Records from 1991-1995

Newsletter March, 1991 Winter Edition


Newsletter – Announcing a Winner! Grand Prize goes to Cork Smalley of Des Moines, Iowa who came up with the idea of “Connections” between movements, based John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” Looking up the Spanish word begat the new name for our NLS Newsletter:Conexiones, pronounced, Coe-nay-hee-oh-nayss.

A New Movement in Wyoming!

Our effort in the Bighorn Basin area of Wyoming is relatively young.

My involvement began in the fall of ‘87 with an invitation from a recent arrival in Powell from Florida, to attend a Cursillo in Orange Park, Florida. Dr. Moeller and his wife Jeanne brought four couples from Powell to the Sonshine North Via de Cristo Cursillos, in which they had been active participants prior to moving to Powell in November of ‘87. Later we heard of the Cursillo efforts in Billings, Montana, just 100 miles to the north. John E. Enger


A letter from the President, Wayne Ford – When we gather in San Antonio on July 25th, later this year, we will be remembering and celebrating an important birth date: the founding of the National Lutheran Secretariat ten years ago. Thirty delegates from 14 secretariats around the country gathered in Atlanta, Georgia in January, 1981.

We’ve come a long way, baby! We have grown from 30 delegates to 56 and from14 member secretariats to 25. But more importantly, over 30,000 Christians throughout the United States have attended a Lutheran Via de Cristo/Cursillo.

It was good to hold our Mid-Year Meeting in the same city that will be hosting the Annual Meeting.

We have added five workshops – to be spread out over Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

We have added a half a day to the schedule. We have added a special banquet and keynote address. .


Vice President of Outreach, Ed Hansen – A new movement in Florida called “Lighthouse” has had its first weekends and is well on its way to future ones. A big thanks to Luther Piel, and Greg and Ann Steele for their unselfish efforts in this endeavor. A new movement in Western Illinois/Eastern Iowa, called “Living Water” had its first set of weekends in October, and is planning its next weekends in March.

Minutes of the Winter Meeting of the National Lutheran Secretariat Executive Board (January 12, 1991)

Any funds collected in excess of the expenses for the meeting will be deposited in the fund to support new local Via de Cristo communities. The motion carried unanimously.

Workshops would be 90-120 minutes in length. …suggested that several workshops be run simultaneously and that each workshop would run more than once during the meeting. Due to the anticipated number of workshop participants and the limited number of host family homes in Texas, the Host Committee requested that they be responsible for housing only the Executive Board members, voting delegates, and a guest (such as spouse) of the voting delegates, clergy attending the Annual Meeting or workshops, and official guests of the Executive Board.

Motion: to publish four newsletters each year. The motion carried. Dates established for the newsletter are:




Vice President of Outreach, Ed Hansen – It was reported that Lighthouse Via de Cristo in Florida became affiliated with the National Lutheran Secretariat in August, 1990. It was decided that the Executive Board would not endorse a two-day weekend. It was noted that by affiliating with the National Lutheran Secretariat, local secretariats are agreeing to support the current Cursillo method.

Minutes of the NLS Conference Call February 10, 1991

President Wayne Ford led a review of the first draft of “What is involved in conducting the Annual Meeting?”

Conexiones, Volume 10, Number 2 Spring Edition May, 1991

A Letter from the President, Wayne Ford – Whereas in the past, Thursday evening was more for socializing, you will now need to arrive on Thursday morning, since the first workshop will start at 1:30 p.m.


Vice President, Outreach, Ed Hansen – Wyoming: The Wyoming Secretariat has been formed and they have officially joined the NLS and paid the affiliation fees. They are planning their first weekends in 1992. Southern California: They have formed their secretariat, and have indicated that they will join the NLS and pay the affiliation fees when finances permit it. North Texas Cursillo: They have signed with the Catholic Cursillo movement, and have had several coed weekends. They have indicated an interest in affiliating with the NLS. Florida Lighthouse – The Lighthouse weekends were a resounding success. About half of the team was from Indian River Via de Cristo and they traveled for eight weeks to meet at the Lighthouse-selected meeting place.

Seattle, Washington – The Minnesota Secretariat continues to help get this group started.

Minutes of the NLS Conference Call March 17, 1991

…secretariats that are invited to bid to host the 1993 Annual Meeting. The secretariats which have been selected are those in the midwestern part of the country.


Spiritual Director’s Report, Rev. Al Sager – Leona reported that all of the original (prior to 1986) secretariats have on file a copy of the affiliation form. Wyoming has also affiliated this month. Affiliation forms have been mailed to South Carolina VdC, Living Water VdC (ILLOWA), North Texas Cursillo, Southern California Cursillo, and Richmond, VA.


Vice President Administration, Ellie Henning – Jack Packer (Good News!) has suggested that we ask the local secretariats to support the distribution center by ordering their supplies from the NLS rather than printing their own.

Motion: that we retire the debt owed to Good News! VdC in Michigan for the printing of the Lay Talks. Motion carried.

It has been suggested that we tape the two special addresses to be given by Spiritual Director Allan Sager and President Ford, and the 5 workshops at the Annual Meeting.

Motion: to move the responsibility of NLS Fund-Raising from the Vice President of Administration to the Vice President of Outreach. President Ford reported that South Carolina VdC has held their #1 weekends, which were very successful.

Minutes of the April 14, 1991 NLS Conference Call

It is hoped that by the end of the Annual Meeting the Publications Committee will have ready to present to the delegates a Pilgrim’s Guide, a 4th Day Book, and a Way to the Cross publication.

The Leadership Training Committee will be responsible for preparing the first draft of the Leaders Manual.

It has been established that the Distribution Center owes Sonshine VdC $1,200.00 for supplies which they sent to the NLS. We have an outstanding bill of $972.00 to St. Luke’s UMC in Indiana for the printing of clergy brochures. The board directed Fred to pay the bill to St. Luke’s and to begin to make payments to Sonshine as funds become available. The board expressed a desire to be free of debt by the time of the Annual Meeting.

