About Via de Cristo
Via de Cristo is an ecumenical movement bathed in Lutheran theology. Its seminal roots stretch all the way to the Roman Catholic Church, the island of Majorca, Spain, the 1940’s, and the Cursillo Movement. The first Via de Cristo of Southern California and the Central Valley weekend was conducted in March 1997 at El Camino Pines. Weekends are generally conducted at least three time per year at different locations.
The purpose of Via de Cristo, which literally translates to, “The Way Of Christ”, is to see the world reconciled to Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus, in the great commission, has challenged every Christian to go into all the world and make disciples. The key to the Via de Cristo strategy is to select natural Christian leaders within an environment and develop those Christian leadership skills to be later employed in their home congregations. This is accomplished through a three-day weekend renewal designed to experience the Gospel in the same way Jesus proclaimed it, The word is Living.
A Via de Cristo weekend is a pragmatic three-day course to review Christian fundamentals, discuss ways to live them actively, and learn some practical tools to keep them vital. During the three-day weekend, tools are shared that will encourage each of the participants to maintain a Christian walk.
They will learn many ways that the Spirit inspires people to do good works and will be encouraged to choose those that are effective for them. The weekend will give methods that will serve as a backbone to daily life in the world. They leave the weekend with a clearer understanding of Christianity, a powerful experience in Christian community, and a desire to be in group reunion as a means to live and keep faith active.
What Happens on the Weekend?
The technique or method for the weekend is simply expressed prepare the way of the Lord. This is accomplished through a series of 15 talks and 5 meditations conducted by lay leaders and clergy who have attended previous Via de Cristo weekends. These 15 talks are segments of one talk necessary to cover the basics of the Via de Cristo method. In addition to the 15 talks, 5 meditations are offered to assist the participants in examining their relationship with Christ.
Weekends are conducted at various Christian retreat centers throughout Southern and Central California, where the participant experiences three full days of Christian community, away from all distractions of daily life. The weekends start on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM and end on Sunday at about 5:00 PM.
There is absolutely no cost to the participant at any weekend as the costs are absorbed by the members of the community to express their love for you and for Christ. What you will experience on your weekend is driven by the Spirit and is unique to each individual.
How do I Attend?
Contact a member of your congregation that has attended a weekend and ask them for an application. Then simply fill out the application and sign it. You may give it to the individual who gave it to you and they will then present it to your Pastor who is required to fill out a section of the form, or mail the application to the address provided at the bottom of form. You will be notified well in advance of the scheduled weekend of your attendance.
History of Via de Cristo
The movement originated as “Cursillo” in the late 1940’s in the Spanish Catholic church and moved to the United States in the late 1950’s. It 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.
May God Bless you in your walk with Christ!