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Author Topic: Walk to Emmaus  (Read 6795 times) Average Rating: 0
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IsmiLiora
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« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2011, 10:36:29 AM »


Our Emmuas retreat was awesome! You would love it, especially the one over here in Pittsburgh.
Oh, and by the way, you ARE Orthodox! So tell me, how many of them were on the walk with you guys? I'm dying to know. We had a few Catholics, but everyone was mostly Protestant or non-denominational.

The worship is also quite Protestant in style -- I couldn't imagine a hardcore Orthodox person getting into it all that much. I don't know. I just feel like there were so many aspects of the retreat that someone with Orthodox beliefs might recoil at. There is a Catholic version, though, and perhaps that one would "fit" better? I'd love to hear your opinions.
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« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2011, 11:58:37 AM »

I went a few weeks ago and I loved it. It is secretive for a very good reason. What I loved about the retreat is that it was for men only! And we dealt with men issues! I understand wholeheartedly why they want to keep personal things personal. Look, you shouldn't be upset about this. Being secretive is not always bad.

And what can be gained from such an experience that cannot be gained from going to Confession in an Orthodox church or Orthodox monastery? 

It is not enough to expose sins, or talk about sins.  Exposed sins must be repented of, confessed before an Orthodox priest, be remedied through the prayer of absolution, through penances, etc.  One needs patristic counsel on how to overcome the sins, how to war against the passions, and this is a matter that non-Orthodox groups know nothing about.  In a controlled environment, people can be handled (manipulated) in such a way as to produce “breakdowns”, or a certain sorrow about one sins, but only in the Church can one find a complete diagnosis for the soul’s sickness, and a complete method for healing/theosis through appropriate ascesis and frequent reception of the Holy Mysteries.  “Prayer” and “worship” on the “Emmaus Walk”, on the other hand, may open a person up to a great many things that can damage the soul and hinder the process of healing/theosis, rather than assisting with this process. 

One website on the Emmaus Walk says:

Quote
The hope of the Emmaus community is that we may come to… a better understanding of the Church of Jesus Christ, which has no denominational boundaries.

http://www.gbgm-umc.org/aswte/content_history.htm

It is good to get to know non-Orthodox Christians, and to better understand what non-Orthodox Christians around us believe.  However, to create some “experience” of a vague and “spiritual” unity that supposedly transcends (and therefore trivializes) dogmatic differences, to bring people together in a controlled environment and use methods to “break down defenses” in order to increase this feeling of “unity”, is absolutely antithetical to Christianity.  Such “experiences” and methodologies are not of Christ, but rather they will characterize the future religion of the Antichrist.  The myth of the spiritual unity of all religions and of all mankind begins with the myth of the spiritual unity of all Christian heresies (“denominations”). 
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« Reply #47 on: June 09, 2011, 06:17:53 PM »


Our Emmuas retreat was awesome! You would love it, especially the one over here in Pittsburgh.
Oh, and by the way, you ARE Orthodox! So tell me, how many of them were on the walk with you guys? I'm dying to know. We had a few Catholics, but everyone was mostly Protestant or non-denominational.

The worship is also quite Protestant in style -- I couldn't imagine a hardcore Orthodox person getting into it all that much. I don't know. I just feel like there were so many aspects of the retreat that someone with Orthodox beliefs might recoil at. There is a Catholic version, though, and perhaps that one would "fit" better? I'd love to hear your opinions.

I was invited to the Roman Catholic one by an Orthodox friend at my parish. They were for the most part charismatic Roman Catholics, and yes, the style is mostly charismatic protestant. The whole charismatic thing is something I'm use to and so it never bothered me. I think I grew out of it now that I'm Orthodox, but I wasn't bothered by it.
http://youtu.be/Pl3eqptVGnM (St. Paul retreat center)

The Emmuas in Pittsburgh is mostly Roman Catholic.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 06:20:15 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

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« Reply #48 on: June 09, 2011, 06:33:52 PM »


Our Emmuas retreat was awesome! You would love it, especially the one over here in Pittsburgh.
Oh, and by the way, you ARE Orthodox! So tell me, how many of them were on the walk with you guys? I'm dying to know. We had a few Catholics, but everyone was mostly Protestant or non-denominational.

