnett, Associate for Survey Research, PMA.
The Thoughtful Roots of Missional Living
Explore the role thoughtfulness plays in shaping and directing who we are as missional Christians. Led by Ben Daniel, pastor and author of Neighbor, The Search for the Truth About Islam, and Thoughtful Christianity.
Preaching for Non-Preachers
Are you the moderator of your presbytery, an elder in your church, or in some other role that gives you the opportunity to preach occasionally? Come talk about how to prepare for that “once in a while” opportunity. Led by Susan Krummel, Director of Mid Council Relations, OGA and PMA.
The Israel-Palestine Mission Network: A Case Study in Ministries of Advocacy
How can effective ministries of advocacy take place within the PC(USA)? Learn how to listen, learn, and act for a cause you’re passionate about. Explore how to develop educational resources for Presbyterians and overtures within presbyteries for advocacy at General Assembly. The Israel-Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) was formed in 2005 in response to a General Assembly resolution. Since then, the IPMN has engaged in a variety of ministries of advocacy in support of the Palestinians in their quest for just peace. Sponsored by Presbyterian World Mission and led by Ted Settle, Israel-Palestine Mission Network Steering Committee.
The Changing Face of Ministry
The traditional congregation is only one of many cultural contexts in which people are being nurtured as disciples of Jesus Christ. What are some of the new forms of ministry through which Presbyterians are engaging in God’s mission today? Led by Tim Cargal, Assistant Stated Clerk and Manager, Preparation for Ministry, OGA.
New Ministry Idea Lab
Have an idea for a new worshiping community or a missional initiative? Come share your idea with a panel of leaders who can give feedback and help you discern how best to move your project forward. Please come prepared with a three-minute “elevator speech” that captures the important elements of your vision. Led by Shannon Kiser, 1001 Associate, Eastern Region, PMA.
Ministry with Youth: A Racial Ethnic Approach to Reaching the Next Generations
Native American presenters share successful aspects of ministry with youth and young adults as well as what is not working. Led by Rev. Buddy Monahan, Chaplain, Menaul School, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Best Practices in Theological Educations
Learn how well-balanced training is equipping Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (ETSC) graduates to serve congregations at a crucial time in the life of church and society in the Middle East. Effective “theo-oriented” seminary education is concerned with the learner’s formation in context. All subjects and activities serve ETSC’s mission to grow not only in knowledge, but also in character and skills. A holistic system includes student, teacher, curriculum, and methodology. It requires students to distinguish critical daily life issues through the lenses of Bible teachings and Kingdom values. Led by Dr. Atef Gendy, President of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo.
Realizing the unjustness of our current criminal justice system, transformative justice is a way of practicing alternative justice that acknowledges individual experiences and seeks to actively resist the state’s criminal injustice system. It focuses on healing for the survivors, accountability and transformation for those who do harm, and community action. This will not only inform and motivate participants regarding the idea of transformative justice, but also offer practical ways we can change hearts and seek justice in our communities and churches. Led by Jeanne Bishop, Chicago criminal defense attorney, activist, and author of Change of Heart.
Educate a Child, Transform the World in the Domestic Context
Jesus says, “Let the children come to me,” but every 19 seconds, a child is arrested in the U.S. During the school year, a public high school student drops out every 8 seconds, and yet states spend on average two and a half times more per prisoner than they spend per public school student. This practical, hands-on workshop will equip participants to respond to realities like these in ways appropriate to their own contexts through the “Educate a Child” initiative. We will focus specifically on efforts to strengthen early childhood education and to decrease the high school drop-out rate. Led by the Domestic “Educate a Child” Staff Team: Reverends Alonzo Johnson, Eileen Lindner, and Ginna Bairby.
Conversation with the Moderator and the Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly (2014)
Also offered Friday, 3:00 p.m. Come and hear the stories from across the denomination and around the world as we reflect on the way that we are called to be Church today. As Moderator Heath Rada and Vice-Moderator Larissa Kwong Abazia travel to visit congregations, presbyteries, synods, and international ministry partners, they have discovered ways that God is calling us into new ways of living and being. Join in lively discussion about the status of the denomination and the future of our ministries near and far.
UnGodly Silence: Compassion to Action. Stop Sexual Violence Around the World
(Also offered Session D, Friday, 3:00 p.m.) As followers of Christ, we honor and celebrate the image of God in all people. As Presbyterians, we are called to open spaces in our hearts, families, communities, and churches to promote healing and reconciliation for those most at risk and marginalized. As children of God, we recognize that remaining silent about sexual violence is no longer an option. Explore ways you can speak up and help the Church stop sexual violence around the world. Led by Shannon Beck, Reconciliation Catalyst, Presbyterian World Mission, and Shelly and Barry Dawson, South Asia Regional Liaisons.
11:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Presidential Court Cafeteria open for lunch
1:45-3:30 p.m. Big Tent Workshops—Double session H-I
Note that these workshops continue through both afternoon workshop sessions; if you select one of these you will not select another workshop for Session H (1:45 p.m.) or I (2:45 p.m.)
Just Faith: What We Can Do to Resist Oppression in Congregational and Council Life
Examination, discussion, and participatory exercises will assist ruling elders and teaching elders navigating power and privilege in congregations and councils and raise up anti-oppression practices. Led by Molly Casteel, Assistant Stated Clerk and Manager for Representation, Inclusiveness, and Ruling Elder Training, OGA.
Young Adult Faith Formation: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know About Emerging Adulthood
Have you ever wondered why there aren’t many young adults in your congregation? Or, better yet, have you ever asked the question, how do we minister to the college students and young adults we have in our community? If your answer is yes, this workshop is for you! In this comprehensive session, Dr. Santos will unpack the current state of young adult faith in order to illuminate why the mainline church is struggling to reach this generation. Particular attention will be placed on how young adults think about religion, faith, and spirituality, and how we might more faithfully journey with them during this life stage. Led by Rev. Jason Brian Santos, Ph.D., Associate for Collegiate Ministries, PMA.
Educate a Child: Removing Stumbling Blocks at Home and Abroad
All through the Gospels, Jesus embraces children and warns his followers not to cause these little ones to stumble. As our church embarks on a campaign to live into our baptismal vows by educating one million children in the U.S. and abroad, what are the stumbling blocks of our day? Come to hear words from Moderator Heath Rada, Rev. Janet Wolfe of the Children’s Defense Fund, and other prominent church leaders and world-renowned educators; and to gain tools for practical steps to make quality education a reality for children in your neighborhood and across the globe. Led and facilitated by Former Moderator Rick Ufford-Chase and staff from World Mission and Compassion Peace and Justice, PMA.
Because we are human, when we meet together there is always the possibility for conflict. How do you manage yourself in the midst of conflict? How do you help a group to work through conflict to arrive at something new? Led by Susan Krummel, Associate Stated Clerk and Director of Mid Council Relations, OGA and PMA.
The Apostle’s Letters to 21st Century Pastors
A study of major themes of the Pastoral Letters (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus) as they speak to spiritual leaders engaged in forming disciples in our contemporary context. Led by Tim Cargal, Assistant Stated Clerk and Manager, Preparation for Ministry, OGA.
Congregation-based organizing for local community empowerment. Led by Rev. Trina Zelle, Executive Director, Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA).
Introduction to the Revised On Calling a Pastor Resource
(A shorter version of this workshop is offered in Session C, Friday, 1:30 p.m.) Pastor nominating committees (PNCs), presbytery representatives, and those assisting congregations through transitions in pastoral leadership will explore together how to use this new resource to call pastors and develop efficient call processes. Led by SanDawna Ashley, Assistant Stated Clerk and Manager, Leadership Development, COM Support and Church Leadership Connection, OGA.
1:45-2:30 p.m. Big Tent Workshops—SessioN H
Sharing Our Stories
In sharing stories of race, culture, and identity, participants will enter God’s story of a beloved, intercultural community. Led by Rev. Gun Ho Lee and Rev. Sharon Mook, Presbyterian Intercultural Network.
The Ruling Elder: From Formation to Transformation
We will examine together the role of ruling elders as spiritual leaders, and the session as a worshipful community. Using the Being Reformed workbooks for ruling elders and the Book of Order, this workshop will begin with formative information and end with exploration of personal and communal practices that are transforming for leaders and the congregation. Led by Rev. Peggy Cecil Hinds, DMin., Congregational and Leadership Coach, Consultant, Trainer, and author of Ruling Elder: Transformation.
Equipping African American Congregations for Living Missionally
This workshop will help churches serve as co-partners with God in transforming our world and addressing the root causes of societal injustices. Participants will develop theological and spiritual principles to increase their engagement and service to their communities and discern action plans to bear witness to the truth and the reign of God. Led by Rev. Lonnie Oliver, Associate for African American Congregational Support, PMA.