Vice President Ed Hansen has asked local secretariats to update our current list of Lutheran pastors who support VdC.


NLS Meeting #14 July 25-27, 1991


St. Paul Lutheran Church New Braunfels, Texas


Tom reported that the workshops will be recorded on audio cassettes and will be available Saturday afternoon, July 27.


Workshops – 1991




I. The Leadership Role and Duties of the Local Secretariat in the Business of Running the Via de Cristo/Cursillo – Fred Arndt, Judy Lang, and Joanne Astalos

II. What is the Pastor’s Role in the Local Via de Cristo/Cursillo Movement, and How Do You encourage pastoral involvement? – Rev. Nate Lundgren, Rev. Peter Setzer, and Rev. Ron Walter

III. The Dynamics of the Via de Cristo/Cursillo weekend – Luther Piel

IV. The Role of the Rector, from team formation to the running of the weekend – Rose Lundquist and Anne Steele

V. The Fourth Day – How to Maximize its Effectiveness Through Grouping, Ultreya, Sponsoring Candidates, Outreach and Public Relations – Bill Carey, Kathy Drevitson, and Bob Gerhardt


Minutes of Annual meeting – President Ford informed the delegates that the following new secretariats had affiliated with the N.L.S. during the past year: Wyoming, FL – Lighthouse, IL/IA-Living Water, and South Carolina. It was reported that North Texas, Southern California and Heart of Florida have both expressed interest in affiliating, and that an effort is underway to form a new secretariat in the state of Washington.


Distribution Center Report – The only accounts payable at the present time is $500.00 to Sonshine of Miami for the original supply of inventory which they provided to open the distributioni center.

Ellie Henning – the service sheets were revised and reprinted this past year.

Motion: to revise the Bylaws…reflecting the two vice presidents on the Executive Committee.

Saturday Business: In the event of the temporary absence or disability of the present, the duties of the president shall be performed by the administrative vice president.

If a vacancy exists on the Executive Committee, the Executive Committee may, by appointment, fill the vacancy until the next Annual meeting.

Motion: The Annual Meeting of the National Lutheran Secretariat shall be held between June 1 and August 31….The time of the meeting shall be set by directive of the Executive Committee.


Elections: The following officers were elected to serve for 1991-92: President – D. Wayne Ford, Vice President of Administration – Ellie Henning, Vice President of Outreach – Ed Hansen, Secretary – Hilde Hildebrandt, Treasurer – Benjamin Troxell III, Spiritual Director – Rev. Nathan Lundgren


Public Relations – It was moved, seconded and passed that the NLS accept the video project and that it goes ahead with seeking support.


New Movement Outreach – Motion: the NLS and the sponsoring secretariat take responsibility together for parenting into existence new secretariats.


Pilgrim’s Guide – Combining the Pilgrim’s Guide so all NLS movements use the same book, unifying us and keeping cost down. The information in the Service Sheet should be the same as that in the Pilgrim’s Guide – coordinating specific items under Piety, Study and Action.


Leadership Training – It is recommended that the NLS develop a Rector’s Manual after the Leadership Training Manual is completed.


Publications – (re: Spiritual Director’s Manual) it was agreed that it would be desirable to have standardized outlines of the Spiritual Director’s talks for all of the secretariats to use during the weekends.

Reorganize the table of contents to list the five talks with two variations shown for the third talk (sacraments rollo). The titles are to be as follows:

1. Grace

2. Grace in Action

3. Means of Grace a. Life’s Journey in Grace b. Sacramental Grace

4. Obstacles to a Life in Grace

5. Life in Grace

Motion: we eliminate the SONGS book from the order sheet and to have a special notice in the newsletter concerning the sale of the 250 books still in stock in Miami.

Motion: the NLS publish a Way of the Cross Book.

A secret ballot of the delegates selected Indiana for the 1993 Annual Meeting.

Conexiones, Volume 10, Number 3 Annual Meeting Edition September, 1991

One of the number one objectives of the National Lutheran Secretariat Executive Board is to enable Lutheran Cursillo/Via de Cristo to be officially recognized – and appreciated – by the ELCA for the wonderful “tool” of Christ that it is.

Conexiones Volume 10, Number 4 Winter Edition December, 1991

The President’s Message, Wayne Ford – I had the pleasure of attending the 1991 Workshop/Conference of the ELCA Division of Outdoor Ministries that was held in Chicago in October.

One of the highlights of the DOM Conference was getting to meet Bishop Herbert Chilstrom who came to the Conference Center. He proudly mentioned that he and his wife had attended “a Lutheran Cursillo in the early days of the Minnesota movement, when they were just getting going. Our youngest son will be attending a weekend later this month, and we just mailed off our palanca letters.”


Minutes of the NLS Conference Call August 25, 1991

The Heart of Florida Cursillo of Winter Park, Charles Maybeck, Lay Director, has just become the 27th member of the NLS.


Minutes of the NLS Conference Call November 3, 1991 – Ed Hansen is currently working on updating the list of pastors who support Via de Cristo/Cursillo.


Minutes of the NLS Conference Call December 8, 1991 Ellie reported that the last payment has been made to Sonshine VdC of Miami from the NLS Distribution Center.

Conexiones Volume 11, Number 1 Mid-Winter Edition February, 1992

The President’s Message, Wayne Ford – We had the largest number of pastors in attendance ever – with 17 visiting pastors, in addition to several from the San Antonio community.

We will have only two workshops this year – on Thursday afternoon. Workshop #1 is entitled, “Getting Back to the Basics of the Cursillo Method.” Workshop will be a repeat of last year’s workshop, “The Pastor’s Role in the Local Via de Cristo/Cursillo Movement and How to Encourage More Clergy Involvement.”

