Why are we moving the first two youth conferences (alpha) to an online format?
Even in the most optimistic recovery scenario, the reopening guidelines set forth by state leaders will not allow us to host participants on a youth conference scale in early June. At the same time, we believe that an online experience will provide our youth conferees a chance to connect to the Montreat community.
What is the program for the online youth conference being offered in June?
We will offer an experience that’s suitable to a virtual format and customizable by youth leaders depending on local circumstances:
- Time frame: Content will be made available during the same time frame that groups would have been in Montreat.
- Leadership: We are lining up a mixture of leaders, including some who were already committed along with additional faces.
Can I still register?
Yes, more details about registration will appear on our website by mid-May.
I have registered and sent a deposit for a youth conference in June. What are my options?
You have several options:
- If you and/or your youth have already registered for the conference and you wish to participate, you need to let us know.
- You and/or your church may make a gift to support our online programming.
- You may attempt to reschedule your group for a week later in the summer.
- If you do not wish to participate, you may forward your registration to the following summer, or request a refund.
A representative of the Montreat staff will contact your church to discuss these options in full, as well as any other questions that you may have.
What do I do about my housing arrangements?
If your arrangements are directly with the conference center and you were planning to attend week one or week two of youth conference or a Worship and Music Conference, a representative of the Montreat staff will contact you. Otherwise, contact your landlord or rental facility to find out more. We understand that most are being as flexible as possible.
What is the plan for PAM’s Worship and Music Conferences in Montreat?
The Presbyterian Association of Musicians is also moving online for its worship and music conferences here later in June. We will handle inquiries on housing and other concerns as we are able, and are coordinating these efforts and communications with PAM. You can find out more about their plans by visiting their website, presbymusic.org.
What is happening with Montreat’s summer recreation program?
North Carolina regulations currently do not permit the opening of pools, camps, and other recreational activities. Assuming restrictions are loosened before or during the summer, the conference center will open recreational activities based on a number of factors, including:
- The guidance of health authorities that would apply to each particular activity (standards and restrictions that apply to activities hosted at the Currie Craft Center, for example, may not apply to our hiking trails);
- Available staffing and available budget; and
- Other considerations, including our ability to house summer staff safely and appropriately.
Why are you delaying the arrival of summer staff?
The same conditions restricting our conference activities are restricting our ability to convene summer staff on time. Even if those restrictions are eased or removed, we will need the next two months, at least, to create safe conditions for summer staff lodging, social time, and work responsibilities.
“…two months, at least”- Are you saying that summer staff arrival could be further delayed or canceled for the summer?
We are working with the information we have to put the current limitations in place and forecast a July start, but yes, further delays or cancellation are possible, depending upon the evolving condition of the pandemic and its impact on the conference center and our community.
What will happen with Montreat’s summer worship on Sunday mornings in Anderson Auditorium?
We are committed to joining in worship as a community for prayer and praise each Sunday morning this summer, and our worship team will consider all available options. However we move through the season, our worship will be grounded in our conviction that “we trust in the one Triune God, whom alone we worship and serve,” and we will remain a worshiping body – in Charles Wesley’s words, “lost in wonder, love, and praise.”
Have you decided what to do about Montreat’s annual celebration of July 4th?
Like summer worship, we are considering how we might celebrate July 4th in Montreat this summer. Unlike summer worship, we are not ready to commit to a formal celebration at this time. Considerations in any decision include but are not limited to the anticipated crowds, the burdens placed on staff and volunteers, the required presence of police and other town personnel, and the complexity of so many public events in one day.
What is the plan for conferences and other programming in July?
As the phased reopening of North Carolina begins, we will receive more guidance, including specific guidelines for summer programs. We will be examining how to make gatherings safe, which may include reducing capacities, reformatting some programs, instituting pre-arrival screenings and testing, among other measures. We want our participants to feel safe coming to Montreat, and there is a lot to learn about adapting to that new normal for all institutions that provide hospitality. We will make decisions about July programs based on the best advice for the safety of all involved.
If I want to come to Montreat this summer, is housing at Assembly Inn now available?
Under current restrictions, hotels, motels, short-term rentals, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds in Buncombe County are to refrain from scheduling non-essential travel reservations. At this time there is no end date on this order. We will make a plan to reopen the Assembly Inn when the state and local restrictions allow us to do so.
Where do I go for further information?
We will post updates on our website, in this document, and via email and social media throughout the coming months as decisions are made that might affect your stay in Montreat.
Additionally, we remain fully staffed and fully engaged. You may reach out directly to your usual contact or to any staff member in Montreat. For general Montreat contact inquiries, please visit montreat.org/contact.
What will happen to my Clubs or Childcare registration for June?
We will not be offering Clubs or Childcare June 8 through July 3. If you would like to move your registration to a later week, please let us know by May 8 and we can make that switch for you. We, of course, cannot guarantee what the future will hold but we are happy to postpone instead of cancelling if you’d prefer. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your preferred changes. If we don’t hear from you by May 8, we will cancel your June registrations and process any applicable refund. Parents/grandparents who have children registered for Clubs June 8 – July 3 will receive an email of these options from the Clubs registrar.