What is Walk to Emmaus?
During and after the three days, Emmaus leaders encourage participants to meet regularly in small groups.
The members of the small groups challenge and support one another in faithful living. Participants seek to Christianize their environments of family, job, and community through the ministry of their congregations. The three-day Emmaus experience and follow-up groups strengthen and renew Christian people as disciples of Jesus Christ and as active members of the body of Christ in mission to the world.
The Upper Room, a ministry unit of the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church, sponsors the Walk to Emmaus and offers it through local Emmaus groups around the world. Although connected through The Upper Room to The United Methodist Church, The Walk to Emmaus is ecumenical.
Located in Amherst, Texas, the Amherst Christian Retreat Center has served as the meeting place for all 56 Walks held by the High Plains Emmaus Community. So many people have walked into the doors of the Ark, and come out changed, empowered and life-altered. This place holds a special place in the hearts of thousands.
The Walk to Emmaus is a spiritual renewal program intended to strengthen the local church through the development of Christian disciples and leaders. The program's approach seriously considers the model of Christ's servanthood and encourages Christ's disciples to act in ways appropriate to being "a servant of all."
The Walk to Emmaus experience begins with a 72-hour short course in Christianity, comprised of fifteen talks by lay and clergy on the themes of God's grace, disciplines of Christian discipleship, and what it means to be the church. The course is wrapped in prayer and meditation, special times of worship and daily celebration of Holy Communion. The "Emmaus community," made up of those who have attended an Emmaus weekend, support the 72-hour experience with a prayer vigil, by preparing and serving meals, and other acts of love and self-giving. The Emmaus Walk typically begins Thursday evening and concludes Sunday evening. Men and women attend separate weekends.
The Walk to Emmaus is an adaptation of the Roman Catholic Cursillo (pronounced cur-SEE-o) Movement, which originated in Spain in 1949.
Cursillo de Cristianidad means "little course in Christianity." The original Cursillo leaders designed the program to empower persons to transform their living and working environments into Christian environments. During the 1960s and 1970s, the Episcopalians and Lutherans, along with several nondenominational groups, such as Tres Dias, began to offer Cursillo.
In 1978, The Upper Room of the General Board of Discipleship adapted the program for a primarily Protestant audience and began to offer it under the name The Upper Room Cursillo. In 1981, The Upper Room made further adaptations and changed the name of the program to The Upper Room Walk to Emmaus. In 1984, The Upper Room developed a youth expression of Emmaus called Chrysalis.
Emmaus in Eastern N.M./West Texas
In 2000, a steering committee was established in the Clovis, N.M. area to establish a new Walk to Emmaus Community. This committee, headed by Alan Herman, sought a charter from the Upper Room, which was granted in early 2001.
Walk #1 took place at The Amherst Retreat Center in early 2001. A Men's Walk with Mac Eichenberger as Lay Director kicked off what has become one of the most energetic and vibrant Emmaus communities in the Upper Room.
Who should go on a Walk to Emmaus?
Emmaus is open to members of any Christian denomination. Emmaus is for the development of Christian leaders who:
Are members of a local church
Have a desire to strengthen their spiritual lives
May have unanswered questions about their faith
Understand that being a Christian involves responsibility
Are willing to dedicate their everyday lives to God in an ongoing manner
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How can I be selected to work a Walk to Emmaus?
Here is a partial list of items the Team Selection Committee follows when picking a team:
Past Community Directors
Have gone on a Walk. Inside team members have to have at least 12 months since Pilgrim Walk.
Be active in Community. Attend events, (Community, Candlelight, Closing, etc.) Volunteer, make Agape gifts, etc.
Inside teams are divided by Walk experience. (0-1 Walks worked; 1-2 Walks; 3-4 Walks.)
The list of qualified team members decreases significantly as Walk experience increases.
This is why some names appear frequently on Team lists.
Must be able to commit to attending 4 Team Meetings in preparation for Walk.
Be active in a Reunion Group and involved in a local church.
A balance in denominational background, location, and age is necessary for team.
You can only work on one "inside team" per 12 months.
By that rule, Inside team is designated as table leaders, assistant table leaders, assistant lay directors.
Music, Clergy, Board Reps, Prayer and Agape Team are not considered by this rule.
If you have any questions or concerns, by all means, ask a board member!