On Friday evening we will have a 20th Anniversary Celebration – to commemorate 20 years since the first Lutheran Cursillo weekends were held.

Minutes of the Mid-Year Meeting, January 11, 1992

The mid-year meeting of the NLS Executive Board was convened at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN.

Since this will be the 20th anniversary of the Lutheran movement, all secretariats will be asked to submit individual histories for inclusion in a booklet.

Hilde offered to write to President and Mrs. Bush concerning the 20th anniversary, since they are cursillistas.


NLS Distribution Center Report – The Way to the Cross booklet is currently being printed. The Fourth Day Manual will be available this spring.

Conexiones Volume 11, Number 2 Spring Edition May, 1992

D. Wayne Ford – Since the first Lutheran weekends were held in 1972, over 32,000 Lutherans have experienced one of these spirituality retreats – with over 1000 of these attendees being pastors.

Minutes of the NLS Conference Call, March 1, 1992

Concerning other matters, it was reported that Nebraska had scheduled a two-day Via de Cristo weekend. This will be watched closely, since this is not in keeping with the Method of the Movement.

Minutes of the NLS Conference Call April 5, 1992

Hilde reported that the signed constitution was received from the North Texas Lutheran Secretariat. Wayne reported that they were the 29th member of the NLS.


Executive Board Conference Call June 14, 1992.

Wayne Ford reported that we are officially a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt organization.


NLS Meeting #15 July 23-25, 1992


Rock of Ages Lutheran Church Stone Mountain, Georgia


Minutes of the National Lutheran Secretariat Annual Meeting July 23-25, 1992

The 1992 Annual Meeting of the National Lutheran Secretariat was preceded by two workshops which were held on Thursday, July 23.

An official welcome was presented by Bishop Harold Skillrud, from the he Southeast Synod, ELCA.

President Ford recognized and welcomed Lynn White from Heart of Florida, a new NLS member secretariat. Also welcomed was John Gatz from North Texas Lutheran Cursillo, a new NLS member secretariat, and Paul Bowman, Lighthouse VdC, the newest secretariat to form, from New Smyrna Beach, FL.


Special guests recognized were: Ike Griffin (Kairos), Pastor Larry Llewellyn (Columbus, Mississippi) who hopes to start VdC there, Pastor Rich Sebastion (Sonshine North) not yet a member, and Lew Gilbert (Indiana) 1993 Host Chair.


Nomination Committee: President – D. Wayne Ford (East NC) and George Steadman (FL Sonshine) Vice President – Ellie Henning (MN), Randall Mullin (IL), Hilde Hildebrandt (OH), and Anne Steele (FL Indian River). Secretary – Kari Sheppard (FL Sonbeam) Treasurer – Benjamin Troxell, III (FL-Gold Coast) Spiritual Director – Pastor Nathan Lundgren (MN)


Elections: President – D. Wayne Ford; VP Administration – Ellie Henning; VP Outreach – Randall Mullin


Committee Reports


By-Laws – recommend that the President appoint a long-range planning committee.

Motion: to approve the 1992-93 budget of $8,000. Motion carried.


Public Relations – Motion: to approve a budget of $8,960 for the production of the video, if the money is there. Motion passed.


Fourth Day Activities – A discussion concerning when sponsoring begins (Pre-Cursillo) and ends (during the Fourth Day) concluded with the suggestion that at the next printing of the “Fourth Day Manual” a section be included on “Sponsor Responsibilities.” A discussion to clarify what is Palanca concluded that it is intense prayer and self-sacrifice. It is NOT trinkets, food or other “nice” things. It IS notes acknowledging prayer at a specific time, notes promising prayer or sacrifice, i.e., fasting, and other hand-written prayers.

Conexiones Volume 11, Number 4 December, 1992

Conference Call 8/30/92

Wayne proposed two actions: that we try to send a representative to one or more of these movements’ annual meeting…based upon our ability to reimburse the attendee. or

That we invite the president, executive director or other representative from other Cursillo method movements to be a guest at our annual meeting each year.

Conference Call 10/11/92

Randy would like to encourage a formalized program of exchanges (team members) between secretariats to get a feel for how weekends run in other areas.


“Essential vs. Adiaphorous” by Carroll Lang, Editor

72 hours, 15 talks, discussions, posters, 5 meditations, Celebration of Repentance, Retreat, Holy Communion each day, Decuria sharing, Closing, crosses, Palanca

Conexiones Volume 12, Number 1 Spring Edition March, 1993

Palanca, Leona Fox – …bookmarks and refrigerator magnets are “neat stuffs.” However, they are “gifts” — not palanca. I encourage each of us to start a grass roots campaign in our local secretriats to “get back to the basics” of palanca. Our motto could be “Less Junk – More Prayer.”


Three Exciting Workshops for Annual Meeting, Wayne Ford – 1. “How the Lutheran Via de Cristo/Cursillo Can Best Harmonize With the Church” 2. “Team Formation and Conducting the Team Training Meetings – from the Rector’s Perspective” 3. “How to Get Pastors Involved in the Lutheran Via de Cristo/Cursillo Movement”


NLS Video Tells Exciting Stories, Oran Gough – The individual testimonies “de-mystify” Via de Cristo/Cursillo, yet provide a sometimes dramatic, and exciting incentive for others to share the experience.

The video (with the working title, “Christ Is Counting On Me”) is planned to be made available by the NLS to local secretariats at the Annual Meeting in July.


Minutes of Mid-Year Executive Board Meeting 12/5/92.


Palanca = Prayer and Sacrifice, Leona Fox – Please don’t misunderstand, I have always love the little table gifts that were so lovingly given to me on weekends. I am just asking that we not become confused and consider them to be either essential, or palanca. As Editor Lang pointed out, bookmarks and refrigerator magnets are “neat stuff.” However, they are “gifts” — not palanca.

