Records from 1981-1985

NLS Meeting #1 January 11-13, 1981

Cross and Crown Lutheran Church Atlanta, Georgia


The first national meeting will begin with a sharing session on Sunday evening, January 11,

8 p.m. Bishop-Elect David Wolber, of the new Southeast District of the American Lutheran Church, will speak and be available to advise during our meetings.

January 11-13, 1981. 32 lay and clergy persons gathered at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, Atlanta, Ga. representing 14 local Lutheran Cursillo Secretariats throughout the United States for the purpose of the sharing of a common interest.


Election of acting officers for duration of sessions –

Acting president – Luther Piel, Marietta, Ga. – Atlanta Lutheran Cursillo Movement

Acting secretary – Martha Erickson, Lakeville, Mn. – Cursillo Luth. Comm. of Minn.

Ron Qualley shared a letter of greetings from Robert Wood, the Upper Room Cursillo Movement. The Methodist Community desires a cooperative relationship that will allow us to benefit from each others’ strengths.

Motion to accept the following resolution:

“Whereas we, the undersigned, and others associated with us, desire, for the sake of our common purposes, to band ourselves together into a National Cursillo Secretariat for Lutherans; Therefore be it resolved that we, and others of like mind who are or may become associated with us, constitute ourselves into such a Secretariat.

Rev. Ronald G. Qualley, Lawrence M. Stanfill Sonshine Cursillo, Miami, FL

Al Smith, Rev. Edward W. Simonsen Rainbow Cursillo, Washington DC

Connie Coyne Sjostrom Gold Coast Cursillo, Boca Raton, FL

David C. Nelson, Ronald H. Hunt Daybreak Cursillo, Richmond VA

Rev. Dwayne C. Joyer, Donn Miller Gulf Coast Cursillo, Ft. Myers, FL

Ronald E. Kear, Rev. Emil F. Ibele Atlanta Lutheran Cursillo, Atlanta, GA

Jackie H. Dietz, Rev. Richard A. Browder Western N. Carolina Lutheran Cursillo, Hickory, NC

Rev. Earl L. Hively, Robert L. Raack Pittsburgh Lutheran Cursillo, Pittsburgh, PA

Rev. Henry Boschen Eastern N. Carolina Lutheran Cursillo,

Greensboro, NC

Martha J. Erickson Cursillo Lutheran Community of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN

Robert J. Sael, Paul W. Bramstedt Lutheran Cursillo of Central Michigan

Saginaw, Michigan

Jack W. Heuton, Rev. Carroll Lang Lutheran Cursillo of Iowa, Storm Lake, IA

Dale Davis, Thomas Amenell Nebraska Lutheran Cursillo, Omaha, NE

Elizabeth A Robinson, R.C. Robinson West Virginia Cursillo Movement for Lutherans, Wheeling, WV

Motion carried and five copies of such were signed.

Motion to adopt the proposed constitution, using the name NATIONAL LUTHERAN CURSILLO SECRETARIAT, as presented for the adoption and ratification of local secretariats by 2/3 vote by April 30, 1981. Motion carried.

The motion was made to accept the following slate of temporary officers:

Spiritual Director – Ed Simonsen, Rainbow Cursillo, Washington, DC

President – Luther Piel, Atlanta Luth. Cursillo Move.

Vice President – Robert Sael, Luth. Cursillo of Central Michigan

Secretary – Martha Erickson, Cursillo Lute. Community of Minnesota

Treasurer – Greg Steele, Sonshine Cursillo, Miami, FL

Motion carried.

Letter from Luther Piel, March, 1981

Incidentally, I still haven’t received an address for the three Secretariats that were not represented at our meeting, i.e. Chicago, Panama City, and Jacksonville.


Five regions of original organization: Region 1 – Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota; Region 2 – Illinois, Michigan, Ohio; Region 3 – Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Washington DC, and Virginia; Region 4 – Florida; and Region 5 – North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.


