answers

Somerset, KY

#62 Apr 28, 2011
been there done that, I've worked several walks and sponsored several people and I'm having a hard time figuring out what you are referring to on Saturday night. I've never heard of anyone being made to dress up during the weekend for any reason and it's definitely not in the guidelines that are supposed to be followed.
been there done that

Charlotte, NC

#63 Apr 29, 2011
"Dr. Monkeyface" the talks are great! You can contact the upper room and they should be able to tell you.
been there done that

Charlotte, NC

#64 Apr 29, 2011
"Answers" we wore pink and purple wings on our backs and a green head piece with ribbons and asked to sing our walk song for the community that was gathered there. I have since learned that that wasn't to happen and will find a community that does it correctly. I just hate it ruined my experience by embarrassing me.
been there done that

Greensboro, NC

#65 Apr 29, 2011
Dr Monkeyface wrote:
<quoted text>
Thank you, "Been there done that". I wish someone would just give us an agenda for the weekend, with a title for the topics of the talks, maybe an abstract, and also a true FAQ. If the meeting truly brings you closer to God, then full transparency and disclosure should not be a problem. However, if human subterfuge and secrecy are necessary in order to receive the full impact of the weekend, I seriously doubt that any message received is divine in origin.
You can also google "walk to emmaus talk schedule" and some of the emmaus communities have it posted
lighten up

Bel Air, MD

#66 May 13, 2011
If all of you that fear it is a cult, don't go! It's that simple. And, yes, I have been and believe it to be the best spiritual experience of my life. I have never felt as close to God as I did on that weekend. And those who have been and still believe that it is a "cult" have some sort of paranoia and reads way too much into the weekend and it's events. It is totally harmless. It's not like you are following Jim Jones with a vat of Kool-aid.....
Run From Emmaus

United States

#67 May 17, 2011
Dr Monkeyface wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree with you that it sounds cultish. However, why do I need to go to the retreat to find out the answer to this question? Why can't you just tell us?
I *did* tell you:

"I found the experience quite cultish. Before EVERY speaker you stand and sing the same song AND pray the same prayer - so think times 15 on that. By the 2nd day people commenced to putting their arms around each other and swaying to the music. Same thing for every meal: sing the same song before eating every meal (hugging and swaying) and sing after eating (hugging and swaying). It was quite cultish/wierd to me."

All the repetition of singing the same song/pray the same prayer - 15-18 hours/day of that to the point that people start spontaneously singing and swaying with their arms wraped around each other??? This is a form of brainwashing, not "a closer walk with God." They thrust emotionalism to a feverish pitch, thus "cultish". I saw 1) people getting fully sucked into the fever and 2) people getting more and more appauled, like me.

The demand for the Walk is only a few sessions a year at each "Emmaus Community". If the format/style was more general - like to the average person - then there would be a Walk every week-end.

It was not for me and a handful of people on my Walk. It is not for the majority of people of know. The "elite" connotation it has at churches is rediculous.

If you thrive on feverishly emotional events then this is for you. I hope you don't need much sleep and are OK with sitting in small groups 15 hours a day, broken up only by meals that are mandatory to attend and no time allowed to take a shower.
answers

Okolona, AR

#68 May 17, 2011
If the weekend tried to point you away from Christ and serving Him in your local church then I would agree that it is a cult.

As for having a walk every weekend, it could be done but would not be practical. It takes a lot of preparation spread out over a few months. And, it goes against what the goal of Emmaus is. To be an active member of a local body. You can't be active if you miss every Sunday to work a walk.

I hate that you had a bad experience with Emmaus. But, it's hard to argue with the fruits of the many people that I know that have been on the walk. That isn't to say you are bad or Emmaus is bad because you didn't get much out of the weekend. Emmaus just isn't a fit for you and that's ok. There are many other retreats and studies out there with the same goal in mind.
Dr Monkeyface

Richmond, VA

#69 May 17, 2011
The first rule of Walk to Emmaus is you don't talk about the Walk to Emmaus. The second rule is, DON'T TALK ABOUT WALK TO EMMAUS!
Jason B

Henniker, NH

#70 Jun 10, 2011
I will tell anyone here anything they want to know. Will send a schedule, tell you the things that people want to keep as a secret-surprise, and so on. I will not give any vague answers, and will keep telling you details until you want me to stop. I will post them here, if asked, or will respond in person. e-mail is Buckman98@hotmail.com
JBee

