August 2020 newsletter

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Southeastern Indiana Emmaus Community

On the Journey Summer 2020

Volume 1, Issue 1

Making the Most of These “Interesting” Times There is a Chinese saying which states, “May you live in interesting times.” It’s worth noting that this saying can be viewed as either a curse or a blessing or, perhaps more accurately, a bit of both. Certainly, 2020 has been an interesting year. These are times of danger and uncertainty, with the COVID-19 pandemic, racial tensions, variety of natural disasters and the upcoming elections. On the other hand, many Christians consider these to be the beginnings of the end times. However, as Christians, we are told to not live in a state of fear or worry, but to instead rely on our Lord for peace and reassurance. Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, there are many Scripture passages that remind us to not be afraid. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the “news of the day” turn to your Bible and spend time looking at the Scripture related to overcoming fear (A few suggestions are: Isaiah 35:4; John 14:27;

Joshua 1:9; Matthew 6:34; Psalm 23:4; Romans 8:38-39; 1 Peter 5:6-7; 2 Timothy 1:7; and others) As your Board of Directors were faced with tough decisions about postponing, then cancelling our 2020 Walks, we too looked to our Lord for direction. While we know the Walks are a blessing for the pilgrims and team members, we came to the determination that the health risks were simply too great to justify holding the Walks. We continue to look forward, planning the 2021 Walks and looking for other ways to strengthen our connectedness as a Community. This newsletter and our virtual Gatherings are just a few ways we will continue to reach out and work to be a blessing to you during these “interesting times.”

Top 10 Things to Know About Sponsoring

Upcoming Dates:  Virtual Gathering— (tentatively) Saturday, Sept. 19, from 7-8 p.m. Since we still can’t gather in person, we’ll come together in spirit online via Facebook live. Just click on the SEI Emmaus Community page for a time of worship and praise. See our Facebook page for more info closer to the date.  Virtual Gathering— (tentatively) Saturday, Oct. 17, from 7-8 p.m. Same access procedure as above.

Mark Your Calendars for the 2021 Walks:

Have you ever considered that good sponsorship is the first act of Agape?

So, here are 10 things to know about sponsoring: •

Good sponsorship undergirds the whole weekend with sacrificial love on behalf of each pilgrim embodying the personal commitment of the community to each pilgrim.

1) The true aim of sponsorship is to bring spiritual revitalization to Christians who, in turn, will bring new life and vision to the work of the church in the congregation, home, workplace, and community.

It is the foundation for a healthy, effective Emmaus Movement that is fulfilling its true purpose: the development of Christian leaders and the renewal of the church in ministry.

2) Wise sponsorship is purposeful and prayerful, as opposed to unwise sponsorship that is haphazard and undiscerning. Positive sponsorship Continued on page 3

The Men’s Spring Walk will be held April 15-18 and the Women’s Spring Walk is slated for April 22-25 The Men’s Fall Walk will be held Oct 7 –10 and the Women’s Walk will take place Oct 14 –17


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Virtual Gatherings, Prayer Vigil Offer a Safe Way to Fellowship Thanks to the COVID-19 virus, our community hasn’t been able to gather since last March. While we still aren’t able to come together in person, we will gather in spirit online Saturday, Sept. 19, from 7-8 p.m.

To join the virtual Gathering, just login into Facebook, then go to the SEI Emmaus Community page. If you are not yet a member of our group, please send a request to join; that will allow you to access the virtual Gathering. During the live event, you will be able to react and comment, with others seeing any posted remarks. There will be good music, a time of worship and praise and devotional period.

God does not love you because you are good. God loves you because God is Good. -Richard Rohr

And, if you’d like to participate in a more global Gathering, the Upper Room is planning an international virtual Gathering on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. The theme is “Making a World of Difference.” According to the Upper Room, “This will be like no other gathering you have witnessed, bringing together music and speakers who are active in communities around the world, and having the

opportunity to share in a mini-Reunion Group experience with people from cultures around the globe.” The event is free, however they are asking people to register for the two-hour event.. Register here: international virtual Gathering (more info on The Upper Room’s website at http:// ) Another way for you to connect with other Emmaus folks is to sign up for the Upper Room’s 100-day prayer vigil. According to the Upper Room, “As prayer undergrids the ministry and mission of all Emmaus Ministries, we are inviting people to sign up for the 100-day prayer vigil that begins September 19. There are 5 slots per day where we are inviting the world to pray for wisdom and discernment for Emmaus Ministries during this interim period of COVID-19 and post-COVID worlds.” To participate in the 100-day prayer vigil, sign up at: global prayer vigil (!/ showSignUp/409044badae2da7f58-100day ).

