Pastor’s ponderings

As you read this, I am away this weekend participating in a Walk to Emmaus weekend.  It is always an honor to assist in such an event.  Yet, I also realize that many have little idea what it actually is.  So, let me try to briefly explain.

            The Walk to Emmaus website ( ) notes, “The walk to Emmaus is an experience of Christian spiritual renewal and formation that begins with a three-day short course in Christianity. It is an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ in a new way as God’s grace and love is revealed to you through other believers.”  “You will enjoy three days of singing, learning, laughing, worshiping, reflecting, praying and participating in small groups.  Discussions center around fifteen talks given by laity and clergy.  These talks present the theme of God’s grace, how that grace comes alive in the Christian community and how it is expressed in the world.  You’ll also discover how grace is real in your life, how you live a life of grace, and how you bring that grace to others. You will have the opportunity to participate in the daily celebration of Holy Communion and to understand more fully the body of Christ.  You will experience God’s grace through the prayers and acts of anonymous service offered by the Emmaus community.  You will leave with an experience of Christian love in action that will equip you for new levels of grace-filled service and leadership.”

            During the course of the weekend, I serve as a spiritual director, giving a couple of the talks about grace and supporting the team of folks who lead the event.  Yes, that is right, I am there for support only; the weekend is run by laity, not clergy.  It is Christian people helping other Christians grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus and the church as the Body of Christ.  For me, it is an enriching spiritual retreat in which the Holy Spirit is constantly at work.  Ever since my walk, several years ago, I have seen this community as a way to strengthen personal and communal faith.  So, I participate as often as I can.

            The Emmaus site notes that there but only some basic recommendations for those who would like to participate: “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.”  The reality is most Christians I know fall into these guidelines.  So, perhaps the only question that remains is – how are you being called to ponder participation today?                                       

Always pondering, 

Pastor Steve

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