Board of Directors News
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus Colossians 2:6&7 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and over-flowing with thankfulness. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Looking ahead, I have come to the realization the next two articles (November and December) will fulfill my obligation for writing as the Community Lay Director (CLD). In thinking about the time of year and the context of the months, I have decided for November to be thankful-centric and for December to be blessing-focused. This month acknowledging the abundance of things that I am grateful for and next month (December) counting my blessings seemed a viable way to close out the series of articles written over the course of this year.
Where to start in appreciating ones circumstances and life?
There was a time I might have started with material things or with other tangible possessions. However, I am thankful (as the scriptures above remind me) that thanks and glory belong to God and Christ Jesus. I truly am ever so thankful to have rekindled a strengthened faith in Jesus Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life.
I am thankful that the Holy Spirit has been with me each step of the way this year to facilitate and support our National Capital Area Emmaus Community. It was a year where I benefited greatly, because, there was spiritual growth within me and I was able to take action and display my faith openly during the course of the year. I learned this year that there are great spiritual dividends in investing time in thinking about articles, thinking about community prayers, approaching needs, and supporting events associated with our weekends. Earnest efforts and preparation are appreciated and individuals throughout the year have warmed my heart and humbled me by communicating thanks (verbally and through others forms of communication) because they were touched by something I did!?!
I am thankful that talents and gifts that I have were compatible and complementary to the demands and obligations required this year. Even when there were challenges or awkward issues, the Holy Spirit guided me, kept my mind open to other’s opinions, and allowed me to keep a balanced approach across the Community needs and priorities.
I am ever so thankful for the power of prayer. There will be indelible and treasured marks on my heart, mind, and soul about the warmth and response to prayer that occurred this year involving “Baby Lucy”. To witness the unifying efforts undertaken and the answered prayers was amazing!
I am thankful for medical technology and the gifts that God’s places in medical personnel to be instruments of healing in the world today. I am thankful for: more than a dozen medical procedures that have helped my wellbeing and lifestyle over the years; the three times that allowed recovery from mortally threatening episodes; and, the numerous medications that keeps my current afflictions under control.
Thanks are in order for my family. There is my wonderfully supportive wife who remains instrumental in my re-discovery of faith. There is immediate and blended family which gives new meaning to the word ‘family’ as a circle of love, caring, and pride that spans generations no matter what -- because they are family!
I am thankful for the Brothers and Sisters in this community whether we are in large or small gatherings. As an only child, growing up often alone, and on my own since I was 15-years old; the interest, warmth, and consideration shown by fellow like-minded Christians remain a special bonus for being a part of this Emmaus Community.
I would be remiss if I did not thank and appreciate the members of the Board who served in 2014. It is easy to forget that these are voluntary positions and we all have to find balance across our families, local church obligations, work, school, and other demands to find time to address board and community topics. As I have learned, by being engaged in local church leadership, committees are not the most efficient form for decisions and actions. However, board members have shown interest and dedicated support for what was accomplished and considered during the year amidst their dynamic lives.
May we all be truly thankful for what we have and where we are in our faith walks as beloved children of God. May a spiritual fullness be realized when we recognize, appreciate, and utilize our gifts in Christ’s name. May our lives be fortified by the Holy Spirit, allowing us to experience thankfulness in Christ’s teachings throughout our lives.
Community Lay Director
"But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 59:16 NIV)
Fall is a beautiful time in the Emmaus community as we hear the community blessed with new pilgrims and but-terflies singing morning, midday, and evening at several events. May we continue to sing of his love in our daily lives, always keeping a song in our heart just as the scripture states. This music expresses the joy or cry of our hearts and brings peace as we call on His name and praise our great God. Thank you, Jesus, for music, for what it means to this community and your kingdom and our personal lives.
