maren pic emmaus road

iCLT News I Wonder . . . the Emmaus Road

June 1, 2023
by Maren Tyedmers Hange
Minister of Spiritual Formation and Soulcare

I Wonder . . the Emmaus Road

“Stay with us. And Jesus stayed with them…” Luke 24:29

With these words we left the Emmaus Road story that framed the Winter Delegate Assembly. We took with us the broken pieces in the form of clay shards. I wonder how Jesus has stayed with you in the past few weeks as you prayerfully held your clay shard and pondered how Jesus invites you to participate in the work before us.

  • How is the Spirit nudging you?
  • How has Jesus stayed with you?
  • What is emerging?

I wonder if the dejected disciples on the Emmaus Rd walked with their eyes downcast as they were left without hope. Did Jesus’ coming alongside begin to lift their eyes? Did it begin to show possibilities in their fog? I wonder if this was a beginning of a knowing that didn’t have words or heart yet but caused them to urge Jesus strongly to stay with them.

One of the images I have worked with recently is the covid pandemic as an earthquake with ongoing aftershocks, the misconduct process as a tornado that swept through the conference and the MC USA resolution as a hurricane that continues to swirl. No wonder we are anxious and tired. We also realize that our foundation has not received the care it needed to withstand these disasters in our midst. We hurt deeply in a variety of ways depending on where we locate ourselves. Those in the direct path of each of the storms hurt more deeply than those 100 miles away. Yet, we are all affected by the brokenness.

On Friday, February 24, the interim conference leadership team (iCLT) gathered for an all-day meeting to lift our eyes and begin to see possibilities as we reflected and prayed together. In the Gilleam report we have a document that provides a common reference point. It shows us who we are – divided, anxious and focused on our differences – and who we could become – focused on a common mission and vision. It lists eight areas to work on. The Emmaus Road journey showed who the disciples were and who they could be. By the power of Jesus hope emerges.

On Saturday, February 25, about 12 youth leaders gathered over brunch to share the challenges we were facing, and what has worked well. As we broke bread with one another, we tossed around ideas on how the conference could equip as well as offer events. A small idea here, a thought there, a touch of creativity in one place, a structure at another…we were no longer alone in the challenge of youth ministry. We began to lift our eyes, to feel some hope, the beginnings of a dream. Disciples on the road with Jesus.

I wonder if the times we break bread with one another will help us recognize Jesus with burning hearts as we continue to listen and find hope.

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