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What happens on a weekend?

This page gives information about what happens on a Via de Cristo weekend.

What is Via de Cristo?

Literally meaning “way of Christ”, Via de Cristo is a short course in Christianity that is designed to provide all Christians with a significant foundation for individual and community spiritual growth. Grace and Growth are combined in an exciting and energetic way. At the Via de Cristo the participants become increasingly aware that they are a part of a community abounding in God’s grace. The three days are a triple encounter: with Christ; with Christian brothers and sisters; and with a Christian community.

History of Via de Cristo

Via de Cristo originated as the Roman Catholic Cursillo movement which began in Spain in 1948 and moved to America in the late 1950’s. The first Lutheran-sponsored Cursillos (the early name for Via de Cristo) were held in Miami, Florida in 1971. In addition to the Roman Catholic and Lutheran movements there are similar expressions in the Methodist, Reformed, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and other Christian churches. Today, more than 2 million Christians in 50 nations have attended a “Cursillo” weekend.

Format of the Weekend

The Via de Cristo weekend is an experience in Christian sharing and living. During the 72-hours, fourteen talks will be presented: Five talks are given by Lutheran pastors and nine by lay people. The weekend also includes chapel each morning, communion, small group discussions, sharing, music, singing, laughter, and prayer. The fourteen talks are discussed by the participants and will include a Christian perspective on the following subjects:

  • Ideal

  • Grace

  • Lay People in the Church

  • Importance of Study

  • A Day in the Life of a Christian

  • Apostolic Action

  • Obstacles to a Life in Grace

  • Christian Actions in the Community

Each of the talks deals with living one’s life in God’s grace.

Who Goes to Via de Cristo?

Via de Cristo is not designed to convert anyone to Christianity. It is meant for those who are already faithful and committed to Christ and His church. Once again, 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. During a Via de Cristo weekend, those who have previously attended are called “The Team”, and it is their responsibility to serve you in every possible way.

Where and when is Via de Cristo Held?

Weekends in the Eastern North Carolina Lutheran Movement are held at Camp Agape outside of Fuquay-Varina. This site is chosen to provide the easiest possible access for the participants at a reasonable cost.

Weekends are held three times a year, usually in February, September, and November. See the Upcoming Retreats page for details.

Weekends begin at 6:00pm on Thursday, and end approximately 5:00pm on Sunday. Guests are requested to attend the entire weekend, and thus may need to make arrangements to miss work on Friday.

How Can I Attend Via de Cristo?

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 any one who has previously attended a Via de Cristo, we will be happy to provide you with additional information or answer any questions that you may have.

What Happens After the Weekend?

The weekend is only a beginning. What you learn and share during the weekend will hopefully be taken back and put into practice in your local congregation and community. You will be supported by many others who have attended a Via de Cristo before or with you. Small groups meet regularly (usually weekly) to affirm one another and to share the Christian life of Grace. These activities inspire, challenge, and encourage Christian action in homes, churches, and communities.

How Much Does the Weekend Cost?

Costs are kept to an absolute minimum to cover the cost of lodging, meals, and supplies for the weekend. Since we do not want the lack of funds to keep any person from attending, scholarships are available – just ask. Weekend cost is subsidized for those who have not attended a weekend before. For details on weekend cost, see Guest Registration.

May I Go With a Spouse or Friend?

Yes, we strongly recommend that spouses and friends attend a first Via de Cristo weekend together. Marriages and friendships can be strengthened and deepened by the Via de Cristo experience. Most Eastern North Carolina Lutheran weekends are mixed, that is, attended by both men and women. Occasionally, however, an all men’s or all women’s weekend is held. Spouses and friends are also encouraged to serve on teams together.

In Summary

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.