I encourage each of us to start a grass roots campaign in our local secretariats to “get back to the basics” of palanca. Our motto could be “Less Junk — More Prayer.”


NLS Long-Range Planning Committee Being Formed – …forming a long-range Planning Committee to evaluate our future.

Conexiones Volume 12, Number 2 Summer Edition May, 1993

“Empowering the Laity, Wayne Ford – We are very honored to have two bishops from the ELCA scheduled to present this workshop: 1. The Rev. Ralph H. Kempski, Indiana-Kentucky Synod 2. The Rev. Arthur Rimmereid, Northwestern Minnesota Synod.

Conference Call 4/25/93

Palanca, Leona Fox – Although we will continue to accept nominations for officers until just prior to the vote in July, the committee feels confident that we have a strong slate of willing workers. We thank those of you who have called us with nominations and are very grateful for those who have already accepted:

President – Ellie Henning (MN) Spiritual Director – Rev. Nate Lundgren (MN)

Vice President – Randy Mullin (IL) Vice President – Joanne Astalos (GA)

Secretary – Kari Sheppard (FL) Treasurer – John Gatz (TX)

Conexiones Volume 12, Number 3 Annual Meeting Edition September, 1993

New NLS Video Premiere, Wayne Ford – Our new video, “Christ is Counting On You,” has been in the works for two years, but the idea was actually conceived and proposed five years ago. It is 16.5 minutes long, and is an ideal tool for promoting the concept of Lutheran Via de Cristo.

In addition, filming has already started for producing a second video that is more action-oriented, showing what takes place on a weekend.

NLS Executive Board 7/21-22/93

A motion was made by Nate that we accept the invitation from the Living Water Via de Cristo to host the 1995 Annual Meeting in the quad cities area.


NLS Meeting #18 July 22-25, 1993


Carmel, Indiana

Annual Meeting Minutes

A special greeting was presented by the Rev. Ralph Kempski, Bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the ELCA.

Special guests recognized were: Ike Griffin, Executive Director of Kairos, Inc., Prison Ministry of the U.S. Marv and Margaret Lennarson, Lay Directors of the Ecumenical Cursillo Community of Illinois

Wayne Ford presented an explanation of how to use the “List of Pastors Who Support Via de Cristo” as Vice President Randy Mullin distributed 2 copies of the list to each secretariat.


Report of the Distribution Center – Fred Arndt will be leaving his position as director of the Distribution Center as of this meeting. The responsibility will be transferred to Jerry Vehrs and Don Merdink, Jr., both of Minnesota.

There was a special musical presentation by Carey Landry, composer of “Abba, Father.”






I. President – Ellie Henning

II. Vice Presidents – Joanne Astalos, Randy Mullin

III. Secretary – Kari Sheppard

IV. Treasurer – John Gatz


V. Spiritual Director – Rev. Nate Lundgren




Operations & Finance – Recommendations: #1 – Long range planning committee should investigate additional sources of income consistent with 501(c)3 requirements & philosophically in tune with Via de Cristo. Investigate executive director function potential for NLS Via de Cristo. #2 – Fund ecumenical relations/outreach for $300, fund long range planning committee $300. #3 – Next year’s committee should examine procedure for amending the bylaws.


NLS Outreach – Based on the ‘93 outreach survey we also recommend that the VP of Outreach consolidate the survey information and share those summaries with all secretariats through Conexiones


Ecumenical Relations/Outreach – We recommend that a delegate from NLS be appointed to represent the NLS at Kairos Board Meetings. We recommend that key persons of all other cursillo-like movements be invited to be ex officio delegates to our annual meetings.


Publications – #1- that the NLS cooperate with ColorSong Productions in the development and assembly of a National VdC Songbook. #3 – A separate committee be formed to continue the development of the NLS Guidelines for Leadership Training.


1993 Secretariat Survey Synopsis, Randy Mullin – Weaknesses seem to break into 3 areas: (1) difficulty maintaining group reunion and ultreya activity; (2) problems in providing a sustaining leadership from experienced laity; and (3) difficulty maintaining strong spiritual directorship for secretariats and weekends. Areas identified as weaknesses will be the primary focus as the NLS Board develops its instructional series for the ‘94 meeting.

The NLS Vice President for Outreach will seek to obtain computer disk copies of any and all documents secretariats are willing to share. These will form a library accessible to all who request.


New Director – Jerry Vehrs has been appointed Director of the National Lutheran Secretariat Distribution Center.

Tapes of the keynote and workshop speakers will be available through the NLS Distribution Center (see order form).

Conexiones Volume 12, Number 4 Winter Edition December, 1993

Welcome to Leesburg, Florida – Because we are, for the very first time, all staying together in one lovely site, we believe we will all experience a unique blessing not unlike our own weekends. Thus, the cost will be $125 for a delegate, $140 for a non-delegate.


From Your President, Ellie Henning – We received a request from the National Episcopal Cursillo to open a dialogue for the establishment of a coordinating council of the national governing bodies of the various denominational cursillo method retreats.

Long Range Planning Committee July 25, 1993

Considerations: The list of subjects for this committee to consider was re-grouped and prioritized into the following: 1. Leaders Manual – to include the mission statement or purpose and the essentials of the Via de Cristo movement. 2. Funding

3. Revitalization/Retention – to include pastor participation 4. New Movement Outreach – to include expansion

Others Videos 2 and 3 – The executive board in handling this one. Video 2 is in progress.

LCMS Outreach – It was felt that this is not for this committee to handle.

Leaders Manual – Luther Piel will coordinate this consideration.

Conexiones Volume 13, Number 1 Spring Edition March, 1994

As We His People Meet, Randy Mullin – We have excellent speakers who are gearing up to address the problem area you defined in last year’s survey – i.e. sustaining Fourth Day activities.


Status of Long Range Planning Committee – Points of discussion for the committee: should president have 800# ? should we hire part time person to take care of paperwork? should we have coordinator work with the annual meeting host committee? justification to having fee/subscription for Conexiones?


