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Saturday, 01 December 2012 23:33

Via de Cristo and ELCA Actions

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is one of many bodies within the Lutheran Church. Via de Cristo (Way of Christ) is a Lutheran “Fourth Day” movement comparable to Roman Catholic Cursillo® but autonomous from any church body. In regards to recent actions by the E.L.C.A., Via de Cristo maintains that we do not, as a matter of policy, endorse, denounce or pass judgment on actions by any church body. This includes the recent action taken by the E.L.C.A. pertaining to human sexuality/homosexuality. We believe strongly that taking any formal stance would be contrary to our purpose.

Via de Cristo is based on the fundamentals of Christianity, concentrating on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ. The purpose of the movement is to inspire, challenge and equip local church members for Christian action in their homes, churches and communities. The focus is not on Via de Cristo itself but on developing leaders within the church. We emphasize a method of living the faith that people can use in daily life. All participants are encouraged to develop a vital relationship with their own pastor. As a “Fourth Day” movement, we strive to build up the one true church as described in Ephesians 4:1-6 and remain consistent with the historical Lutheran confessions.

Again, we do not take any official stances on the actions of any organized church body – we are not a church, a church within the church, nor a para-church organization. As a simple movement within the church, our priorities remain on teaching the gospel of grace, assisting participants to influence their environments with the gospel, and encouraging a renewed personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Our prayers will continue for all persons embroiled in controversy. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the authentic love of God our Father, and the true fellowship that is provided by the Holy Spirit, embrace us all.

We welcome honest inquiries as to who we are and about the role and function of our movement. Further information is available at our website, www.utahvdc.org.

We pray for God’s love and grace to become known to all,  in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Saturday, 01 December 2012 22:55

What is a renewal group?

The first organizational principle of the church was small groups (Acts 2:41-47).  As we become part of a larger body it is even more important for us to connect with a smaller community for unity with each other.  We rely on our smaller group during difficult times for comfort and prayer, encouragement and support, and most of all, confidentiality.  We take delight in sharing praises with each other for all the great things God has done in our lives.  Ideally, a renewal group should consist of 6-8 of those people that feel a strong connection with each other so that the group encourages openness and reaching out to each other.  However, some renewal groups choose to be an “open group” meaning they are willing to accept additional members at any given time.  Renewal groups can be made up of all men or women, couples, singles or mixed – it’s completely up to the group and you can be in more than one group at a time.

Prayer is a vital part of the renewal group and should be included each time whether you pray for individuals or your group as a whole.  It can be as simple as saying grace before a meal, or sharing prayer requests and praying for each other until the group meets again.  Romans 8:26-27 tells us we don’t have to be nervous praying privately or publicly, the Holy Spirit will give us the words when we pray.  Some groups choose to incorporate a bible study along with prayer which facilitates an aspect of growth through God’s word.  Whichever your group decides, remember it is most important to keep it God centered.

Finally¸ no matter what the dynamics of the group are, allow God to work in each of you and change lives through spiritual growth, authentic community, selfless actions, servant hood and support of one another.  Keep in mind that each person in the group is on his or her own spiritual journey, we must let God guide this journey, and we are to simply meet our brothers and sisters where they are.

If you are not yet in a renewal group and would like to be, are in need of finding a different group for whatever reason, or just have questions, please contact me at:

801-870-0147

or email to:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GLYASDI,

Debbie Baum

Saturday, 01 December 2012 13:33

The Secretariat

The Utah Via de Cristo Secretariat.

Saturday, 01 December 2012 13:32

About Us

About Via de Cristo.

Friday, 30 November 2012 15:10

What is Via de Cristo?

 

VIA de CRISTO is a Spanish phrase meaning "Way of Christ." VIA de CRISTO is a highly structured three-day weekend designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christian people and bring them to a new awareness of living in God's grace. It is a combined effort of lay people and clergy toward renewal of the church.

History of VIA de CRISTO

Via de Cristo is the Lutheran expression of the Roman Catholic spiritual renewal experience, Cursillo de Cristiandad, or `short course in Christianity.'

The original Cursillo had its beginning in the 1940's after the Spanish Civil War when church leaders wanted to bring healing to both the Church and the nation. A three-day study course was designed to give life to the teachings of the church. It was so successful that it spread, eventually reaching the United States.

Lutheran pastors who attended Cursillo® felt the renewal experience was excellent, and in 1972 the first Lutheran weekend was held. Over the years, pastors and leaders have made sure that the weekends remain faithful to both Lutheran principles and the Cursillo method.

The Spanish name, Via de Cristo, means `Way of Christ.' Similar expressions have formed such as Kiros, a Cursillo prison ministry, the United Methodist Walk to Emmaus, and Crossroads, which has a non-denominational focus.

Via de Cristo began in the Lutheran church when lay people and clergy attended a Catholic Cursillo in 1971, both in Iowa and Florida. The first Lutheran sponsored weekends were held in 1972 in Iowa and Florida and have now been held in over 25 states and some foreign countries. VIA de CRISTO is the Lutheran expression of this method which is currently being used in many denominations including: Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian and Reformed churches.

Purpose of VIA de CRISTO

VIA de CRISTO is based on the fundamentals of Christianity, concentrating on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ. The focus is not on VIA de CRISTO itself, but on the local church. The objective of the movement is to inspire, challenge and equip local church members for Christian action in their homes, churches and communities.

What happens on a VIA de CRISTO weekend?

A VIA de CRISTO weekend is three days in length, beginning on Thursday evening and ending the following Sunday evening. The participants live, study, worship and commune together daily. Fourteen talks are given, nine by lay people and five by clergy. Following each talk, small round table discussions focus on the main points of the talk and a poster is done. The talks, in an overlapping fashion, present the Christian life, based on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ. The titles of these talks indicate their content: Ideal, Piety, Study, Sacraments, Action, Obstacles to Grace, Leaders, Environment, Life in Grace, Christian Community, and Total Security. VIA de CRISTO gives those attending a living understanding of basic Christian truths. There is music and singing, food and fellowship, a time for laughter and for prayer.

What happens after the weekend?

You may attend VIA de CRISTO only ONCE in your life, but you are asked to build on it for the rest of your life. After you have attended a VIA de CRISTO weekend you are considered a Fourth Dayer (meaning the rest of your life), and you are encouraged to 1) Expand your inner spiritual life through study and church participation, 2) Become more active witnesses for Christ in your daily life. VIA de CRISTO also offers two ongoing means of perseverance: 1) RENEWAL GROUPS, small groups of men or women, who meet regularly to study, pray, share and help one another in their quest for spiritual development, 2) ULTREYA, gatherings of the local VIA de CRISTO community for encouragement and fellowship.

Who should attend a VIA de CRISTO weekend?

Any Christian who would like to experience the love of God in a very unique manner.

Any Christian who believes their spiritual life may need strengthening.

Any Christian who may have questions about prayer, study and sharing their faith.

Any Christian who is willing to dedicate their everyday lives to God in an on-going manner.

In other words: any Christian.

VIA de CRISTO is intended for lay people from every walk of life, for pastors, for people who live strong and active lives in Christ, and also for those who seek to be renewed and strengthened in their relationship with Christ and the people around them. VIA de CRISTO is open to married couples, and single men and women.

Summary

Keep an open mind and heart in making your decision to attend VIA de CRISTO. Many of those who have attended also wondered whether they should go. Now that they have attended, they want to share this wonderful gift from God. Please understand that their experience attending VIA de CRISTO was unique, and all the conversations in the world will not become a substitute for your weekend. You need to experience a weekend yourself to obtain its full and life enriching value.

 

 

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