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Wee Kirk Conference

Making Room

October 15 - 17, 2018

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. –John 14:23 

The Wee Kirk conference aspires to provide Christ-centered opportunities for inspiration, encouragement, and community among leaders of small membership churches so they can do the same in their congregations and regions. The conference will offer the following tracks for conferees to choose:

  • Barnabas Track
  • Missional Track
  • Spiritual Formation Track
  • Retreat Track

See the WORKSHOPS tab above for track descriptions. You will be asked to select a track when you register. Once selected, that track will be your focus throughout the conference. We will all be together for plenaries and worship.

Accommodations

Housing and meals are INCLUDED in your conference fee. All rooms are double-occupancy. A roommate WILL be assigned if none is indicated at time of registration. Meals begin with supper on arrival date and end with lunch on departure date.

Participants will be housed in the Assembly Inn which has some rooms available with queen and king beds. Married couples will be assigned to these rooms to the best of our ability. Please indicate your preference on the registration form. Housing assignments are made on a first come, first served basis after specific physical needs are taken into account. Please indicate if you have specific physical needs or trouble walking. Housing check-in is available AFTER 3:00 pm on day of arrival. Please Note: All participants taking the Barnabas track will be housed at the William Black Lodge.

Barnabas Track

The Barnabas track is a specialized track for pastors and CRE/CLP’s and their spouses who are serving in their first call. The Barnabas track begins a day earlier on Sunday, October 14, 2018. Participants will lodge and fellowship together at the William Black Lodge, share in devotions, as well as have opportunities for extended discussion with new and seasoned pastors. In addition to the main conference registration fee, returning participants will pay $50 for individuals and $75 for couples. There is no additional fee for first time attendees.

Registration Information

Online registration is now open! Prompt registration is encouraged as the conference may fill up quickly. For conference costs, please click on the RATES & REGISTRATION tab above.

On-site conference registration check-in will begin at 1 p.m. on Monday, October 15 in the Assembly Inn upper lobby. Housing check-in is available AFTER 3:00 pm on day of arrival. The main conference begins with the first seminar on Monday at 3:00 p.m. and concludes with lunch on Wednesday. The Barnabas Track begins a day earlier on Sunday, October 14. Dress is casual. Phones are not available in individual rooms, but emergency messages may be left at the front desk of the Inn (800-572-2257, ext 0). Please note: Child care is NOT available for this event.

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Rates and Registration

Online registration is now open! Prompt registration is encouraged as the conference may fill up quickly. If you prefer a paper registration form, you may download one here.

The conference will offer multiple tracks, including the Barnabas track, for conferees to choose (see WORKSHOPS tab above for descriptions). You will be asked to select a track when you register.

THIS CONFERENCE IS A LOVE GIFT to those serving small membership congregations. The average cost per person is $380. Through the generous support of governing bodies, large churches, co-sponsors and individuals, the conference fees for actively-serving Presbyterian congregational leaders (PCUSA, ECO, EPC, PCA etc.) are reduced substantially.

Housing and meals are INCLUDED in your conference fee. All rooms are double-occupancy. A roommate WILL be assigned if none is indicated at time of registration. Meals begin with supper on arrival date and end with lunch on departure date.

Conference Fees

FIRST TIME ATTENDEES:

Congregation with an average of fewer than 100 in worship:
— Individual $180*
— Individual & spouse $210*

All Other First Time Attendees:
— $380 per person

REPEAT ATTENDEES:

Congregation with an average of fewer than 50 in worship:
— Individual $200*
— Individual & spouse $240*

Congregation with an average of fewer than 100 in worship:
— Individual $230*
— Individual & spouse $285*

All Other Repeat Attendees:
— $380 per person

*A maximum of 6 persons, including clergy and spouse, from any one congregation may attend at the reduced rates. Additional persons will pay $380 each. Fees for Children: Meal charge $25 for children 5 to 11 years of age. Please note: Child care is NOT available for this event.

Barnabas Track Additional Fees

The Barnabas Track has an additional fee on top of the main conference registration fee:

  • First time attendees, no additional fee
  • Repeat Attendee, add $50 to fees above
  • Repeat Couple Attendees, add $75 to fees above

Cancellations

Cancellations may be made at any time prior to the conference. Full refunds will be issued for cancellations received by September 14, 2018. After that, 50% refunds will be issued if cancellation is made before October 10, 2018.

Questions?

Questions about registration? Email the registrar, Susan Akduman, at SusanA@montreat.org or call 828.419.9829.

Worship Leader

Montreat Conference CenterRev. Dr. Robert Austell serves as pastor of Good Shepherd in Charlotte, NC. Previously he served as associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lenoir, NC. He is a graduate of Davidson College, studied at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Boston, MA), and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with a MDiv in 1996. In May of 2008 he completed his dissertation on worship and music and graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte with a DMin. Robert is a life-long musician and continues to write and record music. He is married to Heather and has three daughters.

Morning and Evening Prayer Leader

Montreat Conference CenterRev. Dr. Robert McRae, Pastor Emeritus at Galatia Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Eagle Rock, VA, served Galatia as pastor for thirty-two years before retiring in May of 2016. Robert has been active in Presbyterian Pilgrimage Spiritual Retreats since 1988. Robert has a DMin from Union Theological Seminary, and for 17 years worked as a teacher and principal in Mississippi before attending seminary. He is married to Jane C. McRae, and they have four children and eight grandchildren. Robert’s favorite outdoor activities are biking, hiking, and camping. He and his wife have attended all but two of the Montreat Wee Kirk Conferences.