The worship is also quite Protestant in style -- I couldn't imagine a hardcore Orthodox person getting into it all that much. I don't know. I just feel like there were so many aspects of the retreat that someone with Orthodox beliefs might recoil at. There is a Catholic version, though, and perhaps that one would "fit" better? I'd love to hear your opinions.

I was invited to the Roman Catholic one by an Orthodox friend at my parish. They were for the most part charismatic Roman Catholics, and yes, the style is mostly charismatic protestant. The whole charismatic thing is something I'm use to and so it never bothered me. I think I grew out of it now that I'm Orthodox, but I wasn't bothered by it.
http://youtu.be/Pl3eqptVGnM (St. Paul retreat center)

The Emmuas in Pittsburgh is mostly Roman Catholic.

So it's like a spillover of the Evan Charismatic movement into R. Catholicism. This explains why a primarily Evan oriented program would have some followers from the RCs. Pittsburgh is a strongly RC place. So this is another explanation for why the Emmaus walk group might be there even if normally it is Evan.

 I heard that in the Middle Ages some Orthodox ate the paint chips from holy icons. Bad decision I think. So one cannot point fingers.

And I haven't been on the Emmaus Walk group, it just sounds like some kind of religious boot camp.
I think retreats are good and am glad if Orthodox and others do them. But I think the boot camp stuff is unnecessary. And if there are feelings of consternation at having people yell at you when you dress or something that may take away from the positive religious experience.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 06:36:03 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2011, 06:53:06 PM »

I went a few weeks ago and I loved it. It is secretive for a very good reason. What I loved about the retreat is that it was for men only! And we dealt with men issues! I understand wholeheartedly why they want to keep personal things personal. Look, you shouldn't be upset about this. Being secretive is not always bad.

And what can be gained from such an experience that cannot be gained from going to Confession in an Orthodox church or Orthodox monastery? 

It is not enough to expose sins, or talk about sins.  Exposed sins must be repented of, confessed before an Orthodox priest, be remedied through the prayer of absolution, through penances, etc.  One needs patristic counsel on how to overcome the sins, how to war against the passions, and this is a matter that non-Orthodox groups know nothing about.  In a controlled environment, people can be handled (manipulated) in such a way as to produce “breakdowns”, or a certain sorrow about one sins, but only in the Church can one find a complete diagnosis for the soul’s sickness, and a complete method for healing/theosis through appropriate ascesis and frequent reception of the Holy Mysteries.  “Prayer” and “worship” on the “Emmaus Walk”, on the other hand, may open a person up to a great many things that can damage the soul and hinder the process of healing/theosis, rather than assisting with this process. 

One website on the Emmaus Walk says:

Quote
The hope of the Emmaus community is that we may come to… a better understanding of the Church of Jesus Christ, which has no denominational boundaries.

http://www.gbgm-umc.org/aswte/content_history.htm

It is good to get to know non-Orthodox Christians, and to better understand what non-Orthodox Christians around us believe.  However, to create some “experience” of a vague and “spiritual” unity that supposedly transcends (and therefore trivializes) dogmatic differences, to bring people together in a controlled environment and use methods to “break down defenses” in order to increase this feeling of “unity”, is absolutely antithetical to Christianity.  Such “experiences” and methodologies are not of Christ, but rather they will characterize the future religion of the Antichrist.  The myth of the spiritual unity of all religions and of all mankind begins with the myth of the spiritual unity of all Christian heresies (“denominations”).

You don't even know why we went. We went for a reason. Most of the Emmuas Roman Catholics at the retreat were also part of the Pittsburgh Catholics men's fellowship ministry. Which is pretty powerful in this city.

There are people in Pittsburgh that would like to create a city wide Pan-Orthodox men's fellowship as well. The only problem is no one has an experience on how that works or would work, especially within an Orthodox context. In order to have a radio program, first you have to have experience with radio programs, in order to have a tv program, well, first you have to have experience with television programs. In order to have a campus ministry, well, first you have to have experience in campus ministry. The same is true with this. In order to have a Men's fellowship thingy, well, first you have to have experience in men fellowships. What are they like? What do they do? What are they for? Is there really a need for one? What would it look like if we had one?

Like I said, you don't know why we went. There are worse things for you to worry about than this. I for one don't like to see Orthodox Christians as Masons and Eastern Stars, But they exist, especially over here. And I met Roman Catholics who also don't like to see Roman Catholics as Masons and Eastern Stars, but they exist in Pittsburgh, and so you are worried about something that is mostly harmless. The Roman Catholic version had priests at the retreat and they had confession. They also had Roman Catholic monks there. The place where we were at was a monastery. And so most of what you said was already covered within their system.

