#3: Conversations can look more like art.There’s plenty of research data out there that says people with smart phones are distracted. And there’s plenty of people in ministry who ask what to do about that. Don’t do anything. In the three tests so far, I’ve heard people specifically ask us to put away our phones only 4 times in a cumulative 7 days of experience. I’ve seen people on their phones during a conversation only twice. The Emmaus ministries that Journey to the Table comes from have a long tradition of asking people to intentionally disconnect from the outside world and be focused on the experience in front of them. So far, the people that have participated in Journey to the Table have been so engaged with one another that we haven’t needed to ask. I’ve seen conversations that include phones at times, but also include sketch pads, sound effects, notes, colorful drawings, and knitting. In all of those cases, the people in the conversation have said that what they remember most are the other people at the table. As I read all of that research data, I think this is what a relationship-focused generation looks like: conversations as art.
#1 Smarties are better than poker chips or pennies.How are we supposed to balance our lives when there are so many different things that need our attention? Balancing does not mean we give everything equal attention, but instead that we give the adequate amount of attention to the things that need it, and the things that keep us growing. It also helps if you consider how you balance your life using a sweet treat. Even if you feel like your life is unbalanced, you still get to enjoy the candy. Smarties or not, we take time in Journey to the Table to look at all the different parts of our life, and see how we’re doing in the balancing act.
#2 Self-care is a must.Rest, relaxation, rejuvenation, sabbath, respite… whatever word you use for it, you’re going to need time that is set aside for you to do the things that give you life and help you be ready for everything else. It may be a kayak on a beautiful lake, a good book, a blank canvas, or a cup of coffee with a friend, or anything else you find that gives you motivation, clarity, and energy. We want to talk about self-care in Journey to the Table. More importantly, we want to give you some time for self-care in case you haven’t had any lately.
JOURNEY TO THE TABLE is a new program ministry of The Upper Room specifically designed for young adults, ages 18 – 35 years old. It allows participants to explore faith through authentic teaching and it fosters open discussion through which participants can build relationships with a community of peers. Journey to the Table seeks to inspire and equip individuals to create spaces of Christian action in their homes, schools, places of work, and communities.
While Journey to the Table is in the test launch phase, follow the story below…
The Growing Emmaus FamilyFor over 30 years, The Upper Room has offered the Walk to Emmaus for adults, and Chrysalis Flights and Journeys for youth and young adults. As we’ve continued to offer these programs, we have seen the need to reach more people with appropriate life stage offerings. As a result, this year we will launch Face to Face for adults who are 60 and older, and, in 2016, we will introduce Journey to the Table for young adults between the ages of 18 and 35. The development of new programs and the rebranding of the existing ones bring us, not only to design logos for the new offerings, but also to update the existing ones. Following many months of creative and strategic efforts, it is with great joy that we share the redesigned logos for Walk to Emmaus and Chrysalis, as well as the new logos for Face to Face and Journey to the Table.
- an overview of our parent Emmaus ministries & a vision for their future,
- the age group we intend to serve and what it takes to reach them,
- themes for the program,
- handbook structure,
- effectively teaching / ministering to young adults,
- ideas for a name,
- steering team, testing, and rollout process,
- and made sub-group assignments.
The new program will have many of the core elements that we have experienced: a theology of grace, agape letters of encouragement, and a focus on 4th days/ next steps, just to name a few. It will also have new themes of relationship, growth in a transitory time of life, seeing God in daily life, tools for the journey, technology and spiritual life, and (my favorite title) “if you don’t see a space – make a space!:” empowering young adults to create relationships, communities, and ministries to live out their spiritual formation. This combination will allow us to build on the solid foundation of teachings in Walk to Emmaus, Chrysalis, and Face to Face, and apply them to the specific needs and characteristics of young adults today.Soon, these steering team leaders will be sharing parts of their story, and what this experience was like creating this new piece of their ministries. We can’t wait for you to meet them.
This was one of the early outlines for he role of the Steering Team. I started working on this in April of 2014, and settled on this process as more of the Steering Team leaders agreed to serve. In a lot of ways, I’m amazed just how well we stayed on the timeline. But then again, as you read about the people who formed our Steering Team, you’ll see that it was their passion that made it work.
I found this funny letter in my files from September of 2014. This was the first letter that asked Emmaus communities, campus ministries, and churches to be test locations for Journey to the Table.
We ended up receiving more applications that I had expected. What I thought would be a simple process of talking to interested ministries by phone, ended up as an in-depth paper application process – it was the only way I could keep them all organized!keep reading