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#ConfessionsOfAPastor – Psalm 51

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A devotional from Rev. Dr. Aram Bae I’m tired of this. We’re three weeks deep, and I am over this (truth be told, I was over it after day 3).  I’m having a hard time with this stay at home, work from home, take an afternoon stroll, Zoom everything, FaceTime some things, record this and that, email non-stop because everything is an emergency and changes quickly, must stay in front of the situation and not behind, do this and that creatively and online, look at the screen, multiple screens at the same time, grab your earbuds, where the heck are …

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“Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10

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A devotional from Lewis Galloway March 24, 2020 One of the hardest things to do in a crisis is to be still! As a confirmed extrovert, I have never found, even in easy times, stillness and quiet to come easily.  Being told to be still is a bit like being told to calm down when the mind, heart and body are on fire with anxiety.   The words of W. B. Yeats, “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world… (The Second Coming)” fit our time. The lives of loved ones are threatened by a …

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SO, WE DO NOT LOSE HEART

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A devotional from the Rev. Eileen Lindner The following is a reflection on 2 Corinthians 4:7-18. Offered at the MRA Board Meeting, March 17, 2020 In this fraught moment of the coronavirus pandemic Paul reminds us that we “have these treasures in clay jars…” Today all over the globe these clay jars are sickened, shattered and broken by the coronavirus. We know that as the clay jars break so to do human hearts. For such a time as this did Paul write these words of courage, faith and hope. “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but …

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A Thin Place

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What does a thin place mean to you? Reflect by Lake Susan, worship in Anderson Auditorium, relax over breakfast in the Galax Dining Room… It’s easy to see the natural beauty of a thin place when the conference center is nestled in between the rolling hills and tall oaks… Read more.

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A Montreat Summer Tradition

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With summer over, you might be missing one of the most integral parts of a Montreat summer: barn dances. In 1969, Glenn Bannerman spent his first summer as director of recreation here at Montreat Conference Center. With him, he brought his love for recreation… Read more.

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Love Led Me to Montreat

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For two amazing weeks, I had the joy of serving as a small group leader for Montreat Youth Conference 2019: Let Love Lead… My biggest regret? Why did I wait so long?!?… Read more.

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This is Like, a Bob Ross Painting

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“This is like, a Bob Ross painting,” says SK through deep breaths. A group of us are on Lookout Rock in Montreat for sunrise, and it’s becoming more worth the 5:30 a.m. departure as… Read more.

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Beyond Lookout

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Looking for an alternative hike to Lookout? Here are three trails worth trying if you’re looking for a new hiking experience.

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Thank you, the MYAEs

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The rhododendrons have bloomed, preparations for summer are in full swing and the MYAEs have completed their time with Montreat. From their orientation to their final potluck party, the MYAEs want to share…

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What to do in Montreat as an MYAE

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Now in their seventh month in the valley, the MYAEs share their favorite memories, places, and much more that they’ve experienced in Montreat.

“Montreat Mural” Rededication

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On December 12, 2018, Montreat Conference Center hosted a service of rededication for the “Montreat Mural,” a gift to the conference center from the family of Margaret Willcox and Wilbur Hoke Currie. This unique work of art was designed and created by James David (Jim) Southerland, Assistant Professor of Art at Montreat College and former Director of the Wilbur Hoke Currie Craft Center in Montreat. The mural is made of stoneware clay, multi-fired, multi-glazed, and lustered and features the following Montreat Motifs: Water–lake and streams; Trees–woods and forests; and Flora–dogwood, azalea, rhododendron. The “Montreat Mural” was commissioned in loving memory …

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Montreat Conference Center Logos through the Years

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A logo is an important piece of any institution. It’s a visual marker to let people know who you are. As we launch our latest version of the Montreat Conference Center logo, let’s take a look at the changes to our visual identity through the ages. See if you can spot all the changes in fonts, mountains, shapes, and colors! The 1960s & 1970s   The 1980s    The 1990s   The 2000s The 2010s   2018 (Present) You might have noticed lately that the teardrop with the mountains and trees has disappeared. That’s because we’ve been keeping the new design …

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Experiencing Montreat Sans Schedule

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Often times you come to Montreat for a conference or an organized retreat. While these are great reasons to make the trip, there is something to be said for coming to the mountains with no agenda. Read more…

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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 …

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 …

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.

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.

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 …

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Fall Into Montreat

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Montreat Conference Center has been buzzing with life since the start of summer, and we don’t plan to slow down as we enter fall. Montreat Youth Conferences have come to a close, and now begins the season of private retreats and adult conferences. Churches, interest groups, non-profits, corporations, and family reunions from across the nation will gather at Montreat Conference Center for their very own, customized Montreat experience. It is no wonder why we host so many groups from September to November: fall in Montreat is truly remarkable. As you can imagine, fall and spring weekends are usually our busiest …

Youth Conference: Parker’s Life-changing and Life-giving Experience

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Re-posted with permission from Parker Cutler and Saint Luke’s Presbyterian Church. Do you have a great Montreat story to share? Send a message to joshr[at]montreat.org. It’s hard to put into words everything that Montreat has meant to me over the past four years. Most of my time in high school has involved Montreat in one way or another and I can’t imagine who I’d be without it. Anyone who has been there will tell you that it’s a “thin place:” a place where heaven and earth are just a little bit closer together. That much was obvious to me the instant …

Make The Most of Your MYC

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One of the great pleasures of my job at Montreat is getting to work with all kinds of great people and helping them to have a fulfilling time.  I am constantly in search of helpful hints and ideas to share with folks heading our way. As this summer is gearing up, I find myself asking the question: What are ways that groups can make the most of their visit to Montreat? What information might be helpful for folks as they come through the ‘gate’- whether it is the first time or the thirtieth. During a recent visit to Bellevue Presbyterian Church …