View of Left Bank and Lake Susan with gazebo in the foreground.

Revisiting Patrons 2023

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For the third year in a row, the Annual Patrons event was too large to host in its traditional setting, and so the event took place out under a tent on Moore Center Field. For the third year in a row, organizers did a masterful job. The intergenerational 390 individuals and families in attendance enjoyed the casual and festive atmosphere and fare, and all were lucky that the weather cooperated (for the most part).  

Vice President for Development Seth Hagler kicked off the short program by thanking all attendees and donors, and by paying particular tribute to the 315 families who have now participated as Patrons for ten years in a row, a remarkable record of generosity. (It’s a record that contributed greatly to the temporary suspension of my practice of hand-written thank-you notes, such has been the surge of support in recent months. Those who cultivate a love of lousy handwriting, fear not – my sincerest, squiggling cursive shall return!) 

Seth also shared a poem written from Jane Frist’s book of poetry. Jane ascended to the church triumphant this past year, leaving behind a legacy that includes a lifelong devotion to Montreat. In her poem entitled, “Montreat, How I love you,” she writes these couplets:  

What is it about Montreat? 

No one’s concept is complete.  

Each one brings a different view.  

All have input that is true. 

Love of God, love of friends,  

And love of nature. All this blends. 

Jane’s words remind us all of the committed and incomplete view we all have of Montreat, an imperfect place but still so worthy of Jane’s devotion and that of countless others. I took Jane’s words to heart to offer my own observations on how our own views still contribute to a changing Montreat. Several people have asked me to share the address here in print, either because they want my remarks more widely shared or because they just fell asleep halfway through. Regardless, you can find them here.   

For all, please know what a privilege it is for me to express thanks each year, and with each note, to every person who makes Montreat possible. The financial support of our Patrons in particular makes such a difference not only for each other but for all who would venture here. If you know a Montreat Patron, please add your thanks. If you are one, give yourself a hug, a pat on the back, or a huge thumbs up! We are grateful! 

Richard DuBose

Richard DuBose
President, Montreat Conference Center