What is TRWE all about? TRWE stands for the Three Rivers Walk to Emmaus. We are an ecumenical Christian group affiliated with the Walk to Emmaus®, which is part of the Upper Room, an organization of the United Methodist Church. We sponsor and support a special form of retreat, called a Walk, that follows a model established by the Upper Room that is based on the Catholic Cursillio. TRWE is run by an elected board of lay and clergy persons.
So what does Cursillio mean? Cursillio means "Short Course" in Spanish. The Cursillio movement was started in the early 1950s in Spain, as a means of spiritual renewal for men in the Catholic church.
What is the purpose of these Walks? The purpose of Emmaus is to strengthen the local church through spiritual renewal of its members. Although we have a number of on-going activities that are necessary to support our Walks, and we encourage each person to participate in these, we emphasize that the top priority for each person is their local church community.
What happens on a Walk to Emmaus®? Our Walks begin on Thursday evening with snacks and a "Get Acquainted" session. This is followed by a short overview presentation and a brief chapel service. Over the next three days, there are fifteen prepared talks by lay and clergy persons, followed by group discussions. Throughout the day, we do a lot of singing, have daily worship and communion, and experience a few surprises. Each Walk is covered by a 24-hour daily prayer vigil. Our walks are serious, but we also have a lot of fun, and the food is great!
When and where are these Walks held? Presently, we schedule four Walks each year. Men and women go on separate Walks a week or two apart; one set is held in the spring and the other set is held in the fall sometime around the first of November. We hold our Walks at various camps and retreat centers near Pittsburgh. Currently TRWE are holding their Walks at the Family Resource Center in Cranberry Township, PA.
How does someone arrange to attend a Walk? Individuals must have a sponsor, so it is necessary to make contact with someone who has been on a previous Walk or is otherwise associated with TRWE. A sponsor is responsible for supporting you and looking out for your family while you are on a Walk. Some prior arrangements must be made for you by your sponsor, who is to stay in touch with your family while you are away. Our walks are "cloistered." This means that we want participants to focus on what is happening during the Walk, so we minimize communication with the outside world during the three days. Your sponsor makes sure that you or your family are aware of any unusual circumstances that require communication. If you are not approached by someone who wishes to sponsor you and would like to have a sponsor, just send us an Email to our Community Lay Director at CLD@TRWE.org
What does it cost to go on a Walk? Our Walks cost about $195 per person, but it depends to some extent on where a particular Walk is held. You get quite a lot for your money on an Emmaus Walk. However, we do not want cost to be a deterrence to your attendance. Confidential scholarships are readily available. Your sponsor can arrange for this.
Who leads these Walks? Each Walk is highly structured, follows a well-defined model, and is led by a team of individuals, both laity and clergy, and directed by a Lay Director and a Spiritual Director who work closely together. The team consists of individuals who have been on one or more previous Walks and are given detailed training for each Walk.
What other activities are involved? TRWE holds monthly worship and fellowship sessions called "Gatherings," and weekly brief accountability group meetings. Our Board meets monthly, and annually we hold an Education day plus Team Training sessions. Participation in these events is strictly voluntary. Emmaus community members help support each Walk, may also serve on teams, and can be elected to serve on the Emmaus Board. Individuals who can not be actively involved are urged to pray for Emmaus community members and leaders.
Where are these events held? At the present time, our monthly Gatherings are held at Dutihl UMC in Cranberry Township, north of Pittsburgh. Each quarter four seperate regional gatherings are held. Our training meetings are often held at Ingomar UMC, but can be held in any suitable location. Weekly accountability groups meet in locations chosen by their members, in someone's home or a convenient public location, such as a local restaurant or a church facility.