The Parish of Saint Matthew: The Episcopal Church of Pacific Palisades

Emmaus Small GroupsEmmaus Small Groups

What is an Emmaus Group?

Emmaus Small GroupsEmmaus groups usually have 4-12 members who meet once a week for an hour and a half. Group Leaders are not teachers, they are parishioners who receive group facilitation training designed specifically for Emmaus. These meetings aren’t “bible study” and they don’t exist just for fellowship.

Emmaus groups are built on four “pillars”:

1. Mutual care and support:
Emmaus groups are to safe places to share who one really is...what one’s struggle with faith is.... how God has been present. Group members can become very important spiritual friends, most people who join an Emmaus group treasure the relationships they form.

2. Prayer and Worship:
Groups organize informal worship liturgies and pray at every meeting. They pray because they know their lives will be more fulfilled by prayerfully connecting in partnership with God. Each group decides on how it will worship together.

3. Biblical reflection:
It is through reflective study that we really grow in faith and in our spiritual formation. Emmaus groups use a unique method called “Biblical Equipping”, which enables a group to read a spiritual book or book of the Bible in such a way that both the content and direct application to one’s own personal life are intentionally addressed. The content of a group’s study comes alive in new and meaningful ways.

4. Ministry:
Group ministry projects galvanize the sense of community, as well as the sense that Christian followers are Christ’s partners in the bringing about of God’s reign of justice, peace, and wholeness on earth. Instead of a regular meeting one week, a group may choose to do a service project together--be it an AIDS lunch, cooking and serving for our ministry at St. Joseph’s Center, working on a Habitat House, for example. A group may commit to bring in new members as its mission; or the group may choose to start a new ministry out in the community; or pledge to support an existing ministry either inside or outside St. Matthew’s. The idea is that Christian disciples reach out to bring Christ to the world.




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