Some Irregular Projects

As we enter June 2018, we look for the Gathering to be on the 4th Saturday of June because the UMC Annual Conference is held on the 3rd Saturday and your Board has clergy and members who will be attending Annual Conference. Please join us at Macedonia UMC on June 23, 2018 as noted elsewhere in the Newsletter.

In addition to signing the contract with the 4-H center in May, the Board discussed a new opportunity to lessen our expenses at the 4-H center. By using Memorandums of Understandings (MoU), the community can submit a form in which we offer to paint, repair carpentry projects or perform professional services like plumbing/electrical. The 4-H center will reach an agreement with our negotiating leader as to the Credit we will be given for such work, before it is performed. The Board thanked the DeHarts for their more than 12 month assignment searching for facilities and Pam Salada agreed to head the negotiating effort in advancing the MoUs for credits to be used against costs.

During June, we will be holding two events for which the Community is invited. First, Joe Bersack (the upcoming men’s weekend leader) and his Cadre will be coordinating and announcing the dates and time to meet at our storage locker, in Winchester (Papermill Storage) so that our vital property can be loaded-up and returned to our storage area at the 4-H Center and so leaders can make important decisions about what needs to be removed/donated. Second, Linda Crowder (the upcoming women’s weekend leader) has announced that, on Saturday, June 16, 2018 between 10:00AM and 2:00PM the Board and Community can visit her home [1716 Ridgeway Road Front Royal, Va.] to empty-out the Community-owned trailer of all Chrysalis property. This process will retain items that can be of use for the Emmaus Community and the remainder will be donated to churches or attendees who may have personal reasons to remove things that would otherwise be thrown away. (If you need detailed directions, contact Linda at or 540-551-2911.)

In the above two irregular projects, it is our hope that everyone is notified that some items will be removed from our storage forever. If you believe that something you donated is being discarded, this notice provides the Community with the opportunity to assist in the sorting and, potentially, to collect an item your church could use.

We learned at the May Gathering that eleven applications are being submitted from one church and we are seeking many more. Please pray for the Community and for Pilgrims God is leading you to sponsor.

I hope to see many of you at the three events in June: 1. Moving property from storage to 4-H center, 2. Cleaning-out the trailer at Linda’s home and 3. The Gathering at Macedonia.

Phil Hannum, CLD, LV # 5

Happy Anniversary

May 2018 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Loudoun Valley Emmaus Community. Of course, God has to be given the credit for the wisdom and dedication He instilled in women and men from NCA Emmaus and West Virginia Emmaus as they faithfully planned our Community’s birth. The early commitments of those dedicated founders have resulted in more than 2,000 pilgrims, 85 Walk weekends and approximately 30+ women and men who received their personal calls to become Pastors, most of whom continue to Minister in the Virginia Conference.

Consistent with an ethos which was stressed throughout the walk weekends, most of the 2,000 pilgrims returned to their churches, approached their Pastors and volunteered, studied and joined reunion groups. Additionally, as those pilgrims attended the Day of Deeper Understanding, they sponsored others in their families and churches and circles of friends…they “Passed-it-on.”

In November 2017, we held a Day of Deeper Understanding with a large percentage of recent pilgrims – and their sponsors – in attendance and we had an initial flurry of pilgrim applications.

Today, with date and location certain for our October and November Walk weekends, we have about five and one-half months to submit applications for willing pilgrims. The Board is energized to perform some clean-up, sorting and painting at the 4-H center and we are praying for God to continue the blessing which He and the Holy Spirit provide before, during and after the weekend. Please consider being a part of the sponsorship activities and give someone the gift which you received!

Our May Gathering will be held at Sterling UMC on May 19, 2018, The 25 year-old Community hopes to see you there!


Phil Hannum, CLD, LV # 5

Fall Walks to continue at the 4H Center

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

April 2018 has provided our Community with levels of certainty which we have not seen for probably 18 or more months. We asked and sought and we have been led to our answer. In the early days of April, members of the Board who had been tasked with exploring alternative weekend locations completed their task and the Board has voted to remain at the 4-H center under new terms.

