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Hope is happening-real

Middle School Conference

Hope is Happening

July 19 - 23, 2017

At the Montreat Middle School Conference in 2017, we hope to give realization that everyone belongs to God and we all have value as children of God. Thus we should all be understanding and respectful of God’s creation. We hope to create an environment that promotes independent thinking and choice-making that reflects values that are both personalized and in conversation with our tradition. We hope to give our youth the tools to discern healthy peer relationships. We hope to build up the participants’ faith and help them apply hopeful biblical lessons to their lives and the world around them.

Watch our latest video and start making plans today for the 2017 Middle School Conference!

The Middle School Conference is designed for youth who have completed fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth grade by summer 2017, and for their group leaders. All groups must include at least one adult for every six young people. Adults must be fully registered and housed with their youth in campus housing. Child care is not provided during this conference. The daily schedule includes keynote, worship, recreation, singing, small groups, and many other activities. Check out resources from past middle school conferences.

The conference will be held at Maryville College, a PC(USA) affiliated private college, which is ideally situated on 263-acres in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state’s third largest city. Easy to access from either I-40 or I-75, the campus is also just five miles away from McGhee Tyson Airport. Driving time is approximately three hours and twenty minutes from Atlanta, four hours from Charlotte, and 30 minutes from Knoxville. The physical address for the college is Maryville College, 502 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Maryville, TN, 37804. Check out their campus mapGroups will be housed in dorms on the campus of Maryville College. Dorm rooms have twin beds and mostly hall baths. All rooms are air-conditioned. 

Registration Information

Registration for 2017 is now open! Click on the Rates & Registration tab above for more information.

Questions?

Questions about conference registration? Contact Hope Barker, the conference registrar, at hopeb@montreat.org or call 828.419.9828.

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Registration Information

Comprehensive rates include conference, room, and meals. Early registration discounts are as follows:

  • On or before February 1: $410 per person;
  • On or before March 1: $420 per person;
  • On or before April 1: $430 per person;
  • On or before May: 1 $440 per person;
  • After May 1: $450 per person.

This conference is limited. You must register all youth groups as a block using the 2017 Middle School Conference Registration Packet. There will be no registrations by phone.  Please see the registration packet for cancellation details. If you need to make an addition or cancellation to your registration, please complete and mail or fax the Additions/Cancellations Form.

Contact the Registrar

For questions about registration, please contact the Youth Conference Registrar at hopeb@montreat.org or call 828.419.9828.

Key Leadership

Montreat Conference CenterMonica Wedlock Kilpatrick (Keynoter) Faith. Service. Travel. Wife. Mom. Clergy. Family. Friendship. Community. Love. Hope. Justice. Serves as program director for the National Benevolent Association and Disciples Home Mission. Former admission director at Columbia Seminary. Clergy leader at Ray of Hope Christian Church, Decatur, GA. Amazing spouse: Jonathan. Beautiful son: Carter.

Montreat Conference CenterClaudia Aguilar Rubalcava (Preacher) Rev. Claudia Aguilar Rubalcava serves currently as pastor for Justice and Witness at VHC. Claudia earned her Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary, where she served for several years. Claudia loves her family, her hometown of Mexico City, and exploring Atlanta. She has a passion for service to God and God’s people. She also enjoys cooking and baking for friends and family, listening to music, playing with her dog, and trying to become a master gardener with her husband Doug.

Montreat Conference CenterDoug Friesema (Preacher) Doug lives in Decatur, GA, with his wife Claudia (who is our other Co-Preacher!) He preaches on Sunday mornings and tries to live out the gospel with the church during the week. Doug also spends every Wednesday afternoon organizing a farmers market where he eats mountains of peaches and helps all of his neighbors have access to food that is healthy for our bodies, our community, and God’s good earth.

Montreat Conference CenterJorge Sagayo Gonzalez (Music Leader) Originally from Puerto Rico, Jorge is a singer/songwriter with over 15 years of experience as a musician and worship leader in Puerto Rico and the United States. He earned his undergraduate degree in music from the University of Puerto Rico and received his Masters of Divinity from Louisville Seminary. Jorge finds great energy and joy in the power of liberation and unity through music.

Montreat Conference CenterKelly Fitzgerald (Recreation Leader) Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, Kelly seeks to channel her inner Lorelai Gilmore as she figures out how to parent her three young daughters. She loves all things related to ministering to children, youth, and their families and works tirelessly to create inclusive and intergenerational worship experiences.

Montreat Conference CenterNick Setzer (Recreation Leader) Nick along with his wife, Rev. Mia Levetan, co-pastor St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Longview, TX. Nick is a sports fanatic and when not watching a game, you will most likely find him spending time with his family, binge watching something on Netflix, or obsessing over BBQ. Nick spends the rest of his time perfecting old and new energizer moves so that Eliana, his daughter, has something to be proud of about her dad.

More Information

Maryville College: The conference will be held at Maryville College, a PC(USA) affiliated private college, which is ideally situated on 263-acres in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state’s third largest city. Easy to access from either I-40 or I-75, the campus is also just five miles away from McGhee Tyson Airport. Driving time is approximately three hours and twenty minutes from Atlanta, four hours from Charlotte, and 30 minutes from Knoxville. The physical address for the college is Maryville College, 502 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Maryville, TN, 37804. Check out their campus mapGroups will be housed in dorms on the campus of Maryville College. Dorm rooms have twin beds and mostly hall baths. All rooms are air-conditioned.

Opportunities for High School Students: You have an opportunity to participate in the Middle School Conference in a unique way – as a member of the Work Crew. We are looking for high school students who want to attend the conference with their church groups. You will have the chance to help the conference planning team during the week. You will work behind the scenes, learn the ropes, and get an up-close look at what is involved in running a Middle School Conference. Your work crew application must be submitted by April 14, 2017. Cost is $180. The number of work crew members will be limited.

Opportunities for Adults: If you are 21 + and are interested in applying to be a small group leader for the Middle School Conference, call 828.419.9833, or download a Small Group Leader Application. You may be both a small group leader and a back home leader if there is another adult with your home group attending the conference. Your registration fee is waived, and your room, board, and travel are covered! All small group leaders must be members of congregations that are members of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (for a listing of member churches, go to World Alliance of Reformed Churches).

Back Home Packet: The Middle School Conference Back-Home Information web page will help you prepare for this summer’s youth conference. Sixty days prior to your conference, you will receive a packet via email with additional information specific to your conference.

Additional Middle School Conference Resources:

Commissioning Service Liturgy: In response to requests, we’ve developed brief liturgy for a short service for commissioning the young people and adult leaders who are heading to the Montreat Middle School Conference this summer.

Back Home Group Devotional Guide: The Back Home Group Devotional Guide is designed so that either youth or adult leaders can facilitate an end-of-day wrap up and devotional during the conference week.