Lay Director's Message
March 2024

It is hard to believe that it is already March! We got an early start on our Spring weekends this year and will be welcoming 24 amazing women into our community at our Ultreya on March 15th, at Old Bridge UMC in Woodbridge. E198 was full of God’s amazing love and grace. This community showed up in full force supporting the team with prayer, Palanca and popcorn! Well popcorn and a ton of other treats! I have yet to see a weekend that God did not show up and show off.  E193 will finally be arriving on the mountain April 4th-7th! They were set to team before Covid hit and the weekend ultimately ended up being postponed. I am certain I am not alone in the belief that God’s timing is perfect and this weekend is taking place exactly as HE had planned. They have 6 confirmed pilgrims, but need more. What can YOU do to help support E193: Sponsor a pilgrim! Deadline is March 20 for E193 Below is the link to the pilgrim application. Sign up for the Prayer Wheel Sign up for snacks/drinks Provide a Scholarship for a pilgrim. Show up for Mananita and Closing. Come out to the Ultreya and meet the team in March and pilgrims in April. We have had an influx of teaming applications and with that, messages from the community about when to expect to be called to team. Teaming is an amazing blessing we are offered to continue spreading God’s amazing love. As with all aspects of an Emmaus weekend it is all in God’s Time! Teams are selected by the Rector/Rectora along with the Cadre they have chosen to serve with. There are multiple factors that go into selecting a team. As much as possible a team will be made up of 1/3 Rookies (someone who has never teamed) 1/3 Experienced (1-3 teams) and 1/3 Veterans (4+ teams) Consideration is also given to how many people from a specific church are on a team, ability to commit and attend meetings, as well as a variety of factors the Cadre prayerfully considers. Ultimately a team is comprised of prayerfully selected people. Our Emmaus community is successful because of the many ways we all step up and let God use us as his hands and feet. Sometimes that means stepping out of our comfort zone and saying Yes Lord! There are many ways to participate and support our mission of inspiring, challenging, and equipping local church members for Christian action in their homes, churches and places of work. This may involve being on a team or it may be in another capacity. I encourage everyone to stay in prayer and open your hearts. Be willing to step outside of your box, we may feel a strong calling on what God wants from us, but sometimes he will take us down a different road to get there so we are exactly what HE needs us to be when we get there! I look forward to serving our community in 2024 as the Community Lay Director and hope that this will be a year of strengthening our community and relationships with each other in order to bring God’s Amazing Love to the front of the line! In HIS Love!

Lay Director's Message
October 2023

Another amazing Emmaus weekend – E-196 is in the books. Praise God! We are still in need of applications for pilgrims as well as team. The next women’s team is complete; however, we will need applications for the fall walk. The men need applications for the spring walk. I ask everyone to please pray about serving on a weekend. We want you! I feel like “Uncle Sam” saying we want you, but more importantly, Jesus needs you to be His hands and feet. Seriously pray about teaming and serving. Please submit an application.

We also need board members. This community is run by a volunteer board. It is a two year commitment. The board meets once every month. We need two (2) women and three (3) men and two (2) Spiritual Directors (SDs). One SD is for a one-year term and the other is for a two-year term. I have to say it has been an honor to serve on this awesome board.

Sponsoring a Pilgrim: have the pilgrim first go to the website click on “downloads;” click on “Pilgrim Application;” and fill it out or print it off and take it to the sponsor. As a sponsor, you can also print out the application and have a pilgrim fill it out and hand it back to you. The pilgrim needs to submit an application, download the document, complete all fields, save a copy to his/her PC and email a copy to the Sponsor. Your Sponsor submits form to “Pilgrim Application Coordinator” and you will be contacted when the next available weekend is Planned. Paper copies are no longer required; however, if necessary, they can be submitted from your Sponsor.

Please note, those of you who use PayPal. We are no longer using PayPal. It will be taken off the website. We are looking at less costly alternatives and will provide that information when it is available.

We continue to look at other venues that can offer the community our expectations for the weekends to keep our costs down. Costs keep rising and we are trying not to increase the weekend fees.

Our next Ultreya will be on Friday, October 20, 2023 at Annandale United Methodist Church in Annandale, VA. Food and fellowship begin at 6:30pm and worship begins at 7:30pm. We will be meeting the pilgrims of E-196, and introducing the team of E-197. I am excited to see all the new members of the Emmaus community and those who have not been able to attend an Ultreya. As a reminder, the Ultreya’s are held on the third Friday of the month.