First Ecumenical Meeting of the 4th Day Movements, Ellie Henning – The First Ecumenical Meeting of the 4th Day Movements was held January 15, 1994 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, West Palm Beach, Florida. A special thank you to the National Episcopal Cursillo Community for providing this opportunity to dialogue. Those in attendance were: Tom Sarg, Executive Director, The Cursillo Movement (Roman Catholic), Dallas, Texas; Ike Griffin, Executive Director, Kairos, Inc., Winter Park, FL; Rev. Cherie Jones and Jean Johnson, Walk to Emmaus, Nashville, TN; Jamie Wood, President, National Episcopal Cursillo Committee (NECC), Stockton, CA; Fr. Bruce Laird, Vice President, NECC, Mexia, TX; Bishop C. Christopher Epting, Bishop of Iowa and Liaison from the Episcopal House of Bishops to the NECC, Des Moines, IA; Joe Haughey, member of NECC, Flagstaff, AZ; Joe Nanus, Secretary of NECC, Austin, TX; Ellie Henning, President, Burnsville, MN and Luther Piel, Past President, Tamarac, FL, National Lutheran Secretariat, Via de Cristo. Rex McMillan, Tres Dias, Williston, VT, was unable to attend.

Conexiones Volume 13, Number 3 Annual Meeting Edition August, 1994

Presenting the video, “Christ is Counting On You”

A. Introduce the concept of the Via de Cristo as a “way of life” and briefly explain the three-day retreat and the meaning of the Fourth Day. Also, be sure to explain what the audience will be seeing on the video.

B. Show the video.

C. Complete your comments by explaining how a person can attend a Via de Cristo weekend in your area.

D. As time permits, have a question and answer session.

Executive Board Minutes June 22, 1994

Long Range Planning Committee report – The LRPC put together a list of proposed goals for the NLS broken down into 2, 5 & 10 year goals.


2 Year Goals: Leaders Manual, SD Manual, Evaluate/Revise existing Lay Talks,

Establish an office with part time staff, approximate cost of $20,000/year.

Brochure for NLS – what does NLS do for the local secretariat?

Illustrative video


5 Year Goals: Translate material to Spanish, Scholarship fund for startup/outreach,

Provide transportation funds ($5,000) Go out to speak to groups


10 Year Goals: National NLS Magazine like Ultreya, other than Conexiones

Establish Mission Outreach Staff


NLS Meeting #19 June 23-25, 1994


Life Enrichment Center Leesburg, Florida

Minutes of the 1994 NLS Annual Meeting

Bylaw 5 – Executive Committee 1. The six officers of the National Lutheran Secretariat shall be elected for a term of two years and shall hold office until their successors are duly elected. No officer shall be elected to more than two consecutive two year terms for the same office. The terms of the officers shall be staggered, with three officers being elected each year. During the first election of officers under this new staggered term procedure, the President, Vice President of Outreach and Secretary shall be elected for a term of one year, and the Spiritual Director, Vice President of Administration and Treasurer shall be elected for a term of two years. The executive Committee, which consists of the six officers, shall act as the Board of Directors for the National Lutheran Secretariat as provided in Article 5 of the Constitution.


Long Range Planning Committee – (1) Recommendation: that the National Lutheran Secretariat remain an affiliation of local secretariats, Lutheran in theology, laity in leadership, and open to all baptized Christians (5 year goal).


(2) To that end we recommend: (a) Create a leader’s manual to be ready for use in 1996. (b) Evaluate and revise the Spiritual Director’s manual. (c) Evaluate and revise the existing lay talks. (d) Establish a NLS office with an Executive Board Staff Support Position (urgently needed by 1996). Estimated cost of $20,000 per year.

(e) Translate leader’s manual, SD manual, and lay talks into Spanish (5 year goal).


(3) Establish a scholarship or outreach fund for supporting new and struggling secretariats. It would provide training, a starter kit of supplies, transportation for new delegations to the annual meeting. Estimated cost of $5,000. (5 year goal)


(4) Publish a national NLS magazine available to all 4th day community by subscription. (10 year goal)

(5) Develop a marketing brochure that explains the purpose of the NLS (2 year goal)


(6) The LRPC estimate the above recommendations to cost $40,000 per year. Recommends the Executive Board requests a set of mailing labels from each secretariat for the purpose of soliciting donations. The mailing would clearly define local secretariat benefits to be gained from this contribution.

(7) Establish a volunteer mission/outreach staff. (5 year goal)


(8) Establish mission/outreach staff. (10 year goal)


(9) Recommendation: move with haste to produce the 2nd video that illustrates the diversity of secretariats and weekends.

(10) Recommendation with regard to financing: (a) Maximum use of Lutheran Brotherhood, Aid Association for Lutherans, etc. (b) Soliciting individual donations.

(c) Encouraging establishing bequests, trusts, memorials, etc.

The afternoon session began with the election of officers. The report of the Nominating Committee was given by Jack Packer. Nominations were as follows:

President 1 year term Ellie Henning, Minnesota

VP, Outreach 1 year term Randy Mullin, Living Water

VP, Admin 2 year term Loyd Coonrod, Rainbow

Ed Hansen, South Dakota

Secretary 1 year term Kari Sheppard, Sonbeam

Treasurer 2 year term John L Gatz, North Texas

Sp. Dir. 2 year term C. Peter Setzer, Western NC

It is recommended that a committee be appointed to look into the feasibility of allowing advertising to be sold in the Conexiones.

The committee was asked to consider a two day weekend as an acceptable substitute for the three-day weekend. The Preamble to the Constitution of the National Lutheran Secretariat addresses this matter:


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 be Christ’s witnesses to the world.”


