The Ultimate Guide to July 4 in Montreat

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In 2018 we celebrated the 50th year of the Montreat 4th of July Parade. Whether you’re coming for the first or 50th time, there’s so much that goes on in Montreat each year, you’ll always have an opportunity to try something new! 1. Wake Up with the Montreat Gait 5K Race A beloved tradition by area runners and walkers, the Gait Race starts every year at 7:00am at the Montreat Gate! The race will be accompanied by a shorter walk, which will also begin at the Gate at 7:00 am. There is no entrance fee, registration, or T-shirt, so we’ll just …

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Friends of Robert Lake Park Rebuilding Fund

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Update – June 14, 2018 Thirteen days ago, I shared with you news of the damage to Robert Lake Park following recent flooding. Today, I am overjoyed to update you that over 300 donors from more than 26 states have contributed just over $100,000. On behalf of all who love the park, we are eternally grateful for this generous response! First estimates for the cost of repair ranged from $80,000–$100,000. As of today it appears that the final cost could end up toward that $100,000 neighborhood, or perhaps a little higher. Still, I wanted to let you know of the …

May 2018 Rainfall Update

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Montreat residents and guests continue to feel the effects of record rainfall over the past three weeks. The impact of overnight flooding was evident around town on Wednesday morning. The Town of Montreat public works crews are already working hard to restore roads, while the conference center is assessing damage to MRA property. At present, Robert Lake Park has sustained significant damage and is closed to the public. The Montreat Campground is also closed due to the closure of Calvin Trail. The conference center cooperates with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) and follows assigned protocols …

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On Remembering and Repentance

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As we prepare for the coming summer, I offer the following statement to remind all who love Montreat of the MRA’s continuing commitment to become more hospitable to all of its guests and conferees. Richard DuBose, President, Mountain Retreat Association  “And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’” (Matthew 13:52) This passage suggests that Christian community has a treasure, a gift of God that contains both what is old and what is new. We …

What Makes Montreat

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We asked lifelong Montreater Levi Bannerman, what is so special about Montreat? We know it’s hard to explain, it’s more than just a place, and can be many different things to as many different people. Here’s what Levi had to say about this place that has shaped him. Montreat’s nature and programs challenge young people and adults alike to think outside convention. Time in Montreat allows for difficult conversations in a place set apart, to retreat from the world but not run away from it. There’s a special connection that is formed between people when you spend quality time together …

Montreat Conference Center Remembers Rev. Billy Graham

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We are deeply grateful for the Reverend Billy Graham and his life in ministry, which stands as a testament to the power of Christ, evangelized honestly and authentically by a man so gifted for that purpose. To millions, Reverend Graham was the world’s most famous and influential Christian leader. Montreat, however, was home; he and wife Ruth chose this valley to raise their family and to rest and retreat from the rigors of their very public lives. Here in the valley, on those occasions that he ventured into town, Reverend Graham’s reputation as a neighbor of humility and warmth had …

Mike Morse Set To Retire From Montreat Conference Center

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Richard DuBose, president of Montreat Conference Center, announced that Mike Morse would retire from his role as vice president of hospitality and facilities at the end of 2018. Morse has served in this role since 2005 and has overseen the most ambitious renovations to the conference center campus in many years. “Mike came to Montreat when the conference center badly needed new ideas in hospitality and new vision for its campus and facilities,” said DuBose. “Mike’s leadership has been instrumental in making Montreat a far more welcoming, beautiful, and environmentally friendly place.” A search for Morse’s replacement will begin in …

The First Snow

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There’s a certain excitement, and some might even say magic, around an early season snow. Whether it’s waking up to that cushioned silence, taking those first steps into a crisp white morning, or working up a sweat scraping off your car, the first snow invokes some kind of feeling for us all. The first snow of the season came to Montreat in the early morning hours of Friday, December 8, 2017, and the snow kept falling all day. We thought we’d share some pictures of the snow taken by our staff over the snowy weekend. The gate is beautiful in …

2017 Year in Review

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As the new year approaches, it’s nice to look back and remember what the previous year held. For Montreat, 2017 held new programs, fresh iterations of traditions, and so much more. Here are a few of the things we loved about 2017! College Conference 2017 at Montreat Every year College Conference at Montreat is an exciting four days. It’s energizing to start the year with such a large gathering of young people. Check out this write-up by the Presbyterian News Service about the opening night of College Conference at Montreat 2017 and see photos here! Feb Ski Feb Ski 2017 …

