This Week in Montreat Summer Post # 8 | 07/24/2020

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Scroll to the bottom for an upcoming weekly rundown of events.

If the Montreat summer of 2020 were like others before it, we would be nearing the end of week IV, our fourth Youth Conference of the summer. A thousand young people would be filling the auditorium for energizers and keynote each morning, spreading out across our campus for small groups and recreation throughout each day, and reconvening for evening worship each night. But “life is what happens while you’re making other plans,” leaving many, myself among them, grieving the loss of what we think should have been. 

Little matter now, and so we look for the blessings that God is providing. First, I am overjoyed by the response to our online youth conference offering, Montreat@Home. Leaders and volunteers planned and delivered a heck of a program, and if the reviews from participants provide any insight, youth groups and their leaders are taking to it like ducks to Lake Susan and making the most of it. Destiny Williams, director of youth ministry at the McDonough Presbyterian Church in McDonough, Georgia, sent this photo below of a “Montreat Gate” constructed by her group; trust me, it’s worth a close look. Destiny also reported that a “Montreat breeze” entered the room just as they were beginning their program. A cool breeze in Georgia in July? Can there be any doubt that God has a hand in this?

Montreat@Home from McDonough Presbyterian Church in McDonough, GA.

A second breeze has accompanied our work this summer, this one financial. As you may know, the conference center collects advanced fees each winter and spring to hold space and reservations for conferences, summer clubs, and other programs. This year, many churches have allowed Montreat to apply their advanced fees already collected toward the costs of Montreat@Home, while other churches have simply asked us to reclassify their advanced fees as a donation to Montreat above and beyond their typical support. Our financial position is tight, but would be tighter still were it not for this program support and generosity. It’s a very cool Montreat breeze indeed, one for which we are so grateful.

God’s hand is present perhaps in two other daily conversations in which I find myself – sometimes with others, sometimes in my head. The first, of course, laments at the loss of summer programs, summer staff, and so forth. I’ve now heard from hundreds grieving the loss of our typical Montreat summer, and I feel the pain, too. On the other hand, what a joyous reminder of how much Montreat means to so many. I know more now about how special this place is than I ever have.

The second type of conversation – one that I’m sure you’ve had as well – urges me into a place of some perspective. It’s a voice that arises in Sunday services during our prayers for the people, when I hear of another family in our midst that lost someone for whom a “private memorial service” must be held. I have the conversation when I hear that a friend in Atlanta hasn’t been able to see his wife in the memory unit since February. It’s a conversation that arises when I hear how COVID-19 is affecting so many others in devastating ways. The voice calls me to grieve for them and reminds me that, surely, our walk at the conference center is a manageable one. 

I give thanks to you for sharing that walk with us, and thanks to the God who is watching over us in life and in death and revealing truth, comfort, and love even in the uncertainty that surrounds us. 


Speaking of blessings, I’ve been so appreciative that our worship team devoted so much care to this summer’s Sunday morning worship series. This Sunday’s worship service will feature the Rev. Dr. Ron Shive, pastor and head of staff at the First Presbyterian Church of Burlington, North Carolina. Ron is a graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary and, like Mindy Douglas a reminder that one needn’t venture too far afield to find great preaching and leadership for our summer series. The service will be posted on our website on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. Like last week, we are pre-recording the service, and so it will be available from that time forward. Hope you can join us!

Finally, I add my thanks to Rhiannon and the Relics for its concert from the Barn last Friday. (In case you missed it, here is the link.) Check back at this same link next Friday, July 31st for novelty dances led by Lee Ann Bannerman and Beth Bannerman Gunn, also recorded from the Barn.

More to come!
RD

Richard DuBose

The Weekly Rundown | Sunday, July 26 – Saturday, August 1

Sunday, July 26

Monday, July 27

  • The last week of classes at Sally Jones Pottery/Currie Craft Center!! They are open for fused glass, throwing clay, hand-building clay, and independent hand-building clay classes. Drive-by clay pickup and YouTube classes are available.
  • Visit the website for full details on class times/size limits, costs, and more information. Contact Ann Laird Jones at 662.347.3614 or montreatpottery@gmail.com with questions. Reservations only. Sign-up sheets are outside of the studio.
  • Yoga at 8:30 a.m. at Moore Center Field. Bring your own mat and towel. $12, cash only, and no pre-registration required. Rain space is Upper Anderson. Visit our Summer in Montreat page for more information.

Tuesday, July 28

  • The Sally Jones Pottery/Currie Craft Center is open for fused glass, throwing clay, hand-building clay, and independent hand-building clay classes. Drive-by clay pickup is available. Zoom “Troubleshooting Your Clay Issues” is online at 2:00 p.m.
  • Visit the website for full details on class times/size limits, costs, and more information. Contact Ann Laird Jones at 662.347.3614 or montreatpottery@gmail.com with questions. Reservations only. Sign-up sheets are outside of the studio.

Wednesday, July 29

  • Visit the website for full details on class times/size limits, costs, and more information. Contact Ann Laird Jones at 662.347.3614 or montreatpottery@gmail.com with questions. Reservations only. Sign-up sheets are outside of the studio.
  • Yoga at 8:30 a.m. at Moore Center Field. Bring your own mat and towel. $12, cash only, and no pre-registration required. Rain space is Upper Anderson. Visit our Summer in Montreat page for more information.

Thursday, July 30

  • Special Sabbath Getaway Weekend through August 2! A weekend package deal at Assembly Inn that includes meals, light programming, and recreation passes.
  • Grab and Go – Heat and Eat pick-up day at Assembly Inn
  • The Sitting Duck 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at the ground level of Moore Center overlooking the Lake Susan spillway. Wear a mask and stop by for a cup of coffee during your morning walk.
  • Glaze Day at Sally Jones Pottery/Currie Craft Center.
  • Public Hike- Hydroelectric Tour. Visit our public hike schedule to learn more.

Friday, July 31

  • Special Sabbath Getaway Weekend through August 2! A weekend package deal at Assembly Inn that includes meals, light programming, and recreation passes.
  • A Friday Night (virtually) at the Barn! Tune in on our website and social media for novelty dances at the Barn with Beth Bannerman Gunn and Leanne Bannerman.

Saturday, August 1

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