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UPC Congregational Retreat

September 7-9, 2018

Are you ready to rest, relax, and retreat from your
everyday patterns and routines?

Are you ready to discover the ways the Holy Spirit is moving in your life?

Join your church family in beautiful Montreat as we experience scripture, keynotes, workshops, pottery, hiking, and much more!

Don’t miss this opportunity to live in community with your church family as we explore the theme: Spirit on the Move!

 Registration is now open!

Click here to Register!

Spirit on the Move!Friday Night
Saturday AMSaturday PMSunday

Theological Focus

Gathered by the Spirit

Amazed by the Spirit

Moved By the Spirit

Sent by the Spirit


Acts 2: 1-4

Acts 2: 1-13

Acts 2: 1-17

Acts 2: 1-21

Centering Prayer

God, we are grateful to be gathered together with our church family in this thin place.

God, we are amazed and astonished  by how you continue to work in our midst.

God, we give thanks for all the ways you inspire us to move at the urging of your Spirit.

God, send us into the world, led by your Spirit, to welcome, encourage, and spread your good news.

Friday night – Gathered by the Spirit

We’ll register at Assembly Inn in Montreat and spend time enjoying all that Montreat has to offer through scavenger hunts, games, and recreation. Later in the evening, we’ll introduce leadership and spend time in Chatter Groups, which are mixed age groups that we’ll come back to throughout the weekend. Then, our night owls will enjoy “Late Night in the Lobby” for games, guitars, and good times.

Saturday  – Amazed and Moved by the Spirit

IMG_1989After breakfast, we’ll gather in Convocation Hall for our first keynote. We will then have extending time with our Chatter Groups to get to know one another better and talk about what we heard in Keynote. We’ll move into our workshop session where folks will have the chance to experience the theme in a variety of ways: pottery, bible study, crafts, and more!

After time with our chatter groups and lunch, we will experience Keynote in a move active way. Then all will enjoy free time. Participants will have the chance to hike, rock hop, go into Black Mountain for shopping, take a swing at the Black Mountain Golf course or enjoy an afternoon of rest.

Saturday evening, we’ll gather around the pig cooker for a UPC BBQ and move into an evening of recreation with a staple of good times at  Montreat: a barn dance followed by a camp fire and smore’s.

Sunday morning – Sent by the Spirit

As we prepare to head down the mountain and back into the real world, we’ll prepare our hearts and minds for service to others through a hymn sing and worship.

Meet our Keynoters:

Rev. Lolimarta Ros Reiter is the mother of 2 amazing girls (age 11 and 14) and the happily married wife of John.  She has been the Pastor at the Presbyterian Church of Seffner for almost 10 years where she partners in ministry with a loving and vibrant congregation.  She received her Masters in Divinity and in Christian Education from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA, and her Bachelor in Social Work from University of South Florida in Tampa.  Pastor Loli has been the keynote speaker and preacher at a number of camps and conferences, ranging from leading a women’s spiritual retreat for 12 to, most recently, preaching at a Montreat Youth Conference.  She and her husband (Director at Cedarkirk Camp and Conference Center) have been involved in camp ministry for over 20 years.  They continue to speak and educate others about the importance of being good stewards of nature and the importance of keeping the Sabbath by taking time apart.

Assembly Inn

Where we’re staying:

We will stay in hotel rooms in Assembly Inn, where we’ll also have meals and group meeting space. You have a choice of private or adjoining baths. Space is limited so register early!

Retreat Fees:

Conference Fees (per person):
Conference fees include meals – Saturday breakfast through Sunday breakfast.
Adults: $75
Children (5-11): $55
Children (4 & under): $40

Lodging (for two nights):
Assembly Inn – Two rooms, connecting bath: $352
Assembly Inn – One room, private bath (various bed sizes available): $200
Assembly Inn – Second adult staying in room: Free
Assembly Inn – Child(ren) staying in room with parent(s): Free
Youth staying in youth housing: $120


Friday Night
6:30pm: Registration
6:30-7:30pm: Fun and games in the Lobby
7:30-8:30pm: Community Building
8:30-9:30pm: Gathering
9:30-10:30pm: Late night in the Lobby

(Childcare provided 8:30-12:30, 1:30-2:45)
7:30-8:30am: Breakfast
8:45-10:00am: Keynote
10:00-10:45am: Chatter Groups
10:45am-12:15pm: Workshops
12:15-1:15pm: Lunch
1:30-2:30pm: Keynote
2:30-5:30pm: Free Time
5:30-6:45pm: BBQ Dinner – Cooked by John Rogers on the UPC Pig Cooker
6:45-7:30pm: Chatter Groups
7:30-8:30pm: Barn Dance
8:30-9:30pm: Camp Fire

Sunday Morning
(Childcare provided 9:30-11:45)
7:30-8:30am: Breakfast
9:15am: Group Picture – Assembly Inn front steps
9:30-10:15am – Chatter Groups
10:20-10:40am – Morning Singing
10:40-11:30am – Worship


Workshops – more coming soon – stay tuned!

