Records from 1996-2000

From the Conexiones Volume 15, Number 1 Spring Edition March, 1996

What Are the Strong Points of the New Group Reunion Card?, Rev. Peter Setzer – Let’s now take a close look at the middle panel of the new revised card that encourages us to STUDY.

1. Our Study – Study is done in the context of Christian community.

2. Scripture Text under Study – Our study is basically a study of God’s Word, and especially of Christ.

3. The Question – “What have you studied this week to better understand Jesus Christ and his mystical body, the church?” This question, recycled from an older version of the card,

4. Expanded Scope of Study – ..the space given to STUDY is identical to the space given to the other two emphases, piety and action.

5. Adult Education Class in the Congregation – Churchwide, this is the major study time, and we should encourage it.

6. Private Bible Study – This encourages Bible study of a devotional character, with rigorous self-examination and personal application.

7. Bible Commentaries – ..commentaries here stress the fact that the Bible is our primary source of study.

8. Books on Christian Faith and Theology – …help us think clearly and understand our Lutheran emphasis on grace and justification by faith.

9. Christian Periodicals – …clarify the intent of what was simply “periodicals” in the old card.

10. Pastor-Guided Reading – …we encourage our lay pilgrims to seek the assistance of their pastors in selecting books that would be most beneficial.

11. Most Helpful Spiritual Insight – …to parallel the question under piety seeking our closest moment with Christ.

12. Plan for Study – The question regarding planning ahead, coming at the end in the old card, is included under each of the three areas in the new card and is tailored for each.

13. Why is the New Card Green? – …green is the color of growing things, and we want to grow in grace. …the U.S. card is green for all immigrants. …Christians are just pilgrims (immigrants) passing through. We “belong” by virtue of our baptism, but heaven is our permanent home.

New Possibilities, Doug Burrows – In the south of Arizona at Tucson with the help of Phoenix we have a new Lutheran Cursillo movement.

Minutes of NLS Conference Call January 23, 1996

Myra Hogan – the response to a request for lists of pilgrims moving from one area to another has been poor.

Randy reported that he and Ellie Henning will attend the Kairos meeting, their 20th anniversary, February 24th. Each executive board member had been assigned secretariats to contact to see how they are doing and how we might help them.

Doug reported that Syracuse is building a base and that they will have the help of the local Emmaus and Cursillo movements. Gerry Hudson is trying to get a Billings, Montana movement going.

Pastor Carroll felt that Iowa’s weakness is their Ultreya and they are going to get some help from Minnesota.

Randy wants us to think about how we think the NLS should participate in the starting up of new movements, like Utah, for example, other than just giving funds to help.

Conexiones Volume 15, Number 2 Pre-Annual Meeting Edition May, 1996

Welcome to Texas!, Tim Johnson – On Saturday morning and afternoon, as a special treat for all 4th Day renewal movements, Yohann Anderson will be with us for a very special forum presentation on praise music as it relates to the Via de Cristo movement.

What Are the Strong Points of the New Group Reunion Card? Rev. Peter Setzer – Now let us examine the third panel of the new revised card that encourages us to ACTION.

1. Our Action – Our piety and our study, if centered in the saving Christ, will propel us into Apostolic Action. The word “Apostle” in Greek literally means, “one who is sent”.

2. What Have You Done this Week to Share Christ with the World so that Others Might Know His Saving Love? – The method urged in Via de Cristo: “Make a friend; be a friend, bring that friend to Christ.”

3. How Have You Witnessed to the Gospel In :Family, Profession, Workplace, Total Environment? – Via de Cristo, historically, emphasizes Christianizing our environments.

4. In What Way Were You Successful? In What Way Were You Disappointed? – …much is to be gained in assessing the effectiveness of one’s attempts to witness to the grace we have received.

5. What Have You Done to Bear the Burdens of Others in Obedience to Christ? – There are two forms of Action: Missionary Witness and Loving Service.

6. What Was the Moment of Your Most Burning Witness? Most Sacrificial Service? – …carries out an action-oriented form of the more familiar question, “What was your closest moment to Christ?”

7. What Is Your Plan for Next Week to Enlarge Your Witness and Service? – Planning holds our feet to the fire. It urges us to take initiative so that next week I will not be caught again with no significant action to share with my friends.

8. Plan a Reunion Group Activity. – This is not intended to be a social event. …common helping ministry in the community, a joint witness project

9. Prayer of Thanksgiving – This prayer is identical to the one in the old card.

10. Prayers/Altar Visit – Groups that do so witness that the prayer experience is more intense when kneeling “on holy ground” so rich is spiritual symbolism.

11. Praise, Thanksgiving, Confession, Intercession and Petition – If all persons will keep these five dimensions of prayer in mind, they will find their prayer life expanding in many directions, especially as they are applied to the matters just shared in the reunion group.

12. Lord’s Prayer and Sharing of the Peace – What a great way to end prayers at the altar!

13. Christ is Counting on You! – The Via de Cristo seal is in the background. Our National Lutheran Secretariat of Via de Cristo seal is similar to Luther’s seal.

14. Name:__________Weekend Table and Date: __________ – …the emphasis in the Fourth Day is on the reunion group, not the weekend table members (as on previous card). …stores our weekend table name for hand reference.

15. Idea: – Why not take the three articles on the new Group Reunion card and read through them with your reunion group?

We urge all of our secretariats to use a common card upon which we can all agree as an expression of our unity.

Perusing the Newsletters – From the Almost Heaven “Lifeline” I read the following:

“The news I bring comes with some regret and sadness. Almost Heaven, Wheeling, West Virginia Via de Cristo Secretariat has concluded that we no longer have a viable ministry and that it is time to disband. Obviously this was not an easy decision, nor was it a quickly-made decision.”

North Carolina Synod of ELCA endorses Via de Cristo – At its quarterly meeting held March 23, 1996 the Synod Council officially approved the endorsement of Via de Cristo and the related program for teens, “Teens Encounter Christ.”