Spiritual Formation and Pastoral Health
Pastoral support is more than terms of call. Explore ways leadership formation and support can benefit pastoral leaders as well as the congregations they serve. Learn about resources for spiritual, emotional, physical, and vocational support available for pastoral leaders and congregations. Led by Karen Russell, Associate, Office of Theology and Worship, PMA.
Immigration Advocacy in Your Local Context
You don’t have to live on the border or in a big city to address immigration as a church; you just need to be attuned to the needs of your members and community. Meet the pastor and members of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Kingston, Tennessee, and learn about the formation and sustenance of their immigration advocacy ministry. Panel Members: Rev. Wendy Neff, Viviana Vanegas, and Carol Brown of Bethel Presbyterian Church Led by Teresa Waggener, Manager of Legal Services, Office of Immigration Issues and Laura Polk, Manager for Advocacy, Office of Immigration Issues, both Assistant Stated Clerks, OGA.
Grace and Gratitude: A Conversation with the Confessions
What does our Book of Confessions teach us about who God’s character is, about God’s ways with us, and how does this message of the graciousness of God in Christ shape our lives as disciples? Led by Barry Ensign-George, Associate for Theology, PMA.
Grace and Gratitude: Come to the Table
Learn how vital, faithful congregations are nourished at the table: receiving God’s abundant grace and responding with gratitude. This session will offer theological, liturgical, and pastoral resources for renewing sacramental life. Led by Rev. Chip Andres, PMA.
Presbyterians: Our Discipline
An overview of the purpose and process of ecclesiastical discipline in the life of the church. Led by Laurie Griffith, Manager of Judicial Process and Social Witness, Assistant Stated Clerk, OGA.
Educator Certification in the PC(USA)
A trained Christian Educator is far more than a custodian of markers and masking tape. Certified Christian Educators have a passion for helping learners of all ages develop a deeper relationship with Christ and an ongoing, growing life of discipleship. They understand the underlying principles of human growth and faith development, they understand how to leverage opportunities for holistic learning across the life of the church, and they can help learners engage in deep study of scripture and theology. Whether you are a dedicated volunteer, a home-grown practitioner, or a paid professional, come for a taste of what educators with this training can mean for your congregation and presbytery! Led by elected members of the PC(USA) Educator Certification Committee.
2:45-3:30 p.m. Big Tent Workshops—SessioN I
Fringe Christianity: An Ecumenical and Collaborative Project in Hoosier Country
Pastors are leaders not only of religious institutions. They are community organizers, social workers, translators, and more. In Bloomington, Indiana, Rev. Mihee Kim-Kort is a convener of campus, mainline leaders, and local service agency workers. The focus of this loose collective is on collaborating on worship, prayer, and issues of justice specifically in Hoosier country. These ecumenical gatherings provide an alternative, robust witness of the work of Jesus Christ in local community. This workshop will provide information behind the impetus of these projects, and ideas for implementing more in your own neighborhoods. Led by Rev. Mihee Kim-Kort, campus minister for UKIRK @ IU and the author/editor of Making Paper Cranes, Streams Run Uphill, and Yoked: Stories of a Clergy Couple in Marriage, Family, and Ministry (co-authored with husband, Andy Kort).
Grace and Gratitude in Song
Drawing on resources in Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal and other readily available sources, we will explore historical and current musical expressions of God’s grace and our response of gratitude. From the great hymns of the church to recently composed music of numerous cultures around the globe, we will discover ways for worshipers and learners of all ages to express grace and gratitude in song. Led by William McConnell, Executive Director, Presbyterian Association of Musicians.
Growing in Grace and Gratitude—A New Denominational Children’s Curriculum
God’s grace and our response of gratitude are the foundation of the new PC(USA) denominational children’s curriculum. This workshop will explore grace and gratitude as the theological hallmark of Presbyterian tradition and showcase the importance of nurturing children through an invitation to discipleship that inspires children to learn and practice hospitality, generosity, and love. God’s grace and our gratitude are the heartbeat of our faith, life, and worship—a promising theme for Presbyterian identity and the future of the PC(USA). Led by Mark Hinds and Candace Hill, Congregational Ministries Publishing, PMA.
Ruling Elders as Spiritual Leaders
Being a ruling elder is not all about knowing the Book of Order, serving on committees, and being in meetings. It includes having “maturity of faith,” being “compassionate in spirit,” measuring the congregation’s “fidelity to the Word of God,” and exercising “spiritual discernment.” Explore the spiritual foundations of serving as a ruling elder. Led by Martha Miller, Manager of Ruling Elder Resources and Educator Certification and Assistant Stated Clerk, OGA.
