Board of Directors News
Matthew 18:19-20 “If two or three of you come together as a community and discern clearly about anything, My Father in heaven will bless the discernment. For when two or three gather together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (The Voice)
I am continually amazed at the love and care that is shown throughout our community. At every Ultreya, I am reminded of why I stay connected to my Emmaus family. The sheer pleasure of seeing friends and sharing our joys and concerns, affirms the love of Christ in each of us. We laugh, cry, share and walk together as we main-tain connections within the community. As the scripture says, when we gather together, Jesus is in the midst of us.
As we move into summer, things slow down a bit for Emmaus. Many of us find ourselves out of town on vacations or just taking some “time off” from the busyness of the rest of the year. There are no walks during the summer months so we step back from writing and making palanca. There are no early morning Mananitas or closings to attend. (Of course the women and men on the teams of E-174 and E-175 are hard at work preparing for the fall.) So we too, should stay focused. Let’s use these summer months to regroup, regenerate and reinvigorate. Take advantage of the lazy days of summer. Take time with your devotions and prayer life. Send a note to someone you haven’t connected with recently. Who said Palanca is only for the mountain! Make a phone call, meet for lunch, use social media to lift up someone in love.
We also need to begin thinking about the year to come. I’ll say it again, because it needs to be said, we still need pilgrim apps. The men in particular will need many more applications to fill the walk in November. Soon the board will begin looking for Ultreya hosts for 2016. (We still need a volunteer to step forward for this December’s Ultreya.) There will be board positions opening up as well for next year.
Each of us should prayerfully think about how we can serve our Emmaus Community. There are so many ways to serve that everyone should be able to find a place to share their gifts and talents. Teaming, community palanca, food, prayer, serving on the board, the list is endless. Let’s continue to gather together, but then let’s go out and serve.
So enjoy the summer months. Get outside and see the beauty that surrounds us. God has blessed us in so many ways that we should look for any opportunity to share his love and grace. Happy Summer
Does serving thru NCAE music interest you? Are you interested in being an Assistant Music Director (AMD) or Music Director (MD) on an NCAE weekend? All who are interested are invited to an NCAE Music Meeting on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, at 7:30 - 9:45 pm at Christ Church. Those who are slotted for AMD and MD for future weekends should attend.
The agenda will include music and discuss topics such as: song selection, responsibilities for weekend and out-side of the weekend, FAQs, lessons learned & helpful hints by a panel of former MDs, equipment, use of Plan-ning Center/CCLI, and end with message & commun-ion. It promises to be an exciting and informative even-ing together. Hope to see you there. Pls RSVP so we can plan seating and materials, and send you updated info.
Thanks & blessings!!
Our 2015 Weekends!!
E-172 ~ Mar. 12-15 - Kathy Woodley
All weekends will be held at the Meadowkirk Retreat Center in Middleburg, Virginia
We don’t ever complete our education. At least, we should never consider our education completed. Two weeks ago I sat in the middle of an athletic field looking out on a sea of mortarboards and scarlet academic gowns watching our daughter graduate from college. The 6,600 graduates were awe-inspiring, as I had never had the experience of commencement at a large university. There was much talk of hopes, dreams and next steps as well as some reflection on the completion of degrees.
Some of the graduates will start exciting new jobs. Oth-ers will go back to the classroom to pursue graduate de-grees. Some will no doubt say, Thank God, I finished. I am done. But they really are not done.
The life that God has given us is a process of continuous learning. There may be interim stages that come to com-pletion, but learning is a journey for a lifetime. Yes, we learn something from every experience, but I am talking about plotting an intentional course to continue to learn, so that we further develop our God given gifts of capacity for knowledge, wisdom and experience.
Our walk in faith is likewise a lifelong journey in inten-tional learning. At least, I think it should be. It goes with-out saying that children’s Sunday school is not the end of our Christian education. Remember that on the Emmaus weekend we devote a talk to “Growth Through Study”, the process by which we seek a closer encounter with the divine through knowledge, wisdom & experience. We seek to live into the gospel by furthering our understand-ing of what it means to live as Christians in the kingdom of God as it is present in this world and as Christ would have us live.
