By Melanie Threlkeld McConnell*
Lake Junaluska, NC – For 100 years worshipers have flocked to Lake Junaluska , a sacred place for Methodists seeking spiritual renewal and fellowship.
“Standing on Holy Ground,” the theme for the 2013 Summer Worship Series reflects that initial connection between the Lake’s early founders and their desire to seek God in a different way, said Jennifer Martin, interim director of program ministries.
“Back in 1913, when the lake was founded, this space was set aside as holy ground for mission conferences and spiritual renewal,” Martin said. “There is something special about this place that brings people back year after year. They feel something, feel closer to God here. We want to help people experience God in a new way and to provide a space for people to feel that same connection that the Lake’s founders felt 100 years ago.”
The Lake Junaluska Summer Worship Series runs Sundays from June 16 to August 11 and is open to everyone, but geared to adults, Martin said. Holy Communion is offered in the Memorial Chapel at 8:30 a.m., followed by traditional morning worship at 10:45 a.m. in historic Stuart Auditorium, with guest preachers. Inspirational worship music is provided by The Lake Junaluska Singers. Childcare is offered at the 10:45 a.m. service.
The Africa University Choir will perform Sunday, June 16, the first Sunday of the Summer Worship Series. Dr. Jan Love, dean of Candler School of Theology, will give the sermon.
Other preachers are Bishop Larry Goodpaster, June 23; Bishop Ivan Abrahams, June 30; Bishop Jonathan Holston, July 7; Trevor Hudson, July 14; Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, July 21; The Rev. Dr. Luke Powery, July 28; Charles Anderson, Aug. 4; and Dr. Tony Campolo, Aug. 11.
Several of the speakers are new bishops, Martin said. Trevor Hudson is a pastor from South Africa and Ivan Abrahams is the general secretary for the World Methodist Council.
“We’ve had a long history of bringing in world class preachers,” Martin said. “We will continue to build on that tradition in the future.”
Campolo is a prime example. Campolo, who will wrap up the summer series, is a speaker, author, sociologist, pastor and social activist. He’s professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University, a former faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, and the founder and president of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education.
He has written more than 35 books, blogs regularly at his website, redletterchristians.org, and can also be found on both Facebook and Twitter. Campolo and his wife, Peggy, live near Philadelphia.
To find out more about the 2014 Sunday Summer Worship Series or Lake Junaluska, please visit www.lakejunaluska.com/summer-worship or call us at 800.222.4930.
* Melanie Threlkeld McConnell is a freelance writer, former AP newswoman, editor and media consultant based in Waynesville, NC.