Montreat Conference Center Hires New Vice President for Development

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MONTREAT, NC – Montreat Conference Center is pleased to announce that Seth Hagler has been appointed as the new vice president for development. Hagler will be responsible for guiding the institution’s fundraising and developmental initiatives and will begin his work in early 2018. “Seth Hagler possesses a wonderful blend of professional expertise and an authentic appreciation for Montreat and the conference center’s mission,” said Richard DuBose, president of the conference center. “We are delighted that he is joining our team.” A resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, Hagler most recently served as senior class officer at Tulane University. He holds a …

Glen Rock & Winsborough To Be Renovated

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Have you ever stayed at The Winsborough or Glen Rock Inn? If you have, it’s likely you’ve noticed our two largest lodges are a little, well, out of date. Good news: we are currently renovating the two lodges! This post includes information about ongoing, planned, and proposed renovations to The Winsborough (capacity: 61) and Glen Rock Inn (capacity: 33). To support these renovations, visit montreat.org/givenow. The Winsborough Paint A little fresh paint will revitalize any room! We’re planning to paint each of the 31 guest rooms in Winsborough. Curtains & Bedding Floral is timeless, but maybe not this particular floral. …

Montreat Conference Center Celebrates Successful $18M Fundraising Campaign

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MONTREAT, NC – Montreat Conference Center held a reception in Anderson Auditorium to celebrate the successful conclusion of its comprehensive fundraising campaign. The Building On The Tradition campaign ran from May 2011 through April of 2017 and received $18.1 million dollars in commitments, $1.1 million over its projected target. Over 2,500 people from forty-three states and two Canadian provinces contributed to this campaign, as did 209 churches and presbyteries. Richard DuBose, president of the conference center, had this to say about the completion of the campaign: “This campaign has been transformational for our ministry and mission. The generous response speaks …

All Are Welcome Here: A Few Things To Know About Montreat Conference Center

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Montreat Conference Center hosts over 30,000 guests in Montreat each year. We are fond of saying “All are welcome here.” Below is an FAQ that helps to explain the commonalities, distinctions, and differences of the three largest institutions that inhabit the Montreat valley. As Montreat Conference Center, we continue to strive to demonstrate intentional hospitality to all who enter the Montreat gate and to be good neighbors to everyone in the valley. 1. Okay, first things first. Who are you? We are the Montreat Conference Center. You may sometimes hear of us as the “Mountain Retreat Association,” our corporate/legal name …

6 Radically Beautiful Things Happening Right Now

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What does it really mean to be, or to create something that is, radically beautiful? Can art change the world? We don’t totally know the answer to these questions, but we do know that art can change us. Art makes us human; it nourishes our souls and it challenges us to grow in our faith. There is beauty all around us, every day, sometimes we just need to find it. Check out these six things happening all over the country right now, and visit us in October for four full days of #RadicalBeauty. 1. This group of artists preserving Nina …

11 Things the Building On The Tradition Campaign Has Given Us

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Montreat: working hard to keep our roofs over your heads since 2011. In July 2017, Montreat celebrated a successful capital campaign called Building On The Tradition. This campaign contributed countless improvements to Montreat and was funded by generous donors like you. Let’s take a look at just eleven of the things Building On The Tradition has given Montreat! 1. New Rooms in Assembly Inn Aside from the fresh look, all the furniture, mattresses and box springs, draperies, duvet covers, shams, bed skirts, shower curtains, artwork, frames, ceramic tile, carpet, and ceiling tiles (36,500 of them) in the renovated Assembly Inn were …

Assembly Inn Room Dedication Honors Lives of Service

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Members of First Presbyterian in Church Charleston, WV, and friends recently honored Dean and Rebecca Thompson by dedicating a guest room in their honor at the historic Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center’s iconic hotel located in Montreat, NC. Dean and Rebecca were much loved in Charleston where they served at First Presbyterian Church from1996 until 2004. Known as both an innovator and bridge builder in Charleston, Dean was awarded the 2004 Martin Luther King Award by the WV Chapter of the NAACP. Dean is a distinguished scholar, preacher, and pastor having also served pastorates in Montgomery, WV; Austin, TX; and …

On Hamilton And The Saint John’s Bible!

