Walk to Emmaus is a three-day, 72 hour, experience which takes a New Testament look at Christianity as a lifestyle for active Christians who are members of churches whose own renewal will mean new energy, commitment and vision in their church and everyday interactions for Christ’s sake. It is a highly structured weekend designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christian people. In turn, it strengthens and renews their families, congregations, and the world in which they live. Emmaus is a combined effort of laity and clergy toward the renewal of the church. The focus of Emmaus is God as known in Jesus Christ and how that finds expression in the local church. The objective of Emmaus is to inspire, challenge, and equip local church members for Christian action in their homes, churches, and places of work. Emmaus lifts up a way for our grace-filled life to be lived and shared with others.
The Gospel of St. Luke relates the story of the risen Christ appearing to two who were going along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Two friends were walking together, sharing their hearts’ deepest concerns. The risen Christ joined them and explained the scriptures as they walked, how it was ordained that Christ should suffer and so enter His glory. This experience on the road was a heart-warming experience as the risen Christ walked and talked with them. The illuminating climax of the experience was when Christ took bread and said the blessing, then broke it and gave it to them. The two had their eyes opened and they recognized him as the risen Christ and they rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the others. (Luke 24:13-35) Originating in Spain in the late 1940s, Cursillo moved to America in the late 1950s. It was primarily a Roman Catholic movement until the 1970s. As Catholic centers started accepting applications from Protestants, efforts began among some groups to make the Cursillo experience available to all Protestants. In the late 1970s, The Upper Room (a unit of the Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church) formed The Upper Room Cursillo Community in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1981, by mutual agreement between the National Secretariat of the Roman Catholic Cursillo movement and The Upper Room, the name of the Nashville Protestant community was changed to Emmaus. The Emmaus movement is ecumenical.
Walk to Emmaus is a 72-hour experience, beginning on Thursday evening and ending on Sunday evening. These three busy, but very enjoyable days, at Lakeshore UMA, are filled with living and studying together through singing, prayer, worship, and discussion. Discussions center around fifteen talks given by laity and clergy. These talks present the theme of God’s grace and how that grace comes alive in the Christian community and expresses itself in the world. You’ll also discover how grace is real in your life, and how you can live a life of grace, bringing grace to others. You will have the opportunity to participate in the daily celebration of Holy Communion, and to begin to understand more fully the presence of Christ in His body of believers. You will experience God’s grace personally through the prayers and acts of service of a living support community.
Your Walk to Emmaus weekend only lasts three days, but have the opportunity to build on it for the rest of your life. Those who attend a "Walk to Emmaus" are encouraged to do two things following their weekend:
1. Expand their own spiritual lives through study and congregational participation;
2. Become more active disciples of Christ in the world through their churches.
Emmaus offers specific opportunities to continue their Emmaus journey.Reunion groups of four to six people meet weekly to reflect on their quest for spiritual growth and encourage one another in their discipleship. Monthly meetings called "Community Gatherings" are offered for all people in a particular Emmaus community or area for fellowship, worship, and informal instruction.
Newsletters are provided for members to become aware of support needs for upcoming Walks to Emmaus and opportunities to work during future weekends.