River's Edge VIA de CRISTO is the local secretariat serving residents of eastern Missouri and western Illinois. Come join us in our walk with Christ!
|What is VIA de CRISTO?
VIA de CRISTO is a Spanish phrase meaning "Way of
Christ." VIA de CRISTO is a highly structured three day weekend designed
to strengthen and renew the faith of Christian people and bring them to
a new awareness of living in God's grace. It is a combined effort of lay
people and clergy toward renewal of the church.
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
Purpose of VIA de CRISTO
VIA de CRISTO is based on the fundamentals 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
What happens on a VIA de CRISTO weekend?
A VIA de CRISTO weekend is three days in
length, beginning on Thursday evening and ending the following Sunday
evening. The participants live, study, worship and commune together
daily. Fourteen talks are given, nine by lay people and five by clergy.
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 titles of these talks indicate their content:
Ideal, Piety, Study, Sacraments, Action, Obstacles to Grace, Leaders,
Environment, Life in Grace, Christian Community, and Total Security. 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.
What happens after the weekend?
You may attend VIA de CRISTO only ONCE in your life,
but you are asked to build on it for the rest of your life. 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.
Who should attend a VIA de CRISTO weekend?
VIA de CRISTO 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
Keep an open mind and heart in making your decision to attend VIA de CRISTO weekend. 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 it's full and life enriching value.
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River's Edge Via de Cristo
Revised: January 13, 2015