Henniker, NH

#71 Jun 10, 2011
There are issues with secrets in the Emmaus community. I think the intent is good, but some people are really bad about how they keep a secret. They can be annoying and make your defenses go up :( Not a good thing. Also, some people are very into the ritual (and the swaying, etc.), and that can just seem plain strange.
Spoiler alert - do not read if you do not want to know more ......
One of the biggest secrets of the weekend is a service where lots of people (sponsors, other people who have been through the walk (some of whom you may know), etc.) come together and serenade you by candlelight. That is it. A really nice service. Again, the secrecy this is veiled in makes it forbidden to talk about in some people's eyes, but people told me about it without my having gone on the walk. It is a really nice candlelight service, and I, for one, always anjoy a nice candlelight service.
JBee

Henniker, NH

#72 Jun 10, 2011
Dr Monkeyface wrote:
Again, I implore you: Will someone (preferably someone on the organizing end) please just tell me in a factual manner what actually goes on at an Emmaus walk? I would love to go through this thing if it is so darned enlightening, but I refuse to do so without the "Secrets" being revealed before I go. I promise, I will keep your secret. I just don't want to be brainwashed and want to be able to sit back and enjoy the experience without having my defenses up.
DR, please e-mail me. Buckman98@hotmail.com Some people who have been to the Emmaus walk used to tell me that "the secrets that are kept are like birthday presents - you would not want to know your presents, would you?". Well, some people to not like surprises. So, in the end, people who care about me told me everything I wanted to know. Again, I will tell you the hour-by-hour breakdown of events, the details on special services, etc. There are no paddlings, no blindfolks, etc. Just people trying to make am impact throught the element of surprise, and who sometimes do not understand that for some people that is a total turn-off!
ServantofGod

Pasadena, MD

#73 Jun 29, 2011
DR, I second many of the comments posted here. Emmaus is a wonderful ministry and many have been deeply blessed by their participation in a walk.

My major issue with it is a lack of strong leadership in the Upper Room has allowed a significant number of Emmaus Communities to blatantly disregard the fundamental tenants of the ministry. The two I see most disregarded, especially here in Maryland, is to not act special (above other believers or servants in the church) upon returning from the walk, and to not act as if Emmaus is a secret society. As an example of the later, Emmaus Gatherings are supposed to be open to those who have attended and those who are interested in learning more about Emmaus. The monthly Gatherings in our region are specifically listed on the web as being open ONLY to those who have completed a walk, and there's the equivalent of a bouncer at the church door to ensure only those who have been on a walk enter. That's just wrong and sends the wrong message!

the Upper Room needs to keep a closer watch on the local communities and hold those who don't live up to their agreements (with the Upper Room to use the Emmaus materials) highly accountable.
concerned

Munising, MI

#74 Jun 29, 2011
ServantofGod wrote:
DR, I second many of the comments posted here. Emmaus is a wonderful ministry and many have been deeply blessed by their participation in a walk.
My major issue with it is a lack of strong leadership in the Upper Room has allowed a significant number of Emmaus Communities to blatantly disregard the fundamental tenants of the ministry. The two I see most disregarded, especially here in Maryland, is to not act special (above other believers or servants in the church) upon returning from the walk, and to not act as if Emmaus is a secret society. As an example of the later, Emmaus Gatherings are supposed to be open to those who have attended and those who are interested in learning more about Emmaus. The monthly Gatherings in our region are specifically listed on the web as being open ONLY to those who have completed a walk, and there's the equivalent of a bouncer at the church door to ensure only those who have been on a walk enter. That's just wrong and sends the wrong message!
the Upper Room needs to keep a closer watch on the local communities and hold those who don't live up to their agreements (with the Upper Room to use the Emmaus materials) highly accountable.
Dear Servant, I love the idea of the open gatherings to learn more. That would have alleviated all of my concerns.
Help

London, KY

#75 Jun 29, 2011
i hate to say this but this sounds like the masons, the moonies, or some cult type thing you people are scaring me
ServantofGod

Pasadena, MD

#76 Jun 30, 2011
Help,
The more I meditate on this, the more I believe the Walk itself is a great thing. It's simply a few over zealous individuals that have gone over the top with the secrecy and, in some cases, creation of an air of "specialness."

