An online conference? Why and how was this decision made?
The decision to move to an online conference this year was made by the PAM Board. Since March, Board members, Planning Team members, and Montreat staff have met weekly to pray, imagine, discern, and adapt. Our goal: the kind of Worship and Music Conference that you expect: creative, relevant, professional, and safe.
How can an online conference compare to an in-person one?
It can’t! This is not our usual conference squeezed into an online box. It is an organic virtual event that allows PAM to be responsive to the challenges we are all facing and may continue to face. We know there is no substitute for gathering together in person, but we also have discovered ways of gathering during COVID-19 that are stretching and teaching us. PAM’s conference will help our growing and learning.
How will the conference work?
PAM is partnering with GNTV to broadcast the conference from Montreat Conference Center, June 21-26. Most of the offerings will be live and we will be able to take questions from registrants. Some of the offerings will be pre-recorded. All offerings will be recorded and made available to you for viewing after the conference. A full conference schedule with class descriptions may be found here.
Is it safe to broadcast from Montreat?
Today [May 1st]? No. But we are hopeful that by June 21st it will be. We will follow the guidelines instituted by the State of North Carolina, Buncombe County and Montreat Conference Center. Health and safety are our top priority. Should Montreat remain closed for broadcasting by June 21, we will still be able to offer the conference.
What about worship and singing?
Each day begins with Morning Prayer from a different Montreat location, and the main conference worship services are in the evenings, along with the Organ Recital and the Hymn Festival, from Anderson Auditorium. The printed liturgies and hymns will be sent to you in advance – it’ll be like Upper Anderson registration in your own home! Our online worship in these days is teaching us new things about congregational singing – so will our conference!
Is the schedule the same?
Our goal is a conference gathering that feels natural and organic to a digital space, so the schedule will look a little different. This schedule helps our technology to be reliable and gives the conference flow and focus. We’ll be able to have full class sessions with great content as well as smaller moments of reflection, music, prayer, and stillness – all from Montreat. The conference schedule is attentive to time zones, since we’ll have conferees across the country. Just as you would in Montreat, you can self-select the offerings you attend, and anything live that you miss will be available for repeat viewing within and after the conference.
Is the faculty the same?
Most of them are! We are so grateful that so many of our 2020 faculty members have agreed to adapt their presentations for this online conference. Some classes will be pre-recorded videos that you may access at your own pace. Worship, Worship Reflections, Art, Children’s Music, and more will be broadcast live each day. The live sessions will be recorded and made available to registrants after the conference as well.
What if I’m nervous about the technology needed to attend?
Don’t worry - PAM will have live technical support available during conference hours via email and phone. Plus, we’ll have a document to show you the links, the buttons, the windows, the options – everything you’ll need.
Will financial assistance be available?
Yes, need-based scholarships are available! You may complete a scholarship application by clicking here.
If we are not at Montreat, then how will my registration support Montreat Conference Center?
We are partners with the Montreat Conference Center. Therefore, we are committed to giving a percentage of each registration to Montreat to help sustain their operations in our absence.
Will I be able to get a refund for my housing?
Montreat Conference Center – Housing will allow for registrants to transfer housing reservation to next year and, of course, will issue a refund if one doesn’t want to roll over to next year.
Greybeard Rental – Renters will have option to transfer funds for 2021 or cancel with the $89 booking fee.
William Black Lodge – Housing will allow for registrants to transfer housing reservation to next year and, of course, will issue a refund if one doesn’t want to roll over to next year.
What if I am already registered for the conference?
If you’ve already registered, you are ready to go. We hope you will consider donating the difference in the registration fee. Your donation will help to sustain PAM’s operation for the rest of the year, and offset the expenses we have already incurred for the conference. Please complete the form at to make any adjustment to your registration here.