NLS Meeting #2 July 26-28, 1981

Cross and Crown Lutheran Church Atlanta, Georgia

Several important considerations were discussed. These included the strong desire to: (1) stay focused on the Cursillo Method; (2) have Cursillistas go back to their congregation and be active Christians in their church; (3) actively use our Lutheran Doctrines; (4) share the Cursillo experience with Christians of other denominations, both as candidates and team members; and (5) cooperate with other movements (e.g. Roman Catholic, Episcopalians, Emmaus). These concerns have become issues because the National Cursillo Secretariat (Catholic) has said that other movements should operate under their direction and have all team members and candidates from a single denomination

We will continue to be a Lutheran-based movement. We will cooperate and support Emmaus and other movements, teams, support and candidates. We will look for opportunities to share printing and material costs and cooperate in other areas as well.

Joint Meeting with Emmaus Movement

The Upper Room, after unsuccessful negotiations with the Executive Director of the Roman Catholic Movement, has started a new movement called Emmaus. Emmaus will be based on the Cursillo Method but will be an ecumenical movement. Emmaus has invited the Lutheran Movement to share with them.

It is hoped that joint printing of materials and team and candidate will be coordinated and shared. Pam Gardner, Lay Director of the National Episcopal Movement, described their activities.


Elections to the Executive Committee were conducted and the results are shown below:

President – Greg Steele (Florida) Spiritual Director – Ed Simonsen (Washington DC)

Vice President – Tom Amenell (Nebraska) Secretary – Connie C. Sjostrom (Florida)

Treasurer – Ron Kear (Georgia)

An article in “The Lutheran” of March 19, 1981 is a good general statement of Cursillo.

Next meeting: February 4,5, and 6, 1982 in Columbus, Ohio.


NLS Meeting #3 February 4-6, 1982

Christ Lutheran Church Columbus, Ohio

The North Carolina East Group has voted to follow their conscience and remain with the Roman Catholic Group. We wish our brothers in Christ the best.

On Thursday evening, Gerry Hughes, Exec. Director of the Roman Catholic National Cursillo Center in Dallas, Texas, presented us with an overview of their position on non-denominational versus denominational Cursillos and what is required to be authorized by them to use the name Cursillo.

Position statement

Inasmuch as those convened together as the National Lutheran Cursillo Secretariat have determined the following to be our collective objectives:

1) Renewal should be consistent with Lutheran Theology and be “Lutheran based.”

2) The Authentic Cursillo Method, as developed by Bishop Juan Hervas, should be maintained.

3) We wish to remain open to non-Lutheran participation.

4) We wish to provide a National organization to provide support and basic guidance.

5) We wish to develop and sustain a relationship to each of the Lutheran bodies.

In that the General Secretariat of the Roman Catholics has determined that Authentic Cursillo requires that all team members and all candidates be of the same denomination and in that one of the objectives of the Lutheran Community is to allow non-Lutheran participation: is therefore recommended by the National Lutheran Cursillo Secretariat that a change in name shall be adopted to allow our objectives to be accomplished.

The executive committee of the National Secretariat is organized as follows:

President – Greg Steele (Florida) Spiritual Director – Ed Simonsen (Washington DC) Vice President – Tom Amenell (Nebraska) Secretary – Connie Coyne (Florida)

Treasurer – Ron Kear (Georgia)

The standing committees are as follows:


Pre-Cursillo – Tom Kinsel, Pastor Paul Bramsted, Jackie Dietz


Cursillo – Pastor Ron Qualley, Tom Amenell, Wilson Mausteller, Luther Piel, Dave Rolschau


Post-Cursillo – Pastor Ed Simonsen, Paul Fullen, Pastor Ken Thompson


Leaders – Tom Kraska, Doug Fruem, Amy Ohr, Pastor Carroll Lang, Judy Kraska


Palanca – Walt Grey, Pastor Dick Browder, Dick Wright

The Leaders committee is busy setting up the groundwork to prepare 15 skeleton style outlines for the talks on the weekend.