Let's all joyfully sing "Glorious Day", "Open Up the Heavens", "Hello, My Name Is Child of the One True King", "Rock of Ages". Prepare our hearts for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. The men of E-171 will be leading the November Ultreya. Let us know which songs you'd like to hear at December Ultreya - email@example.com
Sincere love & tunes,
Our 2015 Weekends!!
E-172 ~ Mar. 12-15 - Kathy Woodley
All weekends will be held at the Meadowkirk Retreat Center in Middleburg, Virginia
The cooler weather has arrived and we find ourselves beginning to think about Thanksgiving and Advent. It’s a good time of the year.
As we come to Thanksgiving, I hope we are remembering all the things for which we are truly grateful. We have been blessed in so many ways. Sure, we have had some major events in our lives. However, there are many little things that have made a difference and brightened our day — and they count, too! These things can range from a new job, to a new spouse, to a new baby, to joining the church, to somebody sharing a smile or a hug with you that just makes your day, to appreciating the beauty that is all around us. Sometimes, it’s just the smile upon greeting an old friend — and we are again blessed. We need to remember lovedones and give God thanks for how they have touched our lives. We also need to be thankful to God for the gift of Jesus. What better gift could we receive than the gift of salvation ecause we chose to say “Yes!” to God?
We need to remember our NCA Emmaus family. Through God’s love we have een a le to less one another, to grace each other’s lives, to help one another stay on track on our fourth day. What a gift! What a blessing! As this is my last article for the Journal before I rotate off the Board, please allow me to say “THANK YOU!!!” for the privilege of serving you and you lessing me. NCA Emmaus is too good to keep to ourselves — let’s keep inviting and seeking creative ways to sponsor pilgrims. They need you to bless them, too.
Henri Nouwen wrote “…when I look ack over the last 30 years of my life, I can say that, for me, the person of Jesus has come to be more and more important. What matters increasingly is getting to know Jesus and living in solidarity with him… It became clearer to me that my personal relationship with Jesus is the heart of my existence.”
A Prayer for Thanksgiving
Most giving and generous God, we gather around a table this day to thank you for the bounty you have provided for our lives. We thank you, not only for the wonderful feast we are able to enjoy, but also for family and friends, for a great nation and a caring church, for good, beauty, joy, life, love, and faith.
We ask that you grant us the faith we need when times are challenging and the way seems so difficult. We thank you that you never abandon us, that you are always with us. We pray for healing and wholeness to come to our lives, to our families, to those we hold dear, to our nation, and to all those faces we do not see or know, but fully realize that they, too, are your beloved children. Bless our Emmaus family, that we will be bold in our inviting and faithful to our Lord and to our churches.
Gracious Lord, we thank you for Jesus, our Savior and teacher, for all the Saints of the faith who have taught us, for commerce and hospitals and education, and we thank you for the diversity of our country which makes life interesting, and for the values and hopes that bind us together.
O God, we thank you for one another. We thank you for the music and poetry of life. We thank you for the meal we will enjoy and for those who labored to prepare it for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings and love and De Colores,
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
If a knife is blunt, it still continues to be a knife, although it is less effective, less useful in service. There is mutual benefit in the rubbing of two iron blades together; the edges become sharper, making the knives more efficient in their task to cut and slice. Likewise, the Word of God is a “dou le-edged sword” He rews 4 2), and it is with this that we are to sharpen one another.
The Chrysalis butterflies need the guidance and mentor-ship of mature Christians – like the mature Christians in the Emmaus community. When these butterflies return from the mountain they are full of the Holy Spirit – but it is often months before they get the chance to be a team member and they need guidance and mentorship during that time. They need to be groomed to become an effective team member. Remember, the Chrysalis model is that the youth run the weekend – the adults are merely there for guidance and advice.
Preparing one of God’s children to be an effective team member will not only sharpen their spiritual blade – it will also sharpen yours. The next Chrysalis weekend finishes on January 19th 2015 – look at the list of butterflies and identify one in your church – and then make the first step to mentor that butterfly in their spiritual walk.
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