The members of the Athens Area Walk to Emmaus Board met for an emergency meeting Saturday, March 14th to pray and vote on postponing the upcoming spring walks. Several factors were considered when making this decision. Most importantly is the safety of the pilgrims and servants on the campground. The cloistered nature of the weekend creates a setting for which the CDC and other health agencies are recommending event postponement and/or cancellation . The Upper Room International Ministries Office in Nashville released a statement yesterday consistent with the recommendations of the CDC suggesting that all Emmaus Ministries events be cancelled for the next 8 weeks for in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S. If even one person at the campground is a carrier of the virus, all others are exposed and could potentially infect hundreds when returning home. The Georgia Department of Public Health reported the first two COVID-19 Cases in Athens-Clarke County on 3/15/20 and a third confirmed case was reported yesterday. It is very likely that the numbers of those infected in Athens and the surrounding area will continue to rise as has happened in Atlanta and other parts of Georgia over the next several weeks.
The remaining training sessions for the conference room teams, kitchen and other team members leading up to the spring walks can't be rescheduled until the threat of this virus has subsided and we are cleared to participate again in public gatherings. Finally, as a community, we are called to be good stewards of all the money that God provides in support of the Athens Area Walk to Emmaus. Having said this, The Hartwell Mennonite Camp imposes a $2000 fee if our weekends are cancelled within a month of the reserved dates. However, under these circumstances, the caretakers allowed us 48 hours to reschedule the walks without penalty.
As a collective board, we voted unanimously to postpone the walks. We have rescheduled the Men’s Walk for October 15th - 18th and the Women’s Walk for October 22nd - 25th. Over the next six months, we are committed to working diligently to improve communications, making prayer shawls and other agape, and praying fervently for our pilgrims and teams. Please join us!
Last July when I was facing some health concerns, a good friend of mine wrote me a note telling me that she was praying for my peace, patience and strength. I have kept that note in my bible as a reminder of where to go in times like these. She directed me to this piece of scripture:
Romans 8:31-39: "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all---how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died---more than that, who was raised to life---is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Feel free to call me or text me at (706)247-6429 if you have any questions or concerns about the postponement of the spring walks or anything else. I look forward to working with each of you in the future. God bless you and God bless the Athens Area Walk to Emmaus community. De Colores!
-- Mo Flexner Community Lay Director Athens Area Walk to Emmaus
Men's Walk - October 15-18, 2020 - Lay Director, Timm Soldwish Women's Walk - October 22-25, 2020 - Lay Director Debbie Dean
Men's Walk - April 8-11, 2021 - Lay Director, Joe Hutchins Women's Walk - April 15-18, 2021 - Lay Director, Tanya Eidson
Men's Walk - March 17-20, 2022 Women's Walk - March 24-27, 2022