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Summer 2014

Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly moved ahead on many fronts in recent months, continuing to improve its physical plant, starting new Christian programs and addressing long-term financial issues to make the conference center stronger in the decades to come.

Just uphill from Loma Linda Lodge, Inspiration Point was renovated during the winter from a brush-filled, hard-to-access place to an open, easily accessed location. It now features comfortable seating for individuals and small groups seeking a spot for solitude and reflection with a remarkable view of the Guadalupe River valley in both directions.

The renovation was made possible by gifts in memory of John Woodhouse of Houston, who ably served Mo-Ranch as a trustee until his death last year. A dedication ceremony with his family and friends was held in mid-April.

Inspiration Point

The garage apartments which were built in 1938 as staff housing next to Guest Lodge have been converted into two first-rate Casitas for guests. They can be rented separately or in connection with the next-door Guest Lodge.

The Triplex Apartments—one our most popular accommodations—were given major makeovers. New bathrooms, more comfortable furnishings, pleasant interiors and fully equipped kitchens now greet their occupants.

One Pheasant Run and two Flato rooms  have been upgraded as models for improvements for all private rooms. If you would like to help support this effort, please contact Development Director Karen Langley (email development@moranch.org or phone 512-627-8664).

Work continues on the Holm Native Plants area and the Jordan Welcomescape. Mo-Ranch is now gathering seeds and propagating native trees and plants for future planting. And, the removal of water-sapping ashe juniper trees from the area west of Wynne/Flato lodges continues.

The addition of a storage area adjacent to the Main Auditorium for chairs and other items makes it easier for Meeting Services to set up that building for events, and eliminates the clutter of stacked chairs around the auditorium.

Dining services added new and improved stairways on the north and east sides of the King Dining Hall, and comfortable rocking chairs to the front entrance patio.

A donation by St. Philip Presbyterian Church of Houston allowed the Housekeeping Department to purchase a special floor-cleaning machine which will speed-up and improve the cleaning of the Main Auditorium floor and other similar floors around the ranch.

Mo-Ranch Programs saw a nine percent growth in attendance during 2013.

Last winter the Family Systems Conference held its second session and the Bold Word Preaching Conference made its debut. A Spring Break Camp for Families was initiated and the Blessed Be the Piecemakers Quilting Conference held its first session in April.

 

Former Mo-Ranch board chairman Phil Barnes, speaking at a dinner celebrating the 65th anniversary of Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly’s official start on April 11, 1949, emphasized the importance of this ministry of hospitality.

Barnes noted that Marie Moran, the widow of oil executive Dan Moran, insisted that the ranch be open to people of other faiths when she sold it to the Presbyterians.

“And so it has been,” said Barnes. “All are welcome to share our hospitality, to experience our little corner of the universe, maybe even to take a swim in the Guadalupe River, and maybe to take away at least a glimpse of what it means to be a follower of Christ.”

He estimated that hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people have visited Presbyterian Mo-Ranch.

What’s the attraction? “I think the ranch provides for us a heightened sensitivity to the transcendent, to the eternal, arising from the conjoining of the physical place and its purpose, how it has been used,” said Barnes.

“As the work of Mo-Ranch goes forth each year—the ministries, the conferences, the upkeep of the place itself—all is done with the spirit of hospitality, of being a place where people are welcome, received with gratitude, and can experience existentially what it means to follow Christ. After all, the commandment sustaining hospitality is to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

“These are the transcendent values of the spirit—love, grace, gratitude—that are conjoined to the transcendent grandeur of this place that everyone can experience by simply being here. I think that is what is special about Mo-Ranch, and why this place has meant so much to so many for so long.”

Board member David Evans reported the progress of a task group regarding establishment of a columbarium and/or memorial wall on the ranch. The board approved further planning.

Stand with Cross

Former Vice President for Development Stan Cobbs holds cross presented to him in honor of his 80th birthday. Modeled on the Erich Riesel crosses on the entrance gate, it was commissioned for the 65th anniversary year of Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly. Copies are on sale for $65 each through the Mo-Ranch Gift Shop and proceeds go toward the Change for Children scholarship program.

The former Guest Lodge garage apartments have been converted into two attractive Casitas for rental, either individually or by groups and families also using Guest Lodge. They also feature private outdoor patios behind each unit.

Casita 1





Improved kitchens include modern appliances, storage, and dining area with ceiling fan. Living area in Triplex #1 includes new queen-size bed and two sets of bunk beds.

Triplex Kitchen

Triplex Living Area