The Manna Retreat

A weekend for young adults

January 24–26, 2025AdultYoung Adults
Hosted by Montreat Conference Center

According to The Defining Decade by psychologist Meg Jay, “eighty percent of life’s most defining moments take place by age thirty-five.” Translation: Being a young adult is hard. In an effort to support both young adults navigating the messiness of this time in their lives, as well as to support young adult ministries at the local church, we have created The Manna Retreat. The Manna Retreat is three days, 100 young adults, one old hotel, and ten small groups dedicated to creating deeper faith and deeper relationships. If your faith could use a spark plug, if your spirit could use a deep laugh, if your heart could use some new friendships, or if your body could use a place to belong, then this is for you.

The Manna Retreat

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What to Expect

Each day we will gather as a large group for a morning and evening gathering, where we will explore the theme and ask big questions. Twice a day participants will gather with their small group to build deep connection. We will eat our meals together and spend our free time playing games by the fireplace and hiking around Montreat. There will be late night mixers, lots of laughter, and meaningful worship. Registration will include both young adult church groups and individuals, so the conference will be designed in a way that allows for mutual connection between the two.

Do I Count as a Young Adult?

Aaaaah, the million dollar question: Who is a young adult? If any of these statements apply to you, then this conference is for you:

You’ve downloaded Hinge or Bumble on your phone before
You have student loans
You own a piece of Ikea furniture (or five)
You’ve wondered why making friends as an adult is not as easy as it is in the movies
You’re trying to figure out what you want to do, where you want to do it, and/or who you want to do it with
Your parents ask you for social media help
You are hungry for deeper faith and deeper connection

*In case you’re still not sure, we're designing this for young adults in their "defining decade" of 22-32 when many of life's very important decisions are made. Of course, a person's defining decade might stretch beyond the age of 32, say, to 35. If that applies to you, you’re welcome as well.

Why the Name "The Manna Retreat?"

Picture this: You are in a new chapter of your life. You’re not sure what lies ahead. There is no road map or easy direction showing you the way. Are we talking about young adults or the Israelites in the desert? Probably both. In many ways, your 20s and early 30s can feel a bit like wandering in the wilderness. There is no map, and the journey can feel long. Enter The Manna Retreat. Just as God provided sustenance and nourishment for the Israelites in the desert, we pray that this retreat will provide sustenance and nourishment to young adults in our world. Come hungry. Leave nourished. That’s our prayer.

Rates & Registration

All-inclusive Rate

This all-inclusive rate includes the conference fee, room in Assembly Inn (Friday and Saturday nights), meals in the Galax Dining Room (Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast), plus a $2 community services fee per adult for public services provided by the Town and the fire district.

If you are bringing a group, please contact the registrar at saraha@montreat.org or call 828.419.9813 to register your group.

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

Housing Check In/Check Out

Check-in Friday, January 24, 2025 after 3:00 pm
Check-out Sunday, January 26, 2025 before 11:00 am

Refund Policy

Cancellations must be received by December 12 in order to receive a full refund less a $25 service charge. Cancellations received after December 12 but on or before January 10 will receive a 50% refund of the conference fee and payments made toward room and meal charges less $40. No refunds will be issued after January 10. All requests must be in writing and received via email, fax, or U.S. mail.


If you have any questions, please email the registrar, Sarah Akin at saraha@montreat.org or call at 828.419.9813.

Need Financial Assistance?

We may be able to help! Fill out this scholarship application and email it to Sarah Akin at saraha@montreat.org

Program Format

This schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Friday, January 24
2:00–4:00 pm Arrival Hangout at the Huck
4:00–6:00 pm Retreat Registration (Room Check-in at 3pm), Assembly Inn Lobby
5:30–6:30 pm Dinner, Galax Dining Room, Assembly Inn
7:00 pm Opening Gathering, Convocation Hall, Assembly Inn
8:15–9:30 pm First Small Group Session
9:30-10:30 pm Guided Fellowship: Late Night Mixer
Saturday, January 25
7:30–8:30 am Breakfast, Galax Dining Room
9:00 am Keynote, Convocation Hall, Assembly Inn
10:00 am Silent Hour
11:00 am Small Group (Session Two)
12:00-1:00pm Lunch, Galax Dining Room
1:00–1:50 pm Workshop (Session One)
2:00–2:50 pm Workshop (Session Two)
3:00-5:30 pm Free Time
5:30–6:30 pm Dinner, Galax Dining Room
7:00 pm Keynote, Convocation Hall, Assembly Inn
8:15 pm Small Group (Session Three)
9:30 pm Social Time, Assembly Inn Lobby
Sunday, January 26
7:30–8:30 am Breakfast
9:00–10:00 am Closing Worship, Convocation Hall, Assembly Inn
11:00 am Check Out of Rooms

Who Will Be There?

Come hang out with our leadership team: Sarah Are Speed, Natarsha Sanders, Sam Phillips, Jasiel Hernández García, Rachel Penmore, Jasmine Evans, Jess Rigel, and Colin Pettigrew. We want to see you there!

Additional Resources

Looking for print materials or graphics you can use to help recruit friends or young adults from your congregation to attend? Check out our marketing resources for this conference by clicking here.

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