(Read carefully before sponsoring a Pilgrim)
To my Sisters and Brothers in Christ
Do you remember that in the Body of Christ talk the speaker tells us that the goal of Emmaus, since its beginning, is to raise up Christian leaders and renew the Church as the Body of Christ in action. Please think and pray about that before you choose to sponsor someone on a Walk. The book on Sponsorship says, “Sponsorship is one of the most important aspects of the Walk to Emmaus and must be taken seriously. Sponsorship requires extensive prayer, diligent thought, careful planning and follow-through. The strength of Emmaus is a direct result of its sponsorship practices.” Emmaus is not meant to be a fix-it or fix-all. Emmaus is not for everyone.
Be sure to read the sponsorship information in your 4th Day Packet. When you do sponsor someone, explain everything he or she needs to know. Keep in contact with them as much can happen in a person’s life in a few months. If the timing for the Walk is no longer appropriate, remember God is in charge and he will set the proper time for your Pilgrim to attend a Walk.
Be sure to help the Pilgrim with his or her application, following all the directions for you, them, and their clergy. Besides being one of the most important jobs in Emmaus, sponsorship can also be a hard job. You must be prepared to attend to their family for the entire weekend as necessary.
Sponsorship responsibilities also include:
- Delivering your Pilgrim to the Walk site and staying until they leave with the Walk Lay Director
- Attending Sponsor’s Hour and praying for your Pilgrim.
- Attending Candlelight
- Attending Closing
- Transporting your Pilgrim home after the Walk
And, you are not done! Take them to Gatherings as well as get them involved in a Reunion Group. If there isn’t a Reunion Group in your area, start one! This is one of the real powers of Emmaus and the 4th Day.
If you are unable to do all of this, reconsider being a sponsor, or, consider a co-sponsor. Sponsorship is a serious spiritual responsibility, and each Pilgrim deserves a full-time, committed sponsor working on God’s behalf.
And lastly, bask in the spiritual joy that comes from sponsoring someone on a Walk – a gift of Christian action to them and to our risen Lord.
(The foregoing was adapted for our Community from an article by Judi Kenyon, 2004 Houston North Emmaus Community Lay Director)