offer young people of high school age a short course in the Christian way of life. Over the years, many UMC Monroe youth and adults have participated in the ministry of South Central Emmaus.
Those who come to an Emmaus weekend experience Christian community, and a time of reflection and insight into their own lives. There is uplifting music, a chance to meet and get to know new friends, opportunity to know oneself, others and God on a deeper level, and to share the joyful and loving relationship that is central to the Christian experience. There are talks about Christian faith followed by small group discussions shared by both adults and teen team members. The weekend, which runs from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, is held in a retreat setting. However, there is no fasting and very little solitude. There is discussion, fellowship, good food and much fun.
Generally, anyone enrolled in the 9th through 12th grade on the date of the weekend can be a candidate. A member of an Emmaus, Chrysalis, Tres Dias or similar community sponsors candidates, and applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis. The sponsor supports the candidate before, during and after the weekend, offering encouragement and taking care of any special needs. Candidates come from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. Some may attend worship services regularly, some occasionally, and some almost never. Candidates are encouraged to continue as active members of their own regular worship communities after the weekend. Nothing will be asked of candidates that in any way conflicts with Christian beliefs or Biblical teachings.
Two or three ordained clergy serve as spiritual directors for the weekend, but primary responsibility for leadership rests with the laity. Clergy and adult team members are from many Christian denominations.
What happens after the weekend?
After the retreat weekend we host frequent reunions where many in the community gather at First United Methodist Church of Shelton to meet old and new friends, to share in Christian fellowship, and to continue to support and encourage one another.
For more information about South Central Emmaus, please contact Patti Early or Bill Schmalkuche.