I'd still recommend attending a weekend, as long as it's run by one of the communities that do it right.
JBee

Henniker, NH

#77 Jun 30, 2011
ServentofGod, I agree with you about the Gatherings. Some people with whom I am close have tried to get that changes in the two churches I attend, but no luck yet.

I have challenged some Emmaus persons on another issue. There are crosses and lanyards that are given at the end of the walk, and for some people these items become a prideful, status-related thing they get to wear at "special times". I have always believed that people, as the song says, should "know they are Christians by our love", and I think that wearing exclusive items at any time is an issue. Christ's first disciples did not wear any identifying items, so why should Emmaus participants! I went to an Emmaus gathering once as a "non-alumni" and was thinking of accepting an invitation to go in. But, having everyone wearing their crosses make me immediately feel like an outsider. I dropped off the people I had driven there and did not go in.

The challenge I presented was this..... have gatherings, invite everyone, and do not wear the "exclusive" cross. Make everyone feel the same. No barriers! Or, give everyone a cross - what an act of love!! There are rules about not wearing the cross during the weekend (so that those who have not gotten them yet will not feel like an "outsider"), so it is clear that Th eUpper ROom knows the crosses can make people feel excluded. I say - be open and welcoming, not exclusive!
concerned

Munising, MI

#78 Jun 30, 2011
JBee, I noticed too the pride and air of superiority that folks have when they wear the special crosses. When I asked one woman how her walk went, she was snooty in answering, "You'll just have to go and see for yourself." And she walked away! I'm still feeling hurt and snubbed by that. So sad to make others feel unwelcome and less than worthy.
JBee

Henniker, NH

#79 Jun 30, 2011
Concerned, sorry to hear that happened. The hard think about is that the weekend (and time right after) involves lots of structured emotionalism, lots of "feeling special" things, and some secrets and "exclusive things" - crosses, passwords to special areas of websites, etc. Some people can put these things in perspective, but some people let these things go to their heads.

Part of the blame is with the Upper Room. The strategies they use are very effective with mostpeople, but they carry a risk of what we have all experienced. And, as Servant mentioned, there is not always good monitoring and direction of post-weekend behavior.

BTW, if you want more info about the walk, let me know. I can e-mail you full schedules, links to leader manuals, info about the "more secret" things, etc. I am committed to being a "secret buster" if people want to know more. Time for the "secret society" thing to end!
Eagle Eyes

Kosciusko, MS

#80 Jul 24, 2011
I attended a recent Walk to Emmaus (July 7-10). I've had 2 weeks to fully digest the methods used. While it may have been a great spiritual awakening for some, I left with only suspicions. I saw nothing that would be a cause for the great secrecy that the "Walk" is shrouded in.
.
the lack of a phone or a watch, the control of your daily activities...all smack of brainwashing used by our CIA & the Russian KGB. there was an attempt to break you down to be more receptive to the "stories" told by all the clergy & others. the secrecy is just a ploy to make one be curious & to attend.
.
"if the Walk is so great, why is it such a secret ? why are preachers not urging their flock to attend one of these Walks ? why are the non-initiated not allowed to see what goes on. secrets are what is wrong with our government; our world. this organization should come out into the light !
JBee

Henniker, NH

#81 Aug 1, 2011
Eagle Eyes, I have asked some of the same questions that you have. I know that some parts of the walk (Candlelight, for instance) are such that some people would not want to know all about it before - but the basic layout of the weekend is not terribly unique. No reason I see for giving participants a basic layout, even it there were not times listed on it. The whole "don't anticipate" thing would, I think be helped if there was a little more information given out, in my opinion.

I do agree that the tactics of no watches and no phones are interesting choices. There certainly is a feeling that people are supposed to be made to feel a bit cut-off and disoriented - leading up to the intended spiritual "lift" of Candlelight. These are certainly manipulative tactics, but it would be hard to find many people in leadership who would admit that.

I think that the secrecy exists, in great part, due to the Emmaus culture. That was was "done" to them, so they will now "do" it to others. Very much like hazing in some ways, though most cases of hazing are much more harmful. And, much like a fraternity, bringing up change among Emmaus folks is usually met with great resistance. One would think that change would be part of any group around for this long, but there is slavish adherance to rules and tradition.

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