The Upper Room on Inclusiveness
The International Emmaus office was approached on various occasions by local Emmaus Community leaders seeking guidance on the participation of individuals in the Emmaus Ministries, as pilgrims or as team members.
The Emmaus office welcomes the participation of all persons.
In regards to pilgrims, the Walk to Emmaus and Chrysalis, as ministries of The Upper Room of The United Methodist Church, invite interdenominational, interracial, intergenerational and international participation, and foster a spirit of Christian unity. Their aim is to help people turn their attention away from self and towards God.
We all come to these events remembering that we are sinners saved by grace, bearing in mind that God’s grace is always extended and, believing that every person has sacred worth in God’s sight.
Consequently, the weekend should be an environment of unconditional love in which persons can gradually lower their defenses and allow God’s grace to impact their lives. It should provide an atmosphere of hospitality and acceptance that facilitates the rediscovery of self in relationship with God and, a free and honest response to the Gospel of grace.
As stated in the Emmaus/Chrysalis guidelines, intentional and purposeful sponsorship of people who demonstrate the character of Christ, as disciples and leaders in their home church and the church universal assures this principle. Thus, in all cases, a sponsor's choice of a candidate should be trusted.
However, if during the course of the weekend a pilgrim chooses to distract the group, then the Weekend Lay Director, Weekend Spiritual Director and the Board Representative have the responsibility to provide guidance or, when necessary, gracefully ask that person to leave the group.
In relation to team members, we are mindful of the fact that the Emmaus ministries are for teaching, nurturing, and supporting the development of Fourth Day leaders who embody Christ.
Team members should work together to accomplish the unique goal of the Emmaus and Chrysalis ministries which is to call attention to Christ and to our common Christian affirmations. A team member who chooses to introduce independent agendas into these weekends misunderstands and abuses their teaching role.
In order to ensure that this objective is met, team selection should be carried out prayerfully and, in compliance with The Upper Room Handbook specifications. In all cases, the Team Selection Committee should be trusted to do its best and, if a choice is questionable, it has the responsibility to make changes.