What is the process for making a reservation?
Reservation forms are available online at www.austinemmaus.org\forms-forms-forms. The first page may be completed online, then printed out for signatures. The first page is signed by the attendee (pilgrim), as well as their pastor. The form is then given to the sponsor to complete the second page. Both pages, along with the course fee, are sent to the registrar, listed at the bottom of the form. The registrar will contact each pilgrim and sponsor via e-mail with additional information.
Do I need a sponsor?
Each pilgrim will need a sponsor, someone who has already attended a Walk. If the pilgrim doesn’t know someone who has attended a walk, they should contact the registrar or one of the board members listed on the website to request a sponsor.
Do I need to believe in God or have a strong faith in order to attend?
Although pilgrims don’t need to already have a strong faith to attend, the Walk is for Christians who have a desire to grow in their spiritual lives or who may have unanswered questions about their faith. Many pilgrims find a deepening of their faith, some note it to be ‘life-changing’, from their Walk experience.
Do I need to be a member of a church in order to attend?
The Walk is for members of any Christian denomination who are members of, or regularly attend, a local church. Since a pastor’s signature is required to register for a Walk, the pastor should know the pilgrim well enough to recommend them.
Do I have to stay the whole weekend?
Pilgrims should plan to attend the entire Walk weekend, from Thursday evening to late afternoon on Sunday. If a pilgrim doesn’t feel they can devote the time to stay for the entire weekend, the Walk should be postponed.
Can I drive myself to the Walk?
One of the roles of the sponsor is to care for their pilgrim before, during and after the Walk. This includes driving them to the Walk on Thursday and back home on Sunday. A car will not be necessary while attending the Walk.
Can men and women attend the same Walk?
Separate Walks are held for men and women, although the curriculum is the same for both.
How much ‘walking’ will I be doing?
The Walk to Emmaus is based on the scripture in Luke 24, where two disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus when they encountered Jesus, yet did not recognize Him. The walking done over the weekend is a journey of faith, not a physical journey. There is no ‘walking’ scheduled, although pilgrims may choose to take a walk during break time.
Will I be able to attend if I have mobility restrictions?
There are no physical requirements or abilities that one must have in order to attend a Walk. In fact, pilgrims with limited mobility are welcome and can be easily accommodated during the weekend.
Will they be able to accommodate my special dietary needs?
There will be opportunity on the registration form to indicate dietary restrictions/preferences. The facility is able to modify some recipes or menu items to accommodate most dietary restrictions.
What is the schedule during the day?
In addition to daily worship and reflection time, there are 15 talks presented throughout the weekend, on a variety of Christian topics. Pilgrims will have an opportunity to discuss and reflect on what they heard. In between these, there will be plenty of food, music and fun.
Are there quiet, personal times for reflection?
There is a little downtime each day, where pilgrims may spend time reading, journaling, walking, resting or enjoying the company of others.
Should I bring a Bible?
A Bible is not needed in the conference room or during worship, but pilgrims might want to read during quiet, reflective times.
What clothes should I pack?
This weekend will be a relaxed time, and it’s important to be comfortable. Therefore, casual, comfortable clothing is the norm; a jacket or sweater is suggested for cooler weather or for a conference room that gets too cold. Closed-toed shoes should be worn when walking the grounds.
What other items should I bring?
An umbrella/rain jacket, bed linens, pillow, towel, toiletries, medicines, glasses (a complete list of items will be distributed before the weekend). No need to bring extra food or snacks, an alarm clock or even your watch. We’ll help pilgrims get up in the morning, and to the meetings and worship on time. And pilgrims should leave their cell phones at home, so as to focus solely on the weekend and their time with God.
Will someone be able to reach me, in case of an emergency?
There will be a cell phone number provided ahead of the Walk to all families and sponsors, so that pilgrims can be contacted in case of an emergency. This number is monitored 24 hours a day.
What are the sleeping arrangements like?
The current facility being used for Walks, Eagles Wings Retreat Center, is set up in a bunk house style, with multiple beds in one room. Although bunk beds are set up in each room, room assignments are made so that no pilgrims are sleeping on top bunks. That bed is typically used for storage of luggage and personal items. The restrooms are large enough to accommodate the number of pilgrims assigned to each room.
What are the facilities like?
The indoor facilities consist of a large conference room, attached dining area/kitchen and separate chapel. There are hiking trails and sitting areas throughout the grounds.
If I am not able to afford the Walk fee, is there any kind of scholarship program?
There are partial scholarships available to those who cannot afford the full course fee. Many home churches have scholarship funds available for Emmaus pilgrims, and it is suggested that pilgrims seek assistance from their home churches first. If there are no funds available, then an application may be downloaded from the Forms page, completed and returned to the Emmaus board for approval.