Greetings community,

Wow, yet another blessed weekend! God showed up and showed off once again! I thank Dee Barnett for saying yes to leading WV#154. Both pilgrims and the team had a worshipful, enjoyable time on the mountain. And thank you to the community who attended once again. We were so grateful to have seventy-five in attendance for the Candlelight Service and one hundred and fifteen for the Closing! And the men’s candlelight, I recall hearing one hundred and thirty-five! Wow, that is impressive! The community showed up for each event, Sendoff, Candlelight Service, and Closing, and I thank you for attending these events the past two months to show your support to the team and the pilgrims!

We will have a 4th Day Workshop at 4 pm before our next gathering on June 8th, which will be held at Thurmont UMC in Thurmont, MD. Details are on our website calendar at https://westvirginiaemmaus.org/events/.  This workshop is not only for the newest community members who just completed their walk on the spring weekends and wish to prepare for teaming or sponsoring but also for anyone who might not have had training in some time. Sitting in and listening to this valuable information is ok if you have not taken the training in several years. Even though it is typically one-and-done, it is good to have a refresher.  Come out and join us!

As we enter the Summer season, the need to form new teams for the fall is pressing. If you have completed your 4th Day Workshop, now is the perfect time to step up and submit those applications. The men’s team in particular need applications as they will start this month with their Leadership meeting. Your participation is not only meaningful; it is crucial. As you count on Christ, Christ is counting on you – and so are the teams. Every team you join is a blessing, a chance to meet new people and learn from them, and they might learn from you. Your contribution is invaluable, and we are excited to welcome back those in our community who have been away for some time. To all our community, our active involvement is what keeps us strong and vibrant.

Remember, we need not only team applications but also pilgrim applications. We can’t hold the weekends without either of them.  Applications are accepted year-round, and yes, this year, we are continuing our Early Bird $25 discount for pilgrim applications if you have the complete pilgrim application with a sponsor form and full payment before the deadline, which is two months before the weekend.  This allows ample time for all behind-the-scenes processing and preparing for your pilgrim on your side and ours.  Your continued involvement is what keeps our community thriving. Take a moment to pray for the person God has put on your mind to sponsor. Consider having coffee or lunch with them and their spouse to explain the walk. Bless someone as you have been blessed on your weekend. Plant the seed, but please do not overwater it; give them time to decide.

Seeing the new Reunion Groups start in the past few months has been exciting. Are you part of one yet? If not, I highly recommend joining or starting one in your area. Joining an accountability/reunion group is not just another group; it is a way to make lifelong friendships and strengthen your connection with the community and God. You can find the listing on our website, with the contacts for each group. Call the contacts and let them know you are interested in attending if the upcoming place is not listed. If you want guidance on starting a group, please email reunion@westvirginiaemmaus.org and our Reunion Group Chair will contact you. Do not miss this opportunity to deepen your involvement in the community.

Be on the lookout for information on Worship in the Park as we have been invited to support the July 28th 6 PM event, and our community picnic August 17th. Both are at War Memorial Park in Martinsburg.

Blessings,

Cindy Rauch

Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia Emmaus Community Lay Director