Hill Country Emmaus Community Bylaws

Adopted Date November 4, 2019

Article I. Name

The name of the Emmaus Community shall be Hill Country Emmaus Community, hereinafter referred to as "Community."

Article II. Purpose & Affiliation

Section 1. The purpose of the Community shall be to inspire, challenge, and equip church members for Christian action in their homes, churches, places of work and the world community through the Emmaus Experience.

Section 2. Affiliation

a. The Community is affiliated with the International Emmaus Program of the Upper Room, Nashville, Tennessee. In recognition of its ecumenical nature, all activities conducted by the Hill Country Emmaus Community shall be conducted in such manner as to encourage ecumenism and avoid discrimination against any Christian belief.

b. The Hill Country Emmaus Community is on outreach ministry of the Kerrville First United Methodist Church who maintains the financial records and insurance coverage for all Emmaus Events.

Article III. Membership and Meetings

Section 1. Membership in the Community shall consist of persons who have completed a Walk to Emmaus, Cursillo, Via de Cristo, Tres Dias, Face to Face, Journey, Chrysalis or other internationally recognized "Three Day Weekend" event.

Section 2. Meetings of the Community, hereinafter referred to as "Gatherings," will be monthly, or as otherwise called by the Chair, or by another member of the Community Board of Directors, hereinafter "Board" with signatures of eight (8) Community members or Board members.

Article IV. Board of Directors

Section 1. Responsibilities. The direction, policy, operations, records, and finances of the Community Board include governing the Community, establishing, maintaining, and reviewing Bylaws of the Community every five years, and filling vacancies on the Board. Board shall approve team members for Emmaus Ministries, maintain written and financial records of the Community and Events, and insure that the Community maintains the integrity of the Emmaus movement for sponsored weekends and events by following the rules, policies and guidelines of the International Emmaus Movement, The Upper Room, Nashville, Tennessee.

Section 2. Composition. The Board and officers shall be elected from those members of the Community who are active in a church, reunion groups, and local Gatherings. The Board shall be composed of no more than fifteen (15) lay persons and two clergy members plus one immediate past Community Lay Leader (ex officio). There shall be a maximum of eighteen (18) Board members.

Section 3. Terms of office.

a. Lay Members of the Board shall be elected for three (3) year terms in three classes, each class having 5 members. Elected lay members may succeed themselves in one additional three-year consecutive term. Lay Board Members must be off the Board for one (1) year before becoming eligible to be elected or appointed to the Board after serving two (2) consecutive terms. The immediate past Community Lay Leader shall serve on the Board in an ex officio capacity for one (1) additional year. Terms of office shall begin January 1 and end December 31.

b. Appointed Lay Members of the Board shall be the same as elected Board members in all authorities and responsibilities, except appointed Board members are nominated and filled as vacancies are provided below.

c. Spiritual Directors shall be elected or appointed to the Community Board for a one-year term. Clergy Board Members shall not serve more than three consecutive one year terms without a one year lay-out period between 3-year terms.

d. Walk Lay Directors, Walk Spiritual Directors, and Walk Board Representative for Community sponsored events shall attend the Board meetings for 6 months preceding the event they lead and the Board meeting following the event. Board members are elected by the Community.

Section 4. Election

a. Board members are elected by the Community.

b. The Nominating Committee shall meet and present nominations for the Board in the October newsletter and at the October Gathering.

c. The Board shall be those candidates elected by the majority vote of the Community members present at the December Gathering who have completed an Emmaus event and are entitled to vote at the December meeting on the slate as presented by the Nominating Committee. The Board shall not approve a Board Member who was not elected by the Community, except to be temporarily nominated by a Board member to serve until the next Community meeting. At that time such Board nominee shall be ratified by a majority vote of Community; then the Board member shall assume full authorities and responsibilities of that board.

d. Officers shall be the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer/Registrar; and in case of absences will chair meetings in this order. The Vice-Chair must be eligible to serve an additional year on the board and serve as Chair if elected to that post. Officers may accept responsibilities for a work area in addition to an elected position on the board. Officers shall be elected annually by the Board of Directors at the December meeting for a one (1) year term of office effective at the close of the December meeting.

e. Executive Committee shall be the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer/Registrar.