Group Reunion Breakout Report – While everyone in the discussion groups agreed that group reunion is important, very few Secretariats require it for team service or sponsorship. Weekend follow-up Leader’s Schools or 4th Day Workshops are very important tools to increase and encourage group reunion participation.

There was perception of a gap between the “ideal” answers and the “what is really done” answers to some questions. Databases of group reunions are great to have, good tools, but difficult to maintain accurately. All facilitators were impressed with the level of enthusiastic participation in the discussions.


Ways to Keep Cursillistas Involved in the 4th Day Activities – We are agreed that the purpose of all 4th Day activities, group reunion and Ultreya, is to further the cause of Christ rather than to promote future Via de Cristo weekends. 4th Day activities should be the glue which brings and holds together the diverse parts of the Body of Christ. Accordingly, the commitment of sponsors to furthering their candidates’ or pilgrims’ walk with Christ by supporting them in their 4th Day is essential. We suggest the NLS provide sponsorship guidelines in written form. Soliciting and synthesizing material from individual Secretariats is recommended. Sponsorship guidelines should be added to future printings of the 4th Day Manual in more detail than the current Glossary provides, since sponsorship is a 4th Day activity. The NLS should persevere in developing a Leaders’ School format which encourages 4th Day participation and increases knowledge and familiarity with its tools.


Suggestions for Improving Ultreya Participation – An outline given to Ultreya speakers is helpful. An assigned theme was also suggested an option, to focus speakers on how God is working in their 4th Day. A Reunion Ultreya or Post-weekend Ultreya has proven helpful in many areas. Timeliness of Ultreya start stop times. talk lengths and worship or prayer and adherence to them was recommended. Communication to the community of Ultreya times and locations has a decided effect on participation. Publishing dates in advance is also helpful. An assigned mechanism (sponsors, table leaders, etc.) to reinvite new participants to Ultreyas or to remind sponsors was also suggested. Each area or Secretariat should investigate the possibility of Ecumenical Ultreyas or Rainbow Gatherings. Music, food, and sharing are mandatory. Musicians of all level and instruments should be invited to participate.


Revitalization of a Secretariat – Characteristics of a struggling secretariat.

1. not enough pastors (S.D.’s) 2. not holding weekends

3. no Ultreyas, little grouping 4. Overemphasis (focus) on weekends

5. relaxation of guidelines (weekend,team)

6. community begins to close itself (Lutheran only or mostly)

7. lack of community involvement 8. not paying supply bills

9. not sending people to NLS Annual Meeting


1. same people stay on secretariat too long!! 2. lack of community

3. new movement not started properly – not enough people in community, not big enough base-not enough pastors, split from another secretariat too soon, lack of basic training.

4. got away from basics – not following guidelines (team, weekend structure, etc.), changed method, cut emphasis on Ultreya and reunion.

5. too much manipulation of weekend – add ons, serenades; not letting the Spirit work!!

6. lack of strong leadership training program for continuity.

Ways a secretariat may revitalize itself.

1. There must be enthusiasm and commitment to Jesus Christ!

2. Secretariat retreat – secretariat members must understand basics (education), develop mission statement, Secretariat must have strong spiritual director.

3. Get back to basics – weekend, emphasis on grouping, secretariat has to cut out things that are not pertinent, secretariat must enforce guidelines, pick trained people who are committed to serve on team.

Leaders training – secretariat, leaders school, sponsors school, rector training.

Pre-weekend – sponsoring – candidate selection and recruiting, secretariat position at large to follow up with parish reps for candidates

Post weekend – Ultreya must follow an agenda – set format, start post weekend on Sunday morning of weekend, emphasize group reunion and Ultreya, table leaders follow-up with weekend after weekend is over

4. Don’t make wholesale changes (resistance) Conclusions from all discussion points. The essential needed to revitalize any secretariat are: a sufficient number of very committed people with the enthusiasm and energy to make it happen, a strong spiritual director to help nurture the process.


1. The NLS Vice President of Outreach or a designee will personally contact each secretariat at least annually to identify potential problem areas. This will be done by phone or personal visit.

2. The NLS Executive Board should offer to provide resources to help secretariats with problems, as needs are discovered.

3. NLS will identify specific individuals or secretariats to act as resources to struggling secretariats. We strongly urge the NLS Executive Board to consider forming a task force of experienced persons to coordinate the direction of resources and be responsible for achieving the needed activities.

4. We recommend that the NLS, on an ongoing basis, encourage all secretariats to request help, if needed.

5. NLS will provide materials and supplies to aid struggling secretariats. A budget allocation of $250 was requested for this purpose.

6. NLS will mail the final report of this committee to all member secretariats for their information and consideration..


Results of the election – Ed Hansen will be the new vice-president of administration.


Spiritual Directors Dialogue – Recommendations: 1. That Executive Board provide for a study of purpose of palanca and inform secretariats of its real purpose. 2. That the lay talks be rewritten with special consideration given to “grace theology” and the use of inclusive language.


Continuation of the Long Range Planning Committee report – recommends:

1. We have a meeting every year.

2. The annual meeting should be in July.

3. We no limit the number of attendees at our annual meetings.

4. The NLS Executive Board receive the registration forms for the annual meeting and forward the housing and transportation information to the hosting community.

5. Due to the financial considerations and logistics, the LRPC reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of a central location versus housing in homes. The recommendation of the committee is to allow the Executive Board to make the decision, with input from the Host Committee.

6. The host community be prepared with the dates, projected budget, suggested registration fees, and housing details 13 months prior to their hosting the annual meeting. This enables the Executive Board to approve and announce these details at the annual meeting preceding the proposed event.

MOTION: The members of the Long Range Planning Committee move that the NLS delegates authorize the Executive Board to conduct a national appeal during the 1994-95 year for donations. The Executive Board will request each affiliated secretariat to provide a mailing list or set of mailing labels (of its 4th Day Community) with which to make this appeal to benefit the following needs.

