Brown Members Attend “Eye-Opening” Big Tent Event

A large screen at Washington University's Graham Chapel displays the words "Big Tent."

Julie Hanks and Chrystie Adams, members of Brown Memorial’s Global Mission Committee, participated in the recent Presbyterian Church (USA) Big Tent event in St. Louis, MO, July 6-8.  The theme of the conference was Race, Reconciliation, and Reformation, and both Julie and Chrystie attended workshops, opening and closing worship services and Bible studies on the campus of Washington University.


Big Tent is the biennial event of the PC(USA) held on off years from the denomination’s General Assembly. More than 600 people attended this year’s event


Both Chrystie and Julie reported back that the conference was eye-opening, difficult and gave them much to think about as they process all that they experienced. 


The workshops/events they attended were:

  • Presbyterian Response to Native American Issues: The Apology and the Doctrine of Discovery – Brown Memorial’s partner with the Pejuhutazizi Family Learning Camp, Fern Cloud, was one of the presenters.
  • Disrupting Racism: Building the Intercultural Community
  • Actualizing the DREAAM: Addressing Issues Facing African American Boys in Early Education
  • A visit on Friday evening to the First Presbyterian Church of Ferguson, MO
  • Courageous Race Talk: Be Reconciled, but First Be Discomforted
  • How We Struggle: Race, Reconciliation, and Young Adults (YAV)

Chrystie notes that during the event – to go along with the theme of this year’s Big Tent – she took time to read, “Waking up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race,” by Debby Irving.


“This book is an important one for all of us to read and consider as we move to deepen our relationships with Eutaw-Marshburn, Pejuhutazizi, BUILD and all of our brothers and sisters in Christ,” says Chrystie.


Chrystie and Julie are looking forward to the next Big Tent in Baltimore in 2019 and hope that many Brown Memorial youth and adults will be able to attend as well.