One of the highlights of Montreat Conference Center’s year-round programming 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 August 5, Montreat Conference Center welcomes the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Bryan to the Anderson Auditorium pulpit as preacher for the last Sunday in its Summer Worship Series. Bryan graduated from Berry College in Mt. Berry, GA, with a major in math. He then attended Princeton Theological Seminary where he earned his MDiv, and Lutheran Seminary of Philadelphia where he earned his DMin. Bryan served as a campus minister in Ann Arbor, MI, then as solo pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Springfield, PA, before coming to Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church in Rock Hill, SC.
He is the author of With a Bucket of Hooves – a compilation of what might best be described as biographical parables, Southern style. Critics give his book high marks, describing them as memory-stories in which he “drives a couple exits past Southern Gothic and takes a hard left into the realm of Southern Apocalyptic.
“Not apocalyptic in the esoteric, flying off to the sweet by and by, ‘Be good or you won’t get raptured’ sense. Just the opposite. These stories are apocalyptic in what they reveal: humor amidst heartbreak, truth amidst pretense, God amidst all the empty exercises, religious or otherwise, that we use to keep reality at bay.”
Bryan takes his readers “on a guided tour through his Christ-haunted adolescence in small-town Georgia…(sharing) his thoughts on everything from God to sex to basketball, readers will encounter a cloud of witnesses both strange and familiar, a family and community bound together by tradition, terror, and love.”
This helps explain why Bryan sees the biggest challenge facing the church today as speaking the language of real people in today’s world. Just as the first Reformers translated scripture into common languages of the day, the twenty-first century Reformed tradition must do everything in its power to speak in the common tongue and address the issues of our day in a way that is current.
“The same way Christ took on the form of a servant at a particular time,” he says, “addressing the here and now in the here and now, Christians must do the same.”
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.
For further information or to learn about other worship, educational, and recreational opportunities at Montreat, visit www.montreat.org, or call 828.669.2911.