What Is Chrysalis?
Before it becomes a butterfly, a caterpillar goes through a growth stage during which it is called a "chrysalis." On the surface it may not look like much is happening, but the delicate chrysalis process changes the fuzzy caterpillar into an awesome butterfly with wings of intricate designs and intense colors. The chrysalis process symbolizes how Christ can transform you into something beyond your dreams. It happens when you grow beyond yourself, opening your life to Jesus' power and love.
"Chrysalis" is the name chosen for the youth and young adult version of The Walk to Emmaus, its parent movement, because it symbolizes the spiritual growth that is essential between adolescence and adulthood. That growth is as crucial for youth as the cocoon is for the caterpillar. It is that precious time of nurturing a person's faith for discipleship.
Chrysalis "Flights" (for 10th through 12th graders) and "Journeys" (for young adults, ages 19-24) are three-day events. This three-day spiritual renewal time provides an opportunity for you to learn more about faith, to experience Christian love and support, and to make new faith commitments. The point is to inspire, challenge and equip you for a closer friendship with Christ and for Christian action at home, church, school, and community.
Chrysalis lifts up a way for you to enjoy Christ's friendship and love and to be Christ's friend and partner in the world. The three days focus on God's grace, your experience with Christ as friend, what it means to be the body of Christ, and giving love to a needy world.
What Happens At Chrysalis?
You'll spend three days with other people your age in worship, prayer, fellowship, creative expression, recreation, singing, and discussion. You'll experience the love of God through prayers and the acts of service from a loving support community. Think of it as three days for you to discover or re-discover you spiritual self, to analyze and realize who you are in Christ. You'll hear talks that focus on the needs of maturing youth or young adults, offer the message of the gospel and the friendship and example of Jesus Christ. Each day speakers present topics with life examples, followed by discussion, reflection, and creative expression of how these messages can encourage your personal faith.
How to get involved?
Chrysalis is open to young people of any Christian denomination. The ages include upper high school students (ages 15-18 and completed 9th grade) and young adults (ages 19-24 and graduated from high school). We invite you to join in a flight or journey, an exciting three days of experiencing God's love in a fresh new way. Spread your wings. It's a new day!
What is Sponsorship?
Each young person who attends Chrysalis has a "sponsor" who supports and encourages him/her before, during, and after the Chrysalis experience.
Sponsorship is the way in which the Chrysalis experience is passed on from person to person, reflecting the manner in which God purposefully reaches out to people through other people. After a Chrysalis Weekend, participants want to share the gift of those three days with others. Sponsorship provides them a caring and disciplined way for them to share. And in doing so, sponsors participate in and demonstrate God's outreaching love.
Sponsorship is taken for granted in many communities. The assumption is that everyone knows the how and why of sponsorship. Sometimes sponsorship is only discussed with reference to the number of participants signed up for a Chrysalis Weekend.
Sponsorship, however, is the most important job in the Chrysalis Movement. It is a job shared by the adults who have been through Emmaus and the young people who have been through Chrysalis. It is more than simply "signing youth up." The importance of a Chrysalis Community being educated about good sponsorship cannot be overemphasized. The quality of sponsorship impacts the new participants, the health of the Chrysalis Movement in an area, and the churches being affected by Chrysalis.
The Aim of Sponsorship?
The aim of sponsorship is the same as the aim of Chrysalis: the spiritual growth of young Christians as disciples of Jesus Christ through churches and their youth groups. Every sponsor should reflect upon his or her motivation for wanting to sponsor a young person and make sure it is consistent with this aim. Some examples of mistaken aims include:
• "to get all of my friends to go"
• to have a full weekend
• to reproduce one's own religious experience in others
• to fix a young person's problems or crisis
Sponsorship can be motivated, however, by a number of hopes and prayers for young persons which are consistent with the aim of Chrysalis. These include giving young persons the gift of three days apart:
• to experience the accepting and healing grace of God through Christian community
• to realize they are precious in God's eyes, that they are here on this earth for a holy purpose
• to discuss without judgment their questions and struggles as young persons with peers and mature Christian adults
• to hear anew the gospel of God's love in Jesus Christ and the basics of Christian faith and life
• to make friends with other youth who share the faith and will support each other in living as Christians
• to develop relationships with mature Christian adults, relationships which might extend beyond the three days
• to be strengthened in their decisions to follow Jesus
• to be better prepared to live as Christian witnesses in home, school, church, and community
• to learn what goes into building their lives and relationships on a solid foundation
• to bring new vitality to the church youth group upon returning, to inspire the sponsorship of other youth, to energize the body of Christ through young people whose hearts are on fire with the love of Christ.
What Happens After Chrysalis?
Chrysalis is more than a three-day mountaintop experience for young people. The three-day experience aims to deepen young people's experience of God's companionship for everyday life and to strengthen their commitment to follow Jesus back into their familiar environments of friendships, school, family, church, and work. Chrysalis supports young people's return to the world as butterflies by encouraging and strengthening their local church and youth group connections. Chrysalis also provides follow-up through Next Step Groups and "Hoots." "Hoots" are larger, less frequent, gatherings of all of the young people and adults in an area who have participated in Chrysalis for the purpose of renewing relationships, rekindling the fire of faith, and planning to support upcoming Chrysalis weekends.
Ideas for becoming a Servant / Leader?
Chrysalis does not exist primarily for the weekend events. Its purposes are to deepen the faith of individual young people, to increase the faith of congregations, and to bring Christianity to the world. Chrysalis gives participants the skills needed for leadership and invites them to make the commitment needed to build up the church for the sake of Jesus Christ. The questions asked at the closing - "What has this weekend meant to you?" and "What are you going to do with it?" -- help participants begin to comprehend the kind of servant leadership that God may require of them in the future.
Who Should Attend?
Young people can sign up for a Chrysalis no matter where they are in their walk with Christ. Young people will gain immensely more from Chrysalis when they are developmentally ready and are in tune with the life experiences of the other youth participants. Sponsorship of participants who are too young can sometimes detract from the value of the three days for the age group for whom Chrysalis is intended.
High School Chrysalis is for high school (tenth through twelfth grades) age young people. Chrysalis is especially meaningful for young people who are ready to think and share about the realities and struggles of life on a more adult level: "What am I going to do with my life?" "Who do I want to become?" "What do I believe?" "What kind of relationships are lasting and most meaningful?" "What does it mean to live as a Christian and how can I do it?"
College-age Chrysalis (or young adult Chrysalis) is the same program and is for young adults eighteen to twenty-three (18-23) years of age. College-age Chrysalis has emerged to fill an age gap of persons who are often not being reached by either high school Chrysalis or the Walk to Emmaus for adults. Nevertheless, young adults who are beyond high school can be sponsored to the Walk to Emmaus as well. Sponsors must discern the most promising route for the each young person.
What You Will Need
An Open Heart & Mind
• A Sleeping bag & pillow (or sheets and blanket)
• Comfortable Clothes
• Bible (if you have one)
What You Will Get
An experience of God’s Love you’ll never forget!
The opportunity to make new friends (even if they are from your rival university!)
• Great Music
• Real Conversations
• Stories from students like YOU
• Laughter, tears, prayers & FUN!
• FOOD, FOOD, and more FOOD!