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Women’s Connection

Through the Valley

August 10 - 12, 2018

Online registration is now closed.  You may register on-site in the upper lobby of Assembly Inn from 4:00-6:00 pm today.

The 2018 Women’s Connection theme draws from Psalm 23, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.” As a conference we will visit that place together, we will journey through the valleys, reflecting on the times when we have sensed God’s presence in our lives. We will also discover ways to cultivate God’s presence in our daily lives as we walk through the valleys (and on the mountaintops!).  As a community we will faithfully proclaim, as the Psalmist does, that God is with us.

Keynote Speaker: Kate Bowler

The 2018 Women’s Connection keynote speaker will be divinity professor, young mother, historian, and author Kate Bowler! At thirty-five, after writing her first book about the American prosperity Gospel, Bowler was a professor at the school of divinity at Duke and a new mother when she received the earth-shattering diagnosis of Stage IV colon cancer. Reckoning with the news, Bowler discovered, to her chagrin, that she would have to learn how to give up her own “prosperity gospel.” As she struggled to find the balance between optimism and delusion, she wondered how to accept her own finitude without feeling like she was giving up.

As she learns to live with cancer as a chronic condition, Bowler speaks powerfully about the ways in which her brush with mortality transformed her. She also frankly addresses the uniquely American concept that tragedy is a test of character, and looks at the different ways that people try to rationalize suffering and catastrophe, for better or worse.

You can read her latest piece on the subject, What to Say When You Meet the Angel of Death at a Party, in The New York Times. To learn more about Kate Bowler, visit www.prhspeakers.com/kate-bowler.

Women’s Connection 2016 keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling author Glennon Doyle had this to say about Everything Happens for a Reason: “I fell hard and fast for Kate Bowler. Her writing is naked, elegant, and gripping—she’s like a Christian Joan Didion. I left Kate’s story feeling more present, more grateful, and a hell of a lot less alone. And what else is art for?” You can read more about the book here.

Check out the resource page for information from past Women’s Connections!

Registration Information

Registration is open! When you register for Women’s Connection 2018, you will receive a copy of Kate Bowler’s new book, Everything Happens for a Reason And Other Lies I’ve Loved, that we’ll study together at the conference. For conference fees and rates for accommodations, please click on the RATES & REGISTRATION tab above. Before you register, make sure you also look over the list of workshops offered by clicking on the WORKSHOPS tab.

An Evening with Kate Bowler

Interested in coming for just Saturday night to hear Kate? Tickets are $50 in advance online and $55 on-site. Purchase tickets now for An Evening with Kate Bowler.

Please note: If you are registered for the Women’s Connection conference on August 10-12, 2018, this event is included in your conference fee. You do NOT need to purchase tickets separately.

The Mary Katherine “K.K.” Scott Cooper Endowment

Montreat Conference CenterThe Mary Katherine “K.K.” Scott Cooper Endowment provides support for women’s programming, leadership development, spiritual nurture and scholarship assistance at Montreat. Funds from this endowment help women with financial need to afford Montreat conferences and retreats, help Montreat provide programs that equip women for ministry, and help Montreat feature national quality speakers and conference leaders, who are themselves women leaders in the church. Download the K.K. Cooper Endowment Commitment Form to support this ministry.

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Rates and Registration

Registration is open! Before you register, make sure you look over the list of workshops offered by clicking on the WORKSHOPS tab above.

You may register for a comprehensive package which includes your conference fee, room, and meals, or if you have your own housing, you may register for the commuter package (see packages below). If you are bringing a large group, please contact the registrar at SusanA@montreat.org or call 828.419.9829 for assistance. Child care registration is separate (please click on the MORE INFORMATION tab above).

All Women’s Connection participants will receive a copy of Kate Bowler’s new book, Everything Happens for a Reason And Other Lies I’ve Loved, as part of their registration for the full conference. The book will be mailed to the address that you provide on your registration form. If you are registering more than one person under your name, please contact the conference registrar to provide additional mailing addresses.

