Big Tent 2019 wrapped up on Saturday with closing worship and an afternoon gathering designed to help people who attended Big Tent to carry the excitement of the event into their daily lives of ministry back home.
The morning’s closing worship began with a standing ovation for Tom Hay, the retiring director of Assembly Operations for the Office of the General Assembly. The Rev. Dr. Renita Weems of the Ray of Hope Community Church in Nashville, TN, spoke about Reuben and how he had chances to redeem his mistakes but did not take them.
“We must all say to ourselves, how did we get here?” Renita said. “God gives us a chance to redeem all of our mistakes. We make all of our choices, and our choices make us.”
A remembrance was had for the Rev. Dr. Katie Cannon, the first ordained, black woman in the PCUSA who passed away one year ago. An offering benefited the Katie Geneva Cannon Scholarship, which supports Presbyterian women of color, female pastors and other women with opportunities for leadership, spiritual development and mission in the PCUSA.
Plenary III – Sending Out
Big Tent 2019 concluded with a debriefing of what had transpired during the last three days. Led by PCUSA Co-Moderators Cindy Kohlmann and Vilmarie Cintron-Olivieri, they had each person in attendance self-address postcards and write on them things to remind themselves of a few months down the road. The co-moderators collected the postcards and will mail them out in three months, sending them back to the authors as reminders of challenges Big Tent provided.