Time to Assess this Year Inside Out
When He was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, “they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven. Mark 4:10-12 10
We have created a thought about our Emmaus Community – it is an ‘Inside Out Community’. But what does that mean? Just like parables there has to be context and some explanation before it really means something on an individual level.
I so very much value our Emmaus Community – the weekend experience exposed me to thoughts, concepts, and Christian perspectives that I would not have cultivated of my own accord. I had stimuli from my wife and from fellow local church members but that only ‘opened the door’ for me. What I did with it was up to me; relative to where I was at with other life experiences and daily living. I am happy to give witness that I have cultivated sincere feelings and desire for faith, love, justice, grace, and Christian considerations in a majority of the things I do. I trust that will be the case for the rest of my life here on earth.
As a community, we are the embodiment of all the individual interpretations and demonstrations of faith. We are a collective of believers in God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. No matter our denomination we are Christians and value our beliefs, our calls to action, our ability to apply our talents to serve missions. We support our weekends, our local churches, our large monthly gatherings, and our small groups. We, within the community, often show grace and faith with other members of the community; there is no doubt that within the National Capital Area Emmaus (NCAE) community there is an overwhelming sense of love and concern for each other. We as a community have been blessed to have received and more importantly comprehended the “Secrets of the Kingdom of God” and that is what provides us the intra-strength and foundation to be a viable Christian community.
However, just like the original disciples we have to go outside the inner circle of our faith and revelations to spread the word and expand the overall Christian community of faith across all denominations, across all peoples. This outreach is a challenge, it is a chore, it takes us out of our comfort zone but it is what we are called to do! To go out of NCAE and ask others to consider a weekend walk, to see us being bolder in our faith, to stretch ourselves in ways that we might not have imagined earlier in our faith walks. But to afford others the opportunities to: understand differently what they see or feel; help them understand God’s love for us; cultivate the conviction that they are beloved children of God; no matter what has transpired they are forgiven; and, salvation and eternal live is there for them!
As we noted, as early as our opening Ultreya in January 2014, it is not enough to maintain our community; we need to reinvigorate it and grow the community. To that end there has been impetus to find our NCAE community a more permanent and stable weekend site. We have attempted to emphasize scholarship funding for pilgrims and caterpillars. We have launched the “Inside Out” campaign to make a concerted effort to emphasize each and every community member to go “out” of the community circle and ask a minimum of 2-3 people to consider a weekend walk. Stimulate those types of conversations with direct family members, relatives, church family members, and anyone else who could benefit from the deeper understanding of God’s love and compassion for us. Invite them to consider a path that would let them, in their own time, experience the opportunity of discovery that we all have enjoyed.
We are truly blessed in our Emmaus Community and sharing that love of faith, grace, and justice we enjoy “Inside” our community of believers should be the ultimate objective of our “Inside Out” campaign. It is absolutely not about the numbers; it about walking out in faith and sharing the internal happiness and joyous belief in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that we have discovered for ourselves and with each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
A Prayer to share:
Heavenly Father, we want to be an instrument of discipleship in your name. You have blessed us with knowledge; awareness of your infinite love; and, faith in you the Father, Your Son Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Invigorate us to reach out to extend ourselves in your name. Help us take action that benefits others to see the joyous spirit that can be achieved in fellowship and mutual love as true Christians. We pray this for all current and future members of our Emmaus Community – In Jesus’s name we pray - Amen. May we all be truly blessed in all we do and all we experience within a community of faith and as beloved children of God throughout our time on earth.given!”
Community Lay Director
"Oh, say can you see?" Most Hymnals carry many patriotic songs honoring God as the leader of our great country. As we celebrate freedom this month, keep a song in your heart - a song of freedom in Christ. It may be "I'll fly away" or "Free from sin, oh happy condition" or "My Chains are Gone". Whatever allows your heart to soar, let her rip!! Sing out loud, praising and praying all the while. Thank you, Lord, that we are set free! July Ultreya music will be lead by Chrysalis MDs of C-86. Fly with Christ!!
Our 2015 Weekends!!
E-173 ~ Apr. 30 - May 3 - Mike McLean
E-174 ~ Oct. 8 - 11 - Susan Verghese
E-175 ~ Nov. 5 - 8 - Tony Papp
All 2015 weekends will be held at the Meadowkirk, VA
And Our Remaining 2014 Weekends!!
E-170 ~ Oct. 02 - 05 - Beth Mickey
E-171 ~ Nov. 13 - 16 - Sam Parris
All weekends will be held at the 4-H Training Center near Front Royal, VA
July is upon us already — how fast the year seems to go by. I wish you all a safe and happy 4th of July!
It’s wonderful that we can celebrate 238 years of the United States! I don’t know if we fully realize how dangerous it was for our forefathers to sign that piece of paper. Ben Franklin made the comment that “we can either hang together or hang separately.” We have hung in there and become the greatest country on earth. Sure, we have our faults and weaknesses, however, we have a way of working together, of being philanthropic, of caring, of having freedoms that cannot be found in other lands.
Freedom! We will hear a lot about freedom this month. There will be parades and fireworks, picnics and concerts. We love to celebrate.
I was wondering about freedom today. We constantly hear about the “freedom of religion.” The first amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” Sometimes too many folks practice freedom “from” religion.
But more than that — do we equally celebrate the freedom that God gives us? Do we celebrate the free will that God has given to each of us, so we can choose for ourselves to love, or to follow, or to obey, or to find salvation? We have these marvelous moments when we are overwhelmed by God’s grace and love. We have these fantastic experiences when we just know that God is real and close by.
The way to continue the celebration all year long, the way to remember the celebration all year long, is to partake together in Holy Communion and to be people of the fourth day who share their love and faithfulness with others. We’ve heard it before: We may be the only bit of Jesus some people ever see.
Life has a way of taking its toll on us. However, it is in those beautiful, sacred moments that we share when God’s love is felt, when God’s love is accepted, when God’s love is passed along, when we realize that God’s love has set us free to be the people he calls us to be. Make a difference in your church! Make a difference in your neighborhood. Make a difference in someone’s life. Invite folks to have an NCA Emmaus weekend experience. This day choose life!
Blessings and De Colores,
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 17
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
Spring has finally come! We just celebrated Easter and everywhere you look there is something new growing. This is probably my most favorite time of the year for a couple of reasons. First, I am a huge baseball fan and spring is when baseball starts in both the professional ranks and in the small towns and kids leagues throughout the land. The second reason for spring being my favorite time of the year is the new beginning of everything around. Spring is the time when the flowers and trees start to bloom and start to grow again and things everywhere begin anew.
The Chrysalis weekends are just like a Spring every weekend we have. What do I mean by that? Well, the kids known as caterpillars, show up to the weekend as one type of person and throughout the weekend they are formed and molded by many different experiences and they leave as beautiful butterflies. The experiences, friendships formed, and the presence of the Holy Spirit on the weekend lead to the dramatic changes that we have seen on every weekend. Each weekend is different just like every spring is different; however the constant on every weekend just like spring is change. Change is evident everywhere during spring just as it is on a Chrysalis weekend.
Let’s help there be more change on the upcoming Chrysalis weekends. C-86 is a young adult weekend and they go to the mountain July 10-13. C-87 is a high school weekend and they will go to the mountain August 21-24. Both weekends need caterpillars to change! If you know someone who may benefit by the change that takes place on a weekend please visit the chrysalis website and get an application and send it in.
www.ncachrysalis.org As always God Bless!
Fly with Christ
J. R. Williams
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 2012 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