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By Ann Laird Jones, leader for “Illuminating the Text” course offered at the upcoming Columbia Theological Seminary Spiritual Formation Week in Montreat February 9, 2017—The Broadway musical Hamilton (which I have only heard but never seen) catches you at every turn. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lyrics, music, and choreography of space bring the story of Alexander Hamilton alive—a person whose face we have seen for years and years on every $10 bill we happen to come across, yet whose details have remained largely unknown—and in the process completely captures our imaginations. I have listened to the brilliant lyrics for twelve hours at …

Trent Returns to Montreat in 2018

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The Trent@Montreat Conference will return April 16-19, 2018, and promises to offer more opportunities for church leaders to engage in ways that practically equip them for ministry. Trent@ Montreat was offered as a pilot project in 2016 and focused exclusively on nurturing church leaders. The format of bringing together mentors, relevant topics, and participants seeking opportunities to grow their skill set for practical ministry was a great success. The uniqueness of the Trent@Montreat conference begins with the diversity of the sponsoring organizations: Montreat Conference Center, NEXTChurch, Second Presbyterian Church of Roanoke, VA, and Union Presbyterian Seminary. Though diverse as organizations, …

Montreat to Provide Staging Area and Housing for WNC Firefighters

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Montreat Conference Center is working with the North Carolina Forestry Service to provide a staging area and housing for approximately 47 firefighters who have been dispatched to Western North Carolina during this extremely dry period. The crews will be here for a 14-day rotation, beginning Saturday, November 5. You will likely notice Forestry Service equipment and personnel in Montreat throughout this period. As a reminder, there is a burn ban in effect for Buncombe County. If you see a fire, please call 911. We will keep you updated as relevant information becomes available.

Melissa Harris-Perry to Speak at Montreat Conference Center

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A NFL quarterback refuses to stand for the national anthem in protest of racial inequalities here in the land of the free. Protests in Tulsa, Charlotte, Baltimore, and other major American cities react to the treatment of people of color by law enforcement and the wider justice system. Political candidates within all parties accuse each other of racial bigotry and/or lack of sensitivity. No topic in American public discourse gets far without having to address the issue of structural racism embedded in church and culture. What is the answer? It’s a daunting question, but a crucial one, for as Dr. …

My Year as a Mission Volunteer

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It’s difficult for me to sum up my 8 months as a Mission Volunteer here at Montreat. In the moment, the time felt so long, but looking back now it seems like a whirlwind. It’s funny how time does that to us, but it really was both of those things. In the time that felt long there was space: space to discern, space to daydream about what my life could be, space to work with people who encouraged me to be creative and independent. In the whirlwind time there was driving the Blue Ridge Parkway before the sunrise, going to …

Resource Suggestions for the DisGrace Conference

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As we prepare for the DisGRACE conference in October, we prepare for tough conversations; conversations which are multi-faceted, dynamic, and require critical thought from open minds. These conversations though don’t just start with the conference, they start long before. Laura Cheifetz is vice president of church and public relations for the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. She serves on our master planning team for DisGRACE and has recently published a series of resources about the issues DisGRACE will address and other topics that surround that conversation.

Campaign to Include Anderson Renovation

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An update from Montreat Conference Center’s president Richard DuBose Greetings! With summer around the corner in Montreat and the 2016-2017 fiscal year beginning, I want to provide you a progress report on the Montreat Conference Center and express gratitude to all who have made the successes of this past year possible. In addition, I want to update you on the status of the Building on the Tradition campaign, whose goal is now in sight. Vital Signs Grow Stronger: While way too early to report audited figures, the Montreat Conference Center closed a solid 2015-2016 fiscal year on April 30, thanks …

All are welcome here.

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As you may have heard, on Wednesday the “Public Facilities and Private Security Act” was passed and signed into state law.  The Montreat Conference Center is a private Christian institution that strives to demonstrate intentional hospitality to all. As a key part of that commitment, we will not tolerate on our campus discrimination against any child of God, including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. We will continue to invite our conferees, guests, and visitors to use the restrooms in which they feel most comfortable. Personally, I am dismayed that making such a statement is even …

If Only I Had Some Time with…

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Guest blog by the Rev. George Anderson Trent@Montreat is a different kind of conference. It begins with large group worship and “mini-talks” and then breaks up into workshops where the bulk of the day is spent working with peers and under the guidance of a coach in a specific area of ministry. Maybe it is too much to say it is provided as an answer to prayer. Maybe it is enough to say it is “an answer to a wish.” For those who think, “If only I could have some quality time to focus on…” this conference might be a …