Merry Christmas to All!

Welcome to our new community members, from Walk #48

Brandon Charette
Ted Hoeburn
Mike Hubbard
William Sinnott
Bill Toschik
Gary Witteman
Pamela Rowe
Nancy Super
Sheila Super
Jeannettte Ahlf
Kimberly Bailey
Cinda Jones
Zapata Moschetti
Barbara On

Next Walk Important Dates–Put on your calendar now and send in your Worker apps!!

Next Walk, #49:  Scott Valley Berean Church, 134 Church Street, Etna, CA:
Joint Teams Meeting –June, 12 &13, 2020
Men’s Walk–June 25-28, 2020 (LD Van Castleman)
Women’s Walk–July 9-12, 2020 (LD Haylene Campbell)
Fourth Day–July 24, 2020

Please pray for our summer walks. Ask the Lord who He would like you to sponsor and/or how you can serve Him by working a walk (Or two!) If you haven’t been a worker before, don’t worry! You’ll be part of a team and have a team leader. Working a walk is almost as sweet as going on a walk- a real blessing! If finances are a concern, pray about it!  Maybe you and a friend can share sponsorship fees, ask members of your church to donate funds. Or, once a week, skip the coffee shop and put that five bucks in a jar, you’ll have the funds before registration is due!
Jesus is the director of each walk; when we show up so does the Holy Spirit! We want everyone in our Mountain Trails community to be confident that when we plan a walk, there will be a walk. With that goal in mind, the Board is making a few changes to make things more organized and run smoothly. We’ve bumped up the Pilgrim registration deadline by one month. It will be so helpful to know how many Pilgrims we have prior to the Joint Teams meeting. That’s why we’ve made a firm deadline with no exceptions. Pilgrim applications can be mailed, scanned and emailed or even photographed and texted but they must be in the registrar’s hands by the deadline. Unfortunately, if an application is received after the deadline, that pilgrim will be put on a waiting list for the following walk, and nobody wants that! So, both Worker and Pilgrim applications are needed as soon as possible!  COMPLETE PILGRIM APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY MAY 1, 2020 for early registration $85 fee, and May 15th for $95

By the way, a few people have forgot to pay sponsorship or worker fees for the last walks in Yreka and Medford. We run on a tight budget in order to keep our costs as low as possible. If you did not arrange for a scholarship before the walks, please send a check today to: MTWE 701 Yama St., Yreka, CA 96097. If you have questions, feel free to contact Tara: tarag4747 at hotmail dot com   or (530) 513-9535 Thank you!

Winter Potluck Gathering:  Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, 825 Knapp St, Yreka, CA 96097
January 4, 2020, 12PM -3PM

Applications for workers and pilgrims can be found in your Fourth Day packet, or you can go online to our website:

Committee Chairs:
Agape- Kevin Stott
Community Quartermaster- Steve Leal
Database- Lois DeBruno
Gatherings- Charles Schmidt
Librarian- Kay Dye
Music-Karen Schroeder
Newsletter- Michelle O’Gorman (Board Liaison- Becky Eitel)
Procurement- Bobbie Templeman
Registrar- Berit Larson
Spiritual Director- Pastor Toni Hartman
Site Selection- Melisa Raffelli
Team Selection-John Villani
Treasurer- Tara Grunewald
Webmaster- Janet Riley


The New Year is right around the corner and in March we will be holding an election for new board members as several members will be finishing their terms. The new terms will begin in May 2020. We are looking for people willing to commit to a 3 year term of service. This is a working board; we meet frequently and the meetings normally rotate between Yreka and Chico. If you feel called to serve or if you know someone who you think might be interested please let me know. You can email Marlee Billingsley at ycrcmarlee at gmail dot com.

Highlights from the MTWE Meeting of the Board of Directors, September and November 2019

Hello and blessings to our Mountain Trails Walk to Emmaus Community members. As I write this note to you all, Thanksgiving has come and gone, Walk # 48 is completed and many new members have joined our Community and experience a new closeness with and a deeper understanding of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It was a blessing getting to know our new Community members and to get reacquainted with many of our dear Emmaus friends at Walk #48. I trust we all experienced the ever-present love of Christ at the Men’s and Women’s Walks, and felt His presence throughout the two weekends and again at Fourth day. The Board has been busy with many details that were discussed at the meetings held just before Walk #48, and afterward on November 16th. These were both important meetings as we dealt with some serious concerns affecting MTWE and tried to put into place a better, more cohesive path for future Walks and for the culture of the Community at large.