Comprehensive Package

PLEASE NOTE: Assembly Inn and Glen Rock are filled to capacity.  However, there are still rooms available in the Winsborough.

Comprehensive rates below include the Women’s Connection conference fee, room in Assembly Inn, Winsborough, Glen Rock Inn, or Glen Rock Apartment, meals in the Galax Dining Room (Friday supper through Sunday breakfast), plus a $2 community services fee per person for public services provided by the Town and the fire district. Rooms are assigned on a first come, first served basis. After June 29, these rates will increase by $25 per person.

Assembly Inn (FULL)

  • Double Occupancy, Private Bath: $340.00 per person
  • Single Occupancy, Private Bath: $440.00 per person
  • Double Occupancy, Shared Bath: $328.00 per person
  • Single Occupancy, Shared Bath: $416.00 per person

The Winsborough (AVAILABLE) and Glen Rock (FULL)

  • Double Occupancy, Shared/Private Bath: $292.50 per person
  • Single Occupancy, Shared/Private Bath: $345.00 per person

Meals for Children

  • Children ages 12 and older: $53.00 per child
  • Children ages 5-11: $26.50 per child
  • Children under 5: no charge

Commuter Package

Commuter rates below include the Women’s Connection conference fee of $185 plus a $2 community services fee per person for public services provided by the Town and the fire district. After June 29, this rate will increase by $25 per person.

  • On or before June 29: $187 per person
  • After June 29: $212 per person

Optional meal packages for the Galax Dining Room may be requested when you register online.

  • $53.00* per person for Friday supper through Sunday breakfast
  • $10.00* per person for Saturday lunch

*These additional charges will be added separately by the registrar.

Refund Policy

Cancellations must be received by June 29 in order to receive a full refund less a $25 service charge. Cancellations received after June 29 but on or before August 3 will receive a 50% refund of the conference fee and payments made toward room and meal charges (if applicable) less $40. No refunds will be issued after August 3. All requests must be in writing and received via email, fax, or U.S. mail.

Contact the Registrar

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

Key Leadership

Montreat Conference CenterKate Bowler – Keynote Speaker
Kate Bowler has always been fascinated by the way people explain their own successes. Her first book, Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel, is a history of the movement that manifests itself in everything from “#blessed” social media posts to American politics. At thirty-five, Bowler received the earth-shattering diagnosis of Stage IV colon cancer. Reckoning with the news, she discovered, to her chagrin, that she would have to learn how to give up her own “prosperity gospel.” As she struggled to find the balance between optimism and delusion, she wondered how to accept her own finitude without feeling like she was giving up. In “Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me,” her viral New York Times essay exploring life in the aftermath of her diagnosis,  she re-examined her research on the prosperity gospel and its quest to “solve the riddle of human suffering.” Her most recent book, Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved (February 2018), is an inspirational memoir that explores the appeal of “outrageous certainties,” the difficulty of surrender, and the burden of positivity—but also the way that life’s beauty is often intertwined with suffering. Kate Bowler is an assistant professor in the school of divinity at Duke University. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Republic, The Guardian, TIME, Christianity Today, The Economist, The Washington Post, and NPR.

Montreat Conference CenterReverend Dr. Diane L. Givens Moffett – Conference Preacher
The Rev. Dr. Diane L. Givens Moffett received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and both her MDiv and DMin degrees at San Francisco Theological Seminary. In addition to being a preacher and pastor, Reverend Moffett is a published author whose works include Beyond Greens and Cornbread: Reflections of African American Christian Identity published by Judson Press. Her writing is also included in the journal, Call to Worship – Liturgy, Music, Preaching & The Arts, the official journal of The Presbyterian Association of Musicians, among other publications. Dr. Moffett’s pastoral ministry spans 30 years of service. She is currently senior pastor at Saint James Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, NC. In the ten years of service with the Saint James congregation, the church has added numerous ministries including a praise team and worship band, a singles ministry, a mid-week pastor led bible study, a young men’s mime ministry, a young girls dance ministry, a youth and adult liturgical dance ministry, an older adult women’s dance ministry, a drama ministry, a summer youth drama camp, and a health ministry. The church also established a not-for-profit organization, The Touching Lives Foundation, to help further meet the needs of the community. Dr. Moffett has served in a variety of PC(USA) church leadership roles including moderator of Salem Presbytery and chair of the General Assembly’s Climate for Change Task Force, and has presented and preached at numerous church-related conferences.

