Community Building Through Sponsorship
An example of good sponsorship is most apparent in the way that a pilgrim
is led by his/her sponsor to approach the Fourth Day…as they are encouraged to participate in the Gatherings, reunion groups. perhaps even to serve on a Walk and become a sponsor. Such was the sponsorship of Pilgrims for the 2016 Walk to Emmaus weekends.
Many who were “pilgrims” on Walks 13 and 14 have attended Gatherings,
joining in as community members to eat, fellowship, and worship together…
many have also joined existing reunion groups, as well as helped to form new ones…
and many have already signed up to serve on the next Walks. The Fourth Day activities of new members help to build the Community and help to ensure success in future Walks.
“Success” on the Walk to Emmaus begins and ends with appropriate sponsorship. Though team selection, training and community participation are essential components of a Walk To Emmaus weekend, they have meaning only as they relate to the experience of the pilgrims.
The sponsorship process begins when a sponsor prayerfully asks God to lay on his/her heart the name of someone who might be interested in attending,
then thoughtfully talks with that person to explain the Walk To Emmaus and answer questions.
Potential pilgrims should be encouraged, but not feel forced, to consider attending the Walk. Once they have said, “Yes” to the experience, sponsors stay in close touch as they walk with them through the process of application submission and making plans for themselves and their families for the Walk weekend.
The weekend is a benchmark, a point on the timeline of our Christian walks.
What makes Emmaus different from most “retreats” is that it keeps on going.
It designs a pathway for us to follow to become more Christ-like, and to encourage us on the journey.
The example of good sponsorship is most apparent in the way that a pilgrim
is led by his/her sponsor to approach the Fourth Day…as they are encouraged to participate in the Gatherings, reunion groups…perhaps even to serve on a Walk and become a sponsor.
Sponsorship does not end, but continues when a sponsor passes on to his/her pilgrim the baton of giving the gift of Emmaus. It is never too early to begin to pray for God to nudge us towards potential pilgrims, and to begin to plant seeds of interest in their hearts and minds.
De Colores. Flo Douglas, Lay Director, Walk #14