April 23, 1996 Conference Call

Randy Mullin and Ellie Henning represented our NLS on February 24th in Jacksonville, Florida. They had an opportunity to interview, through an interpreter, Eduardo Bonnin.

Randy came away feeling that it is time we do what is legally proper and begin to correct our publications and materials so that we will be in compliance with copyright laws.

re: Pilgrim’s Guides – it was decided to use a tape (an overlay) to convey the correct information in the red ones until they are all used.

Randy said that he had promised to have all our literature “correct” in two years.(usage of “Cursillo”)

New Member Outreach, Doug Burrows – he has had a request also, from a group in Madeira, CA, the central valley region. They have been helped by the Southern California Lutheran Cursillo and the Episcopal Cursillo and they feel it is time be out on their own.

Also interested is a group in Pennsylvania headed by Richard Hofstetter.

Doug said that there is a movement beginning in Helsinki, Finland. They are receiving help from the Carolinas. Pastor Kahl and Pastor Jacobsen (pastor of the church in Helsinki) met together for weekend #5 in Moscow.

As soon as the present green cards are used up, the lighter shade of green will be used as some have complained the darker color is too hard to read.

The “Salt ‘n ‘sota Connection – We were 40 Cursillistas from all over Minnesota who traveled by bus to Salt Lake City Via de Cristo #2. …at the site church, Good Shepherd Lutheran in Sandy, The SLC weekends became known as the “Salt ‘n ‘sota Connection”.

NLS Meeting #19 July 25-27, 1996

University of Dallas Dallas, Texas

Minutes of Wednesday Executive Board meeting – Randy asked if we felt that we should be putting anything in the newspapers about our meetings? John suggested that we might submit something to the local paper and that we will suggest this to Tim Johnson.

John moved that there be a by-laws change to read that the Spiritual Director of the National Lutheran Secretariat be a Lutheran Pastor and that he be one who is present and has served as a delegate in the past.

Tim reported that Johann Anderson felt that putting together a Via de Cristo songbook at this time would be cost-prohibitive.

Myra moved that we authorize funds to cover the time and cost of transportation and lodging for the two to meet (Pastors Lang and Schmidlin) and finish the Leader’s Manual: the amount to be $15.00 per hour per person with a cap of $450.00, plus the cost of transportation and lodging. Motion passed.

Regarding the Spiritual Director’s Manual, Carroll said that the Spiritual Directors’ committee will discuss what should go in it, etc. and if they will make him the author, he will finish it.

Minutes of Annual Meeting – Randy welcomed everyone to University of Dallas. also welcoming everyone were Monsignor Joseph, Interim President and Bishop Mark Herbener of the North Texas/North Louisiana Synod. Tim Johnson, Chairman of the Host Committee, explained some of the logistics, locations, etc. of the campus to everyone.

Doug Burrows, Vice President of Outreach, reported that we have added a new secretariat in Utah.

Fourth Day Movements – Ellie Henning and Randy Mullin attended a meeting in Jacksonville, Florida in February of representatives from the Catholic and Episcopal Cursillos, the Emmaus, Kairos, Tres Dias, Chrysalis and Via de Cristo movements. Ellie reported that she and Randy were privileged to have an interview with Eduardo Bonnin, the founder of the Cursillo Movement, from Mallorca, Spain.

Randy added that we need to begin to let go of all Cursillo “words” and “materials” which belong to that movement.

Presentations of bids for 1998 NLS Annual Meeting: Julie Miller extended an invitation for the 1998 NLS Annual Meeting to be held in Central Michigan in the Saginaw, Bay City, Midland area. Dick Neitzel presented his bid from Wisconsin along with Carole Neitzel and Pastor Paul Bauman.

Following a vote by the delegation, it was decided that we will hold our 1998 Annual Meeting in Wisconsin.

Operations and Finance Committee: The matter of Regional Directors is before the New Movement Outreach and Revitalization Committees.

New Secretariat dues should be: $50 at end of first year, $150 at end of second, $250 (or a minimum of $1.00 per new application for membership) at the end of the third year.

Motion that the NLS Spiritual Director shall be a rostered Lutheran Pastor. Motion passed.

Motion that the Executive Committee be empowered to appoint a three-member committee to review and recommend changes to the Constitution and By-Laws and report back to the Executive Committee and then to the forum. Passed without dissent.

…moves that the NLS Board authorize Tim Johnson to produce a short length, multimedia presentation to acquaint potential participants with Via de Cristo for a cost not to exceed $3,000.00 …the intent would be for the Executive Board to appoint one lay person and one Executive Board person to review the video before production. Motion passed without dissent.

A motion that the NLS Board authorize the establishment of an internet site at a cost of up to $500.00. Passed without dissent.

The committee moved that the term “Via de Cristo” be registered as a trademark in the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office by the National Lutheran Secretariat. Passed with one dissent.

Spiritual Directors Dialogue – Stations of the Cross: The pastors recommend that secretariats not use “Everyone’s Way of the Cross” and “Every Man’s Way of the Cross,” (these are unredeemable) and asked that we not use: “This is the way it Was” in its present form. They recommend “The Biblical Way of the Cross” and that the kneeling be omitted. There are other acceptable “Ways.” Some of those are “The Way to the Cross according to St. Luke,” “Via Delorosa – The Way of Sorrows,” “The Way of the Cross” the Minnesota expression and “Steps of Christ.”

The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible is recommended for use on the weekends. The language is traditional and inclusive.

We recommend that Spiritual Directors consider it acceptable for AIMS (Associates in Ministry) serve as Spiritual Directors on the weekends, assuming that they do not preside at Holy Communion.

New Movement Outreach Committee – In addition, the NLS should pay travel and registration fee for one lay delegate and one spiritual director to attend the first NLS conference after the new movement is created.

That the NLS Executive Board will appoint one or more persons to assist the Vice President of Outreach in working with Secretariats in need of help, New Movement Outreach and other duties as needed.

Revitalization of the Secretariat Committee – …develop a draft copy of a “Wellness Checklist”. This document would be used to gather information from local Secretariats to help NLS determine any areas of concern or tell-tale signs of developing problems.

