NASHVILLE, Tenn. August 31, 2020 / The Upper Room / Emmaus Ministries will hold its first ever international virtual Gathering on Saturday, September 19, at 8:00 a.m. CDT (1:00 p.m. GMT). All community members and their guests are invited to attend. The virtual Gathering will be free.
Because of the global pandemic, most communities have not been able to gather in person for their regular Gatherings, which serve a vital role in community fellowship and encouragement for the Fourth Day journey. Holding an international virtual Gathering will provide the opportunity for all communities worldwide to come together for much needed spiritual support and fellowship. The theme of the event is Emmaus Ministries: Making a World of Difference.
Rev. Stéphane Brooks, International Spiritual Director of Emmaus Ministries, says, “in this season of social distancing and isolation, the international Gathering offers an opportunity to lift our heads, gaze at the horizon, and begin visioning anew. We look forward to it with great expectation.”
The online Gathering will follow the same format of a physical Gathering but with an international flare. The singing and prayers will be led by international communities. Donna Highley (North Indiana Emmaus Community, Walk #100, Table of Esther) will give the Fourth Day witness talk. Rev. Rubén Rivera Martinez, who served as the first Spiritual Director for the 2019 Argentinian walk, will give the clergy response. The Gathering will end with a love feast.
Associate Director Hess B. “Doc” Hall, Jr. anticipates “this Gathering will give everyone the opportunity to see the grace, joy, and power of Jesus Christ in Fourth Day-influenced lives from around the world. It will remind us all that we are making a world of difference as we live out our mission to ‘Renew Christian Disciples and Strengthen Local Churches.’”
The online Gathering will also launch the Emmaus Ministries: Making a World of Difference funding campaign to support the program, which receives its operational income from community fees and donations. This campaign will highlight the impact that Emmaus Ministries has been making in lives and churches around the globe for more than 40 years and will seek to raise $100,000 in 100 days for the day-to-day operations of this ministry.
In tandem is a 100-day prayer vigil in support of the campaign and for wisdom and discernment for Emmaus Ministries during the interim of not being able to hold in-person weekend retreats.
Persons who are interested in attending the historic online gathering can register here.
Since 1978, 1.4 million people have experienced the 72-hour Walk to Emmaus retreat ran by over 272 Emmaus communities active in the U.S. and 74 Emmaus communities outside the U.S., active in 28 countries on six continents and in 12 languages. Thousands of others have had life-changing experiences through Emmaus Ministries’ Chrysalis and Face to Face programs.
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The Upper Room is a global ministry dedicated to supporting the spiritual formation of Christians seeking to know and experience God more fully. From its beginnings as a daily devotional guide, The Upper Room has grown to include publications, programs, prayer support, and other resources to help believers of all ages and denominations move to a deeper level of faith and service. The Upper Room is a part of Discipleship Ministries. Visit UpperRoom.org to learn more.
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I could not have found The Upper Room Moments of Prayer (on Facebook Live) sooner. For it is during these moments of centering spiritual practices, meditating on the words of scripture, praying with and for the world, that I find moments of transcendence, hear whispers of peace and hope, see glimpses of truth and justice, behold visions of love and beauty amid all the stark realities that are around me.”