What is Emmaus?

Hong Kong Walk to Emmaus – History

Walk to Emmaus was brought to Hong Kong in 1996, to both English-speaking and Cantonese-speaking churches.  A team from the USA came to launch Walks 1 and 2.  Hong Kong has been blessed with a community dedicated and committed to help others recognize Jesus in their Christian walk.

The story of Emmaus

While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and walked with them. -Luke 24:15

The Gospel of St. Luke relates the story of the risen Christ appearing to two who were going along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Two friends were walking together sharing their hearts deepest concerns. The risen Christ joined them and explained the scriptures as they walked, how it was ordained that Christ should suffer and so enter his glory. This experience on the road was a heart-warming experience as the risen Christ walked and talked with them. The illuminating climax of the experience was when Christ took bread and said the blessing, then broke it and gave it to them. The two had their eyes opened and they recognized him as the risen Christ and they rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the others (Luke 24: 13-35).

The above story provides the image of Emmaus, an Upper Room program that calls forth and renews Christian discipleship. Like its predecessor, Cursillo de Christiandad (Spanish for “short course in Christianity”), the Walk to Emmaus is a three-day experience, which takes a New Testament look at Christianity as a lifestyle. It is a highly structured experience designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christian people, and through them their families, congregations, and the world in which they live. Emmaus is a combined effort of laity and clergy toward the renewal of the church.

What happens at Emmaus?

At Emmaus you will spend three busy but very enjoyable days, usually at a retreat centre. You will live and study together in singing, prayer, worship, and discussion. Discussion centres around fifteen talks given by laity and clergy. These talks present the theme of God’s grace, and how that grace comes alive in the Christian community and expresses itself in the world. You’ll also discover how grace is real in your life, and how you can live in the life of grace, bringing grace to others. You will have the opportunity to participate in the daily celebration of Holy Communion and to begin to understand more fully the presence of Christ in his body of believers. You will experience God’s grace personally through the prayers and acts of service of a living support community.

What happens after Emmaus?

One of the primary strengths of Emmaus is in the follow-up. Your walk lasts only three days, but you are invited to build on it for the rest of your life. Those who attend a “Walk to Emmaus” are encouraged to do two things following their walk:
1. Expand their own spiritual lives through study and congregational participation.
2. Become more active disciples of Christ in the world through their churches.

History of Emmaus

Originating in Spain in the late 1940’s, the Cursillo Movement (short for “Cursillo de Cristianidad” meaning “little course in Christianity”) moved to America in the late 1950’s. It was primarily a Roman Catholic movement until the 1970’s. As Catholic centers started accepting applications from Protestants, efforts began among some groups to make the Cursillo experience available to all Protestants. In the late 1970’s, The Upper Room (a unit of the Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church) formed the Upper Room Cursillo Community in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1981, by mutual agreement between the National Secretariat of the Roman Catholic Cursillo movement and The Upper Room, the name of the Nashville Protestant community was changed to Emmaus. The Emmaus movement is ecumenical.