College Conference @ Montreat

Compassionate Community

The 2019 College Conference at Montreat will respond to God’s call for compassion in a broken world.

A Montreat Conference Center Event
January 2–5, 2019

In Luke we read, “Be compassionate just as God is compassionate” (Luke 6:36) and 2 Corinthians proclaims “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

The 2019 College Conference at Montreat will respond to God’s call for compassion in a broken world. As a community of faith we will discern God’s compassionate nature and how God is calling us to act with compassion in our communities, campuses, churches, and families. We will learn from faith leaders and organizations who are living lives of compassion, working towards justice and peace in their communities. Father Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, writes: “Compassion isn’t just about feeling the pain of others; it’s about bringing them in toward yourself. If we love what God loves, then, in compassion, margins get erased. ‘Be compassionate as God is compassionate,’ means the dismantling of barriers that exclude.” Join us as we create a community of compassion through worship, play, study, and fellowship and consider how God is calling us to dismantle barriers, comfort those in trouble, and to live lives of compassion.

Conference Resources

Please check the College Conference resources link to download handouts for the event.

Event Leadership

Eboo Patel – Keynote Speaker

Eboo Patel is a leading voice in the movement for interfaith cooperation and the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a national nonprofit working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. He is the author of Acts of Faith, Sacred Ground and Interfaith Leadership. Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Eboo served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council. He is a regular contributor to the public conversation around religion in America and a frequent speaker on the topic of religious pluralism. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. For over fifteen years, Eboo has worked with governments, social sector organizations, and college and university campuses to help realize a future where religion is a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division.

Residents of The Swannanoa Valley Correctional Center (SCCW) – Keynote Speakers

We will be joined by residents and chaplains of the Swannanoa Valley Correctional Center who will share about their personal experiences in the prison system. They will address the topic of mass incarceration and examine justice issues at both a micro and macro level so that conferees can consider more deeply how they might engage with addressing those issues in their own communities.

Chaplain Carol Dalton – Keynote Speaker

Graduating with a BA from Mercer University in Macon, GA, Carol majored in English and Christianity. She received her MDiv from M. Christopher White School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC in 2001. From there, she received her Clinical Pastoral Education at the VA Hospital in Asheville, NC, and at Rutherford County Hospital. Her chaplain training included work with patients experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, other mental health issues, substance abuse issues, and end-of-life issues. Carol was ordained at The Chapel Door in Fairview, NC in 2006, and she received a Chaplain Endorsement from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Atlanta, GA in 2008. In June 2007, Carol began as an Interim Chaplain at SCCW during the sabbatical of Chaplain Lynn Michie. Upon Lynn’s return, Carol was asked to continue in a permanent position as the prison population increased.

Chaplain Shannon Spencer – Keynote Speaker

Chaplain Shannon Spencer is the founder and director of Asheville Poverty Initiative. She has a BS in Special Education from Appalachian State University and an MDiv from Duke Divinity School. Currently she is working on her Doctorate at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA and graduates in May 2018. After coaching at the Div. I level in women’s basketball, Shannon finally gave into her call to ministry. She has served churches in Illinois, California and North Carolina. In California, she started a jail ministry team at her church that led to serving as the chaplain for the Santa Cruz Co. Sheriff’s Dept. She says of both ministerial locales: “I have had many teachers along the way - some living in gated communities while others behind the gates of prisons and jails. It's been a beautifully broken journey framed by abundant grace and radical love.”

Reverend Aisha Brooks-Lytle – Preacher

Reverend Aisha Brooks-Lytle (A.K.A - Pastor Eesh) is a native of Philadelphia. She graduated from Central High School and holds a BS in Music from Temple University. After spending a significant time as youth director at Wayne Presbyterian Church, she obtained an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. She served various other churches in the Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding area through her music ministry and in her ministry of preaching, teaching, and pastoral care before returning to Wayne Presbyterian Church in February 2013. Aisha has served as a mission pastor for Wayne Presbyterian while she was also serving as the organizing pastor for The Common Place, a faith-based arts and education center in Southwest Philadelphia. Aisha is now serving as the executive presbyter for the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. She is honored and overjoyed to serve in this new role as an encourager to the congregations and leaders in the Presbytery.