We come home from the weekend with the best of inten-tions. Some make a commitment to study, but the path of intentional learning is a discipline, and every one of us has our weaknesses on the paths of spiritual disciplines. Intentional learning takes a commitment. Classes take time as well as effort. Personal study can be a practical route, if one has determination and can hold oneself accountable for the time and effort it takes. Group study offers the opportunity to exchange thoughts and under-standings in ways that benefit all the members of the group.
And we haven’t even talked about what to study. The Bible certainly provides us with the sturdy foundation of our faith. And we all benefit from time spent in the scrip-tures. There are many works by theological writers and commentators on the life and health of the church that are worth our attention. Learning about our world through its history offers us an opportunity to examine history through the lens of our Christian faith. I found that Church History opened up understandings about world history that could not be seen without looking at the world through the experience of the church.
The global world in which we live calls us to have better understandings of the different religions of the world. We can look not only at how religions differ, but at the simi-larities that can be found in very different religious tradi-tions. This does not have to threaten or undermine our Christian faith. It can be helpful to look for where there are truths in other traditions even when we conclude that our Christian faith is the source of ultimate truth. More informed understandings can only help us to better relate to the world in which we live and to apply Christian faith to this diverse world.
Life in this world is filled with challenges. We are ever searching to walk more closely with Christ and to live in a way that brings the kingdom of God to this world that at least for now in many ways has been put in our hands. The Christian life has no retirement plan. These chal-lenges require the use of every gift that God has given us. We glorify God in the use of our gifts. In Romans 12:2 Paul wrote: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Paul calls us to a lifetime of intentional learning. Let us honor and glorify God by using our minds to learn, to ex-perience, to seek truth, and to live in the kingdom of God.
Community Spiritual Director
It takes a village. You’ve heard this before many times – but I feel it is particularly true when we are referring to mentoring our children and youth. And it doesn’t just refer to a large number of people – it refers to what those people can offer by way of mentoring. Everybody in ‘the village’ has different God given skills – many of them without knowing they have the skills. Whether it is music, the ability to pray, the patience to do something over and over again until the child or youth gets it right – the list goes on.
As adults in the church it is our responsibility to help minister in some way to our youth. Interestingly though, there is no biblical model for youth ministry. So my inter-pretation of this is that we should use the biblical principles we already know and apply them to youth. Sure, there are some specific areas of ministry that focus on youth issues – relationships, sex, drugs, rock and roll etc. – and these shouldn’t be ignored – but too many youth ministries focus solely on those and omit the basic bibli-cal principles we expect our youth to adhere to when they get older (I prefer that term to ‘grow up’).
If we want to grow our youth as future leaders, we need to give them the opportunity to lead as youth. That’s one of the great things about Chrysalis. During the teaming process the adults on the team mentor the youth on leadership – culminating on the youth/young adults actu-ally running the weekend. The mentors are there ‘just in case’ but the weekend is handed off to the youth/young adults – and the model works. I have mentioned by name many ‘Chrysalis kids’ who have gone on to be leaders – and these are just the ones I know about. I see it in my own church where ‘Chrysalis kids’ have started their own bible study and invited other kids to attend. We had a youth led Sunday recently and it was a roaring success. We didn’t change the style of worship or try to make it ‘cute’ – we simply let the youth – with adult mentorship – organize and run the service. This is exactly what the Chrysalis model is all about – showing the love of God to our youth and grooming them to become future leaders.
Yes we address some of the youth specific issues on the weekend – but the program is grounded in biblical principles we all should be attempting to follow.
I’ve tasked you in the past with finding a youth at your church and offering to mentor them. I’m going to task you with something maybe a little easier to achieve in a shorter time period. Go to the Chrysalis website and navigate to the ‘Upcoming Weekends’ page. Here you will find a list of all of the team members for the 2 upcoming summer weekends. I urge you to choose one adult and one youth/young adult from each weekend. Pray – frequently – that God gives the adult the wisdom needed to mentor the youth. And pray – frequently – that the youth/young adult is able to empty themselves of themselves to let God in. Oh, and by the way – I’ll know if you have taken the challenge because you will need a logon id to get to that page – so if I don’t see any new requests for logon id’s I’ll know you haven’t accepted the challenge!! It’s not just God who’s watching you.