Cursillo provides a method which develops Christian leaders and Christian community.

…accepts as our norm the content and method of the Cursillo movement as developed by Bishop Juan Hervas, Eduardo Bonnin and their friends.

We accept as normative: the Cursillo method of group reunion and Ultreya, the three-day weekend of fifteen talks, and the call to Christians to penetrate the world for Christ.

Notes from National Secretariat – 2/4/82 – 2/6/82

35 in attendance for Thurs. evening meeting with Gerry Hughes. He stated there are three major Cursillos, Latin American, European and English speaking international Cursillos. He shared concerns of National Catholic movement which came to the U.S. during Vatican II in 1957. At that time the Rector’s manual was in Spanish – in 1961 an English manual was introduced. Movement became ecumenical; it was a very dynamic movement. In the mid 1960’s the Nat. Secretariat was asked which way they wanted to go and to develop denominational lines, which could be adapted to each denomination.

The Catholic Movement is requiring that all candidates be Catholic, and all team members and Spiritual leaders also be Catholic. They are asking the Lutheran Movement to do the same or change our name. Jerry supplied copies of the Episcopal Articles of Operation, stating we must have Articles of Operation that we refer to the Lutheran Movement for the base doctrine.


1. Remain Lutheran

2. Authentic Cursillo Method

3. Remain open to Non-Lutherans

4. Provide National organization to provide basic guidance to local Secretariat

5. Retain name “Cursillo”

6. Develop relationship to Lutheran bodies

Motion passed: we remain Lutheran in name and tradition

Motion passed: authentic Cursillo method is our main position.

Motion passed: to provide National organization to provide basic guidance to local Secretariat.

Motion made to remain open to non-Lutherans. Motion subsequently withdrawn.

Motion passed: to drop name “Cursillo.”

Motion made and seconded to develop & strengthen relationship to Lutheran. bodies

Motion passed: to remain open to non-Lutherans.

Motion passed: to adopt new name.


NLS Meeting #4 July 8-10, 1982

Christ Lutheran Church Columbus, Ohio

“The National Lutheran Secretariat might have to become independent of fellowship with the Catholic movement and change its name; and that the National Lutheran Cursillo Secretariat pledges itself to maintaining the orthodoxy of the movement as passed to us by the Catholics.”


Yes No


Sonshine Miami North Carolina East

Gold Coast Ohio

Sonshine North Minnesota


District of Columbia

West Virginia Abstain


Michigan Atlanta

Iowa North Carolina West

Nebraska Pittsburgh

Indian River


Motion to poll the secretariats, separating the five objectives issue from the name change issue. Passed

“Does your secretariat agree with the five objectives as outlined in the national newsletter?”


Yes No Abstain


Sonshine Pittsburgh E. North Carolina

Gold Coast Minnesota W. North Carolina

Gulf Coast Ohio

Sonshine North



District of Columbia

West Virginia




Indian River



By-laws discussion: All language will be changed to his/her language to remove sexism.

The body passed the by-laws unanimously.

February 10-12, 1983 will be the dates of the next national meeting which will be hosted by the Sonshine Cursillo movement in Miami.


NLS Meeting #5 February 10-12, 1983

Coral Gables United Methodist Church Miami, Florida

Minutes of meeting

Opened by President Greg Steele

Presentation by Pastor Olaf Magis, Spiritual Director of the Montana-based, ALC Kogudus Movement

Motion made and passed to incorporate under the name National Lutheran Secretariat.

Motion passed to empower Tom and Judy Kraska to prepare lay talk outlines.

Motion passed to empower Pastor Carroll Lang to produce clergy outlines.

Motion passed to instruct Pastor Ron Qualley to rewrite the Pilgrims Guides.

Motion passed to give responsibility to Pastor Ed Simonsen to develop and implement a plan to establish a relationship with the Lutheran bodies.

Motion passed to designate Luther Piel to write model by-laws which will define “norms” for affiliated Secretariats to use as guides on a local level.

