Montreat 2013 mid week

26 07 2013

Sara Morris

Graduated Senior

Hello Everyone!

It is currently Wednesday at 1:08pm as I write this.

Lets rewind a little bit though, and I will give you a Sara Morris play by play of the week thus far.

On sunday we boarded our cars and embarked on one of my favorite weeks of the year, MONTREAT! We weren’t even out of the parking lot however, when my van, the Cooper van, started blasting Aaron Carter. If you aren’t familiar with Aaron Carter, not to worry, honestly you haven’t missed much. He was basically the Justin Beiber of the early 2000’s, and while the music isn’t the most spiritually enriching, it is definitely very catchy.

As we hummed along to Aaron (notice we hummed, not sang–they are the type of songs that no matter how many times you listen to them, you will never really know what the lyrics actually are) the air was filled with excitement, the type of excitement that feels thick in the air you can just feel when you enter a place.

Finally we entered Black Mountain, and just for the record, the Cooper van was in the lead. As we approached the famous Montreat gate, there was a little bit of a line waiting to get in, which made it all the more exciting. As we observed the vehicles passing through, we decided that maybe the bigger vans and busses were afraid that they were too big to pass, for as Beth Holloway said a few years back, “that gate is like a birth canal!”

As we came into Montreat and unpacked all of our stuff, the air was again thick, but this time it was thick with both excitement and humidity, and I begun to regret my decision to straighten my hair that morning.

We had a quick dinner and went down to worship the first night. I remember my first night at Montreat, the first time I came here and I remember feeling so taken back the first time I entered that auditorium. The feeling of so many Presbyterians, so many people believing the same things as you, and being so excited and enthusiastic concentrated in one place, is truly a feeling second to none. We were introduced to all of the staff for that week, and sang a few songs and did a few energizers, with the anticipation of the upcoming week flowing through our veins.

Erin and I decided to be in the choir this year which was a new and exciting addition to our Montreat experience. When we entered the room for the first time however for practice, we were both a bit startled. The conversations of those around us consisted of the best way to make a falsetto sounding voice, and how many measures one can hold a note without taking a breath, with someone cheering in the background repeatedly “SOPRANOS ROCK.” Erin has been around her fair share of “band geeks”, and I my fair share of “Orchadorks” but these diehard chorus aficionados with this “chorus language” was something that was interesting and new to both of us. However, it turns out that these “ chorus geeks” are wonderful very friendly people and it wasn’t long before I felt like I was speaking the secret chorus language myself.

The preacher for the week is a man named J Herbert Nelson. He lives in the DC area and there were a lot of people anticipating his messages, because word on Assembly road was he was very good at what he does. The first night I was a little bit caught of guard by him. As a stereotypical frozen chosen presbyterian I was startled when he jumped up and raised his voice passionately at us. However, I kind of love it. One of the best parts about Montreat is that it pushes you out of your comfort zone. Whether that be making new friends in small groups, or listening to a style of preaching that you are not used to, Montreat has a way of expanding your horizons. J Herbert Nelson’s sermons were extremely captivating and interesting and his style of preaching was so moving.

On Tuesday afternoon there was a color run. Everyone came decked out in their white t-shirts reading to be drenched in colors galore. Now, I’m going to be honest, even though I just spoke to how Montreat pushes you out of your comfort zone, I’m not really one to enjoy being covered in powder, from the inside of your nose to between your toes. So, you guessed it, I just observed the run, but that was definitely very enjoyable to me, and those who took part in it seemed to have a wonderful time and it was very cool to be walking around a sea of people that were blue and purple and orange.

They tell you a lot while you are here that Montreat is what is called “a thin place” for it is a place where the line between heaven and earth is a little blurred. I without a doubt have experienced this to be very true over my years here. There is just something about this place makes it so easier to feel the presence of God around you, and I look forward to a wonderful rest of the week in this extraordinary place.


Gooth Montreat 2013

22 07 2013

Hey folks,

Thanks for checking in about montreat and gooth. Blog writing has become less popular among the gooth, but you are encouraged to follow their posts on facebook, instagram, or twitter with the hashtag #goothmyc (for gooth specific posts) or the conference wide #myc13 (which incudes gooth and non-gooth posts).

You can search these hashtags in the search field of these websites.

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Gooth AYM 2013 – Day 3 Report

10 07 2013

Yo yo yo my clemmons peeps! And others!:) we are here in the great city of Asheville(my future home) and we are doing some great work! We have been here with AYM for three days and have been working hard the whole time. We have different worksites and organizations we go to each day. So far my group has moved furniture, sorted bulk shipments of target items, cut many veggies and fruits, worked in community gardens and sorted many boxes of donated cans. Yes, this work is as tiring as it sounds. We have all learned many facts about homelessness and poverty in our own state. We are definitely bonding as a group! This may or may not have something to do with the fact we are all sharing large rooms. Teller cooking is amazing as always!
We lucked out and are perfectly located between the chocolate lounge and the Mast general store! Translation-we eat lots of fancy chocolate and buy lots of pounds of candy! Imagine 40 something teenagers hyped up on sugar running around and thats a lot of what our free time consists of. Lots of UNO games at bedtime. Cant wait to come home and share all of our stories and experiences! Im sure when we are on our way you will hear us from miles away thanks to all the sugar! Love, hugs and sugar sammmm