We have several churches lined up for our 2024 Ultreyas, if your church would be interested in hosting, please reach out to our Ultreya Coordinator at  [email protected]. This is a great opportunity for your church to get people interested in attending Emmaus.

It is always a blessing to see the excitement, joy, and love the pilgrims have after an Emmaus weekend.

In His Grip,

September 2023

The summer months are getting behind us. Fall is on the way supposedly. Remember, God’s plan is always the best. I have no idea where I am being taken, I just hang on for the ride. Sometimes the process is painful and hard, but don’t forget when God is silent, He is doing something great for us.

Trust in Him; continue to do good deeds; work hard; and, leave everything in God’s hands.

I know many of you have been going through difficult times as our lives have changed after and during Covid. Hang in there and don’t be frustrated. Love others; treat others with respect always as you would want to be treated; and, walk humbly with God.

The board has been doing a lot of work getting the updated By-Laws ready to go out to the community. They will be added to the website after the September Ultreya which will be held at Bethel UMC on September 15 th . Potluck begins at 6:30pm with worship beginning at 7:30pm. If you have any questions or problems with the By-Laws update, please contact myself or one of the board members. We will vote on the By-Laws in total at the November business meeting before the Ultreya at Christ’s Church.

We are in need of 3 male and 2 female board members as well as 2 Spiritual Directors to be added to next years board. We will be voting on the nominations of these individuals at the November business meeting.

We need leadership. Too many times I see people team on a weekend and then drop away until another weekend. Now is not the time to drop away. Staying involved as an active board member may be a way of getting yourself to do that. I have to say being on the board has been challenging, but rewarding. God has pulled me and stretched me like taffy. I have grown spiritually in my walk with the Lord. I have learned to lean on Him.

Many Emmaus communities are fading in participation and attendance. Many are not holding weekends or are closing. We are blessed to have our second women’s weekend 28 September – 1 October and our second men’s weekend 2 – 5 November. The women serving on E-196 will be introduced at the upcoming Ultreya. We need your involvement to keep this community going strong. We need Pilgrim applications to attend weekends. The women (at last count) have 18 women who have said “yes.” The men currently have around 6 who have said “yes.”

Our community needs your support! God has a plan for all of us in growing the Kingdom. We need to work together as the Body of Christ. “Smile, Serve, and Shine” DeColores, 

In His Grip,
Dan Dietze
Community Lay Director

August 2023

 It has certainly been a busy season of joy, worship, praising, and giving thanks in all God does for each and every one of us. It should always be a busy season but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention health issues, disappointments, mourning, and depression.

The Board has revised the By-Laws for the NCA Emmaus. We needed to omit all references to the Upper Room National Emmaus and a few other adjustments. The By-Laws will be provided by email or within this message in September and will be voted upon at our community business meeting in November.

It is exciting to see weekends going well. There have been a few hurdles we had to jump to get going, but get going is what we did. First the women’s “4-Ever” weekend; then the men’s weekend; Chrysalis completed their weekend who will be introduced at the Ultreya on Friday,August 18; and the women of E-196 are half way through their teaming for the fall weekend and going strong. The team was presented with their assignments. The men will begin the teaming process in a couple of weeks. God is Good ALL the Time and ALL the Time, God is Good! PRAISE GOD!!!

We are looking for a few good men and women and a couple of Spiritual Directors for the Board. I only ask for you to pray about serving on the Board. It has definitely taken me out of my comfort zone, but I have to say, this community has an absolutely wonderful Board representation. I have grown to love each one for the person God created them to be with their gifts, strengths, and talents. I could not have asked God for a better group of people. They have served this community well. Well done good and faithful servants! Their time is not over until the end of the year; however, we need to start the process of new board members to serve a two year term.

If you have an email you would like in the NCA Emmaus Constant Contact, website or Facebook, please send the email to [email protected]. This info would be any events, reunion group information, deaths, etc. The information given will be quickly given to the community through Constant Contact.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Ultreya at FUPCDC (aka First United Presbyterian Church of Dale City) 14391 Minnieville Road, Dale City, VA. Pot Luck (bring a dish) starts at 6:30pm with worship at 7:30pm. Come enjoy the enthusiasm, joy, and love of the Butterflies!

