I met with the Golden Isles Emmaus Community Board at their August meeting. It was a great refresher for me as it has been years since I attended a Board meeting. The Board was very receptive to my questions and concerns.
They are in the process of asking for Church Representatives from each member Church so that information can be communicated correctly through the Emmaus community within each Church.
Apparently, in the past, the Golden Isles Emmaus Community had a lengthy waiting list of applications, so as a Walk date was released, the application call went in order of applications received. If someone up front on the list could not attend that Walk for any reason, another invitation was sent to the next application in line.
Over the last few years, there has been no surplus of applications and people are now holding their applications to see if in fact there will be a Walk. Teams are formed and preparation for Walks is being done behind the scenes, but if enough pilgrims do not come forward via sponsors early enough, the Walk will be cancelled and the Team must form and begin again when a new date is selected.
The Board has to sign a covenant with the Upper Room saying that they will not have a Walk if there are not at least 20 men and 20 women in their respective Walks.
This made me remember how it worked in South Florida on the Walk that Charlie and I went on. When we were initially invited to be a Pilgrim, we were told that the process was one of prayer and God’s Timing and that we could not be guaranteed when we would be called, only that we would be called “in God’s Time”.
This Board is trying to return the process back to what it was always meant to be. They are correct in what they are trying to do. It has been so many years since my Walk (1993) that I really forgot all of the process which is prayerfully being called when your application comes up for the respective Walk. It always worked because people working were able to make arrangements at their work when they were called. I realize that might not be the case with our local military families, but in that case, their application would be held until the next Walk, and they would be asked again until they could attend.
Currently, there are 37 women pilgrims in waiting and 20 men. The Board feels very optimistic that the March Walks will take place, but they do need more applications for men to be turned in now.
The next Gathering is at First UMC in Brunswick on Friday, September 8th. The Board is going to discuss the above stated process at that Gathering to continue to clear up any misunderstandings.