The Walk to Emmaus was established to develop Christian leadership in the local church and discipleship in the world around us. It encourages a closer relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. The weekend is for adults over the age of 18. There is a weekend designed for youth called Chrysalis.
The weekend itself is a 72 hour experience beginning Thursday evening through Sunday
evening. Fifteen talks are given by clergy and lay speakers. Participants study, discuss,
and experience God's grace and how that grace comes alive in the Christian community.
Read the Upper Room's more detailed description here.
The Walk to Emmaus is based on the story of two disciples walking along the road
between Jerusalem and the village of Emmaus shortly after Christ's resurrection. As the
two were discussing the events of the past few days, the risen Christ joined them. But
they were kept from recognizing him. He explained that the Christ must suffer before
receiving his glory. Later he joined the two for supper. As he blessed and broke the
bread, the eyes of the disciples were opened and they recognized this stranger as the
risen Christ. But then he disappeared from their sight. They immediately returned to
Jerusalem to spread the word that Christ had indeed risen.
This story is the background for the Walk to Emmaus weekend. Just as Christ appeared to
the disciples and explained the Scriptures to them, pilgrims on their walk learn,
strengthen, and renew the faith of Christian people. This is done in an atmosphere of
love, friendship, and prayer.
The Walk to Emmaus program began in the US in 1977 and is overseen internationally by The Upper Room in Nashville, TN. Its format comes from church renewal, called Cursillo de Christiandad or "short course in Christianity," begun in 1949 in Spain. Millions of persons the world over have made a Cursillo weekend. Click here for the original story of how Cursillo de Christiandad got started.
There are similar programs: Cursillo, Tres Dias, Via de Cristo, DeColores Ministries, or Kairos (prison ministries). Also, related weekends are held in many areas for youth and college-aged folks under such names as Chrysalis, Happenings, Rainbow, Vida Nueva, Epiphany (youth prison ministry), and others.
You might be interested in hearing what others have said about their weekend experience. Read the testimonies of several people who have been on one of these weekends.
If you decide you are interested in attending an Emmaus weekend, you will first need to find a sponsor. Anyone who has attended a weekend described above (Emmaus, Chrysalis, Cursillo, etc.) can sponsor you. Your sponsor should be someone who knows you well. Sponsorship is an important duty, and not one to be taken lightly. They will work with you to guide you through the application process, answer any questions you have, and envelop you in prayer before, during, and after your weekend. Central Carolinas Emmaus Community is a body of believers who stand ready to help you in your faith journey.