In His Grip,
Dan Dietze
Community Lay Director

July 2023

I hope everyone is having a great summer so far. God puts us all through challenges; it may be medical issues, mourning the loss of loved ones, storms, not enough rain, accidents, and the list can go on. Through all these difficult situations, God is always with us and holding us up.

Emmaus and Chrysalis both seem to be “Getting better and better.” The Emmaus Board has been working on updating the bylaws especially with the references to The Upper Room Emmaus being removed. We will need to vote on the changes made at our annual Board Meeting in November for approval.

It is great to see Chrysalis getting a weekend together for August 3-6, 2023 at Hunting Ridge in Winchester, and the team will be introduced this month at the Ultreya at Springfield United Methodist Church. The Women, E-196, will begin teaming this month for their weekend held at the 4H Center September 28-October 1, 2023. The Men’s team will follow at the 4H Center on November 2-5, 2023.

We will be seeking new board members. I ask for you to pray about serving on the board. It has been very challenging for me, but very rewarding. I stepped out of the boat and I have not regretted it. We need you. If you are interested in serving on the board, please let Stephanie Williams, Rich Goad, or myself know. The meetings are usually held the first Monday of the month.

A song keeps going through my head – “Raise a Hallelujah.” As we come up through the ashes in the middle of the storm of life, we need to raise a Hallelujah to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus is always with us regardless of what life throws at us. These are the moments I seize the opportunity to learn and trust my Savior even more.

In His Grip
Community Lay Director

June 2023

This year has been an amazing year. We are on our way to our third and fourth Walk to Emmaus this year. It hasn’t been without hurdles, and small jumps, but with the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us, we have succeeded.

I want to thank those who have helped this community stay together throughout their tenure with the NCA Emmaus. The Barbier’s, who have been a constant in our community, volunteered many countless days volunteering to be the Community Shed Coordinator and Talk Folder Coordinator. They have now passed their baton to Gaylene Guest and Sheri Goad. The Carroll’s have also handled all the applications for Team and Pilgrims. Imagine the paperwork over their tenure. Yasmin Williams has agreed to take the baton from the Carrolls. There are many many others who have volunteered to help support outreach and palanca/agape. Without you all, we would not be where we are today.

Personally, I cannot thank everyone enough for their support and service. Well done, good and faithful servants!

I am reminded of Paul’s 2 nd letter to the Corinthians in his closing: “Finally, brothers and sisters, goodbye. Put things in order, respond to my encouragement, be in harmony with each other, and live in peace—and the God of love and peace will be with you. Say hello to each other with a holy kiss. All of God’s people say hello to you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:11-13.

Throughout the world, we see discord. There is very little harmony, love, and peace. Yet, these are the very things Paul is speaking about to each one of us today. As I stated earlier, we have had hurdles and small jumps to move in the direction the Holy Spirit is leading us. Satan loves to attack all of us, even in the Emmaus Community.

I have seen it. There are those who want total control of what is happening. There are those who don’t want to listen to others. There are those who think they know best and debate their point not necessarily in a positive way. There are those who are quick in letting others know you aren’t doing something right.

Paul says to “be in harmony with each other and live in peace.” We call ourselves Christian. What is a Christian to you? God gives us His grace and mercy and LOVE. God gives us the strength to endure. We need to be sharing God’s love not only on the weekend, but every day of our lives.

Please do not get me wrong. I love this community. I want more than anything in this Community to see it grow. I want the weekends full and a waiting list for Pilgrims. Times have changed, like climate change. But that isn’t stopping me from doing the Lord’s work. Yes, it has had its challenges; it has set my emotions on fire sometimes, but then I pray for the Lord to continue to guide the board and myself. The purpose of NCAE is to inspire, challenge, and equip local church members for Christian action in their homes, churches, and places of work. There is plenty to do for God’s Kingdom. Ask someone to attend an Emmaus weekend. Get involved. There is always work to be done. There is a list in this newsletter of all the Board positions and support positions. If you need to get in touch with someone, please look at the list. There are more opportunities to serve than teaming on weekends.

What happens after the weekend? After a weekend, everyone is encouraged to expand their own spiritual lives as they participate in their local churches and through the body of Christ. Specific ways to continue their Christian journey include:
-Supporting home churches
-Joining small accountability/reunion groups
-Attending monthly gatherings for fellowship and worship
-Sharing God’s love with the community
-Sponsoring a pilgrim to attend a weekend (do I need to say this twice?)
-Giving of time, talents and riches

As a community of Christians, we should live in harmony. We are all sinners. Please continue praying for our community and one another. We are all God’s children. Let there be love and peace and let it begin with me. 

