Cascading Consequences

Matthew 7:7-8  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

[These two verses in Matthew remind us what we are promised when we take action. What are YOU doing to support your Loudoun Valley Emmaus Community?]

There was no February Gathering because a snowstorm created too much risk for anyone attempting to make the drive. Notices were issued and the Board hopes that no one made the trip without receiving the notice.

Our next Gathering is at Duncan UMC in Berryville, Va and the Board will be considering dates and locations because we are currently unable to act decisively while waiting for more Pilgrim Applications to be submitted. Since January 1, 2018, we have received one application from a Pilgrim/Sponsor. In the January Newsletter, we read that the Bible instructs us to “wait upon the Lord.”  I hope that each of us are asking, seeking and knocking for the opportunity to have Emmaus Weekends in which women and men can receive their unique and tailor-made expression of love from the risen Christ!

The Community needs to pray for sufficient Pilgrim applications from which the Board can take prudent steps in planning the next weekends. We know that prayer is a necessity for our Community for all matters and I am upping my prayer requests for our weekends and more pilgrim applications.

At our Board Meeting on January 20, 2018, the Board discussed the cascading consequences which we face. First, since we do not know when the renovations at the 4-H center will be complete, several Board Members have been exploring alternative sites with all deliberate speed. Second, teams will have to travel to the storage site and pick-up the gear for the weekend and the team also has to tear-down following the weekend and return gear to the storage area. I am pleased to report that we are advancing on site selection and have been assured by Board and Community Members that we will have many volunteers to transport gear at both ends of the weekend. I hope this explains why the dates listed on the Newsletter were “tentative.”

God provides!  God is handling this problem while we endeavor to find His solution through prayer. I encourage everyone to come to the March Gathering at Duncan Memorial UMC, in Berryville, and to bring a guest, especially if it is someone you may be considering to sponsor.

Phil Hannum LV #5

God Provides

Luke 24:31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?

Those who attended the January 4th Day presentation were blessed with an excellent illustration of the battle which rages within a person who sins against his fellow man and God while being tugged by the Holy Spirit to draw closer to God’s Word. We heard how the remedy from the pick-pick-picking of Satan may be found in retreating to our car for an hour and reading the Bible during lunch. May all of us recognize the efforts of Satan and also find our remedy through the nudging of the Holy Spirit.

In December 2017, members of the Community went to the 4-H Center, in response to their request, and removed all of our property. We quickly found a storage area, in Winchester, and secured the Community’s property. This action was necessary because of needed maintenance.

At our Board Meeting on January 20, 2018, the Board discussed the cascading consequences which we face on two fronts. First, since we do not know when the renovations will be complete, several Board Members have been exploring alternative sites with all deliberate speed. Second, teams will have to travel to the site and pick-up the gear for the weekend and the team also has to tear-down following the weekend and return gear to the storage area.

I am pleased to report that we are advancing on site selection and have been assured by Board and Community Members that we will have many volunteers to transport gear at both ends of the weekend.

Members of the Community have provided suggested sites and several have been fully explored. We hope to be very close to determining the next site at the February Board Meeting and the community will be notified at the Gathering following the decision and also in the Newsletter.

I hope this explains why the dates listed on the January Newsletter were “tentative.”

God provides! God has this problem while we endeavor to find His solution and; we do not yet have enough applications to justify setting a date.

Finally, the Community was introduced to three “Emmaus” Pastors now serving in our region that articulated how they are anxious to get back into teaming as Spiritual Directors and, with Prayer, they may initiate sponsorship for some Pilgrims attending their churches.

I invite everyone to come to the February Gathering at Macedonia UMC, near White Post/Stephens City and to consider inviting someone – even if they’ve never walked – if you’ve been in prayer for them or if you’ve been led by the Spirit of Holiness.

Phil Hannum LV #5

Wait for the Lord

Revelation 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

I thank the Board for its leadership selections for this season of our 24 year-old Community and I am asking God, and the Community, to help the Board.

For the 2017 “season,” our Community was blessed with three successful weekends representing 50 new members. The November DDU admitted 20 recent pilgrims who can now sponsor pilgrims.

We have selected our next two Weekend Lay Directors (Linda Crowder and Joe Bersack,  who are also new Board Members) and have held their initial Team Selection meetings.

As the reader can see, we have many reasons for excitement and optimism!

As we enter a new season in the life of our Community we need to “wait upon the Lord” and a Committee has been researching alternative sites for more than one year. A site will be selected in the early months of 2018 and announced to the Community. We need to be mindful that our Community and the 4-H Center have aged since 1993.

How can the Community help? We need to extend Grace to all, while waiting upon the Lord. We need to pray for Him to identify candidates for the Walks and we need to support each other and recommit to be good sponsors.

I welcome the new Board Members and give thanks for those whose terms have expired. Additionally, I extend the Board’s appreciation for the faithful Regional Representatives who have recently departed and extend a hand of welcome to our new Regional Representatives.

