LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — Lake Junaluska will host the Festival of Wisdom and Grace, a conference for those looking for purpose and renewal in the second half of life, from August 13-16. The conference invites all older adults to attend, from those nearing retirement to those already retired for many years. The program includes worship, workshops, recreation, learning and entertainment.
The conference theme is “The Wise Shall Shine,” which is inspired by a Bible verse from Daniel 12:3, “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
Two keynote speakers and a slate of workshop leaders will illuminate this theme, connecting wisdom to the sustanance and renewal of body, mind and soul.
Rev. Heidi B. Neumark, the conference preacher, is a celebrated speaker and author of Breathing Space: A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx, and Hidden Inheritance: Family Secrets, Memory, and Faith.
Rev. Dr. Clayton Smith, the teaching pastor, serves as the executive pastor of generosity at the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. He is the author of At the Crossroads: Leadership Lessons for the Second Half of Life. He said his passion is helping those in or near retirement to discover their purpose, passion and mission.
Each participant will choose three workshops to attend. Renewal of the body will be addressed in workshops related to senior brain health, longevity research and walking as a form of prayer. Workshops for the soul will cover sharing wisdom through story, the biblical roots and uses of wisdom, and developing a wise church through intergenerational ministry. Workshops to develop the mind cover topics such as creating a life of purpose and significance in retirement and using social media to share wisdom and promote goodness.
“Wisdom is about more than academic knowledge. It’s about filtering knowledge through the lens of experience,” said Rev. Mitzi Johnson, director of programming at Lake Junaluska. “We are excited to offer a gathering space where people can learn to cultivate and share wisdom in ways that are positive and life-giving.”
One way for attendees to acquire wisdom is through several new events added to the conference this year. An intergenerational wisdom sharing panel, a fireside chat, learning circles and a hymn sing are available during this year’s conference.
The intergenerational panel will feature special guests from youth to older adults who will discuss what wisdom means to them, how they feel other generations could support them in cultivating wisdom and what they have to offer other age groups in terms of wisdom cultivation.
The learning circles will give older adults a chance to share wisdom with their peers. Attendees can apply to lead a learning circle on a subject they love—anything from crafting to birding to a prayer walk—for 30-60 minutes. Applications to lead a learning circle are due by July 13, 2018 and are available online at www.lakejunaluska.com/wisdom-and-grace.
Entertainment at the conference will include Acts of Renewal, a husband and wife theatrical duo. The group, made up of Carol Anderson-Shores and Jim Shores, use their performances to glorify God through comedy. They will perform as part of the conference on Wednesday, August 15.
Lodging and meal packages are available for the Festival of Wisdom and Grace and registration is now open. Please call 800-222-4930 or visit www.lakejunaluska.com/wisdom-and-grace for more information or to register.
Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information about Lake Junaluska programs and events, visit www.lakejunaluska.com.