In His Grip
Community Lay Director

May 2023

Emmaus Community, Well now the Men have had a weekend! As Travis Dodson would say! (Cover Your Ears!) Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!!

So now we have completed a women’s weekend and a men’s weekend to celebrate and a Chrysalis weekend to boot in January!!!

Now for the Great news as we have exciting weekends ahead for this fall. Teaming has started for our summer Chrysalis weekend C-105. This summer, teaming will begin for the women’s weekend of E-196, followed by the men of E-197. These are exciting times, and we are truly blessed to be here during these times! Everyone in our community is starting to come together again. We are family and we are back together to grow His Kingdom.

Support the Ultreya this Friday 19 May 2023: Pot Luck beginning at 6:30pm and the singing and worship to start at 7:30 PM at First United Presbyterian Church of Dale City and meet the new pilgrims of E-195.

The 4H Center has been a blessing to our Emmaus weekends. We all need to take time out every day to pray for others and give thanks to the Lord for our many Blessings.

Our board covets your prayers as we continue to go forward with our weekends this year. And we (the board) want to personally thank all of those who have brought food and drink to the weekends, signed up for the prayer wheel, colored placements, provided Palanca, Stations, worked the data base or website work, closing or other components of the weekend.

Thank You , Thank You, Thank You! No Team could do it without that support!!

God is Good All The Time and
All The Time God is Good!

In His Grip
Community Lay Director

April 2023

CHRIST IS RISEN!! ALLELUIA!! I have been reminded several times lately of the quote from John Wesley:

             “Do all the good you can,
               By all the means you can,
               In all the ways you can,
               In all the places you can,
              At all the times you can,
              To all the people you can,
              As long as ever you can.”

This is great advice for daily, Christian living.

We only have the time God has given us to do the work listed above. It really isn’t work if we love one another as we have been taught by Jesus.

It has been great seeing many of you at the Ultreyas, and other functions. We all need to come together. We are family! Recently, we quickly embraced the new pilgrims of E-194 and in May, we will embrace those of E-195. The community is growing but don’t let this growing make you think you don’t have to do anything. We need you! We need your joy to be seen and we need your help. There are plenty of things to do in preparation for weekends. We need your enthusiasm and joy at the Ultreyas. Please join us.

This is World Autism Awareness month. I have a nephew who is on the autism spectrum. He complains often how people treat him. Again, I refer to the quote from John Wesley. John Wesley is not referring to only a certain people, but to ALL. “DO ALL, BY ALL, IN ALL, AT ALL, TO ALL! We need to help ALL people reach their full potential.

These weekends are a testimony to God’s abundant and extravagant LOVE! It begins with you. We have Emmaus weekends, Chrysalis weekends, and Kairos weekends in progress. Do you want to get involved? YES? Fill out an application to team, or sponsor someone, or the many other areas where we need you - especially praying.

In His Grip,
Community Lay Director

March 2023

Hello Emmaus Community,

As we enter into the 40 days and nights of lent we know the devil will be testing us. I personally feel like I am being challenged in this job every day. This was one of God’s surprises. God is good all the time!

The past two months Chrysalis and the Emmaus Communities are moving forward for the future weekends with all the little things and not so little things that have to work together after our three year hiatus.

We had an awesome time at the February Ultreya with the introductions of the Women’s E-194(ever) team and the wonderful 4 th day talk given by Debbie McCluskey.

We have reservations for 2024/2025 at the 4H Community Center. As I was asking about the 2024 dates, I discovered many of the weekends were already booked. We were able to secure four dates. I asked about 2025, and to my surprise, many of those weekends were also reserved. I did not want to take any chances on not having a facility to hold our weekends, therefore, 2025 is also scheduled. People are ready and willing to get back to normal as much as normal will allow. I want to thank the Board for their help in securing these dates. Our Emmaus board is now back in full swing with in person meetings and tackling many issues.

We still had fees to keep the community together with shed rental expenses, insurances, etc. Our attendance is growing as well as our offering so these weekends can come together again. We are not “back to normal,” but we are on our way. We are still running at a deficit, but God is in control. I give God all the glory and praise for keeping us grounded in His love, faith, and determination.

