Newton Cowan, Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care

The mountains of North Carolina are a special place, especially Montreat. It’s a thin place where it feels as if heaven and earth meet; a place to be in God’s beautiful creation, a place of memory for me and so many of you all.

The first week of January was a special time and one I shall remember. Six of our college young adults attended the college conference along with Donna and me. Each day we attended keynote speakers along with worship and breakout sessions, and each evening we would gather and talk about the day. It was in those gatherings that each person shared and pushed back, and brought their perspective and thoughts on God and theology and life.

In February our new associate director for children and youth will join us. We are excited about what the future holds for our children and youth. Phae is an amazing person, and our college kids were able to spend some time with her in Montreat.

As I think about each of these amazing young adults, I am reminded that they grew up in this church. They were raised in the faith here. Many of you all had some part in teaching them, by way of going on youth trips or helping with confirmation, or VBS, or even some in the preschool. You all played a role of who these young adults are now.

This church is growing. We have young families joining, having their babies baptized, showing up for worship and milestones classes. We have faithful volunteers who show up to teach and mentor and be a presence to help shape these children and youth. I have also been amazed at how many midlife and retired members are joining in and jumping in to helping, from hospitality to ushering, parking ministry, joining Bible studies.

Churches, much like many other organizations that rely on volunteers, can struggle sometimes to get folks to step up. So, as we begin this new year of 2024, I encourage you to explore how it is that you are spending your time. I encourage you to consider finding a way to plug in to help shepherd these young families, to be part of this vibrant community that is helping shape the lives of all people, especially the children and youth.

Will you give some of your time?