We will have one workshop on Saturday morning. Many activities will be available for Saturday afternoon free time as well.

Infants – Pre-Kindergarten – This age group will spend time together playing and enjoying the company of other UPC children. Parents of 4 year olds can register for this group or can choose workshop below that is open to 4 year olds that might fit their child’s developmental stage. Facilitated by Montreat Staff

Hiking #1 – Take a fun walk on the Gate Trail. Want to get out and stretch your legs, but don’t feel up to hiking to the top of Lookout Mountain? Join us for a leisurely stroll along the creek.  Wear shoes that can get wet if you’d like to try rock hopping. There will be an opportunity to hike Lookout Mountain during our free time on Saturday afternoon if that’s more your speed. (Open to All Ages). Meet up in Assembly Inn Lower Lobby by the front Desk. Facilitated by Jim Snapper.

Hiking #2 –  The Sanctuary Trail offers another opportunity to enjoy our scenic outdoor surroundings. This trail is a little longer than the Gate Trail and leaves from the Walk Jones Wildlife Sanctuary area. There will be an opportunity to hike Lookout Mountain during our free time on Saturday afternoon if that’s more your speed. (Open to all ages.) Meet in Assembly Inn Upper Lobby by Piano.  Facilitated by Steve Kennedy 

Pottery – Whether you are a beginner or have frequently worked with clay, Ann Jones is a skilled teacher who can help you create a wonderful keepsake of the weekend. See what the spirit moves you to make! (Workshop open to Kindergarten and up, but during free time pottery is open to all ages). Currie Craft Center, Upper level. Facilitated by Ann Laird Jones.  THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL.

Scavenger Hunt – Curious about Montreat? You may need some energy to keep up with the clues that will lead you around our amazing conference center and tell you a little bit about this wonderful bit of God’s creation. (Open to all ages.) Meet in Assembly Inn Upper Lobby by Fireplace. Facilitated by Karen Vandersea.

Listening with your Heart – When the spirit was present, the people from all nations could understand each other. How do we listen to different voices in a divisive time and learn to respect opposing viewpoints? How can we make a difference on social justice issues without being divisive ourselves? (Open to 6th grade and up.) Facilitated by Hillary Bergman Cheek. Meet in Assembly Inn Room 218

Holy Spirit Bake Shop  – Come join us for some cooking fun. All ages welcome as we work with the younger set to bake some “dove” cookies. We’ll share them later with the group! (Open to all ages) Facilitated by Heidi Cook. Meet in Currie Craft Center, Lower Level. Facilitated by Heidi Cook and Mary Bozymski. THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL.

Windchimes, windsocks, and kites – Let the spirit flow and get creative with your wind creation. There will be projects for all skill levels! (Open to all ages) Meet in Assembly Inn 234

Montreat Stories – Would you like to know a little more about the history of this place and some interesting stories from the area? This group will hear true stories of how Montreat came to be and why it remains so important in the PCUSA. (Open to all ages). Meet in Assembly Inn Lakeside Room – 2nd Floor

Moving On Meditation – By popular demand, following well received Mediation workshops at our past two retreats, we offer another opportunity to experience beginner-friendly forms of mediation – to recognize what is beautiful, true, sacred, and ever present around and within us and to connect with God’s Spirit on the Move. All are welcome, please join us.  (Open to 6th grade and up) Facilitated by Hadley Kifner. Meet in Assembly Inn 2, ground floor.


Saturday Afternoon Free Time Ideas – No sign up required

Hiking Lookout– Hike up Montreat’s famous Lookout Mountain. It’s a moderate hike, about 45 minutes up and 30 minutes down with great views of the valley.   The first part of the trail is a gentle uphill slope through an area rich with wildflowers.  We will stop frequently to examine the flowers, ferns, shrubs and trees which cover the slopes of Lookout Mountain.  For those who wish to continue to the top, be prepared for challenging steep slopes and some scrambling up boulders for the 700 ft. elevation gain. You’ll be rewarded with a stunning view.  Bring water and be prepared for the weather.  We will carpool from the entrance of Assembly Inn to the trailhead on Lookout Road. Meet in Assembly Inn Lower Lobby, near front desk.

(Many additional trails are available. Find a trail map at checkin!)

Pottery – Work with a local potter to create your own Montreat keepsake out of clay. Open to all ages during free time. Currie Craft Center, upper level. Facilitated by Ann Laird Jones

Football Game – Cheer on the Tar Heels in the Lobby area.

Black Mountain Trip – Would you like to go with a group to explore Black Mountain? Sign up at the Registration Desk. 

Sabbath – Take a holy nap in your room or have some good conversation with friends on a Montreat porch. Take extra time to recharge your batteries.