Montreat Conference CenterReverend Eustacia Moffett Marshall – Conference Music Leader
The Rev. Eustacia Moffett Marshall serves as teaching elder and pastor to Faith Point Fellowship, a new worshipping community in Greensboro, NC, sponsored by Saint James Presbyterian Church and Salem Presbytery. She received her BA from Stanford University in June 2001 where she directed the Stanford University Gospel Choir. In May 2006, she received her MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. Prior to pastoral ministry, she served as full time minster of music at the Elmwood United Presbyterian Church and has served as a choral director and minister of music for various churches, choirs, and conferences. Rev. Marshall currently resides in Winston-Salem with her family.

Montreat Conference CenterReverend Meg Peery McLaughlin – Conference Pastor
The Rev. Meg Peery McLaughlin is co-pastor at Burke Presbyterian Church, alongside her husband, Jarrett. She is a native of North Carolina, graduated with a Bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and with an MDiv in Christian Education from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA. Meg was ordained as a Teaching Elder (Minister of Word and Sacrament) in 2006, at Village Presbyterian Church near Kansas City, MO, where she served for seven years in the role of Pastoral Care. Meg and Jarrett have three young daughters: big sister, Naomi, and twins, Caroline and Zanna. She has hitched her life to the promise that Jesus Christ is the light that overcomes darkness, is the love that is stronger than all fear, and is the sure and certain assurance that new life is possible, even when it seems otherwise.

Montreat Conference CenterGail Henderson-Belsito – Conference Book Study Leader
Gail Henderson-Belsito is a student, teacher, mother, wife, writer, and fearless solo traveler. She is a seminary student at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. She lives in South Charlotte with her husband, two children, Daniel and Kristiana (will they ever move out?), and a teeny tiny little beast of a dog named Maya (who is affectionately referred to as her husband’s girlfriend). She is an avid collector of pens – #penhoarder – and has more than 250 pens hidden in various places around her house, in her oversized purses, and in her car.

Workshop Leaders

Montreat Conference CenterEdna Bacon is a potter and an art therapist living in Atlanta, GA, where she is an active member of Central Presbyterian Church. From a background in science she began to study art in her 30s. Making art caused shifts in her perception of herself and the world around her. Images gave her words to which she had not had access. Life for her as artist, art therapist, wife, mother, grandmother, continues to shift. The art holds and reflects that shift.

Montreat Conference CenterJenn Carlier is a Dutch international student in the graduate division of religion at Emory. After receiving her Master’s degree in theology in Holland, and working at the American Protestant Church of the Hague for six years as youth minister, she moved to Atlanta to complete her MDiv at Columbia Theological Seminary. She is currently a PhD candidate in theological studies, working on a dissertation entitled “Redeeming the Atonement for the Sinned-Against Sinner,” in which she will explore and critique atonement theories through the lens of the experience of addicts in recovery. Besides working on her dissertation, she is a teaching assistant at Candler School of Theology, seeking ordination in the United Church of Christ, and an avid fan of LEGO.

