This Sunday morning will mark the fourth service of the conference center’s summer season of worship, and we will welcome to the pulpit the Reverend Anna George Traynham, pastor of the Shallowford Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
That’s a joy on many levels, one of those being that Anna is about as “Montreat” as a Montreat preacher can be. The daughter of cottagers Beverly and Harry George, Anna’s roots here run deep. She spent several summers working for the conference center and has continued to serve in various ways over many years, as has her sister, Claire, and many other family members, besides. (I’m not sure our server could contain a comprehensive list of all the roles they’ve played).
It’s at times like this that I’m tempted to point to Anna as the latest evidence of what a formative gift Montreat is to the church and what a difference we make to the lives of so many. Of course, the story is not so much that Montreat is formative for people like Anna; the better story is that Montreat is formative through people like Anna, in the ways that God can work through all of us.
Lately, we’re hearing a lot about the importance of preserving Montreat. Well, Anna’s story features a Montreat worth preserving, the story of a community on the move, with the capacity to form and to shape others through our unique and collective ministry together. Thanks be to God for the ways that God uses you to form people in this special place. May it always be so.
President, Montreat Conference Center