What Happens During the Three Day Emmaus Experience?

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My growing did flourish as I listened to several talks given by laity and clergy on such theologically significant themes as grace, priesthood of all believers, justifying grace, growth through study, Christian action, discipleship, body of Christ, changing our world, and others. I learned from each speaker and concluded that I would be pleased to have any one of the laity give the Sunday sermon in all of the churches I have served. -Clergyperson after Walk to Emmaus® In small table groups, we listened, took notes, and discussed each theme. What an experience it was to listen as my fellow pilgrims-United Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Lutherans, and Baptists, wrestled with how to apply each topic to life. We demonstrated our insights with posters, charts, skits, songs, and poems. -Clergyman from Indiana

The Emmaus® Weekend Schedule that follows is a bare outline of the Walk to Emmaus® weekend. This two-dimensional overview of the weekend, which lists activities and topics, cannot adequately communicate what really happens in and among the people as a result of being together for three days, focused on the love of God. Nevertheless, this outline gives a picture of what goes on among the pilgrims in the conference room and chapel. This outline also shows why we describe the Walk to Emmaus® as a short course in Christianity, not a relaxing retreat. While the Emmaus® Walk is fun and rejuvenating, it is also concentrated and full.

The three days have distinct phases and reflect a Trinitarian framework. The focus of Day One is God and the relationship God offers. The focus of Day Two is Jesus Christ and each disciple’s response to the grace of God in the context of Christian community. The focus of Day Three is the Holy Spirit and the call to live as an active member of the body of Christ through service in church and community. All three days point to the Fourth Day-living every day as a walk with Christ in the company of one another, through a lifestyle of regular prayer, study, and service.

A moment of silent reflection, then discussion and creative responses follow each of the fifteen talks. The services of worship and daily prayer are thematic and are designed especially for the Emmaus® Walk. Each day includes break times and snacks. The three days as a whole are embraced by prayer and signs of the sacrificial service on the part of many who help make each Walk happen.