Montreat Conference CenterJess Cook is a candidate for ministry in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and is the program and communications manager for More Light Presbyterians. A native of East Texas and lifelong Presbyterian, Jess holds a MDiv from Union Presbyterian Seminary, a MFA in photography from the University of North Texas, and a BFA in Studio Art from Baylor. Prior to joining MLP, Jess was the youth programs director at Side by Side, an organization in Richmond, VA, serving LGBTQ+ youth. While at Side by Side, Jess worked with hundreds of young people through support groups, a leadership program, and various programs in the community. They created a parent support group and a meals program, and trained a wide variety of faith community leaders and service providers on best practices for working with LGBTQ+ youth. Jess’s call is to help facilitate spaces where reconciliation is possible, with the acknowledgement that reconciliation is only possible if we are able to be honest with ourselves and one another about the ways in which we are broken. True reconciliation requires relationships, and relationships require trust and vulnerability. Jess sees their role as helping make spaces where that vulnerability is celebrated and trust can be built. Jess loves poetry, liturgy, sharing meals, and pretty much any conversation about the ways we see the Spirit come to life in the world. They live in Richmond, VA, with their lively toddler, dog, and cat. Check out Jess’s TEDx Talk on what faith communities can learn from spaces dedicated to LGBTQ-youth for more.

Montreat Conference CenterJeannie DuBose offers spiritual direction, leads retreats, and is the author of the illustrated memoir The Mother Daughter Dance. When working with individuals and groups, she likes to engage a variety of portals: scripture, cartoons, poetry, prayer, images, music, and questions — all as invitations for participants to continue awakening to the mystery we call God in all of life. One of Jeannie’s core beliefs is that following your joy, as well as the lump in your throat, will lead you to God. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, Jeannie enjoyed working as a Wattles Fellow at Lloyds of London, followed by a year as a teacher in the western province of Kenya. She holds an MS in counseling psychology from Georgia State University, a certificate in spiritual formation from Columbia Theological Seminary, and is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Jeannie and her husband raised their three children in Atlanta, where she worked as a psychotherapist and served on staff at Trinity Presbyterian Church as the director of spiritual formation. Currently, Jeannie and her husband live in Montreat, NC. To learn more about her private practice in Black Mountain, visit www.jeanniedubose.org.

Montreat Conference CenterKatie Hay, E-RYT-200 & RYT-500, teaches group yoga classes and private yoga therapy sessions at Black Mountain Yoga and throughout WNC. She received a 500 hour advanced studies in yoga teaching certification with an emphasis on yoga therapy in 2015 from the Asheville Yoga Center after completing a 200 hour yoga teaching certification at Tranquil Space in Washington, DC, in 2010. She combines her knowledge of anatomy and physiology, psychology and yogic philosophy in her unique and authentic teaching style. Katie’s yoga teaching has been described as supportive and inspiring, with clear and knowledgeable instruction. She encourages students to build their inner awareness, develop a mind-body connection, and to move through their practice with intention.

Montreat Conference CenterGail Henderson-Belsito is a student, teacher, mother, wife, writer, and fearless solo traveler. She is a seminary student at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, NC. She lives in South Charlotte with her husband, two children, Daniel and Kristiana (will they ever move out?), and a teeny tiny little beast of a dog named Maya (who is affectionately referred to as her husband’s girlfriend). She is an avid collector of pens – #penhoarder – and has more than 250 pens hidden in various places around her house, in her oversized purses, and in her car.

Montreat Conference CenterThe Rev. Beverly J. Kelly is a native of Tryon, NC. She taught secondary education in the Detroit public schools, and later served as director of Christian education at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Midland, MI. During a period of that time she was the PW moderator of the Lake Huron Presbytery. After ordination she served as pastor at the First United Church of Christ in Bay City, MI. Eleven years ago she and her husband, Burnett retired and moved to South Carolina. Shortly after moving there, she began working to establish a monthly ecumenical worship service at the historic McKinney Chapel in that community. It is a ministry that has contributed over $100,000 to local food pantries and charities. Beverly has been a volunteer chaplain at Hospice of the Upstate, served on the Board of Oconee County Habitat for Humanity, and presently is on the Board of Trustees at Thornwell Home for Children. She has served as interim director of Christian Education at Pickens Presbyterian Church and is presently parish associate there. In 2016 she served as moderator of the Foothills Presbytery. In 2018, she retired as stated supply at Mattoon Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC. Beverly and Burnett have four children and fourteen wonderful grandchildren.