A Pan-Orthodox men's fellowship would look different, especially in the area of music. We would probably chant, but most of the elements we saw at the Roman Catholic retreat would be the same.

I actually liked it.
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« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2011, 09:34:38 PM »

Jnorm,

Well then I am curious how much Ismi's experience reflected yours. Perhaps hers was simply different because she was with an unusual group?
I could see a summer camp run by two different groups turning out very differently.

Maybe I am criticizing too much, but I actually like some women to be in a group. I am not say it's bad if they aren't, just that their personalities can be fun too.

Anyway, i am glad you had a good time.

Peace, Jnorm.
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« Reply #51 on: June 10, 2011, 06:34:31 AM »

wow, sounds really dodgy to me.
i worry yr room mate actually went a bit mad and that's why she liked it afterwards.
like people being kidnapped falling in love with their kidnappers because they get a bit screwed up.
u always have to be careful about who you give control to, that's why proverbs 4:23 says 'guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life'.

jnorm888, looks like u were with less screwed up people. if u take a dodgy concept and some nice people try to apply it, it won't be quite as disastrous.

dcommini, i like yr posts, i think you should think twice before having therapy, you come across as fine to me.
most psychotherapy and counseling in developing countries is based on the theories crazy guys like freud and jung and is quite anti-Christian in it's foundation.
i had some (protestant) Christian counseling as a teenager, and it definitely made me worse. the things that helped me deal with various psychological issues the best were confession and prayer with my confession father and also talking about things with friends and other Christians who were able to help me look outside myself.
if you have big problems, then see a qualified family doctor or psychiatrist, like if you need medication. otherwise a normal prayer life and Bible study and praying with Christian friends should help you progress in life.

it seems to me most counselors offer people quick fixes that feed people's desire for emotional highs, but do no good (or even harm) in the long term. on the other hand, the normal Christian life offers a gradual and constant surrender of your will to God and helps you to pass through all kinds of life's trials and still grow spiritually.
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IsmiLiora
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« Reply #52 on: June 10, 2011, 01:13:43 PM »

wow, sounds really dodgy to me.
i worry yr room mate actually went a bit mad and that's why she liked it afterwards.
like people being kidnapped falling in love with their kidnappers because they get a bit screwed up.
u always have to be careful about who you give control to, that's why proverbs 4:23 says 'guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life'.

Hm, that's an interesting point. I don't really know if there was anything psychologically going on with her, but I love the use of the verse you quoted. I went into the weekend NOT knowing anything about the ministers and leaders who were there. Not to say that I should write them off completely, but I basically had to trust that this collection of people were making the right choices for me and my situation.

I would feel comfortable going to a retreat that was just through my church or through a "sister church" or something like that. But that's just me.

Like I said, the "bombardment of love" was a little off-putting. Here's another detail of my walk that I felt conflicted about for a very long time:

On the second day, they gave us this bag filled with "gifts." There were gifts everywhere: on our beds, night tables, and on our tables. These presents were supposed to make us feel special and loved. They have a LOT of volunteers, and a lot of them either typed out a verse on a piece of paper and attached a piece of candy to it. Some of them were flimsy plastic toys, stuff that's intended for 5 or 6 year olds.

The thing is, it wasn't really personal at all, since they just gave the same gifts to everyone. So, while I definitely appreciated the gesture at the time, it felt kind of weird as I reflected on it later. It's like "Here, we love you, here's a bag full of THINGS." Of course the Bible verse bookmarks and such were a nice touch, but it was just too much to take in and really appreciate. I became confused.

And plus, while I also appreciate the sentiment, I also don't like waste (environmentalist rant coming up). WHY would they give silly googly eye puppets to older women? Some of those flimsy plastic things, I could see absolutely no use for. It was like "Hmm, what kind of gift can I give that won't be the same as the others?" And I had hundreds of pieces of paper to recycle from that weekend and sadly, a lot of things to throw out.

While we were going through the bags, one of the women actually stopped by my table and said to me, "Don't you feel loved?" (In a kindly way!) I was thinking, was this really supposed to make me feel loved? Like I said, a very nice gesture, but something felt off to me.