The following people were elected for the 1983 term.

President – Luther Piel
Vice President – Tom Amenell
Secretary – Greg Steele
Treasurer – Doug Fruin
Spiritual Director – Pastor Ed Simonsen

It was agreed that six-month meetings may be too often, and that annual meetings might be better.


NLS Meeting #6 July 29-30, 1983

Redeemer Lutheran Church Des Moines, Iowa

President’s Report

Luther Piel discussed relationships with Roman Catholic movement. He read a letter from Bob Wood of Emmaus. Tom and Judy Kraska reported completion of all lay talk outlines. Pastor Carroll Lang to continue working on clergy outlines. Pastor Ron Qualley reworked Pilgrim’s Guides.


The heart and essence of the Cursillo is to bring Christians to a full awareness of what is meant by living the life of Grace, adding new strength and vitality to their Christianity. The purpose of the Cursillo is to develop in Christians a consciousness of their Power and Mission to become leaders in Christian renewal, and the desire to continue to live the life of Grace, personally and together with their brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Lutheran Cursillo Movement accepts and employs the doctrines of the Word of God, and of Grace, as confessed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church. We are committed to the doctrine of “The Priesthood of All Believers” as a clear statement of God’s intention for His people to which we have all been called in baptism.

Cursillo provides a method which develops Christian leaders and Christian community.


The Lutheran Cursillo Movement accepts as its norm and guidelines the content and method of the movement as developed by Bishop Juan Hervas, Eduardo Bonnin and others, as described in “The Fundamental Ideas of the Cursillo Movement.”


We accept as normative the Cursillo method of pre-Cursillo, the full three-day Cursillo weekend undergirded with prayer and the work of they Holy Spirit using the approved talk outlines, the post-Cursillo practice of group reunions and ultreyas, and the call to Christians to penetrate the world for Christ.


NLS Meeting #7 February 24-25, 1984

Emmanuel Lutheran Church Vienna, Virginia

Newsletter minutes

Spiritual Director’s Report – Ed Simonsen reported on S. Dakota and Panama Weekends he attended.

Old Business

Fred Arndt – We are incorporated in the State of Minnesota.

Election of Officers 1984

Spiritual Director – Ron Qualley President – Luther Piel Vice President – Tom Amenell Treasurer – Fred Arndt Secretary – Greg Steele

Paul Fullen presented information on trademarking our NLS logo. Fred Arndt will investigate and recommend action.

Arizona Lutheran Secretariat accepted into the NLS at their request.

Pastors Serving on a Cursillo Weekend

Spiritual Directors need to make a commitment to team meetings and preparations just as any other team member, if for no other reason than team formation. They should be encouraged to help critique team Rollos and to HAVE THEIR OWN ROLLOS CRITIQUED. Treat them as team members with special skills, just as each team member has special skills for that weekend.


Leaders: Material presented by Tom and Judy Kraska broken into two main categories: 1. Leadership School, team formation, Ultreya 2. Leadership training or team formation

Third area added by the Leaders team : 3. Spiritual Directors training. Leaders material will be edited, printed and distributed soon.


PalancaNLS assigned Dot and Larry Llewellyn to publish a newsletter on the palanca views discussed, including prayer as primary.

Next Meeting July 27-28 in Pittsburgh (tentative).

Paul Fullen presented a plan for successful ultreyas.


“Ultreyas that Work:” “Progress without planning can be as frustrating as pushing a chain.”

The keys to successful Ultreyas are prior planning, good organization and timely execution. The first step is to secure a contact person at the host church.