Immigration: A Theological Perspective
Immigration has a number of aspects: political, family, economic, and social. In this session we will look at biblical and theological resources for dealing with current issues in immigration. Led by Charles Wiley, Coordinator for Theology and Worship, PMA.
Presbyterians: Our Future
An open conversation about the future of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Led by Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Larissa Kwong Abazia, Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly (2014).
Native American Storytelling Tradition: Toward a Christian Usage of Native American Culture
Learn about this rich tradition of storytelling and how it can and is being adapted to use in Christian ministries. Led by Rev. Cecil Corbett, former President of Charles Cook Theological School.
Your Call: Personal Navigation for a Successful Search
Are you seeking a call? Have you planned your search? Do you wonder if you need both a resume and a PIF? Would you like some tips on how to prepare for an interview? Join a discussion on these questions and others in this workshop to help you prepare to successfully navigate a search for your call! Led by Ruth Gardner, Manager, Human Resources, PMA.
4:00 p.m. Closing Worship—Alumni Memorial
Preacher—Paul Roberts, President, Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary
Evening Free evening to enjoy downtown Knoxville and the area and other optional events
6:00 p.m. World Mission Dinner
Join Presbyterian World Mission for a family-friendly dinner at a medium-priced restaurant (TBD) near campus. Learn and play, eat and visit, and walk away ready to follow in God’s mission wherever you go.
6:00 p.m. Presbyterian Intercultural Young Adult Network Post Conference
Theme: Living Missionary
Begins with dinner, ends after lunch on Sunday.
Free for any young adult who registers for the full Big Tent.
Open to all young adults! We are a testifying community who believes in transformative discipleship and the liberating healing of Jesus Christ. As young adults in the PC(USA), we come together to witness God’s good work in our lives both in and outside of the church. We recognize that our unity is enlightened by our different cultures and backgrounds, and from a mosaic of generational traditions and beliefs. We are committed to the work of the Holy Spirit, especially in being disciples and by making disciples of others for the establishment of the Realm of God.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
SUNDAY, AUGUST 2
6:30–9:00 a.m. Presidential Court Cafeteria open for Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Presbyterian Intercultural Young Adult Network continues
12:00 noon Presbyterian Intercultural Young Adult Network Lunch
included for those registered for this post-Big Tent conference
The Presbytery of East Tennessee invites you to visit one of its congregations on this Sabbath Day. A list with links to maps and directions is at www.presbyteryeasttn.org/churches/index.asp.
General Information about Big Tent 2015. Check back for updates.
The detailed schedule of events for Big Tent 2015. Check back for updates. A Word version of this schedule is available to download by clicking here.
Presbyterian Hunger Program newsletter from Spring 2015- Breaking Chains.
Engage the Gospel, Discipleship, Your Community and Church Shifts
Engage is about effective evangelism that is part of a disciple making church culture that emphasizes both the importance of social justice and faith sharing. It begins with the Jesus question, “who do you say that I am?”
This reimbursable grant—up to a maximum funding of $500 (payable after receipt of approved related and paid receipted expenses)—is intended to provide financial assistance to women who are active in the PC(USA) to participate in the work of Presbyterian Women for personal leadership development.
To apply for a grant, at least 90 days prior to need, mail this form with the three letters of endorsement to
PW Leadership Development Grant Program
100 Witherspoon St.
Louisville, KY 40202-1396
Those who attended the Multicultural Dinner and Celebration at Fort Street Presbyterian Church during the 221st General Assembly (2014) experienced a prophetic moment. The guest speaker, Dr. Rodger Nishioka, associate professor of Christian education at Columbia Theological Seminary, told those in multicultural and cross-cultural ministries that it is time to move on to the next stage toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive church: that of intercultural ministries.” In calling the church to intercultural ministries, he did not condemn the stages that preceded it—mainly multicultural and cross-cultural ministries. Instead, Nishioka celebrated each for playing timely roles as stepping stones to advancing the church across the deep, and sometimes troubling, waters of social change and progress in its quest to becoming racially and culturally diverse and generationally inclusive.
Several years ago, the PC(USA) made the leap from social integration to embrace the multicultural church movement. Demographic shifts and a new openness to creating what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called the “beloved community” encouraged our congregations to open their doors and welcome people of other races, ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds into their life and mission in Christ. Thanking God for the magnificent journey thus far, the time now begs for the PC(USA) to make a progressive step.
