May is “Get Ready” Month! Smoky Mountain Resort Ministries is actively preparing for the summer ministries. Memorial Day weekend will expand our campground ministries with worship in nine locations led by a team from First Baptist Church of Lebanon, TN. This team has come for over 20 years on that weekend! Our summer staff also arrives on Memorial Day weekend and we are preparing the dorm for their arrival now with teams who come to clean and repair for us. Veronica Bolocan is booking churches to host the Monday night “International Dinners” at Mill CreekRead More »
This morning began in the dark with a 5:00 a.m. Donut Devotional for employees of Ober Gatlinburg who were setting up for our Gatlinburg Sunrise Worship Service.
At 6:30 we had 800 beautiful people worshipping the Risen Christ and a beautiful sunrise.
The Beauty continued with Mary Bragg leading music —you need to know this wonderful singer/songwriter!
The Beauty of the congregants was matched by four ministers from Gatlinburg sharing in worship.
Sunday morning devotional greetings
12 Sundays of greeting all employees beginning at 7:00 a.m. with donuts from the Donut Friar, fruit, and breakfast cereal bars and a printed devotional they can take to read later. One employee said “this is the highlight of my weekend …knowing someone will bring me a donut and love.” Another employee takes the devotional home to share with her family. Still
Every year as Ober prepares for their Spring Fling event, a patch of snow is melted into a small, extremely cold pool of water that is used for a pond skimming event. For the past few years, this body of water has also been a holy spot for a few who choose to make public commitments of faith by being baptized in this freezing pool. This morning before the slopes opened, another member of our Ober family made her faith public as she stood before her friends and family. We are thankful for her faith that is stronger than the bitter chill of winter; we pray that each person present on the mountain today is blessed by her commitment as they touch this holy snow and this holy...Read More »
Smoky Mountain Resort Ministries has operated under one mission statement since its beginning: to reveal the presence of God to those who live, work, and play in the resort settings of Sevier County and the Smoky Mountains. This mission statement has never been made more real to me than in my time with Ober Gatlinburg during this winter season. LIVE Each Sunday afternoon begins with a worship service at the top of a ski lift. These services are open to anyone who is interested—visitors, employees, ski patrol are all welcome to join on any given Sunday. This last Sunday’s service was filled with people who have been attending these services for many years. Two were members of ski patrol who are frequent visitors to Sunday worship. Two local families also attended, both of which were very familiar with the services we’ve had for so many years. We praised God together for the pause from a morning of fun and movement. The love of God is alive through SMRM for the people of Sevier County. WORK Ski ministry involves countless hours spent working alongside the employees of Ober while not actually being in place as an employee. Even from an outsiders’ perspective, it is a joy to see the family bonds that the employees share with one another and a joy to be welcomed in as a trusted friend. Aside from the usual banter, there are also many opportunities for quiet and personal conversations. We are trusted as friends, as wisdom givers, and as pastors. The love of God is alive through SMRM for the employees of Ober Gatlinburg. PLAY And of course, among the joy of services and conversations throughout the day, there is always time to take advantage of the season and play on the snow. Sunday is a day off for many of the international employees, so it is not uncommon to see many of them taking the time to enjoy skiing or snowboarding on a beautiful sunny morning. There is no better opportunity to better know a friend than by being stuck together on a chairlift! It’s these times that allow us to understand each other better—to have intentional and meaningful conversations. The love of God becomes tangible in these moments to the students through SMRM. Each day working at Ober Gatlinburg solidifies the mission of SMRM as God brings this mission to life in every person we encounter. Thanks be to...Read More »