I hope this doesn't come off the wrong way. I don't NEED personalized gifts or expensive things. I didn't want those things. But I felt like I was supposed to feel loved from receiving the gifts. And yet, they felt completely impersonal.

There were some very good touches to the weekend, such as your sponsor asking your family and such to write letters to you, which they presented you with on the last day. Heh, my parents weren't even bothered to write full letters, so that was kind of depressing. But it was nice to read letters from my friends. That, the Candlelight (which was mainly because my husband was there), the night where we couldn't talk, and private prayer time were my favorite parts of the Walk.
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« Reply #53 on: June 10, 2011, 10:55:44 PM »

well, everything you describe sounds dodgy!
if someone makes you feel bad for not feeling how you are 'supposed to', this is the opposite of loving you!
God's love is about Him loving us as we are, with our sins and insecurities and failures and responding to us in a personal way. that means a way that is different for each person!
sounds like someone got a self-help book written by a 10 year old on 'how the world should be' and then just did all the recommendations of the book without checking if they would actually help someone.

my worst every counselling session (i was 16 or 17) consisted of these family friends asking me repeatedly over about half an hour (seriously) 'who am i?' and then telling me none of my answers were good enough and concluding i had a serious identity problem  Roll Eyes

they did not have any practical suggestions for how i could fix my problem, the focus was on diagnosis only! sounds like the people at your retreat were studying the same book on 'how to treat other humans'.

i eventually sorted my 'identity problem' by leaving the shallow self-help, self-centred culture of that church and learning more about God. once i had understood God's identity a lot better, mine was not such a big deal any more. learning about and experiencing the depth of the relationship with God that is possible through Holy Communion and focusing on God and less on people made me much calmer and more confident. this kind of work on your character takes time, but it lasts. loads of people who knew me for a long time say i am calmer and happier.
the good news, ismiliora is that you are in the right church, and it will get better and better   Cheesy
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« Reply #54 on: June 11, 2011, 11:07:39 AM »

Per their website  they  are connected to the United Methodist Church. Their mission is to strengthen and renew Christian people as disciples of Jesus Christ. The walk is ecumenical.
This is quite radically different from Orthodoxy. Reading the Scriptures, the Church Fathers, the lives of the Saints, etc. would be more productive. Attending the Orthodox services, specifically the Liturgy, is the way to strengthen one's Christian Faith, and to become closer to God.
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« Reply #55 on: August 07, 2011, 08:13:27 PM »

We did it!


The first Orthodox version was just done!  Grin
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"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
IsmiLiora
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« Reply #56 on: August 07, 2011, 08:15:47 PM »

We did it!


The first Orthodox version was just done!  Grin
Wait, what? I want to hear more, please.
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« Reply #57 on: August 07, 2011, 08:31:16 PM »

We did it!


The first Orthodox version was just done!  Grin
Wait, what? I want to hear more, please.

Ours was based on the feast of the Transfiguration.

I posted half of the registration form on my blog.
http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/2011/07/mens-retreat-weekend-at-antiochian.html (Men’s Retreat Weekend at the Antiochian Village)


We had one non-Orthodox Christian attend and he wasn't use to the length of our liturgy. He also wasn't use to standing up the whole time. I kinda felt sorry for him. The chapel we were at didn't have any pews. Other than that he enjoyed it!


We had two or 3 services on Friday, 2 or 3 on Saturday, and one on Sunday.

Instead of singing modern secular charismatic protestant songs (and some modern charismatic Roman Catholic songs) that the other Emmauses are known for, we decided to stick with Orthodox hymns and chants. Like The Cherubic Hymn, The Transfiguration of our Lord Troparion (A) and others. It took months of us praying, fasting, arguing, and talking about how we were going to make it fit an Orthodox ethos. We gave our plans to various priests and other people and they gave their input back and so it was a going back and forth of how to do it right.

But it was done, and I am mostly happy with the results. We might have to tweak something here and there, but most of it seemed to be right where it needs to be.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 08:37:28 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #58 on: August 07, 2011, 10:54:48 PM »

maybe u should give it another name?
sounds like u made some chicken curry without chilli but with cumin, without chicken but with beans, without onions but with tomato, and what you got was egyptian beans, not chicken curry at all!

PS. sorry for use of word 'chicken' during the fast...
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