Spiritual Director of the Community shall be elected annually by the Board. Term of office shall begin January 1. Spiritual Director may be replaced during the term by ten (10) votes of the board in a regular meeting.

Article V. Meetings

Section 1. The Board shall meet monthly in regular meetings unless otherwise ordered by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board in a regular meeting.

Section 2. Quorum. Ten (10) members of the Board present at a duly called meeting shall constitute a quorum.

Section 3. Special Meetings. Special Board meetings may be called by the Chair or when requested in writing by eight (8) voting members of the board.

Article VI. Position and Duties of the Board

Section 1. Chair shall preside over regular and called meeting of the Board, monthly Gatherings, bring business needing attention to the Community and perform other duties as directed by the Board. It is recommended that the Chair be in his/her third year of an elected or appointed term.

Section 2. Vice-Chair shall arrange Fourth Day Speakers, maintain a schedule of speakers prior to Gatherings, communicate that information to the Communication Coordinator, be responsible for the elements for communion and perform other duties as directed by the Vice-Chair. It is recommended that the Vice-Chair be in their second year of an elected or appointed term.

Section 3. Secretary shall record attendance and proceedings of the Board meetings, distribute and preserve Board minutes, keep Community records, and perform such other recording and notification duties as assigned to this office. The Secretary shall keep current copies of the Hill Country Community Emmaus Bylaws.

Section 4. Treasurer/Registrar shall maintain financial reports and records of the Community, pay invoices incurred by the Community as directed by the Board, submit financial reports at Board meetings, assist Walk Lay Directors in the final accounting of each Walk, distribute scholarship monies as directed by the Board and perform other duties as directed by the Chair. Registrar shall for each Hill Country Community Emmaus Event collect the Team and Candidate applications, insure applications are complete, date and time stamp each before copying and relaying the information to the Event Lay Director and Database Coordinator, contacts the Sponsor that the application was received, and monitors numbers regularly to insure minimum number of applications is received by the two-week deadline (set up by The Upper Room) and insure that the Event does not get overbooked.

Section 5. Database Coordinator shall setup and maintain a record of all individuals that have completed a "Three Day Weekend" for purposes of progressive servant hood to be used by selection team to select members of Emmaus Ministries teams.

Section 6. Communication Coordinator shall maintain the Hill Country Blast, Prayer Vigils, Agape requests, and maintains a list of men's and women's reunion groups.

Section 7. Music Coordinator shall attempt to schedule different music teams from various churches, work with the church hosting the Gathering to coordinate such items as musicians, sound system, music, and PowerPoint for each Gathering and relay this information to the Communication Coordinator for publication.

Section 8. Church Relations Coordinator shall maintain a contact list for the churches in the Hill Country Emmaus Community area and inform churches of Emmaus Events and encourage them to distribute in their bulletins, newsletters and calendars.

Section 9. Upper Room Coordinator shall continually remain current in changes to the Upper Room manuals and distribute such information to the Board and Walk Lay Directors. The Upper Room Coordinator will conduct the Board and team training.

Section 10. Food Coordinator(s) shall recruit and maintain a schedule of meals for each Gathering and communicate such information to the Communications Coordinator.

Section 11. At-Large Board Members are assigned duties by the Chair or Board as needed.

Section 12. Immediate Past Chair is ex-officio member of the Board but may not be counted in quorum.

Section 13. All members of the Board, (except ex officio members) shall have only one vote, regardless of the number positions held.



The Team Selection Committee shall be appointed in September for the Men’s walk occurring in April of the following year and on January for the Women’s walk occurring in September of the same year. Each committee will include different individuals and be separate from one another.  



The Community shall follow the current guidelines of all Emmaus Ministries as presented in the Upper Room Handbooks. 


The Board shall choose Emmaus Ministries Lay Directors and Spiritual Directors for walks beginning no less than one (1) year prior to the event. The Lay Director must have met the following requirements: must have served on the Outside Support Team one or more times, Assistant Table Leader one or more times, Table Leader two or more times, and Assistant Lay 

Director two times, given four (4) scheduled talks, attended required training, attends monthly Gatherings on a regular basis and, in order to report on the walk progress, is requested to attended Community Board meetings for six (6) months prior to the Event. This role requires spiritual maturity and active participation in a local church and an accountability group. 


