The light of the cross shines on a beautiful evening at Lake Junaluska

Festival of Wisdom and Grace

A conference for finding purpose
and renewal in the second half of life

AUGUST 19-22, 2024

Held annually, the Festival of Wisdom and Grace invites participants to explore how we flourish as we age and how we navigate transitions, live into our talents and passions and cultivate our relationship with Christ.  In 2024, we will explore the theme “Wesleyan Roots” and enjoy worship, workshops, recreation, entertainment, learning and plenty of time for fellowship. Our keynote speaker for the event is Dr. Ashely Boggan D., and our conference preacher will be Bishop Lawson Bryan.  You will also have time to explore Lake Junaluska and enjoy the gardens and places of meditation, lakeside trail and more.

We invite you to subscribe to festival updates to receive the latest news about the conference. Continuing education units will be available in connection with this event.

Outdoor prayer group during Lake Junaluska's Festival of Wisdom and Grace

Conference Preacher and Keynote Speaker

Bishop Lawson Bryan
Bishop Lawson Bryan
Bishop Lawson Bryan served churches throughout Alabama and one in Florida from 1975-2007. In 2016, he was elected bishop and assigned to the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church Episcopal area. Since 2021 he has served as the bishop-in-residence at FUMC in Montgomery, Alabama and the Respite For All Foundation.

Bryan also has served as a member of and in leadership positions on numerous boards and associations, including the Alabama-West Florida Conference Board of Ministry, the Southeastern Jurisdiction Larger Church Consultation, the Huntingdon College Board of Trustees, Committee of 100, Candler School of Theology, Emory University; and General Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church. He currently is a board member of Respite For All Foundation.

A cum laude graduate of Tulane University, Bryan received Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Emory University. He is the author of “How Science can Strengthen our Faith” and “Pursuing Science, Finding Faith.”
Ashley Boggan D.
Dr. Ashley Boggan D.

Dr. Ashley Boggan D. is the general secretary of the General Commission on Archives and History, located on the campus of Drew University in the United Methodist Archives & History Center in Madison, New Jersey. A general agency of the United Methodist Church, the General Commission on Archives and History was established in 1968 to focus on promoting and preserving UMC history. As general secretary, Boggan D. ensures that the United Methodist Church understands its past in order to envision a more equitable future for all Methodists.

Boggan D. earned her Ph.D. from Drew Theological School’s Graduate Division of Religion, specializing in both Methodist/Wesleyan Studies and Women’s/Gender Studies. She earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School, specializing in American Religious History.

She was the director of United Methodist Studies and assistant professor Christian History at Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, an AME Zion Seminary, from 2017-2019 and was the director of Women’s and Gender Studies and assistant professor of Religion at High Point University in High Point, from 2019-2020.

Boggan D. is a lay member of the Arkansas Annual Conference and the daughter of two ordained United Methodist ministers. Her great-great-great grandfathers were Methodist circuit-riders in the early 19th century. She is the author of “Nevertheless: American Methodists and Women’s Rights;” “Entangled: A History of American Methodism, Politics and Sexuality;” and added to the revised “American Methodism: A Compact History.”

Workshops

Explore how to flourish as we age through a series of four workshops guided by a variety of leaders who have come to share their knowledge and experience with you. Workshops will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

Leaders and their topics:

The Rev. Dr. Trisha Senterfitt — The Labyrinth
Bishop Lawson Bryan — Developing Disciples through Respite Ministry
Writer/speaker Missy Buchanan — Grief
Bishop Charlene Kammerer — Social Holiness
The Rev. Ashley Calhoun — Bishop Lambuth
Dr. Ashley Boggan D. — Keynote Speaker
Writer/editor Andrew Breeden — Writing
Sarah Tippett/Melissa Tinsley — Gardening
Chuck Bell — Musician
Bishop Lawson Bryan — Guest Preacher

 

Woman leading prayer during Lake Junaluska Festival Wisdom and Grace

Learning Circles

Learning Circles are free, small-group clinics offered during the festival on a variety of topics and led by qualified festival participants on subjects they are passionate about. Is there a subject or skill you would like to share with others? Are you a crafter, photographer, dancer, birder, history buff, genealogist, or an “expert” in another topic you’d love to share with fellow festival-goers?  If you are interested in leading a learning circle, email [email protected].

Optional Activities

Optional activities during the festival include a historical boat tour of Lake Junaluska aboard the Cherokee IV pontoon boat (additional charge).

 

Visitors enjoy the Lake Junaluska Walking Trail

Sample Schedule

Lakeside White Tent & Stuart Auditorium
Monday

5:30-6:30 p.m. – Dinner
5:30 p.m. – Leadership Dinner, Terrace, Room 319
6:30 p.m. – Late Registration – Harrell Auditorium
7:00 p.m. – Worship – Harrell Auditorium
7:30 p.m. – Concert
8:30 p.m. – Reception – Under the white tent by Lake

Festival of Wisdom and Grace Workshop Session
Tuesday

6:45-7:30 a.m. – Lake Devotional Walk
7:30-8:30 a.m. – Breakfast at The Terrace
8:30 a.m. – Gathering Music – Harrell Auditorium
8:45-9:45 a.m. – Teaching Pastor
10:00-11:00 a.m. –Workshop A
11:00-11:15 a.m. – Break
11:30-12:30 p.m. – Workshop B
12:30-1:30 p.m. – Lunch at The Terrace
4:00-5:00 p.m. – Optional Historical Boat Tour – $
5:30-6:30 p.m. – Dinner at The Terrace
6:45 p.m. – Gathering Music – Harrell Auditorium
7:00 p.m. – Worship

The light of the cross shines on a beautiful evening at Lake Junaluska
Wednesday

6:45-7:30 am – Lake Devotional Walk
7:30-8:30 am – Breakfast at the Terrace
8:30 am – Gathering Music – Harrell Auditorium
8:45-9:45 am – Teaching Pastor
10:00-11:00 am – Workshop C
11:00-11:15 am – Break
11:15-12:15 pm – Workshop D
12:30-1:30 pm – Lunch at The Terrace
12:30-1:30 pm – Meeting with Conference Older Adult Leaders – Room 319 Terrace
1:30-2:00 pm – Free time
2:00-3:00 pm – Optional Learning Circles
4:00 pm – Optional Historical Boat Tour – $
5:30-6:30 pm – Dinner at The Terrace
6:45 pm – Gathering Music
7:00 pm – Worship
8:00 pm – Walk/Ride to the Cross (Trolleys & air-conditioned church vans will be
available to ride also)

Visitors enjoy the Lake Junaluska Walking Trail
Thursday

6:45-7:30 am – Lake Devotional Walk
7:30-8:30 am – Breakfast at the Terrace
9:00-9:15 am – Gathering music – Harrell Auditorium
9:15 am – Sending Forth and Holy Communion

CONTACT US

Program Questions
Email [email protected] or call ​828-454-6716.

 


Reservations Questions
Call 800-222-4930 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or email [email protected].

 

Would you be interested in leading a learning circle?
Learning Circles are free small group clinics on a variety of topics led by qualified Festival participants on subjects they are passionate about. If you are interested in leading a learning circle, email [email protected].