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Festival of Wisdom and Grace to be held Aug 5-8 at Lake Junaluska



The Festival of Wisdom and Grace, a conference for finding purpose and renewal in the second half of life, will be held from Monday, Aug. 5, to Thursday, Aug. 8, at Lake Junaluska.

“The call to go and make disciples is not limited by age, and the experiences and wisdom we gain as we grow older are amazing assets for engaging in ministry and sharing the love of Christ,” said the Rev. Mitzi Johnson, director of programming at Lake Junaluska. “That’s what we focus on together at this festival as we listen to top-notch speakers and authors, pray, share ideas, connect and explore how we can take the next steps in our own spiritual journeys to lead meaningful, significant lives.”

Worship, workshops, recreation, entertainment and learning activities highlight the event. The conference is co-sponsored by Lake Junaluska and The Upper Room, a global ministry known for resources and publications including a widely read daily devotional magazine.

“Aging faithfully is the challenge we face in this second half of life,” said the Rev. Stephen Bryant, publisher and CEO of The Upper Room. “Perhaps God’s call is not so much about building ourselves up in Christ as it is to give ourselves away with Christ, and to do so with the grace and wisdom that God has poured into us for so many years.”

The 2019 festival theme, “Growing Deeper Roots,” is based on the Bible verse Ephesians 3:16-17: “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.”

The conference preacher will be the Rev. Dr. Fred Allen, the national director of SBC21 (Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century). The teaching pastor will be the Rev. Dr. Richard H. Gentzler Jr., executive director of ENCORE Ministries, a ministry of the Golden Cross Foundation of The United Methodist Church Tennessee Conference, and author of “An Age of Opportunity: Intentional Older Adult Ministry.”

Also at the festival, Cheryl Rogers, an award-winning singer, composer, music producer and keyboardist will perform her comedy and music show, Senior Trip. Rogers seeks to entertain, encourage and empower people ages 55 and older to feel valued and keep serving.

Conference participants also may enjoy an Upper Room bookstore, ice cream social, devotional walk and small group “learning circles” led by talented participants on topics of interest to the wider group. Add-on activities available include an afternoon tea, mission project or a visit to Biltmore Estate.

Lodging and meal packages are available for the Festival of Wisdom and Grace and registration is now open. Call 800-222-4930 or visit for more information or to register. 

Lake Junaluska is a conference and retreat center and residential community that surrounds a 200-acre mountain lake in Western North Carolina. Lake Junaluska’s mission is to be a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information, visit


Mary Bates
Lake Junaluska
PO Box 67, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745