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Festival of Wisdom and Grace Workshops & Optional Activities

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Browse the festival's workshops and optional activities.


Conference participants may choose to enroll in the 4-part workshop “Ministry with the Forgotten” taught by Bishop Ken Carder OR select four workshops from the list below.

Bishop Ken Carder

1. Ministry with the Forgotten (4-Part Series)

Bishop Ken Carder, UMC Bishop (Retired)

Note: This option is open only to those who enroll in all four sessions.

In this 4-part workshop, Ken Carder draws on his own experience as a caregiver, hospice chaplain, and pastoral practitioner to portray the gifts as well as the challenges accompanying dementia diseases. He confronts the deep personal and theological questions created by loving people with dementia diseases, demonstrating how living with dementia can be a means of growing in faith, wholeness, and ministry for the entire community of faith.

2. Beads of Healing: Prayer, Trauma and Spiritual Wholeness

Kristen Vincent, Author and Speaker

We all have pain or trauma in our lives, but we don’t always know how to find peace. In this workshop, we’ll explore ways to share our pain with God, including with the use of prayer beads. Through sharing excerpts from her own healing journey from childhood trauma, Kristen will help us consider the various stages of sharing our story, working through our feelings, and ultimately reaching a place of trust, gratitude, and peace.

3. Courageous Conversations

Rev. Scott Hughes, Director of Adult Discipleship: Executive Director of Congregational Vitality and Intentional Discipleship, Adult Discipleship. Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church

Participants will learn about and experience engaging in a Courageous Conversation. Courageous Conversations are structured dialogues for learning done in large and small group experiences in an environment designed for safety and bravery. Participants will learn how to design their own Courageous Conversations for their context utilizing the toolbox of resources that will be provided. Participants will also get a first-hand experience with a practice session of a Courageous Conversation styled dialogue during the session.

4. Flourishing in Transitions

Hilda Davis, Author, Integrative Health Therapist, Coach and Counselor

Flourishing in Transition reminds us of our resilience and offers experiential tools to make the most of the spiritual, emotional, and physical resources that allow us to flourish.

5. Faithful Improvisations: Creative Responses to the Challenges of Aging

Susan Carol Scott

What are creative and faithful responses to the challenge aging poses to our accustomed ways of doing, being, and valuing ourselves? We’ll explore the invitation in these challenges to be co-creators with God — bringing forth a fresh sense of vocation, rekindled reverence for mystery, and a deepened trust in God. Excerpts from the workshops leader’s book Still Praying After All These Years will be used as springboards for discussion.

6. We are the Church, Let’s Act Like It: Bible Study on Book of Acts

Linda Pevey, Author, Pastor, Bethesda UMC, Preston, MD

Earth shattering, Status quo challenging, World transforming. The early church, as described in the book of Acts, was all that and more! What can we learn from these first Christians that will help us continue the legacy of the church as a transformative presence in our community? This workshop, led by author and Pastor Linda Pevey, will inspire and empower you to think outside the box about your role in the ongoing story of the church.

7. Stories for the Last Third of Life

Raymond L. Gray

How do we become who we are meant to be, not who others want us to be? It is by the grace of God and a bit of dumb luck that we find our path in life. This workshop will explore our personal stories of life’s journey. Our purpose will be to understand the path and find meaning in the journey. Ray’s journey can be explored at his website:

8. Sharing Your Life with Every Generation

Amy Hanson

Society tends to segment people by age and yet the Bible instructs us that we are to pass on our faith to the next generation. In this session we'll look at the obstacles that keep the generations from connecting with one another and then discover creative ways for establishing meaningful intergenerational relationships.

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Optional Activities

Afternoon tea at Festival of Wisdom and Grace

Afternoon Tea

Tuesday, August 3 | 3 p.m.

Make friends and enjoy live music over tea, tea sandwiches, scones and sweets. $15, pre-registration required.

Historical Boat Tour on the Cherokee IV

Tuesday, August 3 | 2-3 or 3-4 p.m.

Take a pontoon boat ride on the Cherokee IV and learn about the history of Lake Junaluska. Departs from the Harrell Center dock. $5. Sign up upon check-in.

Service Project

Wednesday, August 4 | 3:15-4:15 p.m.

Join us as we put together kits to help our neighbors in need. Fee helps to cover cost of materials. $10, pre-registration required.

Learning Circles

Wednesday, August 4 | 3:15-4:15 p.m.

Learning Circles are free small group “clinics” on a wide variety of topics led by qualified Festival participants on subjects about which they are passionate. Topics are announced at check-in. Participants may sign up upon arrival. 

Learning Circle Registration Form

Want To Lead a Learning Circle?

Is there a subject or skill 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 a small group of fellow participants. Please return your application by May 2, 2021. 

The Festival of Wisdom and Grace is sponsored by the Lake Junaluska Programming Department



Tammy McDowell, Assistant Director of Programming