..change the name to “Information Survey”.

1. The NLS Executive Board or the Vice President of Outreach will appoint one or more persons to assist in working with the Secretariats in need of help. (This was presented as a joint motion with the New Movement Outreach and passed).

2. The NLS Board approve and adopt the “Information Survey” form.

4. ..the NLS should provide funds to struggling Secretariats to send delegates to the NLS annual meeting

Publications – The new reunion card color will be changed to a lighter green for easier reading after current stock of dark green cards is depleted.

Randy Mullin has provided transcripts of most of the past NLS forums from the last 5 years to Jack Packer, totaling almost 50 talks. Current and future speakers are being asked for a hard copy of their talk to ease this task. It was suggested that a copy be provided on floppy disk also. It was moved and seconded that the following disclaimer be added to each transcript: “This transcription of the tape made during the presentation was typed exactly as presented without editorial changes. The content of this talk is the responsibility of the speaker and does not necessarily reflect the policy or opinions of the NLS.” The motion passed.

5. Leaders Manual Work is continuing on a Leaders Manual which would be similar in form to the Cursillo version. It would consist of two parts:

a. Essentials of Via de Cristo b. Team Formation Manual

The motion was made and seconded to recommend to the NLS Annual meeting that $1000 plus expenses be budgeted to Rev. Carroll Lang and Rev. Paul Schmidlin to complete the Leaders Manual. The motion passed.

New NLS brochure: A new NLS brochure was passed out for review. It was moved and seconded that a packet of 25 be sent to each secretariat along with a letter requesting feedback on its possible use. The motion passed

…moved that $1000.00 plus expenses be budgeted for Rev. Carroll Lang and Rev. Paul Schmidlin to complete the Leaders Manual. Motion passed.

How to Use Music on a Weekend – It was the consensus that, with judicious editing to reflect terminology appropriate to all our diverse Secretariats, and with text-box emphasis of some of the major points, these existing resources could provide a booklet which would relay suggestions and direction on the appropriate use of music for our three-day weekends. The intended recipient would be music leaders in the communities and on weekend teams/staffs.

The two sections have been edited and compiled into one document attached to this report. The Music Committee moves that this document be submitted to the Publications Committee for publications in booklet form as soon as possible.

How to get Proper Licensing –

Motions proposed by the Music Committee:

Motion #1 – The Music Committee moves that the document, “Music on the Weekend/Music Leader” be submitted to the Publications Committee for publication in booklet form as soon as possible. Motion passed.

Motion #2 – Accordingly, the Music Committee moves that the NLS purchase enough copies of the attached (also copyrighted) brochure entitled “Copyright Law and the Local Church”, at a cost of $9.95 plus $1.95 for postage and handling, furnish this guideline to each member Secretariat, and each new member Secretariat which may be added to our numbers hereafter, and add a line on the Annual Report (Survey) form for each Secretariat asking about their copyright compliance. Motion passed.

Hosting an Annual Meeting

The following motions and recommendations were proposed by the “Hosting an Annual Meeting Committee:

Motion #1 – The committee moves that the NLS strive to hold all future annual meetings beginning the fourth Thursday in July. Motion passed.

Motion #2 – The committee moves that the NLS add a standing committee “Hosting an Annual Meeting.” Motion passed.

Motion #3 – The Committee moves that the NLS establish a scholarship fund for current or prospective Secretariats who need financial assistance for those unable to attend the annual meeting. The Executive Board will award scholarships at their discretion. Our recommended start-up amount would be $2500.00.

Recommendation #1 – The committee recommends that the NLS adopt the General Guidelines entitled “The Covenant Between the NLS Executive Board and Local Host Secretariat.”

Recommendation #2 – The committee recommends the NLS continue holding its annual meeting at an on-site location that handles housing, meals and meeting accommodations. Bob Wade and Ellie Henning reported that they will continue working on a manual for the Host Committee.


Administrative Vice President – Ed Hansen

Treasurer – Phil Lustig

Spiritual Director – Rev. Richard Dow

Minutes of Sunday NLS Business Meeting – Randy would like to appoint the following to the Anniversary Committee to plan next year’s celebration: Joe Feagins, Rose Lundquist, and Pastor Ed Simonsen. The NLS will defer “Delegate-at-Large” status for them. They have been allotted $2500.00.

The Executive Board was instructed by the delegation to appoint three members to the By-Laws and Constitution Committee. Randy thought that it would be good to appoint Fred Schneider and Pastor Larry Llewellyn and a third to be announced and that we would supply them with the Articles of Incorporation and the By-Laws and instruct them to begin work immediately.

Randy read a letter from Joe Feagins of the Central States (Kansas City) Secretariat saying that they are disbanding with regrets. Their secretariat would like to donate their entire balance remaining in their treasury to the NLS. That amount is $1,982.86 of which they would like to pay dues of $100.00 with the remainder going to the New Member Outreach Fund.

It was suggested that we have a written agreement with Hosts committees concerning financial arrangements.

The board felt that it doesn’t work too well to have a workshop going on during the business meeting.

We felt that the NLS should urge the secretariats to have insurance coverage and perhaps we should ask how many do on the survey this year?

Conexiones Volume 15, Number 3 Annual Meeting Edition

My personal perspective holds that Fred Schneider, Dan Bobst, and Pat Dever provided us such a scholarly perspective on ‘Sponsoring’ that you may all find reason to use it as a reference text as you write future materials in your secretariats.

From the VP of Outreach – Upon returning home I had the pleasure of meeting with Rainbow Secretariat of Western Maryland. There’s a concerted effort to begin a new movement and appears to be strong support from Rainbow.

Western North Carolina and Atlanta will be meeting in Knoxville, TN on the weekend of September 27-29 for the purpose of forming a new movement.

With the help of the Rev. Dr. Leonard H. Bolick, assistant to the Bishop in N. Carolina, we are making arrangements to send a 3 or 4 person team to meet with Rev. Heikki Toivola in the Parish Work Association in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.

