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What is the
Walk To Emmaus
The Emmaus Walk is a an ecumenical program that encourages and renews commitments to Christian discipleship. The Walk is a three-day retreat which includes a New Testament examination of Christianity as a lifestyle. It is a structured weekend designed to build and renew the faith of Christian people, and through them, their families, their congregations and the world in which they live. Emmaus is a joint effort of clergy and laity for the renewal of the church.
The “Walk To Emmaus” begins on Thursday evening and ends Sunday evening. On the Walk, Pilgrims spend three busy but very enjoyable days, usually at a retreat center. They live and study together in singing, prayer, worship and small group discussions, centering on fifteen short 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. Pilgrims also discover how that grace is reality in their lives, and how they can live in the life of grace, bringing grace to others. They 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. Pilgrims also experience God’s grace personally through the prayers and acts of service of a living support community.
The History of Emmaus
Luke’s Gospel records the story Christ appearing, after His resurrection, to two friends as they were walking along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. The “Walk To Emmaus” gets its name from this story. The story goes like this:
Emmaus in Scripture
. . . two of them were going to a village called Emmaus . . .. As they talked . . . , Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” . . . One of them . . . asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” Jesus asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel . . …” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. Luke 24:12-33, NIV.
History of the Walk to Emmaus
The Cursillo de Christiandad (meaning “short course in Christianity”) originated in Spain in the late 1940’s. It was brought to America in the 1950’s. Until the 1970’s, Cursillo (pronounced “coor-see-yo”) was primarily a Roman Catholic movement, but more and more applications were received from Protestants, and other movements began to make the experience available to a wider range of people.
In the late 1970’s, The Upper Room (a unit of the Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church in the USA) formed The Upper Room Cursillo Community in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1981, by mutual agreement with 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 “Gulf Coast Walk To Emmaus” is a ministry of Gulf Coast Emmaus, Inc. It began in 1980 as an unincorporated Lutheran Cursillo, known as “Gulf Coast Lutheran Cursillo” and was then affiliated with the National Lutheran Secretariat. It was incorporated in 1983 under the name “Gulf Coast Cursillo, Inc.” The Community affiliated with the International Emmaus Movement of the Upper Room and its name was changed to “Gulf Coast Emmaus, Inc.” in 1986.
What Happens After the
Walk to Emmaus
Gatherings. Periodically there is an Emmaus Community meeting, called ``Community Gatherings`` where people within the Emmaus Community are invited for worship, fellowship and informal instruction.
Newsletter. Through a regular newsletter, Gulf Coast Community members and friends become aware of support needs for upcoming Walks to Emmaus, as well as other community events. If you have made an Emmaus, Cursillo, Via de Cristo, Tres Dias or Kairos weekend and would to be on our mailing list, contact our database team. To submit articles and information for inclusion in the newsletter, contact our Newsletter team. Jesus says: ``…I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.`` John 14:13-14 (NIV).
One of the strengths of Emmaus is what happens after the weekend. Your weekend lasts three days, but Pilgrims are encouraged to build on the weekend experiences for the rest of their lives. Pilgrims are encouraged to . . . . .
Expand their own spiritual lives through study and participation in their own congregations.
Become more active disciples of Christ in the world through their churches.
To nurture this process of discipleship, the Gulf Coast Emmaus Community offers several opportunities.
Join or start a Reunion Group. Small groups of four to six people, which we call ``Reunion Groups,`` meet regularly to reflect on their quest for spiritual growth and to encourage one another in their discipleship. If you have made an Emmaus, Cursillo, Via de Cristo, Tres Dias or Kairos weekend and would like more information about a Reunion Group contact our 4th Day Liaison (Reunion Groups).
If you have made an Emmaus, Cursillo, Via de Cristo, Tres Dias or Kairos weekend and would like more information, or would like to put a prayer request on our E-Prayer chain
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