Process, Steering Team
Over the weekend of Sept. 19th -21st, 2014 the leadership of a new steering team met to continue work on a new young adult ministry program that would later be named Journey to the Table. Five volunteers from across the country met at The Upper Room office in Nashville, Tennessee to discuss program goals and develop specific plans to write program content. We covered a lot:
  • 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 team toured The Upper Room Museum and Chapel, and shared in a short time of worship and communion. Greg Engroff, the Executive Director of Programs for The Upper Room worshiped with the team, and welcomed them on Friday afternoon. Kate Dickinson, the Associate Director of Emmaus ministries, gave the first presentation and led a discussion on the core elements of existing ministries. This presentation and the subsequent conversation about the age group we intend to serve formed a common foundation, and took most of Saturday morning.  Starting in the afternoon, the team built specific plans for the program. Here’s the first paragraph that was ever written describing what we developed:
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.

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!

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