From the Treasurer – Dues – $6,193.00 Palanca – $8,053.40

Conexiones Volume 15, Number 4 Winter Edition December, 1996

Minutes of Conference Call September 3, 1996 The Finland group is receiving help from the Tres Dias movement in Moscow.

Pastor Carroll said that he and Paul Schmidlin will get together soon to finish the Leader’s Manual.

Doug will make a trip to eastern Tennessee where a new Secretariat is being formed with the help of Atlanta and Western North Carolina.

Minutes of Mid-Year Executive Board Meeting – After much discussion and input from those present, we felt that we should continue to promote the “basics”, that committee work should be pro-active, that we need a clear purpose while allowing room for diversification. We feel there should be time made to allow more sharing….to see how differently we do things. There should be time to sample the flavor of the local secretariats. Pastor Dow felt that we are seeing a swing from what’s good for us to what’s good for all and this gives a sense of maturity. We felt there could be improvement in communicating our needs to our host committee while we understand their desires. It was also decided that we need to keep certain standing committees, such as Finance, New Movement/Revitalization and that we should add “Host.”

We will appoint a chairman of a nominating committee who will select, with he help of the board, two more to serve with him/her and that these be regionally representative. A slate of one person will be selected and nominations will be accepted from the floor.

Randy handed out (attached) a letter from Alain Bashore concerning the trademark for Via de Cristo. Through common consent we will move ahead on this as commissioned by the assembly in July.

Newsletter deadlines are as follows: December 1, 1996, February 14, 1997 and April 16, 1997. Conference calls will be January 26, 1997, March 16, 1997 and May 18, 1997.

Randy wanted to know if we should continue to represent the NLS in the other 4th Day Movement Annual Meetings. The board authorized him to represent us. Randy will appoint someone to go with him.

Doug said he has a request from Minnesota to pick up Bolivia.

Pastor Carroll reported that the Spiritual Director’s Manual and the Leader’s Manual still need to be finished. He and Pastor Paul Schmidlin haven’t gotten together yet, but will. The largest part has been finished. The biggest job yet to be done is to establish “universal” terms.

Rachel said that they are waiting for a theme. They offered “And you shall renew the face of the earth”. The board agreed.

Rachel suggested that we should recommend to Wisconsin, the next host city, that they send several people to observe.

Rachel said that if there is money left over, they will first pay back the NLS for their advancement, next the local Secretariat and finally all else will go to Outreach of the NLS.

Committees we considered dropping this year were “Revitalization,” “Music.” These committees have possibly served their purposes. Those that will be retained are: Operations and Finance, and Pastoral and Public Relations, Promoting the Video, New Member Orientation and Host..

Phil moved that we pay for Jerry Vehrs’ expense of travel to the NLS out of his operating budget as we did last year, and that the NLS pay for Leona Fox’s.

Doug moved that the NLS purchase a laser printer for Pastor Carroll’s use for the printing of the Conexiones.

The New Group Reunion Card, Rev. Peter Setzer – Balance: The new card is arranged so that Piety, Study and Action, basic components of the Christian life, area each assigned one of the three inside panels of the card. As the card is “balanced” in appearance, so we who are prone to over-emphasize one area to the neglect of other areas, are to encourage one another to a healthy balance in our daily discipleship.

Survey to determine what factors influence people to attend Via de Cristo – Clearly the Committee thought that either pastors or congregational lay leaders who had attended VdC weekends would be most influential in convincing other pastors to attend.

NLS Conference Call January 31, 1997

Vice President Outreach, Doug Burrows – Doug reported that Northern Maryland (New Vineyard VdC) is now in place and will send delegates this summer.

The group in Philadelphia is holding Ultreyas and Doug wants to get more involved in that endeavor. East Maryland will have a delegate at the Nationals. He hasn’t heard from Central California but he knows they are working on getting a movement going.

Ultreyas are being held in the Denver, Colorado area. They have a list of about 25 couples in that area who are wanting to become involved. Doug had a call from Gerry Hudson in Billings, Montana who feels a Lutheran Via de Cristo could become a reality. The Episcopal Bishop has withdrawn his support of the Episcopal Cursillo and he feels there is room for a new movement now. Doug expects representation at the Annual Meeting. Randy is working on Peoria, Illinois which will also likely be represented at the Annual Meeting.

President, Randy Mullin – Randy said that he and Ellie will be representing our NLS at the meeting of all fourth day movements in Winter Park next weekend. ….Randy has been pursuing changing our materials so that we don’t encroach on the term “Cursillo.”

Phil moved that our NLS should encourage all secretariats to become incorporated and that we provide them with information to provide the means. Motion passed.

Conexiones Volume 16, Number 1 Spring Edition May, 1997

Treasurer’s Report, Philip H. Lustig, III – As of 15 May 1997, checkbook balance is $19,455.75.

..They’d Come for you with a net! – effective May 1, 1997 you can access (Via de Cristo website) at

Randy asked how we all felt about asking a couple of people to dig up material for our archive on how we got started, our history, etc.

Finland Via de Cristo, 1997, Doug Burrows, – The Rev. Dr. Peter Setzer, Pastor George Kahl, and I made this trip to present the Via de Cristo to the Lutheran Church in Finland. Our contact was the Rev. Heikki Toivola, Dir. of Parish Studies for the Lutheran Church of Finland….As a result of the meetings there will be a group of Finns coming to the United States to experience the weekend first-hand and to determine the best way for us to begin the weekends in Finland.

Peoria!, Ron Millard – God’s blessing to all of you from Heart of Illinois Via de Cristo. No, you haven’t heard or seen our name before as we are still in the process of getting organized as a new secretariat, serving basically the Central Illinois area.

Many of our Cursillistas attended their weekend at Heart of Florida VdC. We are also in close proximity to Living Water VdC, and have received visits from Randy Mullin and others.

Conexiones Volume 16, Number 2 Annual Meeting Edition September/December, 1997

I Can Explain…, Rev. Carroll Lang – Please forgive my tardiness in producing this newsletter. It will not happen again in the foreseeable future. A new addition has been added since we’ve moved – a new phone line with an 800 number and a FAX machine to start an NLS 800 availability nation-wide.

