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 in Florida and Iowa. The first Lutheran sponsored weekends were held in 1972 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 essentials 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. 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.
After a Weekend?
Most people attend Via de Cristo or similar retreat as a guest only ONCE in their life, but they are asked to build on it for the rest of their lives. 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 church Via de Cristo community for encouragement and fellowship.
Lake Gaston Via de Cristo
We are a chapter of the National Lutheran Secretariat for Via de Cristo. We are based in Littleton, NC.
Format of the Weekend
The Via de Cristo Weekend is an experience in Christian sharing and living. A Via de Cristo weekend is three days in length, beginning on Thursday evening and ending the following Sunday afternoon. The participants live, study, worship and commune together daily. During the 72 hours, fourteen talks will be presented: Five talks are given by pastors and nine by lay people. 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 Weekend also includes chapel each morning, communion, small group discussions, sharing, music, singing, laughter, and prayer. Some of the subjects that will be discussed include:
Lay People in the Church
The Grace-Filled Life
Obstacles to a Life in Grace
The Christian Community in Action
Who Attends Via de Cristo?
Via de Cristo is not designed to convert anyone to Christianity. It 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.The goal of Via de Cristo is to encourage Christians in their lives of faith and increase their awareness of grace and service to the Church and world.
How Can I Attend a Via de Cristo Weekend?
If you would like to attend a Via de Cristo Weekend, please contact an individual who has previously attended. We suggest you also speak to your pastor, since a pastor must sign the registration when you decide to attend. If you do not know of anyone who has previously attended a Via de Cristo please use the contact button to reach us for more information.
Not everyone who attends a Via de Cristo Weekend will receive the same benefit; but all who attend will be blessed, and most will be strengthened in their desire to be a blessing in their churches and Christian communities. 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.
Our first retreat weekend will be Mixed 1 at Camp Willow Springs in Littleton, NC. Scott Miller will be the Rector. The dates are March 26 - 29, 2020.. Our retreat is open to adult men and women.
Camp Willow Springs
102 Camp Willow Springs Drive
Littleton, NC 27850