One of the highlights of Montreat Conference Center’s year-round programs is the summer worship series in which leading preachers from across the country join with visual and performing art professionals and volunteers in a service of worship open to the surrounding community. All are welcome and all are invited.
On Sunday, June 17, the Montreat Conference Center welcomes to the pulpit the Rev. Dr. Ernie Thompson, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, NC. Dr. Thompson received a degree in physics from the Honors College at the University of South Carolina, and later received his master of divinity from Union Theological Seminary and his doctor of divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary. He has served churches of all sizes in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
His title for his sermon, “Called to Lead,” comes from the book of Genesis, a story that reflects “a critical turning point in human history: the birth of the world’s first religion of protest – a faith that challenges the world instead of accepting it.”
In explaining his choice of Sunday’s message, Dr. Thompson says he was inspired by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and his book, Lessons in Leadership: Weekly Readings from the Jewish Bible. “I realized that Sacks reads the Old Testament with a depth of insight often missing from Christian interpretation. He has a wonderful chapter on our text for Sunday – Abraham pleading on behalf of the people in Sodom. I think we are living in a time when all of us, whatever our position or situation, are called to be leaders, and our lesson gives us guidance in what that looks like.”
Dr. Thompson grew up visiting Montreat in the summers, hiking Lookout, and playing in the creeks: “I had the privilege and joy of working on summer staff two summers when I was in college. There’s no better summer job for a college student. I now have a preachers’ group that meets in Montreat once a year, and I attend various other retreats and conferences. I associate Montreat with beauty, friendships, and learning, and am always glad for the chance to pass through the gate.”
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.