“The story of the Good Samaritan is a well-known story that I thought I knew pretty well. I was wrong.” In explaining her chosen text as guest preacher on Sunday, June 11 in the Montreat Conference Center’s summer worship series, the Rev. Amy Miracle sees this famous story not only as crucial Christian theology, but as especially relevant today. It is easy to skim the surface, because we know it so well, yet neglect its subplots and disturbing mysteries.
Rev. Miracle is pastor and head of staff of Broad Street Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ohio: “It is an awesome church with a strong commitment to serving our neighbors in our urban setting. The lay people of the church are the best thing about the church. They are energetic, gifted, and committed to the church. The leadership is willing to try new things as we figure out what it means to be the church in 2017 and beyond.
“Columbus is filled with people who are hungry for God – hungry for meaning – hungry for connection and community. That hunger is as deep as ever. I am convinced that there are people in Columbus who are looking for a church like the one I serve. How do we connect with that need? How do we connect with those who have yet to come through our doors?”
A life-long Presbyterian, she grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and attended Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. Following graduation, she studied in Northern Ireland and earned a MSSC in Irish political studies from Queen’s University of Belfast. Upon returning to the United States, she earned her MDiv from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
She has served as associate pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado, and senior pastor and head of staff at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, Iowa, before coming to Broad Street in 2008.
Music and the visual arts are an integral part of Sunday morning worship at Montreat Conference Center. Eric Wall, assistant professor of sacred music and dean of the chapel at Austin Theological Seminary is conference center musician, and leads the summer volunteer choir in special music and engages the congregation in music chosen to augment the theme of the day.
Dr. Ann Laird Jones is director of arts ministries at Montreat Conference Center. She received her DMin degree in arts and theology from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, based on her work, “Arts and Theology Integrated: Pottery Ministry, Creation, Redemption, and Sacramental Presence.” She, along with Hannah Garrity, summer liturgical artist, work throughout the week to fill the sanctuary with visual art that teaches and inspires in tandem with the sermon, the liturgy, and music.
All of the summer Sunday services in the series are at 10:30 am in Anderson Auditorium, just off Assembly Drive in Montreat. Child care is available for children six months through kindergarten at the Updike Child Care Center on Texas Road.
As is the summer tradition, the community is invited to the lunch buffet at 11:45 am in the Assembly Inn’s Galax Dining Room following worship. Lunch tickets can be purchased at the Assembly Inn front desk.
For further information or to learn about other worship, educational, and recreational opportunities at Montreat, visit www.montreat.org, or call 828.669.2911.