Emmaus Youth Retreats

What is an Emmaus weekend?
An Emmaus weekend offers young people of high school age a short course in the Christian way of life. Those who come to an Emmaus weekend experience Christian community, and a time of reflection and insight into their own lives. There is uplifting music, a chance to meet and get to know new friends, and opportunity to know oneself, others and God on a deeper level, and to share the joyful and loving relationship that is central to the Christian experience.

Who can be a candidate?
Generally anyone enrolled in the 9th through 12th grade on the date of the weekend can be a candidate. Candidates are sponsored by a member of an Emmaus, Chrysalis, Tres Dias or similar community, and applications are accepted on a first come first served basis. The sponsor supports the candidate before, during and after the weekend, offering encouragement and taking care of any special needs.

How many people are there on a weekend?
A team of about 40-50 people serve on a weekend team. About two-thirds of the team are teens and the rest are adults. There are usually 15-20 candidates.

Who leads the weekend?
Two or three ordained clergy serve as spiritual directors for the weekend, but primary responsibility for leadership rests with the laity.

What happens on a weekend?
There are talks about Christian faith followed by small group discussions. Talks and small group leadership are shared by both adults and teen team members. The weekend, which runs from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, is held in a retreat setting. However, there is no fasting and very little solitude. There is discussion, fellowship, good food, high energy and much fun.

How about religious background?
Candidates come from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. Some may attend worship services regularly, some occasionally, and some almost never. Clergy and adult team members are from many Christian denominations. Worship services follow the order given in the Pilgrim guide given to you on the weekend. Candidates are encouraged to continue as active members of their own regular worship communities after the weekend. Nothing will be asked of candidates that in any way conflicts with Christian beliefs or Biblical teachings.

What happens after the weekend?
On the first Sunday of each month, many in the community gather at an afternoon reunion to meet old and new friends, to share in Christian fellowship, and to continue to support and encourage one another.

How much does the weekend cost?
The total cost is $45. Scholarships are available.

When and where are the weekends held?
An Emmaus weekend is usually held each spring (May or June) and fall (November). Recent weekends have been hosted at various area churches, including the First United Methodist Church of Shelton at 188 Rocky Rest Road, Shelton, CT, and St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 210 Church Street, Naugatuck, CT.