Sam Cooper
Graduated HS

Gooth AYM 2013 – Day 1 Report

10 07 2013

I APOLOGIZE! i thought this posted monday night :/


Friends, remember to check out #goothmission on facebook, twitter, and instagram


Bonjour mes amies! Comment ça va? Its Laura Sheldon. Just had a GREAT day in Asheville with AYM. We woke up way too early for a summer day, but its all for God. My group headed out around 8:45 to Homeward Bound. Homeward Bound is the “ front and back door to homelessness.” They focus on ending homelessness by housing people. At their facilities, homeless people can get their mail, store their valuables, make and receive phone calls, and shower. So far, they have housed over 600 people with an 89% retention rate, meaning 89% of these chronically homeless clients stayed housed. We dropped off the two kits we made to the first center, before continuing on to their storage complex. The kits will go to these newly housed families and include basic supplies like dishes and cleaners. At the storage complex, they stored basic furniture like beds, couches, and nightstands. These basic, donated pieces go into the new homes, as often the people only had what they stored in their box at the facilities. The three storage places they had were disorganized and cluttered. We pulled the furniture out of the storage places, before reorganizing them by the type of furniture. The couches were REALLY heavy, and Jacob Smith kept almost pulling them down on top of himself. We ate lunch at a nature center, then went to our next worksite. At the Manna Food Bank, Mr. McGowan and I condensed boxes of supplies, making organizations that “shop” there have an easier job. We sorted 7 sections, each with 3 seven square-foot shelves. We stopped for a short break after an hour, then sorted a plethora of different things from a 5 cubic foot box. There ended up being well over 50 boxes of pantyhose. When we left, we headed to the Taj Mahal of showers. A private school in the area had 20 showers for each gender, and allowed us to soothe our tired muscles. We got back, and explored downtown Asheville and many of the cute shops around the church. We were treated with wonderful Teller food, being pasta night. Afterwards, we did an art project that reflects ourselves, and talked about how to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Now, we are all exhausted, but probably won’t go to bed until at least 11. Cause we are crazy teenagers. Goodnight ya’ll and God Bless!

Laura Sheldon
completed 10th grade

Hi everyone!

Today the first worksite I went to was the Irene Wartham center where we pulled weeds and then got to play with some little kids! After that we ate a bag lunch and went to our next destination, Homeward Bound, a homeless center. At Homeward Bound we helped sort donations. We had free time where my group went to the Mast General Store and to a amazing store called the chocolate lounge! Next we went back to AYM to eat a fantastic Teller pasta:) I am looking forward to tomorrow and the rest of my first mission trip.

-Laura Cain
Completed 7th grade

¡Holá amigos! ¿Como estás?
[^ I think I messed up the accent marks… lo siento!)
If you happen to be curious about how we’re doing here-which I’m certain you are:)- we’re having a marvelous time.
Different groups went to different places, and my particular group was fortunate enough to work with Homeward Bound and the Manna Food Bank. While working with Homeward bound, we reorganized storage units in an amazingly efficient manner. (Whoop whoop!) At the food bank we got to sort various items, and some of us even got to clean and sort eggs. After completing our given tasks and learning interesting facts about eggs in the process, we went to take showers and then we found ourselves back at the church. So overall, we had a great day!
If you were wondering, the Teller pasta was delectable.

-Sarah Perkins 🙂
Completed 8th grade

Gooth AYM 2013

7 07 2013

The Gooth are tucked in bed resting for a great first day tomorrow with Asheville Youth Mission. Good travel today! Lots of energy and excitement. #goothmission

Gooth at Montreat, Wednesday

26 07 2012

Check out some pics at this public Facebook album!

Sam Cooper
Montreat has turned on the heat cause it is HOT!! Normally it is toasty but this year is just crazy. So today we had our free afternoon and had many options as to what we could do with our time. I chose to rock hop with some of me gooth pals and also some friends came to visit us for the day and joined us! At one point we came across a waterfall and decided to remember our baptism by dunking each others head under the very cold water fall….needless to say while being soaking wet we all remembered our baptism. Following that trip we all loaded up the vans and took a trip to black mountain. For dinner we partook in the wonderfulness that is My Father’s Pizza. And after a good worship service we gathered to watch the coolest movie ever….finding nemo. We are all back in our lovely abodes getting ready for devos as a large family:)
See you soon clemmons!
Peace love butterflies

Gooth at Montreat 2012, Tuesday

25 07 2012

Kelly Norris
Ok, I know. Two days in a row….but today was just super awesome. I loved keynote and worship. In keynote, the keynoters talked about the imperfections in their families, and the scripture was focused on Cain and Abel. They did a great job relating their personal stories to the scripture. Of course, their stories didn’t involve murder like Cain and Abel’s, but they did remind us that even though we have imperfections God still loves us. There were recurring symbols of shadow and light and at the end we did a litany that described the light of God traveling through the imperfect people of the old testament and finally manifesting itself in Jesus. It was a personal, relatable, and eye opening keynote. Worship was just as fantastic tonight. Our pastor preached on the verse in Romans where Paul writes that nothing can separate us from God. But she focused on something I had never thought of before. Paul writes, “I have been persuaded” that nothing separates us from God. She went on to explain that this statement is in the perfect tense. Our belief that we cannot be separated from God is perfect. And we need to be reminded of that because we live in the imperfect tense. We are being persuaded. I just loved the way she was able to use one phrase and grammar to make that point. And then, to top off all of the great speaking today, there was an absolutely fantastic barn dance as tonight’s recreation event. 🙂 🙂 I got to do the energizer/dance (whatever it is considered) to the pineapple hula song which I haven’t done since camp Holston’s dance about…..7 years ago. So, all is super well. Peace! 🙂 🙂