Please find your Board Members at Gatherings wearing their Board Member badges and ask questions or make suggestions. Currently, our priorities are for having God provide: a site for the next walks, candidates who say “yes” to teaming, and Pilgrims who say “yes” to being sponsored.

May God Bless our efforts for His Kingdom! De Colores!

Phil Hannum LVE # 5, Table of The Power of Life


As the LVE community begins to look forward to 2018, we are taking action to prepare ourselves for the continued call to be Christ’s “hands and feet” in Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland:

  • At the November Gathering, we elected new members to complete the 2018 Board, commissioned to: a) mutually discern and commit to plans for future Walk to Emmaus Weekends, b) hold Gatherings that provide opportunities for worship and service, c) form deeper relationships with clergy who lead our respective churches, and d) prioritize relationships with fellow Reunion Group members who share their Fourth Days with us on a more personal level.
  • In preparation for future Walk to Emmaus Weekends, the Board voted to reset the pilgrim fees to an amount that will cover actual expenses incurred over the past four Walk weekends.
  • The Board commissioned Lonnie and Barbara DeHart to chair a committee of experienced Walk weekend leaders who are exploring potential sites to host future Walk to Emmaus weekends other than the 4H Center. Lonnie and Barbara will begin sharing their committee’s work at the January 2018 Board Meeting for subsequent LVE Board decisions.
  • The Board started working with the next two Weekend Lay Directors, Joe Bersack and Linda Crowder, to discern who will join them on their respective Conference Room Teams and Support Teams.

The preparation and activities noted above point to forms of LVE worship and service, and re-enforce the underlying and consistent call to be Christ’s hands and feet.

Don Holt
Central Texas #109, Table of St. Paul

Welcome Pilgrims of LV85 & LV86

Thirty new Loudoun Valley Emmaus pilgrims intentionally spent 72 hours away from their daily life’s routines to walk with two teams of laity and clergy on a journey filled with exploration, reflection, and response to God’s invitation given to all to walk a Fourth Day life.  They explored what God’s never-failing, personal love means to each of us wherever we are.  They reflected on God’s individual intentions for them, their families, and their friends.  They were presented with numerous opportunities to respond to God’s love and His intentions in specific acts of personal and shared commitment to a Fourth Day life.

Pilgrims of LV85 and LV86, welcome to Loudoun Valley Emmaus.  We are a faith community that reaches from Clear Brook, VA to Oxon Hill, MD.  We are a diverse group of believers committed to a Fourth Day life who want to share that life with each other.  You will hear from your “new best friends” by this newsletter, our website (, and our Facebook page (  More importantly, we want to hear you at our monthly Gatherings (see below), especially the November’s Gathering which includes a welcome hour (also called DDU) to give you a clearer understanding of the roles you are invited to fill in LVE.

Loudoun Valley Emmaus members who incorporated acts of agape in your Fourth Day by praying, sponsoring, teaming, serving in various support roles, providing tangible agape in the form of letters, cards, and other items, celebrating God’s presence in worship and song: Thank You for serving as Christ’s Hands and Feet.  We are blessed to have the opportunity to use the gifts He gives us to celebrate the life He calls us to in acts of piety, study, and action.

But what’s next?  If you know or recently became acquainted with one or more of the new pilgrims or other Loudoun Valley Emmaus member that you haven’t seen in a while, reach out to them in the next weeks to share the life God has given you and to hear of God’s direction in their life.  That can be a simple card in the mail, phone call, or a shared cup of coffee.  It is also a way of affirming God’s grace in our life.

Don Holt
Central Texas #109, Table of St. Paul

LVE Stories

What does it mean to do agape in the context of Loudoun Valley Emmaus? Take a look at the cross and lanyard you received if you walked on a LVE Walk to Emmaus or look at your fellow-LVE’ers cross. Ever wonder who made those? The current cross and lanyard come from two LVE Community members who tell their story:

The Cross: In the early 1900s Lloyd Spencer started the Spencer lumber company in Fenwick, West Virginia. The company spent many decades managing the forests and select cuts of old timber in the mountains of Nicholas County. Glenn Spencer (Lloyd’s oldest son) took over managing the company and carried on his father’s focus on community and Christian Faith. Along the way Glenn milled a lot of the wood used to build the Macedonia United Methodist Church in Fenwick, WV, and in the midst of the booming lumber business of the mid 1900s he also milled a small, seemingly insignificant walnut tree. That walnut tree did not have a purpose at the time and was stored in one of the family barns for use on a future project.  Glenn went home to be with our Lord in 2010. That walnut lumber laid hidden in the top of that barn for another 6 years. Shortly after being hauled out of that old barn, the LVE leadership team sent out a request for support to make the crosses that memorialize your walk with Jesus and your time on the mountain. That seemingly insignificant walnut tree, as with all things in Christ, now had a purpose. As we have all learned during our walks, we are all on God’s time. There may be times when we question our purpose or struggle in vain to understand what our purpose is, but just like that insignificant walnut tree, our purpose is known to him and discovered by us as we learn to walk closer with him.  De Colores, Bryan Spencer LV81