Walk to Emmaus Celebrating 41 Years For 40 years, people have been experiencing lifechanging spiritual growth on the Walk to Emmaus. The Walk to Emmaus movement evolved from the Roman Catholic Cursillo Movement. It started in the 1960s and 1970s, when Episcopalians and Lutherans, and Tres Dias offered Cursillo. In 1978, The Upper Room of the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church trademarked Emmaus and adapted it into a primarily Protestant version. Since that time in 1986, Christian Emmaus retreats have spread throughout the entire United States, every country in Central and South America, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, and even to Shanghai, China.

A retreat was even held underground in Cuba 2012. Over one million pilgrims have gone on a Walk, and Emmaus Ministries has grown to include Chrysalis, Journey to the Table, Face to Face, and Discovery Weekend. Currently, an international team of Emmaus Ministries lay and clergy leaders are working to develop an online model for Walk to Emmaus; another team is at work on a model for community renewal and encouragement.

The Upper Room hopes to have both models available in the Fall 2020, thus continuing to equip leaders for local churches.

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The Importance of Sponsorship eventually will produce a balanced theologically centered movement of the Holy Spirit, which is integrated into the life of the church in the community. This is honored by a variety of churches as an effective instrument for conveying God's grace, the call to committed discipleship, and our unity in Christ. It is done with purpose, prayer and compassionate agape love. 3) Sponsorship is the lifeblood of each community. We all want a positive weekend to take place and the Pilgrim to start off correctly. Thus, it is crucial to consider how to and whom to sponsor. 4) The first consideration in sponsoring is prayer; you should be in prayer for the individual that God is leading you to approach about the Walk. Ask God to make it obvious to you whom you should be approaching and then pray for the person's openness to God's call to discipleship, not for how to get him or her to go on a Walk. 5) Be open and straightforward with what you share about the Walk and Emmaus. As you extend an invitation, be clear about the purpose of Emmaus— that is, invite the prospective pilgrim to attend for the sake of a more vital relationship with Jesus Christ, not just an event to go to. Share your faith; explain the basic elements of the Walk, the purpose, and followup dimensions that help us live in grace for the rest of our lives. Take the attitude that you are giving the person a wonderful gift rather than that he or she needs to go. 6) Don’t be secretive. Answer any questions in as open as possible manner. Recognize that prospective pilgrims will not have any context for many aspects. Reassure them and let them know you are available to talk as they think and pray about attending. 7) Encourage the prospective pilgrim to pray about going. Give the person time to consider going and let them know you too are praying for God’s timing in when they attend. If the person is married, speak with both partners and encourage equal commitment by both.


(continued from page 1) 8) Continue to pray for your prospective pilgrim, prepare agape letters, and enlist the support of their pastor. Collect 8-12 personal agape letters. 9) Support the Walk through your prayers during the 72-Hour Prayer Vigil and your presence at Send Off, Sponsors' Hour, Candlelight, and Closing. Support the pilgrim's family by house sitting, baby sitting, watering plants, picking up mail, feeding pets, or just checking in with the pilgrim’s spouse and family to see if any help is needed. 10) Realize that your role as a sponsor is not over after the Walk; in fact, in many ways, your support post-Walk is even more important. Want to provide Encourage the pilgrim in his or her Fourth agape for the walks? Day involvement. Give your friend an opportunity to talk through and appropriate Plan on 75 pieces the experience. Help the pilgrim find a for both pilgrims and team for a walk; 32 reunion group, or be prepared to start a pieces for just group with him or her for a period of time pilgrims until others join the group. Take the pilgrim to Gatherings as your guest for a couple of months. Help the pilgrim reenter his or her church and consider ways to apply his or her new commitment and enthusiasm. Help the pilgrim learn how to be a good sponsorship. If you have questions about sponsoring, please contact any member of our Board of Directors (see contact info on back).

How to Contact Your Board of Directors: Community Spiritual Director

Brian Hoehler

Community Lay Director

Dave Zuber


Ginny Hizer


Rhonda Hennegar


Johanna Johnson


Dan McAdams

Team Selection/Nominations

Tiffany Hollis

Community Retention/Historian Mary Beth Doll Jones

Treasurer & Historian Assistant Paul Hardy


Vicki Ballard

Education/Team Training

Lisa Niesen

Training Assistant

Nick Cornell


Joyce West


Bonnie Schreiner

Registrar Assistant

Mary Baer


Carla Blair

Fourth Day/Reunions


Community website: Facebook:

Request for Reunion Group Info We are trying to compile a list of the reunion groups that meet within our community—and we need your help!

Walk—it is helpful to provide a list of reunion groups for the pilgrims so they can connect as soon as possible following their Walk.

One of the key aspects stressed during the Walk is the benefit of participating in an ongoing small group. Pilgrims even receive their reunion group card and the tables go through an example of such a group.

If you are part of an Emmaus reunion group, please email or share with the Board via the emails above. We’ll need to know when and where you meet, if the group is or is not open to accepting new people and any other pertinent information.

The part we would like to strengthen is to have a list of options for those who have completed their