Big Tent Reflections – Part 1

I know it’s going to take a little more time than I’ve had so far to reflect and write, but here are a few things I want to make note of after a few days in Indy at the PC(USA) Big Tent Conference.

1. This was a great bookend to my experience at GA almost exactly a year ago. The same buzz of people meeting, reconnecting and introducing one another in the hallways and lobbies. The same crazy schedule. Another wacky meeting hall maze (not the conference’s fault- something about convention hall architecture).

2. When this many Presbyterians get together and DON’T have to vote… they really do have a good time. I have no idea how theologically diverse (or not) the gathering was. But in 90% of the workshops I attended, it didn’t matter. The conversations centered on the work of moving forward- addressing the needs of this broken and hurting world by inviting them to see God. Not a church. God.

3. The golden thread that has been running through many conversations about what we need in order to be successful in our efforts to move forward as part of God’s reconciling mission: Healthy Spiritual Leaders. That one needs unpacking in its own post for sure.

4. We need to be telling stories. Stories that remind us of the truth that God is indeed still in the resurrection business. That Christ is indeed healing and restoring churches as well as individuals. That the Holy Spirit is breathing new life in places that seemed too old to endure in this fast-paced age. We need to find ways to share stories broadly, quickly and directly. More on that one, too.

5. Even if these were the last 1700ish Presbyterians left in the country (thanks be to God we are not!) I would be proud to be counted among them, share laughter and tears with them, and go through the pain of the pruning with them. The conversations I had, heard, and heard about were wonderful affirmations that God has called me to this denomination and is preparing work for me, even as God is equipping me.

Off to church… to ponder and praise.


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