Fly with Christ
NCA Chrysalis Lay Director
I am the Community Palanca Cha. I need volunteers to make placemats for me. We need 270 decorated placemats for each team that goes to the Mountain.
I will have blank placemats at the Ultreyas each month. You can create your own design, either free hand, trace from a coloring book, use markers, glitter and glue to create your designs. You can either do them yourselves or get your Sunday School classes to do them. The pilgrims really like them when they come from the children. There are two kinds needed: the ones that are decorated with cute pictures and words, and ones that specifically say “DeColores”. It does not matter what the picture is, it only needs to say “DeColores” somewhere on the placemat. If you wish to make a set for a specific weekend that is great but you need to mark the envelope this is for E-# and I will make sure it goes on that weekend.
You can do placemats for Chrysalis they need the same decorated and instead of saying DeColores they say FLY WITH CHRIST. If you want to do them for Chrysalis you can get them from Terry Downer and return them to her or you can give them to me and I will make sure she gets them.
Or what about your cloth Palanca bags that you received on Friday. How many of you sew? You can go to your fabric store and pick up some material. Rainbow material works well, I guess because most people don’t want to use it as a dress. I will have the dimensions available for you if you’re interested at the Ultreya.
Do you remember your Joy Flag Parade? Joy flags are always needed. These can be made from paper or fabric, and can be as simple or intricate as you desire, as long as they say “Joy” somewhere on the flag. These should always be the pennant shape, too. You may also specify the joy flags for specific weekend also.
First stones are simple. Go outside, pick up a rock, and write “First” on it. Please write “F-I-R-S-T” and not “I-S-T on it. We have felt for the “I’m Lovable” flower pin that you received on Friday. Men get a pennant-shaped ribbon, and felt is available for both. Do you remember being showered with Warm Fuzzies on Sunday? If you love yarn, then this is the project for you. At the Ultreyas there will be the prayer wheel for you to sign up to pray and also, there will be a sheet passed that will have snacks for the weekend. You can sign at the Ultreyas. Food for the weekends needs to get to the Head Cha before Tuesday of the week that the team is going unless you are sponsoring someone and will be going to the mountain on Thursday.
Where do I get all of the material or instructions, you may ask. Well, you can pick up placemats, felt for flowers and banners, and yarn for warm fuzzes at the Ultreya each month. You can also pick up or return items at the Ultreya. There is usually a table near the church’s entrance where items are placed. Or you can find me and hand items to me.
If you’re not available to attend the Ultreya, you can contact me. My email address is LindaLSmith999@verizon.net and phone number is 703- 216-2469. And if you’re concerned about getting an item to me quickly, we can always keep in touch by phone and work out something. If you are willing to serve as Palanca Chairman for your church please fill out the information on the clipboard that I will have at each Ultreya in the front. Please list which items your group is interested in doing, so when I am running low on items I can contact the chairman.
If you are in a reunion group this is a good project that you could do. So, check with your group and see what items you all would love to do. If someone from your church has already signed up then you don’t need to. I am looking forward to working with you!
"If you would like to get placemats please call Linda Smith 703-216-2469 and she will meet you to get them to you"
Thank you and DeColores!
Linda L Smith
Revised Procedures for Ultreya Prayer Concerns
The Board of Directors recently addressed the topic of prayer concern procedures during Ultreyas. The Board was advised that prayer concerns at Ultreya, written out for the presiding Spiritual Director to read, in many cases contained sensitive and private information. As a result, the Board decided to revise the procedures and implemented their decision at the December Ultreya. The revised procedures ask that prayer concerns be written on a piece of paper (provided) and dropped into a box. At the appropriate time during the Ultreya, the box containing the prayer concerns will be brought to the presiding Spiritual Director who will lead the community in prayer.
If individuals feel that more information should be shared regarding a specific prayer concern, please submit that concern to the community through the Holynet after checking with the parties involved to obtain their consent. Prayer concerns for publication on the HolyNet should be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board of Directors has set the Weekend Fees for 2015 as follows:
From the returning second-year class of Directors, one lay member is elected by the Board to serve as the Community Lay Director for a one year term.. This person then selects an Assistant Lay Director from the second-year class.
The second-year Spiritual Director serves as the Community Spiritual Director, with the first-year SD serving as the Assistant to the Spiritual Director