Fraught & Flummoxed

Courage and Creativity for the Elevation of the Gospel

January 30–February 2, 2023AdultContinuing Education
This event is hosted by Montreat Conference Center
This conference has been moved to new dates! The dates are now January 30 through February 2, 2023. We hope you will join us!

In a time when the gospel of Jesus is threatened by the ascendance of Christian nationalism and white supremacy, what is the apprehensive, overstretched church leader to do? How does a leader tend one’s soul for the elevation of the gospel? How do followers of Jesus meet this moment with courage and imagination?

Building on the content of past conferences such as CoInspire, DisGrace, and MLK’s Unfinished Agenda, we will engage in three days of peer learning group work in partnership with Crossroads to examine the current challenges of leadership in this time and place. Furthermore, we will critically reflect on the obstacles of leadership as well as explore tangible and embodied practices involving creativity, movement, and contemplative exercises with the goal of building capacity and endurance for this important work. All levels of interest and experience are welcome as we will host three customized tracks of learning, nurture, and growth.

Participants will:

  • Deepen their understanding of how they are caught in the cycle of fraught and flummoxed due to external forces and how they are implicated/complicit in legitimizing/upholding these conditions
  • Practice within cohorts and in cross-pollinating spaces the collective nature of this work, learning what it means to be co-conspirators in liberation by engaging in:
    • Critical self-reflection
    • Power analysis
    • Transformative antiracist accountability
    • Animating transforming values
  • Engage in laboratory spaces that awaken the imagination and begin to unlock our capacity for resistance and open us up to new emerging stories
  • Construct their own next steps manual gathered from their interpersonal conversations, practices, and cohort reflections


Rates & Registration

Comprehensive Rate

The comprehensive rates includes conference fee of $190, room in Assembly Inn (Monday through Wednesday night), meals in the Galax Dining Room (Monday dinner through Thursday breakfast), plus a $3 community services fee per adult for public services provided by the Town and the fire district. Housing is based on a first come, first serve.

Assembly Inn
Single Occupancy
Private Bath
Double Occupancy
Private Bath
Single Occupancy
Shared Bath
Double Occupancy
Shared Bath

Commuter Rate

Rate includes the conference fee of $190, plus a $3 community services fee per person for public services provided by the Town and the fire district. Commuter rate does not include lodging or meals.

Housing Check In/Check Out

Check-in Monday, January 30, 2023 after 3:00 pm
Check-out Thursday, February 2, 2023 before 11:00 am

Refund Policy

Cancellations must be received by December 19 in order to receive a full refund less a $25 service charge. Cancellations received after December 19 but on or before January 16 will receive a 50% refund of the conference fee and payments made toward room and meal charges (if applicable) less $40. No refunds will be issued after January 16 All requests must be in writing and received via email, fax, or U.S. mail.

Contact the Registrar

If you have any questions about the registration process, please email the registrar, Susan Akduman at susana@montreat.org or call at 828.419.9829.


Grants are available for this conference. Please contact Lynne Keel at lynnek@montreat.org if you have questions.


Practice labs will awaken our bodies, spirits, and emotional/creative lives through engaging, communal, and experiential practices designed to reveal our relationship to, and disrupt our co-dependency (and complicity) with, systems of white domination. These practices are meant to spark imagination in participants and engage them physically in creative processes (such as baking, hiking, and liturgical arts) that create the dissonance necessary for deepening our antiracist analysis and as well as provide pathways for participants to build resiliency and practice working collaboratively.

Cohort tracks will engage participants in learning for story sharing and critical self-reflection around the internal and external dynamics that have them fraught and flummoxed in the face of socio-political dynamics demanding radical change in the church.

This schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Monday, January 30
2:00–4:00 pm Registration & Check-in (room check-in at 3pm)
4:00–5:00 pm Welcome & Introduction
5:30–6:30 pm Dinner
6:45–7:45 pm Plenary
8:00–8:45 pm Cohort Track Introduction
Tuesday, January 31
7:30–8:30 am Breakfast
8:45–10:15 am Morning Devotion & Setting the Task
10:15–10:30 am Break
10:30 am–12:30 pm Group Time
12:30–1:30 pm Lunch
2:00–3:45 pm Practice Labs
4:00–5:00 pm Afternoon Tea & Shared Learning
5:30–6:30 pm Dinner
6:45 pm Evening Vespers in Cohorts
8:00 pm Reception
Wednesday, February 1
7:30–8:30 am Breakfast
8:45–10:15 am Morning Devotion
10:15–10:30 am Break
10:30 am–12:30 pm Group Time
12:30–1:30 pm Lunch
2:00–3:45 pm Practice Labs
4:15–5:00 pm Afternoon Tea & Shared Learning
5:30–6:30 pm Dinner
6:45 pm Closing Worship
8:00 pm Intentional Joy!
Thursday, February 2
7:30–8:30 am Breakfast
11:00 am Check-out

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