New Movement Outreach, Doug Burrows – As we write there is the planning of a meeting with the pastors leading a camp just outside the greater New York City area and we are asked to present Via de Cristo to them. ….We will be hosting a Finnish Delegation in Eastern Tennessee the weekend of September 27th, and they will be making their first weekend. We need your prayers and palanca for this effort.

Birth of a Via de Cristo Movement, Vol 1 Number 1 May, 1997

On April 27, 1997 Colorado Via de Cristo was born at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp. This was the outgrowth of an enthusiastic group of Christians that have been holding Ultreyas over the last year. During the organizational meeting a Steering Committee was formed and coordinator positions defined. Randy Mullin, the President of the National Lutheran Secretariat was on hand. The weekend of activities that culminated in the creation of CVdC included detailed discussions on the principles and tenants of Via de Cristo as well as intense prayers for the movement. Out of the weekend came a mission statement that will act as a guide to the Colorado movement in the coming months.

NLS Meeting #20 July 24-27, 1997

Lenoir-Rhyne College Hickory, North Carolina

NLS Executive Board July 23, 1997

Press Release – Should we have one? Perhaps it would be good to report what we are doing to the “home-town” newspapers?

Archives Committee – Randy has felt for some time that we need someone to keep the “history” of our movement, to keep copies of the forums, workshops, keynote addresses, etc. He has asked Greg Steele to do this. Greg will give us an estimate of the cost.

Copyright of VDC – Phil reported that the cost is more than we thought: $2000.

It was moved that we have a national 800 # and that Pastor Carroll will do this for six months to see how much it’s used.

NLS Business Meetings

Pastor Dow introduced the Reverend Dr. Leonard H. Bolick, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, North Carolina Synod. Bishop Bolick, a Pilgrim, spoke of his support of the Via de Cristo movement as he welcomed delegates and visitors to the 1997 annual meeting of the National Lutheran Secretariat. Randy introduced the Mayor of Hickory, William R. McDonald III, a Cursillista, who said that it was an honor for the town of Hickory and the Western North Carolina VDC to be hosting this annual meeting. He presented Randy with the key to the city of Hickory.

We had two guests from New York.

Randy asked the following long-time members of the NLS and past presidents to please stand and be recognized: Luther Piel, Wayne Ford, Pastor Ed Simonsen, Ellie Henning, Hilde Hildebrandt, Pastor Peter Setzer, Judy Lang, Pastor Carroll Lang, Leona Fox, and Wilson Mausteller. He then had the representatives of the new secretariats, Vineyard, Colorado, Eastern Tennessee and Yellowstone stand. He suggested that these people seek each other out this weekend.

At this time, Dr. Ryan LaHurd, President of Lenoir-Rhyne, came in to also welcome us on behalf of the college.

Randy called on Pastor Paul Bauman, Nominating Chairman, to present the “Nominating Process” that his committee has devised. His committee includes Pat Dever and Bill Hightower.

1. Thursday nominations from the committee are presented with biographical information.

2. Committee will accept other nominations. Future candidates must accept and fill out a biographical form.

3. All nominations other than from the committee must be presented by noon Friday. They will be announced at Friday’s business meeting.

4. Elections will be held at the business meeting on Saturday.

Randy passed out his gift, printed copies of all forums, keynote addresses, etc. that have been given beginning in 1991. Oran Gough gave “magnet” cards which have the National Lutheran Secretariat Internet address: ” ”

Les Miller, Delegate from Central Michigan. Les invited the NLS to come to Saginaw, Michigan July 23rd through July 26th, 1999.

Ron Millard, delegate from Heart of Illinois, is an expert in software and has written a Windows-based VdC software program that can be used by Secretariats. It is a database that can report on such things as “who has given the Fourth Day Rollo in this secretariat?” He will demonstrate how the Via de Cristo might use it in Isenhour Hall tonight.

Oran Gough moved that the slate presented by the Nominating Committee be accepted by acclamation. President, Randy Mullin, Vice President of Outreach, Doug Burrows and Secretary, Myra Hogan. Approved unanimously.

Doug Burrows gave a copy of the Pastor’s Booklet to each secretariat.

Pastor Carroll announced that the Leader’s Manual is now available (one for each secretariat). He and Luther Piel and Pastor Paul Schmidlin are to be thanked for their work on this.

Thanks to Tom Johnson of Miami and Pastor Gene Hermeier from Iowa for giving the history of the two beginning movements at the Anniversary celebration.

President Randy Mullin announced that the attendance for this year’s meeting has grown to 138 (not counting Host Committee people) as compared with 1996 which was 85.

Thanks to Ellie for the work she has done on the booklet on 4th Day Groups and Eduardo Bonnin.

The Spiritual Director’s Manual is almost ready. It just needs one “talk” to be complete.

Sylvia Schrader, Vineyard Secretariat, reported from her committee with a recommendation that a banner be made for each Secretariat (A gift from the NLS) showing the connection of the local secretariat to the National Secretariat. Their suggestion is that the banner be the outline of the USA with the National Secretariat logo. Their estimate of the cost is about $15.00 per banner.

Banners for Tennessee and Yellowstone were made by this group and presented. (These are two of our new secretariats who attended the NLS annual meeting for the first time.)

Sylvia presented a motion for the following statement to be adopted by the NLS and added to our literature: “True Palanca is prayer and sacrifice. Prayer and sacrifice can be made visible through gifts of love. Gifts of love are not true Palanca without prayer and sacrifice.” Motion passed.

Report from Pastor Dow: Stations of the Cross: as a follow-up to last year’s presentations and discussions. One year after we determined that the Biblical Way of the Cross (Ave Maria Press) was an appropriate and approved resource for recommendation. We so moved that this resource be recommended to all secretariats by letter from the National SD, that the distribution center have a supply of these on hand, that appropriate publicity accompany this action, and that copies of this way of the cross be included in all new movement start up kits.

