Western NC

VOL12 ISS2 2017

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38 THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — WESTERN NC | VOLUME 12 — ISSUE 2 WORSHIP Worship BY LAUREL HYATT For centuries Western North Carolina has inspired, sustained and enticed people to the deep spiritual and psychological encounters found in Appalachia. The Cherokee, some of its earliest inhabitants, recognized the "spirituality" of the region and sought to protect and nurture the land, not only for what it could offer their families, but for the belief that the land itself was alive. Soon to follow the Cherokee would be European immigrants seeking religious freedoms from England and other countries. As these new settlers moved inland, they too discovered the "worshipful peace" of the Western North Carolina mountains and meadows. Today there is an abundance of churches of numerous denominations, affiliated camps, retreats and conference centers. A recent survey revealed well over 100 spiritual retreats, training and conference centers as well as numerous camps. Perhaps one of the best known is the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove located just east of Asheville, North Carolina in the Swannanoa River valley. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) held the first seminar in the fall of 1988 and since then, approximately 1 million people have visited The Cove. The official website is: www.thecove.org/ The facility is located at 1 Porters Cove Road, Asheville, NC. About 20 minutes away from The Cove via I-40 Montreat Conference Center (MCC) is one of three national conference centers affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Each year MCC is visited by over 35,000 people seeking spiritual renewal and teaching. For more information on Montreat: www. montreat.org/ Just another 5 miles away is Ridgecrest Conference Center boasting its location as less than a day's drive from over 15 states! Though convenient to Asheville and all its amenities, at Ridgecrest you're nestled in 1,300 spectacular acres of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Among its other services Ridgecrest also offers Christian-based boys' and girls' camps each summer. Ridgecrest information may be found at: http:// ridgecrestconferencecenter.org/ South of Asheville, Lutheridge Camp and Conference Center offers programs year-round for every member of the family. On 160 acres Lutheridge offers a small spritually beautiful western nc lake, hiking trails, group interaction course, swimming pool, and challenge tower, as well as meeting spaces with wireless internet, projectors, etc. If you want to get farther away from the city but keep the same spiritual atmosphere you can visit Lutheridge's partner site, Lutherock, nestled in the mountains near Boone, North Carolina. For more conference and camp information: www.lutheridge.com/ For over 100 years, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center has been home to thousands of events and worship experiences. It is the headquarters of the World Methodist Council (WMC), linking almost all churches in the Methodist tradition. The WMC hosts Annual Conferences and other United Methodist and religious conferences and events. Get more information on Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center at: www.lakejunaluska.com/ As mentioned earlier there are many large and small Christian conference and retreat centers including non-denominational ones like High Pastures in Burnsville, North Carolina about 40 miles north of Asheville. It seeks to offer a place where individuals can draw closer to God and spend quality time with family and friends. Activities include hiking and all types of outdoor activities, facilities for meetings and lodging. Visit High Pastures website: www. highpastures.org. The First Baptist Church of Asheville is a vibrant community of faith committed to the reverent and joyful worship of God, missional engagement in the city, and excellence in the musical arts. At First Baptist, you will find a unique, Christ-centered fellowship, with deep roots in the Baptist tradition, as well as an ecumenical embrace. The church is known for its welcoming spirit and engaging ministries, where opportunities abound for people of all ages and abilities to grow in faith and share their gifts. With glad and generous hearts, First Baptist Church of Asheville invites you to come and see what signs and wonders await us all, learning and growing in faith as beloved children of God. Of course Western North Carolina is much more diverse than just mainline Christian denominations. Besides Jewish synagogues and Catholic cathedrals there are meeting places for Baha'i, Buddhist, Native American, Hindu, Islam, Jain, Nature/ Wicca, and other alternative and new age seekers. In fact, CBS News' Eye on America called Asheville "a New Age Mecca." []

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