Jamie Thompson – Music Leader

Jamie Thompson has enjoyed making music since she was about six years old. She is a 2011 graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary. Jamie has served in several pastoral positions for churches in North Carolina over the last few years. She is currently serving as Pastor for the wonderful community of Pink Hill United Methodist Church in Pink Hill, NC. When she is not playing music she enjoys being outside, running, reading, rocking on her porch, and waiting for the next Star Wars movie to be released.

Laura Thompson – Music Leader

Laura Thompson is currently serving as pastor at Pleasant Green United Methodist Church in Durham, NC. She graduated with a BA in Religion from Mount Olive College and from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond with a Masters of Divinity. She is an ordained elder in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. Prior to moving to Durham, Laura served as Director of Christian Education for two years at Swansboro UMC, Associate Pastor at Centenary UMC (New Bern) for a year, and two years as a solo pastor at Candor UMC. In her free time, you can find her on the trails by the Eno River, running or biking, reading a book, watching NC State sports, or spending time with family and friends. Music has always been an important part of her life with God and with others and it's always a joy to be singing with the Montreat family!

Rev. Tami Forte Logan – Critical Conversation Leader

Rev. Tami Forte Logan was born in Germany, raised in Virginia, and has resided in Western NC for 30 years. She lives in the foothills of Western NC where she enjoys gardening, the arts, spending time with her grandchildren, her 12 chickens and being an empty nester with her husband, John. Tami is the pastor of Pharr Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion church. She is a popular educator, community organizer, cultural organizer and the business owner of Inside & Out Consulting. Tami has been fostering the healing of both oppression and white supremacy for over 20 years. She believes “If I am unwilling to support the liberation of all humanity, then I will never be free myself.” Tami is the Equity Missioner for a collaborative ministry between Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and the Cathedral of All Souls Episcopal Church that addresses white supremacy in the church. She is also the Lead Organizer of Faith 4 Justice – Asheville. Faith 4 Justice is a coalition of ecumenical and multi-faith clergy and faith leaders provoking justice for black and brown bodied people through discernment, advocacy, capacity building in racial equity, and providing a ministry of presence with impacted communities.

David LaMotte – Critical Conversation Leader

David LaMotte is an author, speaker, and professional musician, with over 3000 concerts worldwide to his credit. His books include White Flour, an illustrated introduction to nonviolence based on the true story of a Klan rally that was met by a clown rally, subverting hatred with humor, and Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness, a look at the erroneous stories we tell about how large-scale change happens, and the impact of those stories on our daily choices. His twelfth CD, The Other Way Around, features musicians from every inhabited continent. David lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina, with his wife, son, eight chickens and a betta fish.

Tyrone Greenlee – Critical Conversation Leader

Tyrone Greenlee is a native of Asheville, NC, and currently works as director of Christians for a United Community, a non-profit coalition of churches which mobilizes people of faith around issues of social justice focusing on dismantling racism and the disparities caused by racism. He also works as a mentor/mediator at the Francine Delany New School for Children in West Asheville. Tyrone is a community activist, having served on the boards of Children First, The Center For Participatory Change, and the WCQS Advisory Board. Tyrone currently serves on the boards of Just Economics, Green Opportunities, and Hands and Feet of Asheville. In addition, Tyrone volunteers with the Building Bridges of Asheville anti-racism organization. Tyrone is a member of the New Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church where he serves in the sanctuary choir, the men’s choir, works with youth ministry, and where he was ordained as a Deacon in January of 2012. He is also a member of Circle of Mercy Congregation in Asheville.

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