Relationships with Bishops: SD’s are urged to be diligent about letting their local bishop or similar superior in church governing body know that Holy Communion is being celebrated during weekends and other occasions during the calendar year: apprise them of the schedule (they may publish it in the synod newsletter!), and use all opportunities to exercise open and positive communication with bishops.

Harrassment Issues on Weekends and Beyond: Where weekend staff members or other members of the community are engaging in inappropriate behaviors of a sexual nature on or beyond the weekend, we thought that the offender must be confronted by the secretariat as a whole, not just the SD, that a written and signed statement from the offended person might be helpful, and that the secretariat’s responsibility was to maintain the integrity of the community and reasserting order as loving confrontation urges help for the offender as a condition for re-entering the community.

Motion: Moved that the document, “NLS Hosting an Annual Meeting Guidelines” be accepted as a manual for prospective host committees. It shall be reviewed annually.

This committee should be an ongoing, informational and training committee that meets every year.

Recommendation: The committee recommends that the Lay Rollo Outline Books be updated and that Karen Schneider, Rev. Paul Schmidlin and Ronald Orr begin the process.

Pastor Jeff Olsgaard from Yellowstone asked for the floor to encourage everyone to strive to achieve a more colorful representation of races at future meetings to match the bright hues demonstrated by clothing of participants. He received a big hand!

Music Guidelines written by Donna Gough should have been sent to each secretariat. This information has been included in the Essentials Manual.

Motion: The office of NLS Outreach , Vice President be authorized to call and organize an Outreach/Revitalization team to be used as needed for the strengthening and expansion of the movement. The team shall be selected to enable the NLS to provide guidance and support to New Movements and to nurture the relationship of existing movements. The office of Outreach shall present the names of the team members to the NLS Executive Board for approval. Team members will serve on an annual basis. Motion passed.

Motion: The committee presented a motion that we accept the new logo design that is presently displayed on our web site with the addition of the corpus from the VDC cross and that it be adopted as the official emblem of Via de Cristo; final design to be approved by the Executive Board prior to production. Passed.

Recommendations: It was recommended that a new position of Internet Manager be created as part of the Executive Committee, to be appointed by the NLS president. It was also recommended that every Secretariat adopt a web site with a connection link to the NLS website as soon as possible and that the website would contain a map of all secretariats and sites for people relocating to find a new community and a list of all pastors that support local Secretariats.

It was also recommended that the NLS Executive Board produce an audio tape to assist Secretariats in the training & development of leaders in the VDC movement.

The Committee moved that the NLS approve the 1997-98 budget of $18,520 in revenue and $17,000 in expenses. Motion passed.

The Committee moved that the NLS revise and update the Constitution and ByLaws of the NLS in a timely manner so that the revision can be published by the required notification period in order to be voted upon at the annual meeting.

Motion: A motion was presented to incorporate the “Nominating Process” presented by this year’s Nominating Committee, Pastor Paul Bauman, Pat Dever and Bill Hightower into the constitutional changes made by the Constitution/Bylaws Committee.

The Committee moved that the National Lutheran Secretariat copyright the names and abbreviations: Via de Cristo VIA DE CRISTO VIA de CRISTO


Phil said that we need to delete any “Cursillo method” or “Lutheran Cursillo” in our literature.

Randy asked for approval of his appointment of a Constitution and Bylaws Revision Committee: Joe Feagins as Chairman, Fred Schneider, Rev. Wally Hed, Pastor Larry Llewellyn and Louise Pye. Motion passed without dissent.

Randy asked if it would be good to have a Fax machine (with a message machine) for the Distribution Center. The cost would be about $650.00 and would come out of Distribution Center funds. Motion passed without dissent.

…about the offering: The consensus was that it should be taken up, that people should know when and for what purpose.

…criteria for “Hosting” We feel the secretariat must be affiliated with the NLS and current on their due, should have a facility that will be available and will hold a minimum of 125 people and would expect to have a Eucharist service daily.

The Board felt that we should add the position of Internet Manager to the Executive Committee. ..we appoint Oran Gough to this position, that it will be unpaid, but that we would take on the expense of sending him to the Mid-Year. Motion passed without dissent.

Conexiones Volume 16, Number 3 Pre-Annual Meeting Edition May, 1998

From the Vice President of Outreach, Doug Burrows – Since my last letter to you, my wife Kathie and I were blessed while working on the Tennessee #1 weekend. This weekend occurred September 25-28, 1997. The weekend was held at Camp Carson in New Port, Tennessee. We were both very thankful for the opportunity to be on this weekend, because we were involved with the original formation meeting for Tennessee. Western North Carolina Via de Cristo was very helpful in causing this to happen, and we thank them for their work. Our Rector, Larry Witham, along with his wife, Lois, who was the head cha (this was a mixed weekend) was able to do a wonderful job in leading the team. Kathie and I came away knowing that the future of Tennessee weekends is very bright. There were four representatives of the Lutheran Church of Finland present as candidates.

It is with much pleasure that I can say they have chosen to proceed with the weekend in Finland. They have, however, chosen to use the European style of weekend as they feel it will be more accepted by their culture than the American style.

Following the efforts in Tennessee, Pat Dever (Texas Lutheran Via de Cristo) and I met with Bishop Schoenhals of the Oklahoma/Arkansas Synod, along with some of his pastors and lay persons in Oklahoma City. This meeting occurred on the 15th of November. Bishop Schoenhals arranged for that meeting and was very supportive in presenting the VdC to his synod.

Pat Dever is working with this, and Nancy Shane of North Texas has also been helpful in making arrangement to enroll candidates from Oklahoma/Arkansas into the Dallas weekends.

Now to New York. Fred and Linda Hill, who many of you may remember made the trip to Lenoir Rhyne College, are working hard in upstate New York. Through their efforts we met with Bishop Lee Miller, Bishop of the Upstate New York Synod.

One additional order of business I wish to include with this writing is that of the Pastors list. During the midyear meeting of the NLS board it was decided to stop the printing of this list.

