When you host a Gathering in your own locality, you enable many who cannot make longer trips across the region to be refreshed through the Emmaus Experience. The goal is to put an Emmaus Gathering in everyone's backyard at least once a year!
Local Hosted Gatherings Our community spans a large geographic area making it a long trip for some to attend Gatherings. In an effort to make it easy for everyone to reconnect at least once a year we have initiated Locally Hosted Gatherings for most months. Following each set of Walks, the First & Follow-up Gathering will be held in Harrisonburg, usually Asbury UMC which is central to our geographic area. In the summer we have our community picnic at Overlook which is also central. The other months we hope to jump around all over the region reuniting with our fellow pilgrims (now members in the journey). We all benefit from reminders of faith that Emmaus powerfully lifts up.
Goal of a Local Hosted Gathering : 1. To gather and connect all the local folk who have experienced Emmaus, celebrate God’s love through fellowship, praise and worship. A personal testimony (Fourth Day Speaker) is part of that. 2. To encourage spreading the word and grace of Christ through Sponsorship to the Walks. 3. To inform and inspire people to serve as leaders for Emmaus 4. To encourage the strategies of faithful living illuminated by Emmaus Life of Piety (Spiritual Disciplines) Growth Through Study Christian Action 5. To potentially spawn Mini-Gatherings, Small Accountability Groups, etc. in the local area
Organize a Local Hosted Gathering: Getting Started 1. Consult with local Emmaus Folk in your area to recruit help and determine the best days and times to offer your Local Hosted Gathering. 2. Organize a leadership team with people to cover the following roles. Your team may be larger but should not be smaller. See below. 3. Contact Shenandoah Valley Emmaus’s Assistant Community Lay Director, to request being put on the schedule We like to move to different regions from month to month rather successive Gatherings in the same region’ Your dates and times should be what work best for most of the people in your locality. The rest of us will try to adjust!
Planning your Local Hosted Gathering Local Hosted Gatherings will have a local planning/leadership committee with at least the following leaders: - Gathering Director (over all coordinator) - Music Director - Spiritual Director - Refreshment Director - Child Care Volunteers (2) - 4th Day Speaker (10 minute sharing/witness how God is moving in their life. - You may add others as needed
Creativity and Flexibility Local Hosted Gatherings are free to incorporate different timing, days, themes, and agendas for their Gathering. This will allow creativity and some freshness for the entire community’s experience. You will need to protect a 10-15 minute segment for the Board to share should it be necessary. (Coordinate with the ACLD.) Turn your Gathering into a Fiesta or New Year’s Celebration. Preliminary to or following the Gathering you might welcome people for a simple meal (reservations in advance.) You might organize a Summer Celebration or your own off the air Game Show. Fools/Clowns for Christ? We hope you will let your imagination run wild. One strong message from our recent Gathering survey is that Gatherings should be Light, Fun and Meaningful. Of course, as with most Emmaus functions, sharing with Christ at the table with leadership by our local SD will be significant.
Resources Local Hosted Gatherings are permitted to receive an offering and use proceeds to help cover costs for the Gathering. It might help cover things like Pizza Party, BBQ supper, and other ideas. If serving a meal in connection with a Gathering you should request reservations for the meal. (Concept should be approved by ACLD in advance and the Board can help you with publicity and reservation sign-up.) Remaining offering funds would be deposited with the Emmaus Treasurer.
Request the best dates and set the best times for people in your area! Sample Gathering Schedule - (Our 2020 schedule- note how it moves around) Jan Verona South Feb Lacey Spring Central March Woodstock North (Friday 6:13 pm) April late Walks- no gathering May Asbury mid month -A central site June Culpeper East July open for you to plan August Picnic - A central site Overlook September Petersburg WV West October (early walks) Asbury -A central site Nov/Dec. Meetings at Asbury will remain on Saturday mornings from 10am to noon. You may choose a week night or other times for your Local Hosted Gathering. Just be sure it is the best for people in your area!
We anticipate all dates will be filled by Dec. 1st, so do not delay talking with folks in your area and getting on the schedule with the Assistant Community Lay Director.