Music Leader

Montreat Conference CenterEric VanderHeide is the director of music ministries at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC. Eric has a personal and vibrant faith, with many years of worshiping and serving in the Christian Reformed Church. He leads the traditional choral program as well as the contemporary worship team ministry, coordinating and planning worship with the pastor around the biblical and theological themes of the service. Besides being a gifted vocalist and director, Eric has training and experience in music education, musical theater, and visual arts. He is married to Lisa and they have two children.

Barnabas Track Leaders

Montreat Conference CenterRev. Jonathon Brown is the lead pastor of Pillar Church in Holland, MI. Pillar Church was the first church established in the city of Holland in 1847. In 1882 there was a major split between two denominations, the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC), that occurred at Pillar and prompted Pillar to leave the RCA and join the CRC. In the recent past Pillar experienced significant decline and considered closing its doors. Today, by a wonderful work of God’s spirit, Pillar Church is a thriving, dual-affiliation congregation of both denominations. Jon’s heart for reconciliation beats with Pillar’s heart in this way. Jon joined the Pillar team in the summer of 2012 after nearly 10 years as the senior pastor of First Reformed Church in Oak Harbor, WA. He has been the keynote speaker at a number of events including: The Nicaraguan Pastors Conference of the Moravian Church, The Cascades Family Bible Camp, and many events at Hope College. He is a regular writer for the Words of Hope devotionals, as well. Currently he is pursuing a doctoral degree from Western Theological Seminary in Holland. Urging the church forward to participate in the mission of Christ in the world is where Jon finds the deepest joy and greatest sense of purpose.

Montreat Conference CenterRev. Jonathan Gabhart is a pastor and musician from Holland, MI. He serves as the pastor of worship arts and discipleship at Pillar Church, and graduated from Hope College and Western Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church of America. Often, one might find him cooking dinner or baking bread with his wife, Anna, as well as listening to and making music with his friends.

Missional Track Leaders

Montreat Conference CenterRev. Dr. Herb Codington was born and raised on the mission field (Korea), as was his wife Suzan (Brazil). They have five children, one of whom is a missionary in Albania. Herb pastors three smaller congregations in Lauren’s County, SC. He also serves with a small mission agency with work in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In addition, he teaches an introductory missions course at Presbyterian College. Herb is a conference speaker and has led the Laurens cluster of 16 churches for 25 years.

Montreat Conference CenterRev. Dr. Lisa Baroody Culpepper serves as pastor of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Hemingway, SC. She is a graduate of Furman University (BS), as well as a magna cum laude graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MDiv and DMin). Lisa serves in leadership with a missional cluster of five churches in New Harmony Presbytery, and has been involved in short term cross cultural mission for 25 years. Her most recent involvement is in Lebanon with the Outreach Foundation’s ministry to Syria and Lebanon.

Spiritual Formation Track Leader

Montreat Conference CenterRev. Marina Gopadze, a native of Philadelphia, PA, began her career as a clinical microbiologist in Richmond, VA, following graduation from college. Through several years of separation from the Lord of her childhood, Jesus Christ brought her back into His fold, opening up the path He had waited to place her on. She graduated from Union Presbyterian Seminary in 2000, and became pastor of Buchanan Presbyterian Church in Virginia, where she has served since 2002. Her passion lies in helping men and women find the depth of relationship with the Lord Jesus, becoming one with Him.

Track Descriptions

This year we are offering multiple tracks, including the Barnabas track, from which conferees can choose. You will be asked to select a track when you register. Once selected, that track will be your focus throughout the conference. We will all be together for plenaries and worship.

Barnabas Track

On the Barnabas Track we will worship the triune God together, in word, at the table, in song, and in prayer. Our time will center around worship and lead into conversation about hospitality in worship. How do you make room for a teenage skeptic and a long time Christian believer at the same time in the same sanctuary? How do you make room for the person experiencing a season of great joy and the one experiencing a time of real sadness in the same sanctuary on the same Sunday? This will be a highly interactive track. In addition to content and facilitated discussions by Jon and Jonathan, participants will lodge and fellowship together at the William Black Lodge, share in devotions, and have opportunities for conversation with new and seasoned pastors. In addition to the main conference registration fee, returning participants will pay $50 for individuals and $75 for couples. There is no additional fee for first time attendees. Led by Jon Brown and Jonathan Gabhart.

Barnabas track is a specialized track for pastors and CRE/CLP’s and their spouses who are serving in their first call. The Barnabas Track begins on Sunday, October 14, 2018.

Missional Track

Gracious Hospitality
Southerners are known for being experts in offering gracious hospitality, but we did not write the book. Join us and explore ways to exhibit God’s gracious hospitality toward your neighbor, the stranger, and all for the Kingdom of God. We will study hospitality through Scripture as well as a book study, Surprise Your World, by Michael Frost. Come and share ideas for your worshiping community, and discover how churches can partner together in the practice of hospitality. Led by Lisa Culpepper and Herb Codington

Spiritual Formation Track

By participating in this track, you will receive both “soul shepherding” and spiritual renewal! Join Marina Gopadze to learn how to make space to hear God’s voice and guidance – and respond to it. You’ll be introduced to, along with opportunities to experience, well-known “soul training activities” (spiritual exercises and ancient practices) that will put you on God’s path for Him to transform your life (from the inside out) – and directly impact your discipleship and ministry! Led by Marina Gopadze

Retreat Track

Many people come to Montreat’s Wee Kirk Conference simply to enjoy the fellowship of other believers in the beauty of Montreat. To encourage this, we have created a special “retreat track” that includes all the worship and plenary presentations with abundant time for prayer, recreation, fellowship, and spiritual renewal.