Preamble to the Constitution of the National Lutheran Secretariat

The purpose of the National Lutheran Secretariat is to foster and encourage renewal in the Christian faith in the Lutheran Church and in the larger world community by presenting the fullness of Christ’s ministry by both the laity and clergy. The National Lutheran Secretariat aims at bringing Christians to a fuller personal knowledge of and a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and a deeper level of commitment to him and to spreading his word.

Via de Cristo provides a method which develops leaders and community in the Christian Church. This method uses meetings and groups of Christians who share their common life in Christ, their efforts to bring others to him and to make the world more Christ-like. Via de Cristo asks exactly what baptism and confirmation ask of us and provides a method to live out that commitment within the Church.

The National Lutheran Secretariat accepts as our norm the content and method of the CursilloR movement as developed by Bishop Juan Hervas, Eduardo Bonnin and their friends. The developers provided a method by which Christians transform the world for Christ our King. This method calls Christians to live their lives in union with Christ supported by regular reunion with other Christians.

We accept as normative the CursilloR method of group reunion and ultreya, the three-day weekend of fifteen talks, and the call to Christians to be Christ’s witnesses in the world.

Our Constitution intends to safeguard the norms of the CursilloR movement, yet we recognize that various customs and practices have grown up around the fifteen talks, the meditations and the worship during the three days. We also recognize that the three-day weekend often overshadows the apostleship activities of the Fourth Day, therefore we need to improve our ability to evaluate these customs, practices and emphases. All affiliated secretariats are urged to examine these to guarantee that they support the basic aims.

Via de Cristo is the Lutheran expression of the CursilloR movement.

The National Lutheran Secretariat shall be the means by which the many Via de Cristo communities may be represented on Via de Cristo matters of national interest and the means by which the National Lutheran Secretariat can effectively communicate with other structures within the Lutheran Church and with other organized bodies.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, and others associated with us, desire, for the sake of our common purposes, to band together into a National Lutheran Secretariat.

Conexiones Volume 14, Number 1 Spring Edition March, 1995

Stewards Reach Out, Ellie Henning – The true nature of Cursillo as an evangelism tool came up many times as the leaders from the various 4th Day Movements met, in Florida, on January 13-14, 1995. Ike Griffin, Executive Director of Kairos hosted the gathering. The following were represented: Tom Sarg, National Director of the Cursillo Movement (Roman); Joe Nanus, past Secretary of the National Episcopal Cursillo; Rev. Cherie Jones, International Director, and Jean Johnson, Program Director of Walk to Emmaus; Jerry L. Moore, President, and John McKinney, Executive Secretary of Tres Dias; and Kari Sheppard, NLS Secretary, and Ellie Henning, NLS President of Lutheran Via de Cristo.

Executive Board Conference Call Minutes 11/22/94

Brad’s company, ColorSong would be acting to facilitate the process of putting the songbook together, gathering the copyrights, and publishing. It is Brad’s feeling that a responsible way to put together the seed money for this project is to send an appeal letter to the local secretariats and their members with a sales piece on the ColorSong CD’s.

Concern of the NLS Board that the songbook not be labeled just Via de Cristo.

Concerns that many local secretariats are printing songbooks without any copyright and could the NLS be held liable.

Also an article reminding the local secretariats that not only is it illegal to print songs without copyright permission, it is poor stewardship. Kari Sheppard


St. Paul is the Patron Saint of Cursillo, Tom Sarg – Paul received his conversion experience on the road to Damascus. He was blinded for three days. During our three days of being cloistered (blinded) we receive conversion. Ananias was sent to train him; the team trains us. Had St. Paul done nothing but stop persecuting Christians, the experience would have been effective; but he became a saint because he took that conversion and moved out to spread the message to minister and evangelize. It is not sufficient for us to go to the weekend and leave it at that. We are called to be saints; we are to take the message out.

To Share What We have in Common…Gathering of 4th Day Movements January 14, 1995

– On January 14, 1995, the second annual meeting of representatives of the 4th Day movements met in Winter Park, FL. Representatives of the Roman Catholic Cursillo, Via de Cristo, Walk to Emmaus, Kairos and Episcopal Cursillo, who met for the first time last year as a result of work done by the National Episcopal Cursillo Committee, were joined this year by representatives of Tres Dias. Roman Catholic Cursillo – Tom Sarg, National Director of the Roman Catholic Cursillo,…In the past, the movement has been used to activate the laity in parishes. The focus is now shifting to a focus on environmental groups: the workplace, family, neighborhoods, etc. Walk to Emmaus – Rev. Cherie Jones, …Increasing numbers of ordinands point back to their Walk. Missionaries point back to their Walk. Via de Cristo – Ellie Henning, President of the National Lutheran Secretariat,..They are still receiving requests to start new communities.

Episcopal Cursillo – Joe Nanus, representing National Episcopal Cursillo, …focusing on education. Tres Dias – Jerry Moore, President of Tres Dias,…There are 34 Secretariats with about one-third of these being in Korea. Kairos – Ike Griffin, Executive Director of Kairos,…They are currently in 87 prisons and have five Kairos outside communities for significant other women. Ike Griffin reported many prison chaplains got involved as laity in Kairos and went on to seminary and chaplaincy.

General sharing: Concerns about secrecy were mentioned.

Next year’s meeting of the 4th Day Movements has been changed to February 24, 1996 in Jacksonville, FL. Kairos will be celebrating their 20th anniversary of Kairos Prison Ministry. Eduardo Bonnin, the founder of Cursillo, has accepted to attend a thanksgiving banquet.

NLS Conference Call April 9, 1995

Concern raised to Peter from a pastor re: “Every Man’s Way of the Cross,” that it was not acceptable theologically. NLS has available “The Way to the Cross According to St. Luke” done by Rev. Allen Hermeier.


