Maryland History

Our Origins

The 7 Mile Walk With Jesus program, and several related activities such as the Maryland Emmaus, Lutheran Rainbow, and the Tres Dias programs, have their roots in the Roman Catholic Cursillo de Cristianidad (Short Course in Christianity) movement.
Cursillo first developed in Spain as the direct result of dedicated Christian men seeking to help others come to a deeper understanding of Jesus Christ. Initial efforts and spiritual renewal retreats developed on the Spanish island of Majorca in the Mediterranean Sea following a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James at Compostela in 1948. The Majorca leadership of a young men's group, which was responsible for the pilgrimage, ultimately founded the Cursillo movement.
Those who first developed the Cursillo program worked together as a team, praying together, sharing their Christian lives together, studying together, planning together, taking action together, and evaluating what they had done together. This teamwork is the hallmark of the Cursillo, Emmaus, and 7 Mile Walk With Jesus movements.


The Cursillo movement expanded rapidly. Cursillo was first introduced into the United States in Waco, Texas in 1957. Two Spanish airmen, in the country for flight training, worked with Fr. Gabriel Fernandez, a priest from Spain, to put on the first American Cursillo. Later, in 1965, it was accepted into the Episcopal Church. Twelve years later, the Walk to Emmaus was born, and in October 2014, the 7 Mile Walk With Jesus Ministry began. Cursillo, Emmaus, and other related communities are now a worldwide movement which spans the globe.


Emmaus, originally known as The Upper Room Cursillo when it began in 1977, was redesignated as The Upper Room Emmaus in 1981. Although it is a unit of the United Methodist Church, the Emmaus program is ecumenical. The first weekends were put on with the guidance and help of the American Cursillo community. The objective of an Emmaus weekend, in keeping with the original Cursillo goals, is to inspire, challenge, and equip local church members for Christian action in their homes, churches, and places of work, through spiritual enrichment and renewal. God has truly blessed the Emmaus community: as of 1984, 20,000 people had attended a Walk to Emmaus. Who could possibly guess how many have attended by now?! Each of this multitude has taken back the love of God into their homes and workplaces, affecting countless numbers of people for Christ.


Kalos (formally known as Chrysalis) evolved from the 7 Mile Walk With Jesus (formally Maryland Emmaus) movement to provide for the development of young church leaders. It calls teens and young adults to seek a dynamic friendship with God through Christ, that they might be nurtured and grow into a mature relationship with Christ. The focus of the Kalos Community is not itself, but the local church. The two expectations of butterflies are that they will work toward improvement of their own spiritual lives and become active disciples for Christ in the world through their churches.

Maryland Emmaus and Chrysalis

7 Mile Walk With Jesus (formally known as Maryland Emmaus) held its first weekend in the fall of 1987. Since then, God has blessed many men and women through the 7 Mile Walk With Jesus community. The number of weekends held here, as of May 2016, is 219. At 20-35 pilgrims per weekend, that's approximately 6,000 men and women who have made their weekend in Maryland!
Kalos (formally known as Chrysalis) in Maryland weekends are host to an eclectic mix of Methodists, Episcopals, Catholics and members of various other denominations. Despite this ecumenical diversity, we have managed, through the Grace of God, to work in accord and to confidently affirm the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the sacred value of Biblical teaching.