Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs

General Information

What is the basis for the Walk to Emmaus?

The Walk to Emmaus is a Christian spiritual retreat based of the Gospel of Luke. Particularly the story of the risen Christ appearing to the two who were going along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Luke 24:13-35 tells of two friends who were walking together, sharing their hearts' deepest concerns. The risen Christ joined them; however, his identity was withheld from them. Jesus then explained the scriptures as they walked, how it was ordained that Christ should suffer and so enter his glory. This experience on the road was a heart-warming experience as the risen Christ walked and talked with them. The illuminating climax of the experience was when Christ took bread and said the blessing, then broke it and gave it to them. The two had their eyes opened and they recognized him as the risen Christ, and they rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the others.

The above story provides the image for our Walk to Emmaus weekends, an Upper Room© program that calls forth and renews Christian discipleship. The Walk to Emmaus weekend is a three day experience which takes a New Testament look at Christianity as a lifestyle. It is a highly structured weekend designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christian people, through them their families, congregations, and the world in which they live. Emmaus is a combined effort of laity and clergy toward the renewal of the church.

What is going to happen at this weekend?

The "Walk to Emmaus" experience is a 72-hour experience. The weekend begins on Thursday evening and ends Sunday afternoon. At Emmaus you will live and study together in singing, prayer, worship, and discussion. Discussions center around fifteen talks given by laity and clergy. These talks present the theme of God's grace, and how the grace comes alive in the Christian community and expresses itself in the world. You'll discover how grace is real in your life, and how you can live the life of grace bringing grace to others. You will have the opportunity to understand more fully the presence of Christ in his body of believers. You will experience God's grace personally through the prayers and acts of service of a living support community. 

What happens after my Walk?

One of the primary strengths of Emmaus is the follow-up. Your weekend lasts only three days, but you are invited to build on it for the rest of your life. Those who attend a "Walk to Emmaus" are encouraged to do two things following their weekend:

1 . Expand their own spiritual lives through study and congregational participation.

2 . Become more active disciples of Christ in the world through their churches. 

To nurture this process of discipleship, the Emmaus movement offers specific opportunities. First, reunion groups meet frequently (typically weekly) to reflect on their quest for spiritual growth and encourage one another in their discipleship. Second, there will be meetings called "Community Gatherings." All the members of our Emmaus community are invited for fellowship, worship, and informal instruction. Third, through the "Emmaus Messenger," our monthly community newsletter, members become aware of support needs for upcoming Walks and there are opportunities to work during future weekends in a variety of ways.

What exactly are reunion groups?

Reunion groups are small accountability groups of roughly three to six people who have participated in the three-day Walk to Emmaus and who want to continue their pursuit of a life lived wholly in the grace of God. These small follow-up groups help pilgrims translate the message conveyed on the Walk to Emmaus weekend into a daily walk with Christ. 

Can you tell me more about these "Community Gatherings?"

Our Community Gatherings are events that we hold at least twice a year, typically following both sets of Walk to Emmaus weekends. At these gatherings, we have dinner, speak and reminisce about the experiences of the weekends, and fellowship. 

The Community Gatherings are the perfect place to welcome potential pilgrims so that they can get a firsthand look at what our weekends are all about and to help answer questions that they may have about the Walk to Emmaus.

What kind of information is in the "Emmaus Messenger" newsletter and how can I get it? 

The Emmaus Messenger is our monthly email newsletter that we send out to our community. This newsletter contains pertinent information about all the happenings in the community. Information such as when the next set of weekends will be held, upcoming events related to the Walk to Emmaus, and details about how members of the community can give back and serve in the future.

If you are a member of our community not receiving these emails, you can quickly and easily sign up for the Emmaus Messenger on the homepage of our website here.  If you are a potential or soon-to-be pilgrim, your email will be added to our email list promptly following your Walk to Emmaus Weekend. 

I want to give back and help out, what ways can I do that?

There are many ways to give back to our community after your Emmaus Walk. 

Volunteering your time is the most common way to give back in our community. You can serve on a weekend team and literally help to share the experience with others. You can also serve behind the scenes to help make sure that those weekends can happen the way they should, helping in the kitchen, playing music with our worship team, or even potentially sitting on the SEFE Board of Directors.

You can get more information on Volunteering in our community on our Volunteer page here.

While this may be the most common way to give back, not everyone has time to give. You can also give back to the community by making and/or donating supplies to the weekends. Even, if you feel so inclined, you can monetarily give back and donate to our community here or at any of our events.

How can I give this experience to other people I know and love?

Perhaps the most important thing to do after your weekend is to "pay it forward" and sponsor another to have a chance to experience the Walk to Emmaus. Any member of our community can sponsor future pilgrims to attend a weekend. 

What does sponsoring a candidate entail?

You are needed to share the responsibility of sponsoring a candidate. When sponsoring a candidate don't seek just any candidate - seek the best.  Here are a few suggestions for recruitment that should help in your responsible sharing in God's grace as a sponsor.

Pray. Pray that God would lead you to a potential candidate. Pray for God to prepare their heart as you speak to a potential candidate. Pray for God to give you the words to say to a potential candidate. Pray for your candidate before the weekend, during the weekend and after the weekend. 

See that agape is gathered and all questions regarding Emmaus are answered.

Take your candidate to send-off, help with their luggage, and share in any other activities.

Be there for Send-off on Thursday evening, Closing on Sunday afternoon, and throughout the weekend for your candidate. 

Help your candidate get into a reunion group as soon as possible.

For more information on sponsorship and what it entails, you can email us at or

I would love for my children to get to experience this, can they go on a Walk?

The Walk to Emmaus experience is aimed at inspiring, challenging, and equipping active adult church members for Christian action in their homes, churches, workplaces, and communities.  

However, we have similar experiences aimed at both high-school and middle-school age children, Chrysalis and Discovery respectively. 

What is Chrysalis?

Chrysalis is designed for high school youth ages 15 to 18. Chrysalis challenges them to grow not only in mind and body but also in spirit and faith. The Chrysalis weekend events, referred to as Flights, are offered separately for girls and boys to allow youth freedom to explore their relationship with God without worrying about how they may appear to the other gender. It provides an opportunity outside their local congregations or youth groups to grow in their faith alongside their peers. 

More information about Chrysalis can be found on our Chrysalis/Discovery page.

What is Discovery?

Discovery Weekend is a spiritual formation retreat for middle schoolers, including sixth through eighth grade and ages 11–14. This coeducational retreat provides an opportunity for middle schoolers to learn about and experience the love of God. High school students (usually ages 15–18) and adult volunteers lead the weekend. Discovery Weekend is intended to be holy and fun at the same time. The weekend experience creates an environment in which middle schoolers can better listen to God and be aware of God’s presence. 

More information about Chrysalis can be found on our Chrysalis/Discovery page.