Conexiones Volume 14, Number 3 Annual Meeting Edition September, 1995


NLS Meeting #19 July 19-22, 1995


Augustana College Rock Island, Illinois

Minutes of NLS Annual Meeting

Bylaw 5 – Executive Committee – In order to provide geographic balance, no more than two officers shall be elected from any one state.

Bylaw 6 – Committees – The chair of each committee shall be named by the president, with the consent of the Executive Committee, and will serve at the discretion of the president. …In order to be eligible for election, any person nominated must be registered and in attendance at the current annual meeting and shall have attended one prior annual meeting and have been a delegate at least once.

At least three months prior to the annual meeting the President shall appoint a nominating committee consisting of a member of the NLS, who shall be chair, and two members of the Executive Committee. Such committee shall prepare a slate consisting of as many candidates as there are vacancies to be filled at said election.

In order to provide more assistance to the local secretariats we recommend that the Executive Committee consider the establishment of Six Regional Directors to be elected from the secretariats in their region.


Video – Since the objectives of the next video are to be redefined, Oran moved that production of the “authorized” 2nd video be discontinued and the NLS continue marketing the existing video. Motion carried.


Revitalization of a Secretariat Committee – An unprioritized list of characteristics was developed, 9 taken from last year’s report:

1. Not enough Pastors (Spiritual Directors) 2. Not enough weekends.

3. No Ultreyas, little grouping 4. Overemphasis (focus) on weekends.

5. Relaxation of guidelines (weekend, team, candidates)

6. Community begins to close itself (Lutheran only or mostly).

7. Lack of Community involvement. 8. Not paying supply bills.

9. Not sending people to NLS Annual Meeting. 10. Lack of Constitution and Bylaws.


The essentials need to revitalize a secretariat are:

1. A sufficient number of very committed people with the enthusiasm and energy to make it happen.

2. A strong Spiritual Director to help nurture the process.

3. Strength in 4th Day activities.


Results of Elections – Randy Mullin of Living Water – President;

Doug Burrows of Ohio – Vice President of Outreach;

Myra Hogan of Gold Coast – Secretary


Spiritual Director’s Committee – Recommend annual Meeting adopt the proposed “Order of Reunion” card as the official card of the NLS…17. That local Secretariats receive this new card as a timely improvement to generate a new and united spirit across the whole VdC movement, and that we all invoke the Holy Spirit in the words “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle us in the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.”

Motion carried.


New Movement Outreach Committee – Motion: The New Movement Outreach Committee recommends that a gift of $1000 from the NLS Outreach Fund be given from the new secretariat of Utah for their use in starting a new VDC community. Motion carried.


Publications Committee – Committee heard report from Paul Schmidlin, Carroll Lang, & Luther Piel on progress on Leaders Manual. They are proposing now to divide into two manuals; one called “Essentials of Via de Cristo” and the other “Team Formation.” Paul is doing the first draft and then Lutheran and Carroll will edit the draft.

Committee discussed the Spiritual Directors Manual. It is in the process of being revised.

NLS Executive Board Conference Call August 27, 1995

The delegation voted to send a video of Pastor Setzer’s Keynote address plus a letter requesting that an hour and a half be blocked out by each Secretariat explaining the changes made. Randy said he would collaborate with Pastor in the letter. Randy reported that some had suggested that the Pilgrim’s Guide might match the new card in color (green).


Notebooks. Randy has sent each of us notebooks from the New Braunfels meeting and will be doing the same for the other annual meetings with the talks given by clergy and guest speakers of the workshops. He asked if we should publish some of the talks and it is his desire that we develop a library of materials. John suggested that perhaps we should have a Historian.

Conexiones Volume 14, Number 4 Winter Edition December, 1995

Dallas – ‘96,Randy Mullin – We have the prospect of a Leaders Manual and a team training manual. We will work on instructional materials for the proper use and licensure of music in our movements. We will seek to consolidate the wisdom of past host chairpeople so we may have an instructional booklet on how to host the annual meeting. Ed Hansen will do a seminar on interpretative Christian dance.


A Special Request, Randy Mullin – we can help each other if we don’t lose track of our experienced pilgrims. Then…would you consider forwarding those names?

1995 NLS Board Mid-Year Meeting Minutes Dallas, November 11-13, 1995

Songbook – Randy said that he had talked to Brad and that he didn’t feel that we would be deserting him if we have an offer from Johann Anderson to publish a songbook with the cost being between $5 and $7. Ed moved that we allow Johann to publish the songbook and that we endorse it. It will not be an NLS songbook. Motion passed.


Cursillo, VDC, Emmaus, Kairos, Tres Dias, etc. Joint Meeting – Doug moved that we send Randy and Ellie to the meeting in Jacksonville on February 24th and that we take care of their expenses. Motion passed.

The motion was made by John to appoint a chairperson called “Archivist,” which could become a permanent standing committee, to write a history of the NLS (The meeting at Lenoir Rhyne College in 1996 will be our 25th Anniversary).

Should we be revising the rollo outlines? Pastor Carroll said he’s like to finish the Spiritual Director’s and Leaders’ Manuals first.


Distribution Center – motion amended to say that the head of the distribution center be requested to attend every annual meeting and that he/she be prepared to display materials and sell them with his/her expenses paid from Distribution Center funds. Motion passed. Myra moved we pay travel costs and registration fees for Leona Fox to come to Dallas.

NLS Conference Call Minutes October 8, 1995

Pastor Peter asked if there could be a way to secure names and addresses of pilgrims moving from one area to another. This would be helpful for starting new movements.


Treasurer’s Report, John GatzJohn said he had mailed a check for $1,000 to Minnesota for the Utah “start up” and that the approximate balance on hand is $14,000.


New Movements – Bishop Schoenhals from the Arkansas/Oklahoma area was also interested. The weekends in Utah are planned for October 26-29 and November 2-5.

Randy asked Pastor Carroll how the Spiritual Director’s Manual is coming. He said, “Not well.”