First starting in 2016, the team at Logical Developments have been working on an online database for Emmaus. The Walk to Emmaus is a four day event designed to allow participants “to re-experience their faith, to re-experience grace” as described in the New Testament. The name comes from a passage in the Gospel according to Luke, where two men are walking to the town of Emmaus and encounter the risen Jesus.
Each Walk to Emmaus takes numerous volunteers to facilitate the running of the walk. The data-base is designed to be a tool that manages the contacts of all the volunteers, community members and potential walk participants. While programs such as Excel are powerful and straightforward to use, when team members aren’t centralised, it is easy for multiple versions of documents to exist which can cause confusion or communication issues about who has been asked to do what. By having an online database, team members are always able to view the latest information.
The database tool went live at the start of 2018 with the ‘Great Southern’ team (where the Emmaus walk is held in Katanning). As the team has grown comfortable with the database, they continually use more of the features.
These features are:
- The online database allows multiple users to view and edit contact details for team members and participants.
- Team selection
- Users are enabled to compare prospective team members against the relative selection criteria for each specific role to be filled.
- Newsletter send out
- Post-Retreat gatherings
A new feature that has been worked on is the prayer vigil. The prayer vigil allows for community members to nominate times that they will pray for participants on the four day retreat. Once a community member nominates a time, they can export that into their calendar with a reminder. The team running the retreat can also create a PDF of all the people praying and print off a table that shows who is praying for them, when and where they’re being prayed for.
Currently, the vigil functionality will be trialled by the Great Southern Community for their August retreats and we look forward to more communities trialling the new functionality.