The duties of the contact person in support of the Secretariat’s Ultreya Coordinator areas follows

I. Get the date on the church calendar

II. Decide how much space is necessary for the program

III. Arrange for refreshments

IV. Arrange for someone to serve as host/hostess for the event

V. Ensure bread and wine are available for communion

VI. Arrange for clean-up of the areas used.

Suggested Ultreya Program

I. Opening prayer (Scripture reading)

II. Singing

III. Announcements

IV. Mini-rollo(s)

V. Small group discussions

VI. Small group summaries

VII. Closing circle prayer

VIII. Refreshments

Duties of Ultreya Coordinator

I. Secure speakers (if two – one clergy, one lay)

II. Plan music

III. Arrange for babysitter if nursery is available

IV. Publicize the event

V. Keep the program on time.


NLS Meeting #8 February 14-16, 1985

Cursillo Center Columbus, Ohio


President Luther Piel presented five possible options to the NRCC Secretariat’s proposal:

Option #1 – Accept licensing from NRCCS.

Option #2 – Change our name from Cursillo.

Option #3 – Affiliate with the Methodist “Emmaus” movement.

Option #4 – Affiliate with the Lutheran “Kogudus” movement.

Option #5 – Remain Cursillo with no license.

Luther read a letter from the Montana Lutheran Cursillo Movement expressing their views on the possible licensing agreement. Letter from Donna Orthman, Secretary of Montana Lutheran Secretariat: “The Montana Lutheran Secretariat is extremely happy to be included with the National Lutheran Secretariat.”

Motion made by Pastor Gene reaffirming the name and purpose of the National Lutheran Secretariat as stated in the Articles of Incorporation. Passed unanimously.

Vote to remain Cursillo with no license.

Beverly Appleby shared with NLS her symbol ministry.

NLS By-laws dated 2-15-85 accepted as amended.

Principal office address shall be Suite 236, 7074 Amundson Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55435. Name of incorporator: Douglas Fruen, 5576 Nantucket Road, Minnetonka, MN 55345

Article II, Section 4 – The annual meeting of the National Lutheran Secretariat shall be held during the month of February.


Song Books group recommends that NLS adopt the “SONGS” songbook as a standard for the NLS; Bev Appleby has been assigned to develop a design for a NLS “cross” to be unique for the NLS member secretariats; Sonshine of Miami has been asked to be the NLS distribution center for supplies. Ken Hall will coordinate with Sonshine;




NLS Officers for 1985 are: Spiritual Director – Ron Qualley

President – Wilson Mausteller Vice President – Tom Amenell

Treasurer – Fred Arndt Secretary – Judy Lang


Next NLS Meeting: February 6-8, 1986 Ottawa Lake.


Current secretariat listing: Lutheran Cursillo of Iowa Nebraska Lutheran Cursillo

Rainbow Christian Community Indiana Lutheran Cursillo Secretariat

North Carolina Lutheran Cursillo Movement, East Cursillo Center of the Gold Coast

Atlanta Lutheran Secretariat Almost Heaven Lutheran Cursillo

Western North Carolina Lutheran Cursillo Movement Lutheran Cursillo of Ohio

Sonshine Cursillo Secretariat Lutheran Cursillo of South Dakota

Pittsburgh Lutheran Cursillo Mid-Florida Sonbeam Cursillo

Minnesota Lutheran Cursillo Council Lutheran Cursillo of Central Michigan

Indian River Cursillo Movement

Terms required for formalization of agreement between the United States National Secretariat and the National Lutheran Cursillo Committee of the United States:

1. The National Lutheran Cursillo Movement of the United States will be the responsible body for the movement within the Lutheran Church in the United States.

2. The following shall serve as basic norms:

It must have the approval of the local Lutheran bishop and be affiliated with the National Lutheran Cursillo Committee of the United States.

It should be faithful to the essence and purpose of the movement and operative in its three phases of Precursillo, 3-Day Cursillo and Postcursillo

It should have a community of leaders, both clergy and lay, responsible for implementing the method properly.

The secretariat should apply the 3 Day Cursillo properly, according to general practice….to candidates of the same sex, same faith (i.e. Lutheran),

The program will not be exported internationally without the prior approval of the United States National Secretariat.

Promises to abide by the decisions of the United States National Secretariat in any matters of dispute which might arise in the aforementioned terms.

Gerald Hughes