The Team Selection Committee shall select the Walk Board Representative for the Event who meets the following criteria: is a current or past Board Member or past Lay Director, served on the inside team, attended required training, attended monthly Gatherings on a regular basis, and is requested to attend Community meetings for six (6) months prior to the Event, and must be active in a reunion group and active in his or her church. 



It is the desire of the Hill Country Emmaus Board of Directors to set guidelines for the selection process. It is also the desire of the Board to follow the guidelines set by The Upper Room. 


The team selection committee shall be chaired by an active board member and will include the following members: Community Spiritual Director, Lay Director for the upcoming event, Spiritual Director for the upcoming event, and two to four other non-board members consisting of men and women from different reunion groups of the Hill Country Emmaus Community. All should have a broad awareness of the Community membership and a solid understanding of team needs. The Board of Directors will select the Team Members nine (9) months prior to each event (September for the Men’s walk and January for the Women’s walk). Beginning no less that nine (9) months prior to the event, the Team Selection Chairman shall call for a meeting of the Selection Committee and begin the process of selecting team members for the upcoming walk. 


The Team Selection Committee shall meet on the men's and women's walks to choose potential team members from the applications received or following progressive servant hood. Team Selection Committee will strive to staff each team with approximately one-third (1/3) new conference room team members, one-third (1/3) second (2nd) or third (3rd) time team members and one third (1/3) veteran team members. Team members from the same church are limited to six (6). A team member should not be a sponsor or close relative of a pilgrim. 

The Team List will have two (2) experienced Assistant Lay Directors, one (1) new Assistant Lay Director, Four (4) experienced Table Leaders, two (2) new Table Leaders and six (6) Assistant Table Leaders. Should the walk require fewer tables, if possible, the one-third rule should be applied as well. The Music Team should include at least two members. Additionally, there shall be one Spiritual Director and four (4) Assistant Spiritual Directors, two of which are required to be in residence during the entire walk. Table Leader assignments should be made with care and given to persons who have been on a team before, preferably as an Assistant Table Leader. Table Leaders need to be persons who understand Emmaus, listen, emphasize, guide discussion and foster development of the table families 

After the Team List is confirmed, the Team List should be sent to the Communications Coordinator, Database Coordinator and Registrar for publication and recording 




Walks will conform to the following minimum standards prior to becoming finalized no later than two (2) weeks prior to the walk. The minimum number of pilgrims shall be 20 per walk. The maximum number of pilgrims per walk shall be 36. Each pilgrim and Inside Team member will be required to fill out either a registration application or Team Service Form and pay the registration fee prior to the finalization date. Clergy are asked to pay for meals only during the walk. Mt. Wesley (Light on the Hill at Mt. Wesley) shall be informed by the Lay Director in concert with the Outside Team Coordinator and Community Lay Director of the number of beds, meals, and other supplies or equipment needed for the walk two (2) weeks prior to the walk start date. If the pilgrim count does not meet the minimum number of participants by the finalization date, the walk will be cancelled. 


The Hill Country Emmaus Community shall establish a Scholarship Fund in which donations can be made to enable pilgrims and inside team members to receive a stipend in order to attend the walk. This fund will be separate from the operating account fund and will be the only fund used for scholarships awarded by the Community. Applicants should fill out a request form prior to the walk which will be reviewed and approved by the Executive Board of Directors. Additionally, should any walk receive more funds than needed, any excess shall be deposited into the Scholarship Fund.





The established progression of responsibilities for the Community is twofold: Leadership Training and Spiritual Development. A person's readiness to carry out his/her particular assignment effectively, often depends on and is always enhanced by prior experience in another position. 


The progression of responsibilities begins with support roles (Outside Team) and then moves into the conference room. Entry positions for the Conference Room Team are either Assistant Table Leader (and possible speaker) or Table Leader (and possible speaker). Experience in both positions is required before progressing to Assistant Lay Director. The role of Music Leader requires sufficient team experience to know the place of music in the weekend and to have served as an Assistant Music Leader on a previous team. A potential team member must be involved in Fourth Day activities including: regular church attendance, involvement in their local church, ongoing participation in reunion group, support of Community Gatherings, and servanthood ministry behind the scenes of the Emmaus Events. The Board feels it is important that one has worked behind the scenes at the Event Site for an entire weekend in order to get to know the Emmaus Event process and to enable others to get to know him/her before serving in the conference room. 

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