The Walk to Emmaus
is a program offering of The Upper Room. In
the truest sense of the word, it is a spiritual renewal movement because it is
dependent upon each generation of participants to pass their enthusiasm onto the
The origins of the
Walk to Emmaus were greatly influenced by the Roman Catholic Cursillo Movement.
The Cursillo began in the Roman Catholic monastery of San Honorato on the island
of Majorca, Spain, in 1949 out of a desire by same to find spiritual renewal.
The first Cursillo
weekend held in the United States was in Waco, Texas in 1957.
Two Spanish airmen, who were in this country for flight training and a
priest from Spain were responsible for putting on this first American Cursillo.
The Upper Room’s first two model weekends of the Walk to Emmaus were
held in Peoria, Illinois, in April and May of 1977.
In 198l, by mutual
agreement between the Roman Catholic Cursillo and The Upper Room, the Emmaus
Movement was given its name. Thus,
The Upper Room Emmaus ecumenical movement began its mission of equipping church
leaders with a vital piety.
In the fall of 1984,
the Walk to Emmaus was taken to Australia; thus it became an international
The first weekend (TWE#1)
was conducted June 1988 at Virginia Wesleyan College on a day when the
temperature outside exceeded 100 F and the temperature in the talk room was over
120 F. The audience at TWE#1
candlelight service consisted of families of the Team who held two candles to
make it look like a crowd.
Tidewater 2 was
conducted in July 1988 at Virginia Wesleyan College.
The first day of
Deeper Understanding was conducted at Foundry United Methodist Church in August
1983. Later that fall, the first
Board of Directors were elected. By
1989, Bylaws were written by the Board and approved by the community.
TW3 and 4 were held at Virginia Wesleyan College in June and July 1989
respectively. Tidewater Emmaus was
still working with Richmond and was receiving a lot of help from Northern
In the fall of 1989,
it was decided to offer four weekends per year and Tidewater’s association
with Airfield 4-H Center near Wakefield Virginia began with walks TW5 and 6. One Pilgrim from TW6, Doris Baker, remembers “the community was extremely small.
There were only 25 people at Mananitas and there was no place for
candlelight so it was held between the barns at Wakefield.
There was a ditch between the barns and the community was on one side of
the ditch and the team and the Pilgrims on the other side!”
We know the God was
with us when we were planning and doing TWE.
We believed that God has used TWE to make a difference not only in
Tidewater area but also on the Eastern Shore, Richmond, North Carolina,
Southside and Lynchburg.
held its 10th Anniversary Praise Celebration in September 1998 at
Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Pictures of that joyous celebration can be found on this web site.
By the end of the year 2003, Tidewater Emmaus will have held 65 walks.
Each year, we hold two walks in the spring and two in the fall.
Men and women participate on separate walks.
The area covered by
the Tidewater Emmaus community includes much of the Hampton Roads area,
including the cities of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and
Suffolk. Over the years, as our
community grew, many of our members were instrumental in helping other
communities get started-Eastern Shore, Albemarle, Richmond, Southside, and
Peninsula, all of which are strong thriving communities.
Albemarle has also branched out and started the Pamlico Emmaus community.
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