Presbyterian Mission Agency Executive Director Linda Valentine shared with those gathered at the dinner that she had attended a family wedding at which the bride, groom, and wedding party were of many races and cultures. She said that the world has changed, and her children engage interculturally.
Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter, director of Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries, greeted the group, saying, “Friends, today is an opportunity to explore what we believe is our cross-cultural/intercultural mission and vision for the changing landscape in the church.”
Nishioka discussed definitions of multicultural, cross-cultural, and intercultural communities and described the progression within the church and society that has prompted the need to engage in intercultural ministries:
In Multicultural communities, we live alongside one another. We value tolerance, and celebrate one another’s culturally distinctive cuisine, dress, music, dance, and related outward expressions of culture. It usually requires only superficial and polite social interaction.
Imagine season ticket holders at sporting events. They share the same box, sit next to each other at every home game, root for the same team year after year, but at the same time live in isolation from one another, unaware of and not involved in the reality of each other.
In many of our congregations in general, and particularly in multicultural congregations, people are quietly struggling with hard questions to which there are no easy answers. While glorious and joyous encounters often occur in multicultural settings, these events tend to fall short of deeper engagement and learning.
In Cross-Cultural communities, there is some reaching across boundaries. We try to build bridges of relationship between our cultural communities by sharing, listening, learning, and being open to changing. It usually requires intentionality, and programs of education and community building.
Even as we forge ahead to build a diverse community, power and justice dynamics, which continue to loom large, are seldom discussed. The results can lead to retardation in mutual involvement, learning, and growth.
In Intercultural communities there are comprehensive mutuality, reciprocity, and equality. Our social structures and everyday interactions are defined by justice, mutuality, respect, equality, understanding, acceptance, freedom, diversity, peacemaking, and celebration. Intercultural community hopes to take us deeper than multicultural or cross-cultural models of community.
Nishioka contends that intercultural ministry is the gateway to effective engagement with youth and young adults. Outside of the church, many are experiencing intercultural life as a norm, attending schools that are global in makeup and where in some cases 30 or 40 languages are spoken. Socially, youth and young adults have crossed racial and cultural boundaries and are relating to one another in ways that 50 years ago Dr. King referred to as “a dream.” Lacking this creative movement in their home churches, many young people have opted to participate in church communities that reflect the world as they know it.
Living interculturally is moving from merely creating space for diverse people to gather and culturally share, to what our friends in the United Church of Canada refer to as “becoming radically welcoming the call to live together in intentional ways where there is mutual recognition and understanding of cultural differences.”
Recently, I collaborated with First Presbyterian Church, Champaign IL on the challenges of becoming an intercultural worshiping community. In the last two years 50 members from Central Africa, mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, began attending worship. Together, we began the discussion of what it means to enter into new community and maintain cultural authenticity.
At the core of intercultural ministries is empathy—the ability and desire to move pass the surface of relationship, and stand in the shoes of others, to see what they see, to feel what they feel, and then, as one in Christ—walk through these experiences together.
The office of Intercultural Ministries will partner with mid councils, congregations, and groups in making the PC(USA) a radically welcoming community for all. Please contact Sterling Morse, coordinator of Cross Cultural and Intercultural Ministries, at email@example.com for more information.
Ten ways to end violence against women and children.
Estas ayudas litúrgicas semanales están basadas en el Leccionario Común Revisado. Este recurso, en español e inglés, tiene como objetivo el brindar apoyo al ministerio de las iglesias cuyo servicio de adoración es en español o bilingüe, y provee sugerencias y enlaces en dónde buscar otros recursos para complementar la adoración de la iglesia.
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These weekly liturgical helps are based on the Revised Common Lectionary. This resource, in Spanish and English, aims to support the ministry of churches whose worship service is in Spanish, or bilingual and provides suggestions aand links of where to get other resources to supplement the worship service of your church.
If you are interested in knowing when this materials are available, you can subscribe to the Resources and Relationships e-bulletin here. I you want to learn more about Spanish language resources, please visit our website.
Help share the wonderful story, Shanti Means Peace, which tells the wonderful story of the prayer worldwide prayer movement, the Fellowship of the Least Coin. This PDF contains songs, recipes, crafts and other resources to help children understand how this prayer movement started and what it means.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was one of the 28 civil society organizations chosen to make an oral statement to the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Ryan Smith, Presbyterian Representative to the United Nations, presented the statement on 18 March 2015.