NLS Conference Call October 5, 1997

Randy told Phil that he had received an E-Mail from Debbie Speights (Western North Carolina Host committee) indicated that she will be sending a check for $1500.00 to the NLS; the amount left after expenses. Their committee requests that this amount be used for Outreach.

Pastor Carroll said that he now has all the material to print the Spiritual Director’s manual and will be doing that soon.

Bishop Floyd Schoenhals from the ELCA Okloahoma/Arkansas Synod has sent letters to pastors and other interested parties re: starting a movement.

Randy and Pastor Paul Schmidlin visited Camp Koinonia in New York recently. It is located just across the Delaware River from Pennsylvania and is an ELCA camp. There is an interest there led by Pastor Christopher Christopher who had spent time in Charlotte with Pastor Peter Setzer.

Phil and Myra reported that along with Dennis Hogan, who is spearheading a new movement in the Naples, Florida area, they will be meeting next month with Pastor Ron Walter to map out plans.

We need to think about back-ups for our standing committee chairpeople. Randy feels we should have a “two deep” in case one of the present chairpersons is unavailable.

Mid-Year November 15-16, 1997

Randy asked if we felt the NLS is ready for a paid administrative position? The board felt that in a couple of years that might be the case, but not presently.

Ed suggested that the Administrative Vice-President could come to the Host Committee’s site a day before the rest of the board so that the Executive Board can focus on business when they arrive.

Although Nebraska is holding reunions, they are not holding VDC weekends, but they are holding prison weekends. Kansas has quit and so has Almost Heaven.

re: A-OK – They plan to send 50 candidates to make a weekend in North Texas VDC or the Lutheran Texas VDC one year from now.

Randy shared the materials that the Emmaus and Episcopal movements have in their libraries. He suggested we consider having something similar in the form of a Lutheran manual (ex: The Episcopal materials included 10 small books on topics such as Ultreyas, Group Reunions, Sponsoring, etc.) It is important that we teach the method; that we have guidance as to how to put on the weekends.

We also discussed restructuring our annual meetings so that we have smaller committees and more time to share what we are each doing…..Randy said that people expressed their desire to have more time together in the Evaluation Forms.

We will have two Forums; #1. Spiritual Direction….#2. Outreach, 1998..”Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” (Doug Burrows will lead). ….There will be a Keynote address at the dinner Saturday night. The theme, as chosen by the host committee, will be “Ask, Seek & Knock.”

Cost will be $150.00 if received by June 1st and $175.00 if received after that. …Copies of registrations will be forwarded immediately to Ed. Pam wanted to know when their musicians could participate?

Sunday night, called Pastor Carroll – Pastor said the September Conexiones should be mailed soon. Pastor Dow asked when he can get his hands on the Spiritual Director’s Manual? It is being put together.

We discussed how we might get a database as accurate as possible for names and addresses of all the secretariats. Myra will tackle the job and will send labels for the December Conexiones to Pastor Lang.

We discussed what we should advise the Archives Committee to do (Greg Steele with the help of Leona Fox). It was determined that we would like to have the history recorded of the National Lutheran Secretariat and the Lutheran movement. Some people who can be contacted for information are Pastor Carroll, Luther Piel, “Whitey,” Allen and Gene Hermeier. We will ask the Archives committee for an estimate of expected costs to be given to the budget committee.

Doug wanted to know whether he should continue compiling a Pastor’s list annually? It was decided that we will discontinue doing this for now.

Randy wanted to know if we should invite other 3-Day movements? It was decided not to at this time.

Phil will also make arrangements for the 97-98 audit prior to the annual meeting.

We discussed the desire of our NLS to become more inclusive of races and handicapped and how to do this.

Doug asked the question of how we might reach into our seminaries. It was suggested that we tell our friends who are in the proximity of the Seminaries that we need to reach out to the seminarians. Also, that we might have an outreach to faculty members.

We need to tell the committee that we would like to have two mikes on the floor of our meeting room. We will ask the Host Committee to color-code our badges…One color for Host, one for Executive Board, one for Delegates and another for Visitors.

Phil moved that we send Randy, present President and Ellie, immediate past-President to the 4th Day meeting wherever it is held this year. Doug moved that we offer to pay the registration fees for Southern California and ECCOI to attend the annual meeting this year. Motion passed.

Doug said that we need to explain the possibility of having links to Secretariats on our Website.

NLS Conference Call January 18, 1998

Seminars for the Annual NLS meeting in Milwaukee in July: Hosting, NLS Library and Distribution Center, Computer Software, Incorporation & Copyright Infringement, and Newsletter and Conexiones.

Spiritual Director’s Report, Rev. Richard Dow – He would like to send copies of the Spiritual Director’s Manual to his committee members to look over before the Annual Meeting (Pastor Carroll said it would be ready soon).

Administrative VP, Ed Hansen – After discussion, the board agreed that we should send an advance amount to cover registrations of the Executive Board and the Standing Committee members for whom we pay. This will amount to $1350 and Randy felt this would be acceptable by the committee. Phil will send a check right away.

Outreach VP, Doug Burrows – Randy said that the new movement in central Illinois, Heart of Illinois, will be holding their first weekends this spring and that he has been asked to serve on the team. Doug reported that Finland has decided to use the European format for their set of weekends this fall. Doug reported that he had been to upper New York and had met with the Bishop who is bringing in his pastors in March to meet like Oklahoma/Arkansas did. They expect to have an Ultreya in Tyler, NY in February with around 60 attending.

Mike Swecker from Minnesota has been talking with some of the northern states along the Red River, particularly North Dakota (they are functioning, but are sending people to Minnesota).

They are disappointed that Pastor Ron Walter from Naples/Fort Meyers has accepted a call to Texas. They will have to start over to find help there.

Secretary, Myra Hogan – Myra also reported that she had contacted Debbie Speights and Ellie Henning to see if it has been a precedent that we send letters out to all who attended the last annual meeting to encourage them to come to this one. Debbie said that it was not in her manual and they didn’t do it last year. Ellie felt that it should be done in the future.

Randy asked if the board would approve him asking Pastor Bill Sistar to head up the Nominating Committee. Everyone agree this would be a fine choice.

