Scroll to the bottom for an upcoming weekly rundown of events.
This week at the conference center we began welcoming back many of our staff members who have been sheltering in place for the past three months. Watching familiar faces – masked faces – walk out onto the porch of Assembly Inn on Wednesday morning did my heart more good than I can adequately describe.
We’re bringing staff back in anticipation of welcoming guests to Assembly Inn for the week of June 22nd. While the Presbyterian Association of Musicians has moved its annual Worship & Music Conferences online (you can register here!), their leadership is coming to Montreat to implement their programming and will stay at the Inn, our first guests since March 22nd.
As staff members resume daily activities, a new normal awaits. Each staff member must complete the “Count on Me NC” training titled “General Best Practices for COVID-19 Management,” and some staff must complete further online training based on their respective job assignments and responsibilities. Symptom screening is a prerequisite, as well, and will become a daily practice as each staff member reports to campus. We are also training onsite on new office and hospitality protocols for ourselves and guests. Meanwhile, several staff members will continue to work from home, staggering schedules to provide for more time in the office.
Given the increasing numbers of people I see out in public lately, some of you reading the above may feel that these precautions and measures are excessive. I dearly hope that you are right, but any feeling that “the worst is over” simply isn’t backed up by the data at this point and so we are not accelerating any timetables or plans that were announced a couple of weeks ago. Please continue to use caution as you move about and observe the restrictions and recommendations of our health authorities. Your safety and ours remains the prime directive.
We are, however, continuing to roll out alternative programming. See details below of upcoming events. Significantly, we held our first online worship service of the summer last Sunday morning. In planning for this summer’s services, our worship team decided that whenever possible we should worship live. And so, as is my custom during the summer, I woke up Sunday morning, put on a coat and tie, and headed to the office. Much was the same in preparation: soloists warmed up, we ran through sound-checks, and staff reviewed the necessary technical requirements. And then we worshiped on our respective laptops with more than 150 individuals and families. We weren’t all gathered together in Anderson Auditorium, but it was profound and meaningful worship, and I am grateful to our worship team for their ambition and hard work. (Jonathan Walton’s sermon had been pre-recorded, and you can view it here).
I extend apologies to those of you who were planning to find a recorded service on our website later in the day. We will record and post remaining services in full, though editing and converting our live recordings will take some time. If you want to worship on Sundays with us, probably best that you log on at 10:30 a.m. The effort to worship live will be worth it as long as we don’t encounter too many technical challenges. As seems to be the case with everything these days, we will learn as we go.
Speaking of gratitude, we continue to appreciate your outreach, ideas, and support. In light of the compliments and thanks that some have extended my way, I’m honor-bound to recognize Richard Sills, Tanner Pickett, Carol Steele, Seth Hagler, Emily Causey, and Kathy Russ. Together, we’ve met every weekday since early March; they’ve patiently abided my peripatetic brainstorms and mood swings, and their good ideas and discernment have been instrumental in every course of action taken. Further, our Board of Directors and other volunteer boards continue to engage, advise, and monitor our progress. Along with our extended Montreat community, it’s a team effort we are about these days, and I’m grateful for each and every member. Bless you all.
More to come!
The Weekly Rundown | Sunday, June 14 – Saturday, June 20
Sunday, June 14
- Summer Worship Series | 10:30 a.m.
- Hymn Sing | 7 p.m. – Download PDF. Contact email@example.com for program instructions if you have not already received an email
Monday, June 15
- Montreat@Home online program launch for week 2 registered groups – Registered back home leaders will receive access information
Tuesday, June 16
- The Sally Jones Pottery Currie Craft Center will open for limited fused glass classes this week, Tuesday, June 16, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Thereafter fused glass classes are every Mon.-Tues. 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.; sign up sheets are outside the craft shop now for both weeks. Class fee: $25.
- Sewing: Masks, Crazy Quilt Potholders and Finish-Your-Sewing-Projects Open Studio. June 22-24, 9 a.m. – 11:30 am
- Contact Ann Laird Jones at 662.347.3614 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions
Wednesday, June 17
- Grab and Go – Heat and Eat at Assembly Inn. Place orders this day – Sign up to receive the Community Announcements for information
Friday, June 19
- Grab and Go – Heat and Eat pick-up day at Assembly Inn
- Summer Sabbath at Assembly Inn reservations open
- Campground reservations open
- The Montreat Store hours | Mon. – Sat. 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Ten Thousand Villages hours | Tues.-Sat. 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
To read last week’s This Week in Montreat post click here.
To read previous updates from president Richard DuBose click here.