Festival of Wisdom and Grace at Lake Junaluska


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.

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at hfleming@wnccumc.net.


  • Resources
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