In recognition that MTWE is comprised of people from many different Christian denominations and who may hold different understandings of what it means to be followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we should strive to more closely adhere to the International Emmaus (Upper Room Ministries) model as we carry out our Walk events and at all times as we personally interact with each other. Out of respect for our Community members who may be personally affected by the proceedings, I will not elaborate here on issues, but will address only solutions and the direction MTWE will be taking as we move forward. It is important to include here the suggestions and advice offered by Emmaus International (Upper Room Ministries) regarding how this Community should be conducting itself as an affiliate of the International Walk to Emmaus. In several telephone conversations with our regional representative, Sandy Glover, and with the International Spiritual Director, Stephane Brooks, MTWE will be working toward the following recommendations that were agreed upon by the Board and the numerous Community members who were present at the September board meeting:

  1. MTWE understands that the Emmaus Community is not a church but works in partnership with local churches to develop church members as more committed followers of Christ and as leaders in faith in their respective churches. As such, the Walk to Emmaus operates in an ecumenical context without engaging in doctrinal discussions or socio/political differences.
  2. Training of our Community members regarding sponsorship responsibilities is crucial. Training of our Board members, officers, LDs, ALDs, table leaders, etc. is crucial. Ongoing training is a key element in sustaining a vibrant and effective Community.
  3. Sponsorship of a participant (Pilgrim) is not something to be taken lightly or without serious and prayerful regard for a person’s readiness to be a participant. A participant must understand and be able to attest that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior and that only through Him are we saved.
  4. The Walk to Emmaus is a personal growth experience with Christ. Although spouses should be encouraged to support one another, spouses must not attend the same walk as Pilgrims or be allowed to room in the same dormitory during the event. Spouses should not be allowed to serve in the Gathering Room while their spouse is a Pilgrim on the same walk (Clergy, musicians, same-sex couples). Spouses must not be allowed to sleep in the same room while on site at the walk. Walk participants (workers and Pilgrims) should not mention (or at least be discouraged from mentioning) their families during their talks, at the closing, or in discussions.
  5. Walk participants (Pilgrims) must be members of a Christian church.

These suggestions in themselves may seem harsh or maybe even unfeeling, but we should be reminded that we are all here to support the Pilgrims in their desire to gain a closer understanding and a deeper life with Jesus. Comments, actions and an environment that distracts from this effort should be avoided both in the Gathering room and in the Background.  Therefore, we will endeavor to establish and maintain a Community culture that embraces Jesus while honoring each and every member in our Community.

At the same meeting in September, the board voted to extend the Pilgrim application deadline to one full month prior Joint Team meeting. This was done to allow additional time for the registrar to process applications and for sponsors to work with and sufficiently prepare their Pilgrims for their Walk experience. This new application deadline will be effective beginning with Walk #49 which will be held at the Scott Valley Berean Church in Etna California. The Walk dates are scheduled for the Joint Team meeting to be held at the church on the 12th and 13th of June, 2020, with the Men’s Walk starting June 25th, the Women’s Walk starting July 9th, and Fourth Day to be held on July 25th. Pilgrim applications will be due for this Walk by May 15th with early registration ending May 1st.

One of the true joys of the Walk to Emmaus experience begins with sponsorship, friends. Please prayerfully consider sponsoring a Pilgrim for Walk #49, and get those applications in asap!

The most recent board meeting was held in Chico at Becky and Scott Eitel’s home on November 16th. The one action item that was passed will allow the appointed Committee Chairs to select the team members they will be working with during the year. Historically, our committee chairs have been appointed by the newly elected board members in May while their committee members have remained in place from year to year. While this arrangement afforded a continuation of much-needed cohesive knowledge and history year after year, it has not allowed new members to serve on these important committees while they learn the ropes, bringing with them valuable new ideas and perspectives.

This brings me to another important topic: each year the Mountain Trails Walk to Emmaus Board seeks nominations for three members to fill positions on the board of the three board members who will be ending their three-year terms in May. If you have a desire to serve our Lord as a one of the nine members of our Board of Directors, please notify one of our current members, or Marlee Billingsly, our Nominations Committee Chair person, within the next few months (530)340-2642 or ycrcmarlee at gmail dot com). Nominations close in March with elections taking place in May. I encourage any and all MTWE Community members to prayerfully consider serving on this Spirit-led board or on one of the several committees that support this incredible Community.

Please ask any one of us on the board if you have questions regarding any of the items I’ve addressed in this article (or anything else pertaining to MTWE, for that matter). We will be happy to elaborate and expound… that’s seems to be what we do best! (just kidding, gang). Our next scheduled MTWE Board meeting will be held on Saturday January 18th at Yreka United Methodist Church beginning at 10:00 am. Please join us if possible and see for yourselves what goes into making this Community a thriving Spirit-led organization that wants to help bring as many people as possible to the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Also and ultimately, please be in prayer for this amazing MTWE Community. Ask our loving and compassionate God to lead us in a manner that will honor Him and empower us to His will. We are indeed His hands and feet here on earth and strive to do His work to the best of our abilities. Remain blessed everyone!

Your MTWE Chairman,
Steve Leal