Montreat Conference CenterSummer Kirkpatrick grew up in Alabama, went to college at the College of Charleston, and came to Montreat in the summer of 2008 to work as a wilderness ranger. She has worked as a camp counselor, science teacher, and now serves as an elder for Black Mountain Presbyterian Church while staying at home with her son.

Montreat Conference CenterKathryn Lester-Bacon is the associate pastor at Second Presbyterian Church in Richmond, VA. She is currently part of the Next Church’s certificate of community organizing and congregational leadership through Johnson C. Smith Seminary. Previously, she completed two years of training in spiritual direction from Richmond Hill Retreat Center. She is married to Michael Bacon, and is mom to Josie, a one-going-on-three-year-old who already knows the art of a good temper tantrum.

Montreat Conference CenterLucretia McCulley is an elder and member at Second Presbyterian Church in Richmond, VA. She currently co-chairs Second’s Mission Council and leads faith-based advocacy efforts for the congregation. She serves as the liaison to the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and she is a past board member of the Richmond Peace Education Center. Currently serving as head of scholarly communications at the University of Richmond (UR) Libraries, Lucretia has worked as a university librarian for 37 years. She also serves as the librarian for the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at UR. McCulley has a BA degree from Salem College and a MSLS from the University of Tennessee.

Montreat Conference CenterBeth Newman is a pastor and writer living in Asheville, North Carolina with her husband and two daughters. In 2013 she was diagnosed with leukemia and is currently in remission. She is semi-retired, working on a novel, and she volunteers as a chaplain for Camp Bluebird, a retreat for adults living with cancer.


Montreat Conference CenterRev. Dr. Paula Owens Parker is the author of Roots Matter: Healing History Honoring Heritage and Renewing Hope. She is program associate for the Center for Womanist Leadership and adjunct assistant professor of Spiritual Formation at Union Presbyterian Seminary and senior program developer, Roots Matter LLC, Richmond, VA.

Montreat Conference CenterGinny Taylor-Troutman is an ordained minister of the PC(USA) with an MDiv from Union Presbyterian Seminary and MS in Patient Counseling from VCU. She has served in hospitals as chaplain, in a church as Director of Children’s and Youth Ministry, and on Virginia Tech’s campus as the Presbyterian Campus Minister. Ginny has recently moved to Chapel Hill, NC where she lives with her husband, Andrew (also a Presbyterian minister), and their three young children; Sam (5), Asa (2), and Sadie (4months). As a first time stay at home mom (when are we going to find a new term!?), Ginny is learning more about how to live into grace and the wonder of God’s abundance in the ordinary and miraculous moments of everyday life.

Montreat Conference CenterLynn Webber followed her heart to Black Mountain, NC, and is grateful to call it home after serving congregations and non-profits in Indiana, California, and the Philippines. Her discipleship continues to grow and go deeper thanks to seminary education in the Midwest and both Coasts, Shalem training, multiple CPE units, and all who have shared their stories with her. She is currently ministering as a parish associate and a chaplain in Morganton, NC.

Workshop Descriptions

Workshops are optional. Everyone is invited to sign up for two workshops. Workshop times are on Saturday from 10:30 am-12:00 noon and 2:00-3:30 pm. Workshops are limited and are available on a first come, first serve basis, so please sign up ASAP!  Click on the LEADERSHIP tab above for more information about our workshop leaders. (If you’ve already registered for the conference, but haven’t signed up for your workshops, click here.)