Due to the quantity of Pilgrim Applications, the Board cancelled the Spring Walks and it is poised to sign the contract for men’s and women’s walks in October and early November (see dates elsewhere in Newsletter). These decisions provide us with six and one-half months to pray for more Pilgrims who are called for our Sponsorship.

What are the new terms at the 4-H center? For ten or more years, after permitting LVE to build the storage area for our supplies, we paid an annual fee. We have been informed that we can use it for storing our equipment as long as we have our relationship – free of charge. Second, as a result of some high-level personnel changes there, we learned that we can resume the Saturday evening dinner at the dining hall and, if we rent all of Robinson (sleeping and class/chapel areas) the Auditorium is ours for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

These positive changes are the result of prayer and Christian conferencing between the 4-H coordinators and our emissaries who visited and spent many hours face-to-face, on the phone and through email.

Our next Gathering is at Sudley UMC in Manassas, Virginia on April 21, 2018.I encourage everyone to come to the April Gathering at Sudley UMC, in Manassas, and to bring a guest especially if it is someone you may be considering to sponsor.

Phil Hannum LV #5

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

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

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

Blessed by LV84

Loudoun Valley Emmaus’ Fourth Day reached another milestone with LV84 (Women’s) Walk to Emmaus that took place at the 4H Center in Front Royal on Thursday, May 18th through Sunday, May 21st. Many were blessed as they prayed, made splash agape or offered snack agape. Some prayed and served as Day Servants, others prayed and served as Resident Outside Support servants. Many were blessed as they began praying months ago to invite and subsequently sponsor fellow church members and friends whose lives would benefit from a 72-hour time of learning, reflection, and sharing with fellow believers about their daily Walk. Others were blessed as they prayed together as a team over several meetings as part of their preparation to serve in the Conference Room. Some paused in their daily routine during the 72 hours to pray for those serving and those receiving in the Conference Room. Everyone in the Loudoun Valley Emmaus Community was blessed because 16 new Loudoun Valley Emmaus members stood up to share their faith and their call as a first step in their Fourth Day lives.

St. Mark introduces Jesus’ feeding the five thousand in Mark 6 as follows. The disciples asked Jesus to dismiss the hungry crowd so they could find something to eat at the end of a long walk home. Jesus responds with a simple, clear directive, “You give them something to eat” (v37).  When we obey the call to share who we are and what we have with our fellow church members and friends in response to the authority and guidance of the Holy Spirit, our Fourth Days are abundantly blessed just as Jesus, his disciples, and the crowd were blessed in Mark 6.


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

A Time to Pray

In a few days, a group of ladies will come together at the 4H Center for another Walk to Emmaus weekend. Some of those ladies will be present due to a friend’s encouraging invitation. Others will be present to enable and lead the group. All will be there to intentionally step away for 72 hours from their daily lives and responsibilities in order to review and reflect on their relationship with Jesus Christ in their daily lives in a manner similar to the way Cleopus and his friend did as they walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus with the resurrected Christ on the first Easter (Luke 24:13-25).

This is an opportunity for the greater LVE Community to stop and remember what we learned on our Walk to Emmaus and it’s impact on our daily priorities.

It’s also an opportunity to engage in one of the key spiritual gifts God has given each of us; prayer. Please pray daily for this group. Please join LVE’s Prayer Vigil by clicking on the Prayer Vigil link below and selecting a time when you will stop and pray for LV84:

Two Areas of Service

We’re preparing to move from the last week of Lent, Holy Week, when Jesus purposefully faced his fiercest enemies in Jerusalem and prepared his closest disciples for the agony of Good Friday followed by the victory of Easter morning. In the spirit of Jesus’ close fellowship with his disciples, please consider two areas of service:

First, your Board decided to collect a special LVE offering in April – an offering for those international Emmaus members praying and planning the formation of new Walk to Emmaus communities in Africa. As the International Emmaus Office points out, this effort is one of the Central African church’s response to the terror of ISIS and Boko Harum they encounter in their daily lives. You can give your offering through LVE’s Gathering offering – just note on your check or note on the envelope “UR Gift”.  Alternatively, you can go to the Upper Room website and make an online donation.

