Pastor’s Corner – Feb. 19

In just two weeks, March 2 – 5, our church will become a beehive of activity as the team members from the Women’s Walk to Emmaus move in and set up what promises to be an amazing weekend of spiritual growth. The following weekend, March 9 – 12, the team members for the Men’s weekend will host a similar weekend, designed to foster spiritual reflection and community. For 30 years, St. Paul’s has provided a home for these amazing events that, every year, touch many people deeply.

So, just what is a ‘Walk to Emmaus’? You might remember the story from Luke’s gospel. After the death of Jesus, we are told that two disciples walk from Jerusalem to the small town of Emmaus. They talk about the events of the past days and their fears and concerns about what the future held. And, “while they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and walked with them.” (Luke 24:15) The story then relates how, in conversation with each other and with Jesus, they came to new understandings and new insights about their life and their call. It is one of the most hauntingly beautiful stories from the Bible.

Rooted in that story, the walk to Emmaus weekend is an experience of Christian spiritual renewal and formation. Through times of prayer, talks, great food and community experiences, participants have an opportunity to meet Jesus on their road of life in a new way as God’s grace and love are shared through other believers – clergy and lay alike. The weekend begins on Thursday evening and concludes on Sunday late afternoon. Following the three-day experience, participants have opportunities to join with others in small groups to support each other in their ongoing spiritual journey.

The overall objective of the Emmaus experience is to inspire, challenge, and equip the local church members for Christian action in their homes, churches, communities and places of work. Emmaus lifts up a way for our grace-filled lives to be lived and shared with others. If you have never participated in a Walk to Emmaus weekend and are interested in considering it this year, please call our office so we can put you in contact with the lay leadership of the weekend.

And, most of all, thanks people of St. Paul’s, for your warm welcome. You have always helped us make room for these important weekends, even though it is sometimes a bit inconvenient. This is one of the ways we make good on our mission of being ‘grounded in hospitality’ so we can help provide a place for people to ‘grow in faith, give in service and go in mission.’

Grace & Peace,
Marianne