Festival of Wisdom and Grace

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Festival of Wisdom and Grace


Co-sponsored by The Upper Room

August 5-8, 2019


Theme: Growing Deeper Roots

I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts.  Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  -Ephesians 3:16-17


About the Conference

Worship |  Workshops | Recreation | Entertainment | Learning

How do we live a life of significance as we age? How do we turn age into an asset as we cultivate spiritual maturity in ourselves and others? Recognizing that the call to go and make disciples is not limited by age, how do we turn age into an asset as we engage in ministry by, with and for those in the second half of life? Join us as a gifted slate of speakers, authors and pastors help us go deeper into discipleship.

Learning Circles

Is there a subject or skill you are passionate about that you would like to share with others? Whether you are a crafter, photographer, dancer, birder, history buff, genealogist, or an “expert” in some other topic, we would like to offer you, as a registered conference attendee, an opportunity to share your wisdom with fellow participants. Participants will sign up to participate in Learning Circles at registration check-in. Lake Junaluska will provide a room or outdoor space, tables and a projector (if necessary). Leaders will need to provide all other materials. Please return your application by July 12, 2019​. CLICK HERE TO APPLY.

Find Out More



Mitzi Johnson, Director of Programming

Festival of Wisdom & Grace Package


Package Includes:

  • 3 Nights Lodging
  • 3 Dinners
  • 2 Lunches
  • 3 Breakfasts
  • Program, including workshops, entertainment and worship

Call to inquire about program-only options. 

Looking for a roommate for the festival?

Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center does not arrange roommates for guests; however, as a courtesy, the volunteer planning team has offered to help interested guests make contact with someone else of the same gender looking for a roommate.  To inquire, contact Rev. Sue Eaton, at 502-315-9394 or sueeaton@bellsouth.net prior to making your reservations. Persons sharing a room must register at the same time.

Lodging Options:

The Terrace:

  • Regular pricing: $395/person

Rates are based on double occupancy. Taxes apply.


Lambuth Inn:

  • Regular pricing: $366/person

Rates are based on double occupancy. Taxes apply.

Conference Leadership

Rev. Dr. Fred Allen at the Festival of Wisdom and Grace at Lake Junaluska

Rev. Dr. Fred Allen (Conference Preacher) 

Rev. Dr. Fred Allen is the national director of SBC21 (Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century) where he assists predominantly Black congregations in becoming effective in mission and ministry by linking successful congregational resource centers with congregations in search of new ideas and revitalization. Dr. Allen is an ordained United Methodist Church (UMC) elder with more than 30 years’ experience as a senior pastor, administrator and church agency executive. He earned degrees from Tennessee State University, Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo. and Drew University School of Theology in Madison, N.J. Dr. Allen is married to Christine, a public school teacher, and is the father of four children.

Dr. Richard H Gentzler, Jr. at Lake Junaluska's Festival of Wisdom and Grace

Dr. Richard H. Gentzler, Jr. (Teaching Pastor) 

Dr. Richard H. Gentzler, Jr. (Rick) is the director for ENCORE Ministries, a ministry of the Golden Cross Foundation of the United Methodist Church (UMC) Tennessee Conference. He is the former director of the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries for the General Board of Discipleship of the UMC. Dr. Gentzler is author of numerous books and articles on aging, midlife and older adult ministry. His latest book is An Age of Opportunity

Cheryl Rogers bring Senior Trip to Lake Junaluska's Festival of Wisdom & Grace

Senior Trip with Cheryl Rogers (Entertainment)

Senior Trip with Cheryl Rogers is a comedy and music show with a mission to entertain, encourage, and empower 55+ Boomers and beyond to feel valued, and to keep serving. Our motto is Gray matters!

Cheryl Rogers is a singer, composer, music producer and keyboardist who has been working in the music, entertainment and commercial recording industry for over 30 years. She is a five-time Gospel Music Association Dove award nominee and music producer on the Grammy award-winning “Tribute Project” by Andrae Crouch. She is also a 4-time Emmy award winner for various television music productions for programs and commercials. Her music has been played all over the world on radio, television and internet. Throughout her career, Cheryl has been known not only for her music talent, but also for her quick wit and sense of humor throughout all projects she contributed to.


Workshops at the Festival of Wisdom & Grace at Lake Junaluska

The focus of this year's Festival of Wisdom & Grace is discipleship, and attendees will explore the theme through a series of workshops, guided by the best and brightest in older adult ministry. 

Discipleship 101 - Dr. Jacqui King, Director, US Conference Relationships, Discipleship Ministries

From Wildfires to Floods: Tips for Persevering and Joyfully Adapting on the Journey of Aging  Missy Buchanan, Best-Selling Author, Speaker, and Advocate for Older Adults

Shaping a Life of Significance For Retirement - R. Jack Hansen, Researcher and Author of Shaping a Life of Significance For Retirement 

Remembering Your Story – Sharing Your Legacy - Hess “Doc” Hall, Director of Older Adult Spiritual Formation Programs, Upper Room

Strengthening the Black Church in the 21st Century - Dr. Fred Allen, Executive Director, Strengthening the Black Church in the 21st Century, Discipleship Ministries 

What the Bible can Teach You About Yourself - Angela Schaffner, Ph. D., Author, Licensed Counseling Psychologist 

Yours are the Hands of Christ - Rev. Dr. James Howell, Author, Theologian and UMC Pastor

Intentional Ministry By, With and for Older Adults - Dr. Richard Gentzler, Jr, Director of ENCORE Ministries in the UMC Tennessee Conference 


Additional Activities

Festival of Wisdom and Grace at Lake Junaluska


Optional Afternoon Tea

Tuesday, August 6 | Lambuth Inn, 3 p.m.

Make friends and enjoy live music while you take in the historic beauty of the Lambuth Inn over tea, tea sandwiches, scones and sweets.  An additional fee of $15 is required and can be added to the overall price during registration.

Optional Field Trips

Tuesday, August 6 - Waynesville | Wednesday, August 7 - Biltmore Estate

Shop in Waynesville or tour the Biltmore Estate during your free time at the Festival of Wisdom and Grace. Limited spaces, extra fees apply. Register upon arrival. 

Optional Mission Project

Wednsday, August 7 | Harell Center, 2-4 p.m.

Join us as we put together “Homeless Bags” on Wednesday afternoon to help give back.  Each person who participates is asked to donate $10 to the project to help cover material costs.

The Festival of Wisdom and Grace at Lake Junaluska is co-sponsored by The Upper Room



The Festival of Wisdom and Grace is co-sponsored by the Lake Junaluska Programming Department and The Upper Room.

Top photo by Robert Ludlow