1.) What Shall We Say? (This workshop is FULL for both sessions)
A brief examination of the age-old questions—Is God all-powerful? Is God good? How can God allow so much innocent human suffering? As Christians, what do we say to console the parents of children killed at school, victims of violent storms, diseases, and famine? How does the church respond to the ‘theodicy question’? How do we as Christians bear witness to the ultimate victory of God? This course will rely heavily on the book, What Shall We Say? by Thomas G. Long, with his permission. Led by Beverly Kelly

2.) The Spirituality of Aging (This workshop is FULL for both sessions)
There is no denying it: the process of aging brings assaults on our vanity and inevitable losses. The good news is that our faith tradition offers both a mirror and guiding light as we journey through the struggles and epiphanies of growing older. This interactive session is grounded in the “healthy elderhood” research of Eugene Bianchi, former Religion professor at Emory University. Participants will be invited to know themselves — and God — more deeply as we ponder together the effects of time. Led by Jeannie DuBose

3.) Slow Flow Yoga (This workshop is FULL for both sessions)
This all levels yoga workshop is the perfect way to take care of your mind, body & spirit. Join Katie for a practice of basic yoga postures, breathing, and meditation. Strengthen, stretch, and center. This workshop is open to beginners and seasoned yogis alike. Some yoga mats provided. You may also bring your own mat or towel. Wear comfortable clothes you can move in. Led by Katie Hay

4.) Hiking Through the Valley (This workshop is FULL for both sessions)
Summer will be leading two hikes in Montreat. One will be moderate and one will be more challenging. Each hike will make space for silence, prayer, intentional conversation, exercise, pause, rest for the soul, and worship in the wilderness. Bring your hiking shoes and a bottle of water. Led by Summer Kirkpatrick

5.) On the Journey with Dr Seuss by our Side (This workshop is FULL for both sessions)
The wit and wisdom of Dr. Seuss guides us to images and words that lead and accompany us on our journey. There will be art materials and guidance in their use! Led by Edna Bacon

6.) Feminist Theologies
In this workshop we’ll explore what happens when women’s experience is taken seriously in theological conversation. We’ll look specifically at theologies of the cross and explore how different feminist and womanist theologians reimagine the cross from their unique perspectives. We’ll have a conversation together about what it means to take our experiences as women in the world seriously in thinking about the meaning of the cross. Led by Jenn Carlier

7.) Faith-Based Advocacy: Energizing Your Congregation to Stand for Peace and Justice
As followers of Christ, we are called to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, visit the prisoner, and care for the sick. We are also called to work in the public realm to build a more just society, seeking to eliminate the root causes of poverty, violence, injustice and inequality. This workshop will provide tools for faith-based advocacy, drawing upon PC-USA statements and resources, to explore how faith-based advocacy and mission activities interact. This session will include examples of how to start a grass-roots advocacy group; small group time to examine and discuss PC-USA advocacy statements, scripture readings and advocacy issues; and hands-on time to develop a draft plan for your church – what ideas can you can take back to your congregation? Led by Lucretia McCulley

8.) Your Body, Your Story: Keeping a Written Record
These bodies of ours are wonder-filled and fear-filled. We love our bodies some days and wish we could completely remake them on other days. During this workshop, we will consider various ways to tell and write the story (stories) of our bodies. We will reflect on ways we have experienced God’s presence and God’s love in the stories of our bodies. What do you think God thinks about the stories you tell about your body? Are you, in fact, fearfully and wonderfully made? What might the answers to these questions mean in your day to day life? During this writing workshop, we will consider these questions and also explore ways to read the Bible and respond to the Bible in direct relation to our bodies. An hour-long workshop won’t be nearly long enough to explore all these topics thoroughly, so my hope is that you will leave with writing prompts, book suggestions, and a greater appreciation for the gift of your body and your story. Bring a notebook, your favorite pen, and an open heart. Led by Gail Henderson-Belsito

9.) Learning a new language: Pastoral Care for LGBTQ youth and adults
When we baptize children into our community, we promise to nurture them in the faith and support them as they grow. As a church, the promises we make when we baptize someone bring with them a commitment to take the journey with young people as they mature in their faith. What does that support look like for LGBTQ youth? How do we proactively create spaces in church so LGBTQ youth know they are welcome? This workshop will address practical ways in which congregations can support LGBTQ youth and adults. The workshop will include language and terminology, an overview of the landscape for LGBTQ youth, an introduction to what LGBTQ youth need to feel supported in the church, and ways congregations can be proactive in their ministry for LGBTQ youth. Bring your questions and come prepared to learn! Led by Jess Cook