The Lanyard: When I was on the Chrysalis board we found some nylon thread that was called “crayon mix” in their supplies. I wanted to try it for the Chrysalis crosses. I really liked the way it didn’t get little nubs like the yarn did, so I tried making a lanyard with the new thread. I loved it because it was bright, vibrant and non-nubby! It also doesn’t scratch your neck because it is made from slicker material. So we started making them and measured them to be 36″ from end to end of the crocheted part so they would all be the same length. Personally I love the new lanyards! I hope everyone else does, too. We are using the same lanyard makers as before and we are purchasing the nylon thread from Hobby Lobby.  Linda Crowder, LV52

Both these anecdotes show how we can be Christ’s hands and feet in and through the ordinary circumstances of our daily lives. That’s what doing agape is all about. And speaking of Christ’s hands and feet in our daily lives, we have two Walks coming up very quickly. Both Walks present opportunities and calls to pray, to make splash agape – anonymous, visable signs of Loudoun Valley Emmaus’ commitment to new pilgrims – and to support the pilgrims and team members with our presence during their 72-hours at the 4H Center in Front Royal.


Don Holt
Central Texas #109, Table of St. Paul

Come, Holy Spirit

“That very day (Resurrection Sunday) two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.” (Luke 24:13-15).

One of the striking points about Luke’s recount of Cleopus and his friend is as they were walking, they were struggling together to understand the most tragic events either had experienced. The point is they were “in it together”. There was the basis of mutual experience and trust so they could share the anguish and grief they were experiencing on the day’s walk back to Emmaus (when was the last time you walked seven miles across a dusty, hilly terrain?).

When Jesus approaches them, he doesn’t ask about their downcast appearance nor does he ask about how they feel; he asks them about their conversation that he walked into.

Loudoun Valley Emmaus is about monthly Gatherings, Walks, teaming, and gifts of agape to those we know personally and those we don’t know so well. It is also about the small group relationships we form with each other where we share our inmost thoughts and struggles that occur day in and day out in our Fourth Day and then hold ourselves accountable to the ones who listen.

In this context, stop and consider the opening words of the Prayer to the Holy Spirit, “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love”. We aren’t only sharing our deepest thoughts with those we trust; we are also sharing them with the Holy Spirit who is as present with us during those small group moments as Jesus was with Cleopus and his friend on the road to Emmaus.


Don Holt
Central Texas #109, Table of St. Paul

Think “Agape” when you shop on Virginia Tax Free Weekend Aug 4-6

Save about 5% when you buy school supplies, clothing, and emergency preparedness items for your family. And while you’re at it, pick up a few times below for your Agape Committee.

Tax Free Supplies

Please consider picking up a few tax-free items from the list below and bringing them to the September Gathering so we can be fully stocked for the Fall Walks:

  • White card stock (110 pound) for name tags, etc.
  • Labels: Avery 5164, Avery 5163, Avery 5160
  • Envelopes: 9×12″, 6.5×10″, and letter-sized
  • Index cards: 3×5
  • Tables cloths in bright colors – round and rectangluar
  • Lined notebook paper (college is preferred)
  • 3 Hole Punch paper (for updating the manuals)
  • Pens
  • Bottled Water
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Tissues
  • Glue and paste sticks
  • Fun things for the artistic response table
  • Paper Shopping Bags – white 10 x 5 x 13″ with handles and flat bottoms
Not Tax Free, but needed just the same…

Please consider making a donation of personal toiletries for the comfort station. Remember those to-die-for ear plugs?

Only small packages are requested for any over-the-counter drugs like pain relievers so expiration dates can be kept current without much waste.

First Aid Kit items are also needed – bandaids, ointments, etc.

Not Needed at this Time
  • Colorful pocket folders

Freedom and Responsibility

As we begin the summer months of our Fourth Days with opportunities to celebrate our freedoms as well as spend relaxing days on vacations, it’s also a good time to reflect on where we are on our life’s journey as well as take inventory of the daily decisions we make to set our course forward with family, friends, and others we come into contact with. I am reminded of Paul’s reflection on freedom and the associated responsibility to make wise choices in the letter he wrote to the Galatian churches. While the political and social context of the Galatian Christian’s lives were substantially different than the ones we are privileged with today, Paul’s direction and challenge is as relevant to us as it was to them.

‘For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”’ (Galatians 5:13-14).

Who is our neighbor? How will we be Christ’s hands and feet to that neighbor? How will our Fourth Day actions with our neighbors bring us closer to a life filled and lead by the Holy Spirit?


Don Holt
Central Texas #109, Table of St. Paul

New Emmaus Position Applications Now Available Online

The International Emmaus Office has new service opportunities, including an LVE Community Trainer. Those who are interested in the new positions can gain more information as well as position applications at

If you apply for the LVE Community Trainer position, please send your completed application by July 12th to in addition to sending a copy to the International Emmaus Office.

During the July 15th LVE Board of Directors Meeting, we will review Community Trainer Applications for the requested LVE Board approval.