Friday, July 2, 2010

Monteagle Sunday School Assembly - Monteagle, Tennessee

I just got back from a little stay at Monteagle Sunday School Assembly (MSSA) in Monteagle, Tennessee. It was absolutely delightful and I captured these photos.

MSSA was established in 1882 as a Chautauqua, a place where visitors gathered in the summer for fellowship and for spiritual and intellectual growth. Originally, the Assembly maintained close ties to Chautauqua Institution at Chautauqua, New York, the first Assembly established. Their goal was to combine the training of Sunday school teachers with a broader program of educational and cultural pursuits.

Today, MSSA is what one might call a resort, but not in any traditional sense. There is one small inn on the grounds, but otherwise visitors must either own a cottage or rent one from an owner. There is no restaurant. Bikes and golf carts are plentiful.

MSSA has remained faithful to its original mission and offers a variety of activities for adults and children during the summer. There are lectures - a Civil War lecturer was there while I was there - art classes, tennis lessons and all kinds of other activities. The lending library is full of wonderful fiction and books on art and history. There is a quite hour after lunch and there are nightly prayers. Night-time activities include visiting with friends on porches, watching movies in the auditorium, playing Bingo and organized kids' games like capture the flag.

It really does take you back to a different time. It's reminiscent of small Southern towns where children ride their bikes everywhere and friends spend hours on the porch visiting.

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