What is a pilgrim?
The formal definition of a pilgrim is “person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons.” You are on a spiritual journey when you attend a Walk to Emmaus.
How do I sign up for a Walk?
This Pilgrim Registration form needs to be printed and filled out. The first page is signed by the pilgrim and his or her pastor and the second page is filled out by the sponsor. Both pages, along with the reservation fee, are mailed to the registrar, whose address is listed on the bottom of the form. The registrar will contact the pilgrim and sponsor via email with additional information and instructions.
Do I, as a pilgrim, need a sponsor?
Yes, each pilgrim needs a sponsor–someone who has already attended a Walk. If you as a pilgrim don’t know someone to sponsor you, contact the registrar or one of the Board members to request a sponsor.
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. If you are in between churches, please contact the registrar or one of the Board members.
Do I, as a pilgrim, have to stay the whole weekend?
Yes, plan to stay the entire time, from Thursday evening through Sunday late afternoon. If you don’t feel you can devote the time to stay for the entire time, we ask that you postpone attending a Walk until your schedule permits.
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, staying for Sendoff, and taking them back home on Sunday after Closing.
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 but did not recognize Him. The walking done over the weekend is a journey of faith, not a physical one.
Can I attend if I have mobility restrictions?
There are no physical requirements or abilities that one must have to attend a Walk. In fact, pilgrims with limited mobility are welcome and accommodations be easily be made. Please contact the registrar with any concerns.
Will the facility be able to accommodate special dietary needs?
Yes. Please include dietary restrictions/preferences on the registration form. The facility is able to modify some recipes or menu items to accommodate most dietary restrictions.
What is the schedule like during the day?
In addition to daily worship and reflection time, there are 15 talks presented throughout the weekend, on a variety of topics (such as priorities, discipleship, study, Christian action, grace and perseverance). 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.
Should I bring a bible?
It isn’t needed in the conference room or during worship, but you might want to read it during quiet, reflective times.
What clothes should I pack?
The weekend will be a relaxed time, and it’s important to be comfortable. Casual comfortable clothing is the norm. Bring a jacket or sweater in case the conference room gets too cold.
What other items should I bring?
For hot weather, please consider bringing a fan. An umbrella/rain jacket, twin bed linens, pillow, towel, toiletries, medicines, glasses (a complete list of items will be distributed before the weekend). No need to bring food or snacks (there will be plenty), an alarm clock or even your watch. We’ll help you get up in the morning and to the meetings and worship on time. And you might also consider leaving your cell phone at home, so as to focus solely on the weekend and their time away.
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 emergency contacts and sponsors for this reason. This number is monitored 24 hours a day.
What are the sleeping arrangements like?
The Omega Center in Boerne being used for Walks, is set up in a dorm style with private sections for each pilgrim. There is storage available in each room for storage of luggage and personal items.
If I need help with the registration fee, is there any type of scholarship program?
There are partial scholarships available to those who cannot afford the entire Walk fee. Many home churches have scholarship funds available for Emmaus pilgrims, and it is suggested that pilgrims seek assistance from their home churches first, or check with your sponsor, who may be able to put you in touch. If there are no funds available, you can submit a Pilgrim Scholarship Request form.
What is “GSPC Diakonia Emmaus”?
It is the name of our specific Emmaus community. GSPC references Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, within which our community is a mission. Please note, though: our community, as well as the Walk to Emmaus, is ecumenical in nature, which means that it is not restricted to a single Christian denomination. We welcome all Christians seeking to grow in their spiritual life as well as their leadership service to the church. “Diakonia” means “service”, which is something we do and give in Christian love.