by Beth Hardouin
How many times have we been certain about what we need and when we need it? My Emmaus journey began ten years ago. I was attending Trinity UMC in Las Vegas and found that my new church family was loving and joyful. I wanted that joy in my heart as well, what was their secret? I heard they were all part of something called Emmaus. I kept hearing about this “walk” and I began wondering if I was healthy enough to go on this walk myself. My new church friend asked if I wanted to go on this, my reply was “OF COURSE,” but I really can’t walk far. She reassured me that would not be an issue. I was scheduled to go in the fall of 2006. There were so many pilgrims I ended up going the following spring. Well, God chose the right time and place for me to renew my relationship with Him. I have become a part of a large community and we have family reunions called gatherings. I have a group of loving, supportive sisters in my reunion group. I would not have any of these wonderful people in my life or my precious relationship with God without Emmaus.
Walk to Emmaus is a Journey with Christ (as shared in Luke 24:13-35), while getting to know a group of wonderful like-minded Christian men and women (the men’s and women’s walks are held on separate weekends). It is a three day weekend beginning on a Thursday evening and running through Sunday afternoon; open to members of any Christian denomination and is for the development of Christian leaders who have a desire to strengthen their spiritual lives, may have unanswered questions about their faith, understand that being Christian involves responsibility and are willing to dedicate their everyday lives to God in an ongoing manner.
The weekends revolve around discussions that center around fifteen talks given by laity and clergy and these talks present the theme of God’s grace, how that grace comes alive in the Christian community, and how it expresses itself in the world. In addition to the life changing talks, the weekends are also filled with fellowship, worship, singing, laughing, learning, praying, reflecting and communion. You will leave with an experience of Christian love in action that will equip you for new levels of grace filled service and leadership.
The weekend is just the beginning of your four-day journey, which is simply walking closer with Christ for the rest of your life. To help ensure this new closeness with Christ, “pilgrims” (those who have completed a walk) are encouraged to form reunion groups, or accountability groups. The Emmaus Community also has regular potluck gatherings, every other month, as I mentioned above. There are also yearly chances to give back to the community by serving on future walks.