06/8/19

Who Is A Good Candidate to Participate in a Walk to Emmaus?

This guidance was adapted from Pastor Mark Rooks’ comments during May’s Fourth Day training. It is commended to ALL members of the Richmond Emmaus Community.

The Walk to Emmaus is open to members of any Christian denomination. However, it is intended for the development of Christian leaders. Consider the ideal candidates for a Walk to Emmaus:

  1. They are members of a local church … people who are engaged, active, serving, and worshiping. Here are some examples of those who may not be ready to attend:
    • “I’m in-between churches right now.”
    • “I’m currently shopping for a new church.”
    • “My church has a lot of problems and I’m thinking of leaving.”
  2. They have a desire to strengthen their spiritual lives … they are growing Christians who may already be participating in piety, study and Christian action.
  3. They may have unanswered questions about their faith; they may even be wrestling with their faith — a “doubting Thomas” … but they want to learn and grow in their faith.
  4. ,They understand that being a Christian involves responsibility … they are already serving in some capacity.
  5. They are willing to dedicate their everyday lives to God in an ongoing manner … they are people for whom faith is their lifestyle.

Those who typically are less-than-ideal candidates at the moment:

  • The unchurched, de-churched, and non-Christians — the Walk to Emmaus is NOT designed to be an evangelistic vehicle.
  • Those who may be going through significant life events (i.e., divorce, job loss, financial crisis, the death of a loved one).
  • Those who have an ax to grind regarding the Church.
  • Those who just aren’t spiritually ready, for any reason.

Pray for each of these and allow God time to work in them.

De Colores!
Rev. Mark Rooks, Community Spiritual Director

06/7/19

CLE Message for June 2019

Perseverance

On the Walk to Emmaus weekends, we hear a message of Perseverance on Sunday, shortly before leaving the safety and security of our Tables and new friendships, similar to those comfortable caterpillars safely tucked into a chrysalis before emerging into the world.

I suspect that I speak for most of our Emmaus friends when I say that perseverance sounds much easier than it feels when the toughest situations come. During one particular challenging time that seemed like it would never end, I remember screaming “How do I put out this dumpster fire in my life? I !hate this situation and can’t put up with it one more day!!”  

I was blessed to be around a bunch of non-blood sisters who reminded me that there is hope in every challenge, provided me with extra TLC, and put up with me continually. They graciously allowed me to scream and cry and act like a person who had no idea where my strength would come from. And at a certain point, each of them brought me back to earth in her own way. They all provided words of hope and joy and scriptures to read and listen to. I was told it was okay to get stuck in the muck as long as I didn’t unpack and move in, and it was time to pull myself together, face the challenge of life, trust God, pray, and walk forward with God.  

Gratefully, I opened my eyes, ears and heart and moved forward one step at a time.  

At all times, there are members of our community, our Emmaus brothers and sisters, who have been or currently are, in situations that are extremely difficult to manage. Let’s be those “non-blood” sisters and brothers, the faithful friends who reach out, support, pray, provide promises of hope, and remind each other to persevere through the hardest times, and mostly to LOVE each other through the stickiest muck.

If you are struggling to manage in a hard, hard situation, reach out to God, and to your friends, and hold onto the hope that is in Jesus Christ our Lord, that you are never alone.  

Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

On Saturday, June 8 at 6:00PM, we will gather at Bethia UMC for a fellowship meal followed by music and worship. Childcare is provided by Bethia’s Safe Sanctuaries-approved team. A few people are needed to set up chairs and tables before the Gathering on Saturday afternoon. If you and/or your Reunion Group can do this, please contact Kevin Hughes by Saturday noon at kevinhughes0914@gmail.com.

Susie Stough, CLD

05/28/19

Prayer request: Rev. Tom Brown

Please be in prayer for Rev. Tom Brown, former Richmond Emmaus CSD, who was admitted to the hospital last week with a deep-vein blood clot in his leg. He now also has a blood clot in his lung, and he is in ICU.  If you would like to send a card, contact Rachel Pack for his address. Also, continue to keep Tom’s wife Ann and the rest of his family in prayer.

05/11/19

Proposed Changes to Bylaws

(1) It was recommended that the requirements for having a quorum be changed to 50% of the Board, plus one person. This would allow a smaller number of Board members present to make decisions and vote at meetings. (2) Additionally, on occasion, a few community members will be invited to attend Board meetings to help with special projects.

The Board approved these changes by special vote via email in March 2019. These recommendations will be posted at www.richmondemmaus.com for one month for Community review and comment.

Susie Stough, CLD

05/9/19

CLD Message for May

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” ~ Galatians 5:22-23, New International Version

This scripture is one that our Emmaus teams study throughout their 8 weeks of teaming. The Upper Room Emmaus, our guiding body, has developed devotions about living the fruit of the spirit during the weekends. Part of our team canon, which we agree to allow to guide us, says, “I will serve in humility and gratitude for the opportunity to be here, and will remember that the Holy Spirit calls for my love, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control in all things!”

During what we can consider a time of challenge in our country, in our communities, and even in our homes, there is guidance in the refreshing words of this scripture. It is a meaningful reminder to me of how we are to respect each person with whom we interact, talk about and think about; it is a guide for us to live by. Today I am meditating on my own “fruitiness” and asking God to guide me in “Living the Fruit of the Spirit.”

Is there a way we can use this scripture to help develop relationships in our Emmaus Community and in our local communities? I believe the answer is YES! Share your thoughts with your Emmaus friends, reunion groups, and family members about this. And I’d love to hear back the ideas you discuss.

This Saturday, May 11, Fourth Day Training will begin at 3:30 in Room 103, Bethia UMC. New Community members and old alike are welcome to attend. (Remember, you must attend this training to sponsor pilgrims or serve on a Conference Room Team.)

Following the training is our May Community Gathering, with a pot-luck dinner at 6:00 followed by Praise and Worship at 6:30. Please join us. If it’s your first time, we welcome you. If it’s been a long time since you have attended, we welcome you back. Childcare for the Gathering is provided by Bethia’s Safe Sanctuaries-approved staff.

With gratefulness and love,
Susie Stough
Community Lay Director

04/7/19

Calling all Community members: Request for Walk Information

03/10/19

Change to Richmond Community Bylaws

A change to Section 5B of the Community Bylaws was ratified by majority vote at the February 2019 Gathering. It now reads:

“The Board Representative will have prior experience as an Emmaus WLD, AWLD, or Head Servant. The person should be a member of the Emmaus Board. If no current Board Members are available, the Board will seek an eligible candidate from the Community; such candidate shall be approved by simple majority of the Board. The individual will become a non-voting member of the Emmaus Board while serving in that position.”

02/6/19

2019 Schedule for Richmond Emmaus Gatherings

2019 Richmond Emmaus Gatherings will be held as follows (weather permitting):

Saturday, Feb 9th
Saturday, Mar 9th
Saturday, Apr 13th
Saturday, May 11th
Saturday, Jun 8th
Saturday, Jul 13th
Saturday, Aug 10th
Saturday, Sep 14th
Saturday, Oct 12th
Saturday, Nov 9th
Saturday, Dec 14th

Gatherings are held at Bethia UMC in North Chesterfield, opening with covered-dish fellowship at 6:00 pm; Praise and Worship follow at 6:30 pm.

Childcare is provided by Bethia’s Safe Sanctuaries-certified staff.