St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Emmaus Groups

What are Emmaus Groups?Weekly Bible Study guides | Covenant Period dates | Joining an Emmaus group 

Other small groups at St. Stephen's

In his book Social Animal, New York Times columnist David Brooks notes, "Research over the last thirty years makes it clear that what the inner mind really want is connection. ... Joining a group that meets just once a month produces the same increases in happiness as doubling your income."

Fr. Karl Rahner, SJ, said, "The mind’s deepest need is not for answers but for communion."

Describing his experience participating in an Emmaus Group, one parishioner wrote:
 
The Holy Spirit is always present. Sometimes we recognize this. The final 20 minutes or so of our Emmaus Group last night took us beyond ourselves. Transfiguration occurs within. I want to express my gratitude {to St. Stephen's Church} for opening this opportunity to become what we are. This parish is filled with the Grace of God. Blessings.
 
As smart phones and information overload demand our attention, it’s essential to listen to one another and set aside time to be open to God while reflecting deeply on God’s presence and activity in our lives. We need the support, the joy, and the accountability that come from being part of a group of Christians who know and pray for us, companions who will be with us through the changes and chances of our lives. St. Stephen’s regularly provides such opportunities in our Emmaus groups, small groups devoted to personal spiritual reflection and mutual support and listening.
 
Emmaus Groups are not just another "program" offered by St. Stephen's. They are the foundation of our life as a parish. The name “Emmaus” comes from the well-known story from the Gospel of Luke about the disciples who encountered the resurrected Jesus on the road to Emmaus. They have a deep, spiritual conversation with each other and with Jesus as they travel together, but it is only when they reach their destination and break bread together that they fully recognize Jesus.
 
Emmaus Groups are built on four "pillars."
 
+ Spiritual Reflection
+ Mutual Care and Support
+ Prayer
+ Service
 
Some Emmaus Groups focus on a study of the Gospel assigned for the coming Sunday (the lectionary). Others focus on such topics as dreams, women’s spirituality, or specific books.
 
You may participate in an Emmaus group for one or more of the three covenant periods, as your schedule permits.
 
Weekly Bible Study; Preparing for Sunday: Leaders of Emmaus Group who are studying the lectionary can find weekly discussion guides from this site. Other groups and individuals are also welcome to use these outlines for their own lectionary-based Bible studies. These guides are provided during the weeks that Emmaus Groups are meeting (covenant periods). These guides resume publication when the next Covenant Period begins.
 
Covenant Periods are the three 10-week periods during which groups meet. You may participate in one or more covenant period with the same group, try different groups in each covenant period, or participate in just one or two covenant periods. 
 
Covenant Periods for 2013-2014
Fall Covenant Period: week of September 23 through week of December 2, 2013
Winter Covenant Period: week of January 13 through week of March 10, 2014
Spring Covenant period: week of March 24 through week of May 26, 2014
 
 
Please contact Gene LeCouteur to discuss forming or joining an Emmaus Group.