What is Via de Cristo?
Via de Cristo is an ecumenical movement bathed in Lutheran theology. Its original roots stretch all the way to the Roman Catholic Church.
The Cursillo movement that Via de Cristo bases itself on started on the island of Majorca, Spain, in the 1940’s.
The purpose of Via de Cristo, which translates to, “The Way Of Christ”, is to see the world reconciled to Jesus Christ. Our belief is 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. We then help develop those Christian leadership skills to be later employed in their home congregations. We do this through a three-day weekend renewal designed to experience the Gospel. We express this in the same way Jesus proclaimed it, The word is Living.
A Via de Cristo weekend is a practical three-day course to review Christian fundamentals. We discuss ways to live them and learn some practical tools to keep them vital. During the three-day weekend, we share tools 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 we encourage them 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. Participants leave the weekend with a clearer understanding of Christianity. Through a powerful experience in the Christian community, and a desire to be in group reunions as a means to live and keep faith active.
The technique or method for the weekend is expressed as “prepare the way of the Lord”. We do this 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.
We conduct weekends at various Christian retreat centers throughout Southern and Central California. Here the participant experiences three full days of Christian community. The weekends start on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM and end on Sunday at about 5:00 PM.
How much does Via de Cristo cost?
Community members cover costs for weekends. There is no cost to the participant at any weekend. We do this to express our love for you and for Christ. What you will experience on your weekend is driven by the Spirit and is unique to each individual.
What do I need to bring?
Your daily needs will be met. However, you will need to bring:
Your own bedding (twin sheets or sleeping bag)
Comfortable clothes appropriate for the weather
Comfortable shoes as you will walk from the dorms to the chapel and classroom each day
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.
Everyone I talk to about Via de Cristo sounds like there are secrets?
We have no secrets in the Via de Cristo in as much as Jesus himself didn’t have secrets from his disciples. There are some aspects of the Via de Cristo weekend that are surprises along the way and work to enhance your experience. Much as Jesus had to tell his disciples things along the way and could not let them know everything all at once, that is how a weekend progresses. All weekends are also slightly different based on where the Holy Spirit guides all involved so not everything can be anticipated. All activities are done with the attendee in mind and to their level of comfort. If at any time an attendee feels uncomfortable or that they don’t want to do something during the weekend experience they are never forced too.