Via de Cristo

             Via de Cristo is a  spiritual renewal opportunity afforded members of our faith community   
                                      thru the efforts of Western North Carolina Via de Cristo members. 
               Numerous parish members have participated in a Via de Cristo weekend retreat; 
                               and would like to help others experience this spirit-filled weekend. 

The following info is from the Western North Carolina Via de Cristo website:

What is Via de Cristo?

  • Via de Cristo means "the Way of Christ". It is a name used by Lutherans for a movement of personal Christian renewal within the Church. This instrument of renewal originated in Spain under the name of "Cursillo". It has been in North Carolina since September, 1976. It is a highly structured, well-thought-out method for renewing the faith of individuals, the congregations from which they come and the environments in which they live and work. This renewal movement is presented as a united effort of laypersons and clergy to aid congregations in the development of Christian leaders.
  • A Via de Cristo Retreat is an encounter with Christ in which the participant becomes a part of a community abounding in God’s grace . It enhances and strengthens our personal relationship with Christ, with our Christian brothers and sisters and with the Christian community. The Via de Cristo Retreat is coming face to face with Christ.

What is the goal of Via de Cristo?

  • The Via de Cristo has a goal - to change the world, to remake the world in Christ , and to restore all things to Christ. It is important to view the process of Via de Cristo as a movement and not as an organization. The Via de Cristo viewed as a movement means that it is an on-going process. The Via de Cristo movement does not work directly with the problems of the church and society, but works to form a group of people who can deal with these problems.

How does the Via de Cristo accomplish its aims?

  • During the three days of a particular Via de Cristo retreat weekend, participants live together, study together and communicate with one another in order to gain a deep, permanent, living awareness of their faith and of the responsibility that such a deep awareness involves.
  • The Via de Cristo Retreat itself is centered around fifteen talks (5 each day) with five given by pastors and ten given by laypersons who are part of a team, who have previously attended a Via de Cristo Retreat and had weeks of leadership training. The talks deal with living one’s life in God’s grace. After each talk, the candidates discuss the main point of the talk in small groups. The atmosphere in a retreat weekend is intended to and does resemble the early Christian community.
  • The effectiveness of the retreat proceeds from the natural means used (talks, discussion, group participation, singing, laughing, worshipping, etc.) in combination with the grace of God. The Via de Cristo movement recognizes the need for helping and supporting each other - the Christian community - and this is the manner in which the movement is structured.

Who should attend a Via de Cristo Retreat?

  • The retreat is designed for those Christians who, having been informed of the methods and aims of the movement, believe that the retreat can strengthen them in their faith and bring them closer to Christ in their discipleship. In short, the person who attends a retreat should recognize that being a Christian involves responsibility as well as privilege. It is highly desirable that the pastor of a candidate has previously attended a Via de Cristo Retreat so that the movement within a parish has proper pastoral support and oversight.
  • There are retreats for men and for women with the husbands attending first and the wives attending a few week later. Single men and women are also welcome to participate in a retreat.
  • The Men’s, Women’s and Mixed week-ends are held at Lutheridge. 

After the Retreat, what? 

  • After the Via de Cristo Retreat, participants are expected to do two things: (1) Expand their own inner spiritual life. (2) Become more active apostles of Christ. The "after" activity of the Retreat is known as the "Fourth Day". The "Fourth Day" is actually the balance of the participant life on earth.
  • Perseverance is a part of any method of renewal. In the Via de Cristo movement, the community spirit is continued after the three days through "reunions" of a small group (2-5) who meet weekly to encourage one another in their quest for spiritual improvement and discipleship. Participation in group reunions, though an integral part of the Via de Cristo movement and strongly suggested as essential for true renewal, is of course, voluntary.
  • It is hoped that participants will become more effective leaders in their local congregations as a result of the Via de Cristo and Fourth Day experiences.



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