COVID-19 Protocols

Updated March 1, 2021

PAM is committed to hosting a safe conference in-person. In doing so, we will follow all of the guidelines set by both the state of North Carolina and Montreat Conference Center. Masks, social distancing, and other COVID precautions will be in place for our conference. Additionally, PAM will provide further information to all of our conferees as we work with government and conference center officials to define the best practices for our event.


Health and safety are our top priorities as we look forward to gathering together this summer.

As we think about gathering together for Worship and Music once again, we know that the summer of 2021 will be different, to say the least! Please read this page carefully and visit it often as new information becomes available frequently.

We are planning for an on-site, in-person conference option in the hope that circumstances will be improving by the summer, though we know the COVID-19 situation will still be a factor to consider. By current estimates, we anticipate that many adults may have had access to vaccination by June of 2021; children, middlers, and senior highs, however, may not see widespread distribution by that time. Again, we will be following the health and safety guidelines put in place by the state of North Carolina as well as Montreat Conference Center. As PAM continues to develop exactly what our Worship and Music Conference will look like, we know that it could include adaptations such as: 


  • Limiting the capacities of our larger gatherings (adult choir, worship, and seminars) 

  • Limiting the duration of all gatherings

  • Limiting worship services and evening events to registered conferees only

  • Making Small Groups smaller

  • Adjusting the daily schedule to allow for all of the above

  • Maximizing the use of outdoor spaces


The different conference models we are planning for assume that restrictions on gatherings will be more lenient (though not completely eliminated) by summer; however, we do have backup plans for ways to function should there be a setback in our progress.


We are offering an online-only option for our 2021 conference, not only as a way to participate safely in the conference, but also, in the words of 2020 Routley Lecturer Mel Bringle, to "draw the welcome circle wider" and allow individuals from across the United States and the world to join us as they did for our 2020 conference. 


Of course, some things cannot be known at this time, but PAM is prepared with multiple options for the summer.



Consider these helpful questions and further information provided by Montreat Conference Center:


  • If required, how would you plan to arrive in Montreat with participants who have had a negative COVID test result in the past 72 hours?

  • Should they become easily accessible, could you share at-home COVID test kits with each of your participants? (These have been approved by the FDA and give a near-immediate result at home; they would allow for a closer-to-departure test.)

  • In your conference housing, would you have space to isolate a group member who developed symptoms?


You may be curious about the state of play here in North Carolina since regulations vary from state to state. 


In North Carolina:


In Buncombe County:

  • Restaurant capacity is currently reduced to 50% (this affects the Galax Dining Room in Assembly Inn).

  • Indoor social gathering limit is 25.

  • Short term rentals are open, and hotels do not have capacity limitations.


In Montreat:

  • The Galax Dining room is following the restrictions set out by North Carolina and Buncombe County. The buffet line has been replaced with a serving line separating staff from guests with plexiglass.

  • We have been serving meals since reopening in June 2020.

  • Current capacity of the Galax Dining Room is 100.

  • Current capacity of the Auditorium is 250.

  • Montreat staff are using remote work and staggered office schedules to reduce the number of staff in the offices at any given time, and planning team meetings are going on virtually.

PAM's conference directors, planning team, and office staff have worked diligently to imagine and reimagine what our conference can be - even amid the challenges we face. We are grateful for your prayers as we continue to move forward. Thank you for your support!

Visit this page often for more updates!


The Presbyterian Association of Musicians believes that formative and collaborative experiences with God and neighbor nurture relationships and create community.


PAM is a national organization of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for people who are involved in the areas of worship, music, and the arts.




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