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college conference at Montreat
On Friday the Rev. Dr. Lauren Winner, who teaches at the Duke Divinity School and is vicar at a small Episcopal church in North Carolina, told about 900 people attending the College Conference at Montreat a story “it took me many years to tell with a straight face.”
If every waiter is said to be an aspiring actor, might every barista somehow be a future campus minister?
Such was almost certainly the case at the College Conference at Montreat, where on January 4, some 30 campus ministers from across the country were served their morning coffee by a group of keenly interested and highly motivated seminary students.
The first thing I noticed when I exited the car was the sound of bagpipes. Welcome to College Conference at Montreat, where students descend each year for faith formation, fellowship, and the occasional tune from that beloved Scottish instrument. I took the music as a personal welcome, as this was my first Montreat experience.
At the conclusion of Valarie Kaur’s Jan. 4 electrifying keynote address at the College Conference at Montreat, the tandem lines on either side of Anderson Auditorium were at least ten deep with students all but on fire to have her respond to their questions.
Stepping again into the pulpit—and alternately striding across the stage—at the College Conference at Montreat on Jan. 3 and Jan. 4, the Rev. Paul Roberts Sr., president of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Georgia, continued to explore the conference theme, “Beyond Babel,” based on Genesis 11:1-9.
As over 1,000 college students and their advisors rushed the doors of Montreat Conference Center’s Anderson Auditorium on Jan. 2 for the annual College Conference’s opening worship, Frisbees featuring the logo of UKirk — the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s collegiate ministries network — flew overhead. The energy level at the gathering — as high as the soaring Frisbees — continued throughout the evening as attendees were introduced to the conference theme, “Beyond Babel,” based on Genesis 11:1–9. The 2017 conference, slated for Jan. 2–5, is designed to help participants see in the ancient text “how God gave an ancient people a holy nudge towards diversity” as they are challenged to consider how God is similarly nudging God’s people today.