It sure is wonderful that people raise money for Ronald McDonald House charities. At a slight inconvenience to Emmaus Road, though, they are running through Belltown this Sunday morning for the annual Hot Chocolate Race. The viaduct is already scheduled to close through the weekend for road work and construction, but Aurora Ave will be shut down Sunday morning all the way up to Woodland Park Zoo for the race.

Coming from the north, I plan to try I-5 south, take exit 166,
follow Stewart a couple blocks to Denny,
turn left onto Bell Street,
turn right onto Third Ave,
head north to New Horizons.

From West Seattle or the south,
take I-5 north and…. I'm not sure (I never take I-5 north to downtown),
but if you have suggestions, share!

Hot Chocolate Race course route here
WSDOT details about Route 99 closures here



If you belong to Emmaus Road, you know that on most Sundays, and even in a few small groups beyond Sunday, we follow the Revised Common Lectionary. I like to view it as a valuable guide for the church, and for myself as pastor and preacher. It disciplines us to move through much of the Bible over its three-year cycle. Many lections include passages which I would overlook, yet they are passages with much to say. If you read this post - Something Other Than the Lectionary - along with ensuing comments, you hear good questions about the Lectionary's role, and how it can be used well or poorly. To some, it can seem a rigid, out of touch structure. It can be blamed for keeping preachers familiar with obscure Bible texts, yet estranged from people. On the other hand, people can seem to be in touch with their personal needs, yet out of touch with what the Word says to them.  The entire topic raises the importance of healthy communication channels between us, God, and each other, and between preachers and congregations. We are reminded that a core belief of the Church is that God continues to speak to us through the Law, Prophets, Psalms, Epistles, in light of the Gospels. How well do we listen? How well do we share?



Whether you are pushing a stroller, riding a bicycle, or moving yourself along in a wheel chair, curb cuts benefit you.  You may be unfamiliar with the technical term, but a "curb cut" is a familiar and favored feature of the modern sidewalk.  People of all mobility levels appreciate curb cuts. They are a good example of universal design, or inclusive design.

Here is a question: would Emmaus Road benefit from social skill curb cuts? Could there be such a thing as relational ramps in our church's social design structure, to empower individuals with varying degrees of social skills to interact and find the spiritual encouragement and accountability we all need within the body of Christ?

For more on this topic, check out the post RETHINKING THE CHURCH'S SOCIAL PRACTICES.

The Emmaus Road Story

In the winter of 1997, we began as a small team of about 10 people, committed to gathering and growing a church that would connect with others like ourselves; people interested in connecting with God, in the person and work of Jesus Christ, but disconnected from the activity of many mainstream congregations. With the financial support of a larger church organization, our pastor was able to work full time with the team in planning, leadership development, and meeting people in the community.

Our first meetings were open discussion forums. We talked about prayer, scripture, spiritual discipline and the issues with which we all struggle. As friends talked to friends, the first group expanded and we multiplied into two.

Inspired by the journey process as a metaphor for spiritual growth, we searched for a name which would reflect that idea. In the resurrection narrative of Luke 24, we found our name "on the road to Emmaus."

After our first worship event on Good Friday of 1997, both groups began to gather together for worship once a month. In various coffee shops and rental spaces, we gradually increased our worship times to twice a month, and in September of 1998 we decided to gather every Sunday. Since the beginning, numerical growth has been gradual but steady, most often through the personal contact of friends talking to friends.

Today, several small groups continue to meet for open discussions on prayer, scripture, and the process of encountering God in daily life; we all gather for worship each week.