I CALLED 911 and GOD ANSWERED!
So I need you to pay close attention. DON'T BLOW OFF THIS ANNOUNCEMENT OR YOU WILL BE LITERALLY STANDING IN THE COLD!
Yesterday I received a call from the Cove in Asheville. A very terrible thing has happened so I need you to read closely because it affects us.
On December 17, the Cove had a fire in the Training Center where all conferences are held. During the holidays they have a life-sized Nativity scene and apparently, a light from the nativity fell into the hay and caught it on fire. It took a few minutes for the flames and heat to reach outside the manger and for the sprinklers to come on and the alarms to blare. Thank goodness this happened after hours and there were no employees or conferees inside the building. However, between the sprinklers and the fire trucks, the flames and the water damage, the Cove is out of commission while renovations and repairs are being made.
How does this affect us as the Asheville Christian Writers Conference?
It means we have had to move venues. I know...we all love the Cove, but this was an unforeseen disaster that not only saddens us, but really hurts the Cove and it's employees. They are crushed. That's why I said, I called 911 and God answered because I had no idea what we would do with one month until the conference. I didn't know what else to do but pray. So I did, and when I dialed 911 to heaven, God answered. Here's how the conversation went:
"911 what is your emergency?" He asked.
"Our conference is about to be a bust and it's your work we're doing."
"No worries. I've already called ahead. Contact Ridgecrest and you'll see that all your needs have been met."
So, I called Ridgecrest Conference Center (A division of Lifeway) and spoke with a wonderful lady named Annette. Now if you've never been to Ridgecrest, you will NOT BE DISAPPOINTED. First of all, it's about 9 miles past the Cove. So we couldn't have asked for closer accommodations. We needed 50 rooms, they had 53 available. They have plenty of food, and plenty of space for our conference. SO FOR YOU, NOTHING CHANGES, EXCEPT THE LOCATION and it's only 9 miles down the road. There is no additional cost to you whatsoever. Ridgecrest matched our needs exactly from the Cove. All of our housing is in the main hotel and all of our meeting rooms are on the lower level of that hotel. SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO TREK everywhere to get to your classes. The only place you will walk to is meals, and it's centrally located and EASY PEASEY. Here's the link for Ridgecrest. It's a lovey venue and we love Ridgecrest. In fact, our ministry was born at Ridgecrest.
The address is 1 Ridgecrest Road, Ridgecrest, NC and like I said, it is just 9 miles past the Cove. Directions are easy. Just click Directions and you'll see how super simple it is. No big turns or twists. Just like the Cove, Ridgecrest is right off the interstate. It's pretty cool when you have your own town named after you...technically, it's Black Mountain, NC but Ridgecrest has their own mailing syntax.
Nothing will change for you except the venue location.
When I called 911 and God answered, He hopped into action. Actually, He'd already hopped. So from the time I found out from the Cove that we could not be hosted there due to the fire damage until I closed the deal with Ridgecrest (That includes talking to Eddie) was 1.5 hours. DO YOU HEAR THAT? 1 hour and 30 minutes and our entire conference was moved just 9 miles down the road with the exact same accommodations. That is a sure sign that God will be in attendance. If you are flying into Asheville, fly your same flight. You just drive an extra 9 miles from the airport. Early bird classes will still be held at 1 p.m. and all the information on room locations for classes will be given to you a little closer to conference time. By then, I'll have all the little details ironed out.
I'm so sorry that we cannot be at the Cove, but it's not like they just came in one day and said, "Hey, let's have a fire and kick out all our planned conferences for 3 months. Wouldn't that be fun?" Of course not. This is a terrible thing for the Cove and like I said, they were so upset when they called. They couldn't apologize enough and even behind their apology were tears. This has not only devastated the building but it's broken the hearts of the employees. I would ask for grace from you. Grace for ACWC as we reroute things but more so, grace and prayers for our friends at the Cove. I know God will raise amazing things from the ashes at that venue.
NOW HERE IS WHAT I NEED FROM YOU! I need to know that every one of you have read this letter. YOU MUST RESPOND TO ME BY CLICKING
I hope that arrow is big enough for you to see. Please do not hit reply to this email because I cannot see all your responses. CLICK RESPOND ABOVE. PLEASE! I need a log of everyone so I can show you understand the venue change. I will post this on the newsletter page of our site and I will also send emails with this link for you to open. Between these three things, EVERY PERSON should see this email.
If you have questions HIT RESPOND ABOVE and note them in the email. I will answer as quickly as I can.
We are disappointed for ourselves and for you that we cannot meet at the Cove, but God has provided equal accommodations. Again, we ask for your grace and prayers.
I am looking forward to seeing you February 21 at Ridgecrest Conference Center (A division of Lifeway).
FINDING JOY IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE!
Director, Asheville Christian Writers Conference
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