The other opportunity to serve as Christ’s hands and feet is to prayerfully support Karen Brooks, Catharine Guest, and Kristy McMaster as they form and lead the LV84 Conference Room Team and LV84 Outside Support Team. During the April 22 Gathering, we will review several tangible opportunities to serve LV84: sign up for 30min time segments on the LV84 Prayer Chain; provide snacks; and create agape for the LV84 pilgrims and team. Your anonymous expressions of love and prayerful support through letters and splash agape provide tangible evidence to pilgrims and team members as they make their Walk. Please look forward to LVE emails with team member’s and pilgrim’s names. If you don’t see these emails by the end of April, please email Gail Haddock (LVE Board Secretary) at

Finally, please remember we will meet on the fourth Saturday this month, April 22, for our monthly LVE Board and LVE Gathering:

  1. Consider arriving around 4:30 at the next Gathering to share your fourth day experiences and color table mats with fellow believers. This simple spiritual exercise is a great way to get to know other LVE members and to share God’s personal love with others.
  2. Invite and bring friends to Loudoun Valley Emmaus’ monthly Gatherings. If someone has an interest in The Walk to Emmaus or you believe that someone should have an interest, the easiest “next step” is to bring them to our Gatherings. Plan to arrive with those friends and an extra dish to the Pot Luck Dinner which starts at 5:30pm, then accompany those friends into an hour’s singing, praising, and sharing at the Gathering (6:30pm until 8:00pm).


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

Lent: Letting Go to Move Forward

Jesus said, “I am the way [piety], and the truth [study], and the life [action]”                  (John 14:6)

The three themes of piety (giving our hearts to Christ), study (giving our minds to Christ), and life (giving our hands and feet to Christ) serve as three pillars that support our Fourth Day lives.

For those of us who follow the liturgical calendar, we are about to move into the season of Lent; 40 days of spiritual preparation in anticipation of the miracle of Easter. How do we prepare for Easter? During Lent, we prepare by giving something(s) up that tie us too closely to this culture’s life in order to intentionally make space in our lives to listen to God so we can follow Him more closely (I think that’s the core idea of piety).

There are numerous Lenten prayer and devotional guides to guide us as we wrestle with who God wants us to be in this very confusing culture (that’s Study). I have been attracted to guides centered around Psalms; a God-breathed collection of prayers that challenge me to be honest with God about myself. The Psalms set a high value on personal honesty while praying; as honest as David was when he was in despair, found in sin, and in moments of praise and worship for God’s grace in his life and in the life of his people.

I believe this time of preparation is enhanced when I intentionally share my spiritual progress (or lack thereof) with one or more fellow believers and then listen as they share where they are on their journey. I’ve also found that sharing my victories, doubts, and confusion with fellow believers and listening to them gives me greater insight into God’s direction and comfort from His presence as expressed in the words of those I am sharing with.

Please remember the following persons and LVE opportunities:

  1. Pray daily for Merv Greenwood and Karen Brooks as they form their respective teams for the upcoming Walk to Emmaus weekends.
  2. Consider arriving around 4:30 at the next Gathering (March 18th at Mt. Olivet UMC) to share your fourth day experiences and color table mats with fellow believers. This simple spiritual exercise is a great way to get to know other LVE members and to share God’s personal love with others.
  3. Invite and bring friends to Loudoun Valley Emmaus’ monthly Gatherings. If someone has an interest in The Walk to Emmaus or you believe that someone should have an interest, the easiest “next step” is to bring them to our Gatherings. Plan to arrive with those friends and an extra dish at the Pot Luck Dinner which starts at 5:30pm, then accompany those friends into an hour’s singing, praising, and sharing at the Gathering (6:30pm until 8:00pm).