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No Two Days Alike

As much as Montreat seems changeless for some, the one constant at the conference center is this: no two days are alike, and the opportunities and challenges sometimes present themselves from the most unanticipated angles. Stuff happens.   I recently spent a morning, for example, reading up on Canada geese because a family of them has decided to summer in Montreat around Lake Susan. While Canada geese are found in Canada, of course, they are also prevalent in the United States. Numbers of Canada geese were in serious decline in the early 20th century, but a recovery program has proved successful. Thanks …

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The Rev. Pen Peery: June 12, 2022

The guest preacher for Montreat Conference Center’s Summer Worship Series on 6/19/2022 was The Rev. Pen Peery. You can view a portion of the video recorded worship service! Click here to view the archive of sermons.

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Who was Lake Susan named for?

In the spring of 2015, I was giving a tour of Montreat to leaders of other Western North Carolina conference centers. As we walked across the dam, one of my peers asked a perfectly reasonable question: “Who was Lake Susan named for?”   I turned around, searching memories of a lifetime in Montreat: “Um…Susan?” If you ever find me on Jeopardy, bet against me. Embarrassed enough, I vowed never to take Lake Susan for granted again.  You can read a short history here about the boating and the swimming and Lake Susan’s place in our community life. Just as rich is …

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Dr. Jonathan Lee Walton: June 12, 2022

The guest preacher for Montreat Conference Center’s Summer Worship Series on 8/12/2022 was Dr. Jonathan Lee Walton. You can view a portion of the video recorded worship service! Click here to view the archive of sermons.

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Dr. Jerry Root: June 5, 2022

The guest preacher for Montreat Conference Center’s Summer Worship Series on 6/5/2022 was Dr. Jerry Root. You can view a portion of the video recorded worship service! Click here to view the archive of sermons.

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Looking Forward, Together

Welcome to the summer of 2022 in Montreat! As the season beckons us together, our staff and volunteers are making ready for a season that should look and feel remarkably like summers past. Thanks be to God! While gratitude is in order every summer, we are particularly mindful of our blessings now in consideration of what togetherness meant over the past two years. In the summer of 2020, being together often was confined to a passing greeting on the street – at a distance. 2021 brought us more together, but often behind a mask. This summer, we anticipate further steps …

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An Update from Richard DuBose on the Lodge Permit and Huckleberry Renovations

Greetings from Montreat! Today I write to share an update on two important projects that the conference center is currently undertaking.  First, those in Montreat will notice extensive activity at the Moore Center as we begin renovations of the Huckleberry Café space. While it was closed during 2021, we developed plans to revitalize and create a more welcoming gathering space for all who come to Montreat. The initial construction phase will be completed by early June, and we look forward to welcoming you all back for ice cream and coffee this summer!  Over the next two years, a larger vision …

Montreat Announces New Endowment

The Marilyn Jones Endowment has been established to honor and appreciate the 53-year leadership role that Marilyn Jones played in Montreat Conference Center from 1965 through 2018. In the 60’s she brought banners into worship in the auditorium. In 1974 she reopened the Craft Shop at Montreat, with a pottery called the “Upper Story,” later renamed and dedicated “Sally Jones Pottery.” This ministry continues today, celebrating her commitment to the ministry of arts and crafts in Montreat. The purpose of the Marilyn Jones Endowment is in support of the creative use of the arts in Montreat’s summer programs, in hopes …

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Erdelyi Family’s Montreat Story

The First Visit  The Erdelyi family first discovered Montreat when Mike volunteered to join his church’s youth director, Michelle Thomas-Bush of Riverside Presbyterian Church – Jacksonville, FL, at the 2000 Montreat Youth Conference. It was the Sunday after leaving his job at UPS to be a stay-at-home parent, allowing Susan to focus on her role as the City Attorney for Jacksonville Beach. So, he packed their two girls, Alexis (8) and Laura (6), into the car and headed to the mountains.  Their first impression was of both excitement and welcome. As they pulled up to the Currie Craft Center, the first person they saw was Ann Laird Jones, their church’s former interim youth minister. She joyfully shouted, “Welcome, Erdelyis!”   From that moment on, they were “totally in heaven.” The girls felt like rock stars playing on stage in Anderson Auditorium, and they loved their time in clubs. Mike was really impressed with how well the …

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A Prayer of Thanksgiving for the life of James Alexander “Jim” Bryan, II

Dear God, we are grateful that we have the desire this evening to come to you with thanksgiving for the life of James Alexander “Jim” Bryan, II. What an appropriate place – Montreat – to lift up our hearts in celebration for the life of this dear friend and family member. Oh God, even here, in this quiet place of rest and reflection, we have neither the sufficient time nor the words to do justice to our man, Jim. We thank you for the family that raised him and surrounded him – his parents, Harry and Peggy, his brother, Ned, …

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Rev. Dr. Jerry L. Cannon: August 8, 2021

The guest preacher for Montreat Conference Center’s Summer Worship Series on 8/8/2021 was Rev. Dr. Jerry L. Cannon. You can view a portion of the video recorded worship service! Click here to view the archive of sermons.

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“A Life-changing Week in Montreat”

That was the title of the article that Dolly Jacobs, associate pastor for pastoral care of the First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, posted before her departure to Montreat in late July. The church’s youth group was planning to spend the week here, and Dolly wanted everyone in the congregation to know how important that week could be. She wrote: “The theme for that 1986 Montreat Youth Conference was ‘Branded.’ The adult leaders guided us through what it meant to be ‘branded’ by society: athletes, intellectuals, introverts, extroverts, popular kids, etc. As the week unfolded though, those labels were …

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Rev. Ginger E. Gaines-Cirelli: August 1, 2021

The guest preacher for Montreat Conference Center’s Summer Worship Series on 8/1/2021 was Rev. Ginger E. Gaines-Cirelli. You can view a portion of the video recorded worship service! Click here to view the archive of sermons.

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On the Importance of Prudence and Caution

We have enjoyed a remarkably good and healthy run this summer at Montreat Conference Center. On Tuesday, however, one of our participants at youth conference began experiencing symptoms, was immediately isolated, and later tested positive for COVID-19. Yesterday, a second positive was discovered in a different group, and again, appropriate precautions were taken. This morning, we received the news that four more youth from that same group had tested positive. This particular group has left Montreat and is returning home today. For the remainder of this week’s conference schedule, activities have been adjusted to reflect even greater caution. One of …

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Dr. William G. Jones: July 25, 2021

The guest preacher for Montreat Conference Center’s Summer Worship Series on 7/25/2021 was Dr. William G. Jones. You can view a portion of the video recorded worship service! Click here to view the archive of sermons.

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A Purpose That Grows as Generosity Flows

This week’s message is longer than usual, a message adapted from the address given to Montreat Patrons at last week’s reception. I always have a glad and grateful heart when I attend the annual Patrons Reception to honor the donors and leaders who make Montreat’s mission and ministry possible, and when we gathered this past Saturday night, I think my heart set a new record for gladness and gratefulness. As I told those assembled, “Thank God we are here, thank God we are together!” This gathering was an important opportunity to say thank you to the people who have made …

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Dr. Howard Edington: July 18, 2021

The guest preacher for Montreat Conference Center’s Summer Worship Series on 7/18/2021 was Dr. Howard Edington. You can view a portion of the video recorded worship service! Click here to view the archive of sermons.