I am excited that the youth started with an amazing Chrysalis weekend in January and are now planning for a summer weekend. In a couple of days the women’s team of E194(ever) with 27 pilgrims will be up on the Mountain top as God planned it! This women’s team has come from all over Virginia and also has a team member from Ohio. The men’s team of E195 is going strong and this weekend they will be making assignments and cleaning up after the women’s weekend. They, too, have men from all over Virginia and one from North Carolina on the team.

These weekends are powerful. We know this by the dedication of those on the teams and their families, and especially those willing to travel from great distances. We need lots of mens pilgrim applications as we only have approximately 20 currently in the data base.

Looking forward to seeing you at the March Ultreya at Bethel UMC in Woodbridge.
In His Grip!
Community Lay Director

February 2023

Hello Emmaus Community,

This new year has certainly proved to be a powerful and wonderful year and we are only in the first month getting ready to start February.

We had a Chrysalis weekend which proved “With God all things are possible!” (Matthew 19:26). They had nine bugs who were all excited when turning into butterflies. Those butterflies did “Give It to God!” which was their theme. It is always amazing to see the transformation taking place which only God can do. This community, as the Chrysalis banner showed, is indeed rising out of the ashes like the phoenix. C-104’s scripture was “Cast your cares to the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:2. Those kids are on fire for the Lord.

They showed their zeal at the Ultreya. We had over 90 people at the Ultreya. I look forward to those numbers growing as we continue to rise out of the ashes. It has been a difficult three years, but God sustained us. Raise a Hallelujah!

The women’s weekend E-194-ever is set to go March 2-5, 2023. Raise another Hallelujah! They are currently in the process of calling the pilgrims. Team is set; assignments made; talks given. They are excited to serve the Lord and meet the pilgrims. The theme for E-194 is: “Praise and Worship Him Always!” E-195 starts teaming on February 18, 2023. We are well on our way to have all our weekends this year as “Jesus answered , I am the way and the truth and the life.”

Our weekends will be held at the 4H Center in Front Royal. I had an excellent meeting with the Event Coordinator, who is as excited as we are to move onward and upward. Finding a place to hold our weekends can be difficult. We had to put down a deposit for each of the four weekends to hold the dates.

We are working at a deficit but we are relying on Christ just as we say when we begin to leave the mountain: “Christ is counting on you; I am counting on Christ.”


Dan Dietze

January 2023

Grace and Peace to my brothers and sisters in Christ. I am Dan Dietze; I attend Above and Beyond Ministries; I walked on E-47 and sat at the Table of Pure Hearts.

I have accepted the call upon my heart to be your new Community Lay Director for 2023. I want to thank all the CLDs before me especially those who have kept this community alive and together during this difficult time of Covid. I also want to thank the Emmaus Community for keeping the love of God foremost and centered during this time of suffering and sacrifice.

Where do we go from here? The tough work is ahead as we are preparing to go forth with our weekends:
E-194 to be held March 2-5, 2023 (Women);
E-195 to be held May 4-7, 2023 (Men);
E-196 to be held September 28 – October 1, 2023 (Women); and,
E-197 November 2-5, 2023 (Men).

I know these are tough times for everyone: spiritually, emotionally, and financially. We are to walk by faith; however, we need to also be cheerful givers – “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:7-8. I do not like asking for donations; however, over the last two years of Covid, we have continued to have all the fixed costs to operate our Emmaus community. Our Emmaus community, though no fault of our own, is currently operating at a deficit. We need to increase our donations during Ultreyas and Sponsor’s hour so we can continue to have the same quality weekend that you had. My wife, Gail, and I love this community and the weekends. This is why we came back to this community. Please consider giving generously with a cheerful heart.

We are always in need for Pilgrim applications. Please pray concerning sending anyone on an Emmaus weekend. There is more to being a sponsor than having someone fill out an application. The sponsor has responsibilities to support the person before, during, and after the weekend. The blessings are great for both the pilgrim and sponsor.

As 2023 begins, I see a lot of joy and hope for the future since we are beginning to open up our community to loving, serving, and bringing others to know Jesus in a powerful way. I enjoy the watching the sunrise in the morning as that gives me hope for the day. I see the sunrising for our community as we serve the Lord.

Chrysalis C-104 will be held this month, January 13-16. We, the Emmaus Community, need to support these “bugs” through our prayers and agape love (the Bug List is at the Bottom of this email).

If you have a desire to help in a support role, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or anyone on the board. The board is here to serve the community, and that is you. There is much to be done.

De Colores,
Dan Dietze
Community Lay Director