Festival of Wisdom and Grace at Lake Junaluska

May 2, 2017

Lake Junaluska, N.C. - Adults in the second half of life are invited to attend the Festival of Wisdom and Grace at Lake Junaluska, Aug. 7-10. The conference will provide renewal and inspiration through worship, Bible studies, workshops, professional training and fellowship. Dr. John Ed Mathison, Dr. Everett Worthington and Dr. Patricia Suggs will lead the conference. This year’s theme is “Forgiveness – Living in Grace” which was inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 and Colossians 3:12-17. “Bear with each other and forgive one another…Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Workshop topics include Body Movement, Helping Three Generations Forgive Love and Pray, and Engaging the Generations as Encore Ambassadors for Reconciliation. A professional track for those working in older adult ministry full-time, part-time or exploring older adult ministry as a vocation will focus on wisdom, grace and aging. Continuing Education Unit credits are included in the professional track registration. CEU credits are also available for regular program participants for an additional $10/person fee (1-1.5 CEUs available). The grounds of Lake Junaluska help enhance the theme by providing spaces for quiet reflection and ways for older adults to stay active in soul, mind and body. The walking trail, 16 gardens, historic boat tour, Lake Junaluska Cross, museums and more will serve as ideal options for older adults during their Sabbath time. There is also an optional golf outing planned during the conference, as well as a performance by storyteller and musician Michael Reno Harrell. Dr. John Ed Mathison will serve as the conference preacher for the event. Mathison is a retired United Methodist clergy member who served for 36 years at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala., growing their membership from 400 to more than 8,000 during his time there. He will be joined by Dr. Everett Worthington, platform speaker for the conference, who is internationally known for his work on forgiveness, positive psychology, marriage and spirituality. Dr. Patricia Suggs, who received her Ph.D. in Family Relations from University of South Carolina at Greensboro, will lead the professional track. Suggs has worked as a coach with expertise in leadership development and conflict resolution. The event is sponsored by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Association of Older Adults, a group that creates and strengthens intergenerational ministries in the Southeast. Packages include the program fee, lodging and meals. For more information about the Festival of Wisdom and Grace, call 800-22-4930, email registrar@lakejunaluska.com or visit www.lakejunaluska.com/wisdom-and-grace. Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information about Lake Junaluska programs and events, visit www.lakejunaluska.com.

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A Summons to Witness, Protest, and Promise

We give thanks for this Summons to Witness, Protest and Promise written by the cabinet of the North Carolina Conference.  In our ongoing collaboration, we affirm these words alongside them.  Across our state, we invite all United Methodists to be a part of building “the new world God promises as heaven in time descends to earth.” (Revelation 21)

A Summons to Witness, Protest, & Promise

We, United Methodists in The Western North Carolina Conference, join our voices with The North Carolina Conference in witness, protest and promise in these times of violence against our Black brothers and sisters.

We believe. . .

We believe that the Holy Spirit is indeed poured out upon all people.
We believe that in baptism, we are incorporated into God’s mighty acts of salvation, and commissioned to resist evil, injustice and oppression, in whatever forms they present themselves.
We believe that God’s intent for humanity is community, compassion, and holiness, and that justice has been marred by the history of enslavement and racism.
We believe that repentance is urgent for the historic and ongoing violence against Black girls and boys, men and women.
We believe that in the wounding of Black bodies we see Christ crucified.
We believe that those who have been steeped in white privilege, through repentance, can be transformed into humble servants of the living God.
We believe we are called to work for the day when God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

We protest. . .
We protest violent murders of Black men and women, most recently Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
We protest the narratives of fear and suspicion that divide people from one another.
We protest our historic failure to ensure all our churches are places of hospitality, welcome, and belonging for our Black brothers and sisters.
We protest the historic and continuing suppression of voting and other basic rights.
We protest all incendiary public leadership in this time of crisis and turmoil.
We protest the lack of will in our communities, our state and our country to protect the lives of our Black brothers and sisters, and especially the most vulnerable, the young and the old.

We promise. . .
We promise to use our voices, resources and power to dismantle white privilege and racist systems, especially within our own United Methodist Church.
We promise to read the Scripture with ear and eye attentive to the continued call toward God’s will for all people.
We promise to exercise the right to vote and to work against voter suppression.
We promise to create around ourselves at all times hospitable space for all people.
We promise to name prejudice when we see it and to receive the correction of others who see prejudice in us.
We promise to be life-long learners, to constantly make adjustments in the way we use our power and influence, to be active participants in the building of the beloved community, and ultimately growing always in holiness toward the perfection we see in Christ.


Bishop Paul Leeland
Laura Auten
Carl Arrington
Michael Bailey
David Christy
Amy Coles
Bev Coppley
Beth Crissman
Otto Harris
David Hockett
Kim Ingram
Linda Kelly
Mark King
Melissa McGill
Samuel Moore, Jr.
Dan Pezet
Mark Ralls
David Snipes
Caroline Wood
Jane Wood

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward
Tim Russell
Edie Gleaves
Ray Broadwell
Gil Wise
Gray Southern
Mike Frese
Kenneth Locklear
Randy Innes
Linda Taylor
Dena White
Tara Lain
Ismael Ruiz-Millan
Jon Strother
Beth Hood
Lisa Yebuah
Greg Moore
Steve Taylor

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