Participants in the Compassion, Peace and Justice conference at this summer’s Big Tent shouldn’t expect to sit passively and listen to well-known speakers. Instead, they should be prepared to learn, reflect and act.

“We’re trying to put together a conference that will build on itself, from education to action,” said Rebecca Barnes, associate for environmental ministries and part of the conference planning team. The August 1-3 event in Louisville is one of 10 national conferences scheduled as part of Big Tent.  

Turning the Tables — which is being billed as a summit rather than a typical conference — is inspired by Matthew 21: 12-14, in which Jesus turns over the tables of merchants in the temple. The conference will focus on food justice, using that as a lens through which to explore other areas of social justice.

Through creative worship, interactive workshops, community organizing training and visits to local food justice projects, participants will come away with skills and information that they can apply in their home contexts.

The conference is geared toward those with a heart for social justice issues but who might lack a way to put their faith into action. Organizers are also hoping to attract young adults; in fact, most of the planning team are young adults in their 20s.

“We want to focus on up-and-coming leaders,” Barnes said. “We hope it will be creative and high energy.”