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About Chrysalis
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“The purpose of Chrysalis is to serve as a ministry of the church to inspire and support the spiritual formation of Christian young people. Chrysalis provides young people in the church a course in the essentials of Christian faith and practice that is educational and experiential in character. During the three days, Chrysalis becomes a Christian community in which persons experience the living Christ through a daily flow of worship and reflection, systematic teaching and small group dialogue, creative expression and play, prayer and signs of support from the wider Walk to Emmaus and Chrysalis communities. As a result, young people experience spiritual growth in a variety of ways that contribute to their wholeness and their readiness to live a life of Christian discipleship in today’s world.”

“During the Chrysalis Weekend young people are called to receive the dynamic friendship God offers through Jesus Christ, to become the unique and beautiful expression of God’s image each was created to be, and to grow together in the grace and love of Jesus Christ as servants of God in church and society. After the Chrysalis Weekend, the young people are encouraged to share the love they have received, to be an energetic and renewing presence in their churches and youth groups and schools, and to keep the faith and fire alive through spiritual support groups and occasional gatherings of the whole Chrysalis community. “

“The butterfly—an ancient Christian symbol of Christ’s death and resurrection—provides us with the central metaphor of the Chrysalis Weekend. The journey of spiritual growth into which Chrysalis invites young people is marvelously illustrated in the life-cycle of the butterfly that is first a caterpillar and then undergoes an amazing transformation as a chrysalis in a cocoon, dying to what it was before in order to become what it is meant to be. Similarly, our process of transformation in Christ involves dying with Christ to our old self through faith in God’s accepting love (the focus of Day 1), rising with Christ to a new self motivated by hope in the new life and continual growth that God gives through faithful living (the focus of Day 2), and going forth with Christ as the church by joyfully sharing God’s ministry of reconciliation and love in an alienated world (the focus of Day 3)”

Chrysalis began in 1984 in response to mounting requests from Emmaus communities for a high school version of the Walk to Emmaus. The early development of Chrysalis was influenced by Emmaus and T.E.C. (Teens Encounter Christ), the youth expression of the Roman Catholic Cursillo. A group of high school youth and two youth leaders from Nashville attended T.E.C. in Peoria, IL, and acted as advisors to The Upper Room Staff in the creation of a unique model and name for the program. By 1994, the youth movement had grown steadily to nearly 100 Chrysalis communities across the United States, Australia, Mexico, and South Africa.


The Garden State Lighthouse Chrysalis community was established in March 1998. Chrysalis was the goal of many members of the Garden State Emmaus community who felt that teenagers needed to experience God's presence just as much as adults. These adults sought out teenagers who had attended Chrysalis flights in other communities in the hopes that they would want to participate and help start Chrysalis in New Jersey.

In March 1998, numerous members of the Garden State Walk to Emmaus community joined with local teens who had attended a Chrysalis weekend, as well as teenagers from other communities, to hold the first Garden State Lighthouse Chrysalis weekend. We currently hold our weekends in South Seaville Camp Meeting in South Seaville, NJ.

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Last modified: January 23, 2016