10.) Prayer Walk Workshop (This workshop is FULL for both sessions)
Nourished by the sound of water, soil below our shoes, smells carried on the breeze and ancient words of hope, we will dare to walk with the One who loves us deeply and calls us in community to wholeness. The less than one mile “hike” will be easy, but the practice can be as gentle or challenging as needed. Led by Lynn Webber

11.) “Enjoy Every Minute” and Other Lies Mothers of Young Children Love
Being a mom to small children is beautiful and terrifying, fun and exhausting, amazing and confusing. And it’s impossible to enjoy every minute. In a culture where “mom guilt” is a common phrase and “mommy blogs” and parenting theories come at us 24/7, so many mothers of littles struggle. Looking for solidarity? Want to connect with other moms of young children? Come join us as we seek to ground ourselves in Christ’s beloved community where each person’s flourishing is joined to another, forgiveness is freely offered, and love rules the day. Through story, art, meditation, and presence, we will explore and experience this Gospel vision together. Led by Ginny Taylor-Troutman

12.) Slamming Doors, Throwing Stools, Raising Fists, Getting Mad
“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” does not come from the Bible (or Shakespeare!), but this line is often treated as biblical truth. The history of this line reveals how, across time, anger in women has been either intensely feared or patronizingly dismissed. In this workshop, we’ll take women’s anger seriously. For the first part, we will look at history, scripture, literature, and other cultural spaces, to learn more about various dimensions and expressions of anger, particularly in women. For the second part of the workshop, we’ll use the psalms, poems, and some old-fashioned mess-making to explore more personal experiences of anger, asking ourselves: what does this anger reveal? Where is God in it? And how might this anger guide us to more fruitful and faithful, healthy and healing places? Led by Kathryn Lester-Bacon

13.) Genealogy and History – a Double Helix: Viewing Our Inheritance From a Different Perspective (Afternoon session is FULL)
Like the double helix of DNA, history and genealogy together give us our genetic sociological, psychological and spiritual identities. Lived experiences (genealogy) and the reflection on those experiences (history) shape a double helix. This presentation provides the connection between these spiral ladders by introducing the impact of generational trauma and generational resilience with the use of the genogram. The genogram is a graphic representation that goes beyond the traditional information found on a family tree. It records detailed data on relationships among individuals that allows the user to analyze hereditary patterns and physical, spiritual, behavioral, and psychological factors that punctuate relationships and family history. It allows you to step back and look at how your family history is situated in our larger historical narrative. This presentation will give you the tools to view your genealogy and family history from a different lens for healing. Led by Paula Parker

15.) Let’s Talk About Cancer
For those of us who have faced a cancer diagnosis or who have cared for someone who has, talking about cancer is often the last thing we want to do. Yet we also know the strength and sustaining power that can be found in community and in sharing our experiences with one another. This workshop will use Kate Bowler’s book Everything Happens for a Reason as a starting point for telling our own stories and sharing our fears and hopes. We respectfully ask that only those with a personal history of cancer, either as a patient or caregiver, select to attend this workshop. Led by Beth Newman

Other Housing Information

Find out more about other housing options available in Montreat.

Scholarship Information

Montreat offers a few scholarships for this conference. Contact Susan Akduman for more information and an application at susana@montreat.org.

Child Care Information

Child care for Women’s Connection participants will be available for an additional fee. Pre-registration is required. Register for child care now!

Child Care Fees:

  • $70 for children six months thru preschool age
  • $65 for children completed kindergarten and older

Questions? Please email the child care coordinator at childcare@montreat.org.


Check out the resources page for information from past Women’s Connections! Click here.