We’ve been to the Mountain – and we’re heading back! I would like to express the community’s gratitude to WV#147 Tim Duhan WLD, WV#148 Carrie Hanscom WLD, the team members, and their families in their dedication, sacrifices, and work for these weekends. It was my pleasure to welcome the newest community members and to introduce Bill Orndoff as the WLD for WV#149, which will be held April 20-23, 2023. All teaming applications will be purged at the end of September. If you desire to team in 2023, I suggest you send in a fresh application.

The next women’s weekend will be October 13-16. Please join in the setup at 6 PM Wednesday, October 12th at Mar Lu Ridge, Send Off 6:30 PM Thursday, Candles 7:30 PM Saturday at the Mar Lu Ridge Chapel, and Closing Sunday – arrive at 4:30 PM. Just follow the events on our calendar.

During the teaming for WV#147, we had to make some decisions regarding the impacts of COVD-19 and safe attendance of the team members. We drafted a policy to help guide in decisions and where to find consistent definitions on when it is appropriate to participate. We had four (WV#147)  and one (WV#148) team members impacted by COVID-19, and the teams were made aware of circumstances of each case.

Recently a community email was sent regarding Pilgrims – how we should seek them out and begin sponsorship all year long. Then when they are ready to attend, how all applications should go to the Community Registrar. One just needs to follow the instructions on the Pilgrim application forms (Parts A and B). Submission needs to be timely as many volunteers use their time to perform functions to verify information, populate datasets, and place the applications in the appropriate location. We must be respectful of these volunteer’s time and the service they supply. Therefore, we have a cutoff date for submission. My hope is that through our outreach and education efforts, the cutoff date will preface the first team meeting. This will take a cultural change, but all for the better so there are longer sponsorship relations and mentoring over the months before our events. Having said that, all applications are welcomed and desired at any time.

Please keep in mind that the Board of Directors elections will be taking place at the November Gathering. The process will be announced beforehand, but you will need to be present to vote. We will be putting in place efforts to look at many aspects of our 4th Day Community and our Weekend Events. We can certainly use the help and further require the community to pitch in to move us forward while staying on our primary mission – Jesus takes precedence over all!

Please join me in providing agape and notes of support to the team and Pilgrim during our upcoming event. Please sign up for the Prayer Vigils.

I look forward to seeing you at the Gatherings and weekend events! 

DeColores and Blessings,

Steve Gray
Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia Emmaus Community Lay Director.