Greg Steele is working on the Archives. He has accumulated a lot of material and will be asking others who have been involved for a long time to look it over (so, this is still “work in progress”).

Randy said that Pastor Carroll is the only committee chairperson who has given a suggestion for back-up to their positions. He has recommended Kari Sheppard, who has agreed to serve.

Pastor Lang wanted to know if we were calling the “Essentials” a finished product? We agreed that it will be on-going and a “work-in-progress.”

NLS Conference Call March 29, 1998

VP Outreach – The first set of weekends for Heart of Illinois are coming up soon. Colorado just finished theirs. A set of Lutheran weekends has been held in Montana.

President Bill Sistar, Chairman of the Nominations Committee, reports that he has two who would be willing to be nominated for Administrative Vice President: Debbie Speights and Ron Orr.

NLS Meeting #21 July 23-25, 1998

Cousins Center Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Executive Board Meeting July 22, 1998

Randy expressed concern as to how our shortened committee time is going to work. We discussed that more committee time can be spent in committee during Seminars and/or structured sharing if needed.

Discussion followed as to how we can help people moving away from one secretariat to another and finding ways for them to “plug into” new locations.

Randy asked Pastor Carroll if he would display the gift we are giving Jack Packer (a Greg Olsen print – “O Jerusalem”), explaining our purpose in honoring him and asking for messages to attach to the back.

Randy said that he is disappointed that the work of the Constitution Committee “fell through the cracks.”

Pastor Dow said that his committee will be going over the Spiritual Director’s Manual which Pastor Carroll edited, piece by piece. He wants it to be universal.

Doug felt that he would like to add a position to make an official connection with the Church like the Emmaus and Cursillo movements have.

Annual Meeting Minutes July 23-25, 1998

Pastor Mark Peterson welcomed us on behalf of Bishop Peter Rogness of the Wisconsin Synod, who couldn’t be with us this day.

Randy welcomed the new members of the NLS and asked that a delegate from their secretariat give a brief synopsis of his/her secretariat: Southern California, Roxanne Fackler; Colorado, Mark Carnes; Utah, Pamela Roundy; Heart of Illinois, Ron Millard; and Rainbow (Maryland), Craig Wasilius.

Randy introduced the following past officers of the NLS who were present: Wayne Ford, Ellie Henning, Pastor Carroll Lang, Judy Lang, John Gatz, and Pastor Ed Simonsen.

We had a surprise visitor at this point. Monsignor Harold Waldo, National Spiritual Director of the Catholic Cursillo, just happened to be in the building and recognized our rainbow attire, so he dropped by to welcome us and to give us a few words of encouragement..

…moved that we accept the nomination of Pastor Richard Dow as Spiritual Director and that we cast a unanimous ballot for his election.

…a like motion to elect Debbie Speights as Administrative Vice-President and it was seconded by Dennis Hogan.

Randy announced that all offerings at worship services go to the NLS. In the past these contributions have gone to Outreach.

Randy announced that Florida will host the annual meeting in the year 2000. Donna Gough moved that Minnesota be the host for the year 2001. Passed.

Pastor Rick Meter of Rockford, Illinois and Alpine Lutheran Church gave a brief talk about the diversity of people in the movement. He had past experience with Via de Cristo in Florida before moving North.

..moved that we cast a unanimous vote for Phil Lustig. Motion passed without dissent.

Spiritual Directors’ Dialogue: Pastor Richard Dow thanked Pastor Carroll Lang for writing the “Guidelines for Spiritual Director and Clergy” manual

The responsibilities of the clergy to maintain the theological content of the weekend were affirmed. The SD’s agreed that these guidelines should clearly state that participation.

New Movement – “New Movement should have a mentoring relationship with NLS.”

Create a new position for outreach on every Secretariat to identify opportunities for growth and to attend hopefully the NLS annual meeting for sharing.

Phil Lustig asked Diane Purcell to present an overview of our audit situation. Diane said that in the future we will need to file an IRS report.

Jerry Vehrs presented a colorful printed catalogue of the materials available from the NLS Distribution Center. ..Jerry said that “The Essentials Manual” will be printed up.

Keeping a Secretariat Healthy” – 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 is requested for this purpose).

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

It is moved that the National Lutheran Secretariat approve the 1998-99 budget of $18,460 in revenue and $18,100 in expenses per copy of statement provided.

Ron Orr reported that Karen had re-written a working revision of the outlines for the Environment and Christian Community in Action talks.

Motion to adopt as our guide to conducting the authentic weekend “Essentials of the Via de Cristo” (as endorsed and distributed in 1997) to preserve and maintain the integrity of our movements and weekends.

..there is approximately $3,000.00 remaining in the Video fund.

Leaders Training Material Committee, Wayne Ford – 1. Determine essential material to train all leaders. 2. Identify information universal to all movements.

The continuing education classes are designated as follows: 1. 4th Day CE 101 – a 4 hour class primarily oriented to educate the new pilgrim. 2. 4th Day CE 201 – an 8 hour class for the VDC community as a whole to train all leaders.

Their goal is to present a completed first draft of both manuals to the Executive Board at the 1999 NLS Annual Meeting for further editing.

Following the recess, we returned for the vote on the acceptance of the line item of $1500.00 for the production of the 25th anniversary video. Motion failed.

Sunday Executive Board meeting

Phil moved that checks written for any amount exceeding $500 will require approval from the Executive Board. There was added a friendly amendment to the motion that travel expenses for board functions would be excluded.

Phil reported that collections from offerings totaled $1798.00 and he moved that they be allocated to Outreach. Motion passed.

Doug said that following the Treasurer’s Report we should say “File for Audit” rather than having a motion to accept.

Michigan asked for approval of the theme “Make a Friend, Be a Friend, Bring a Friend to Christ” for next year’s annual meeting.

Conference Call September 13, 1998

Pastor Dow said that editing and printing up the Spiritual Directors’ work at the Nationals is a “work-in-progress.”

There is also an area in Western Montana where there may be an effort under way before long. In the Oklahoma/Arkansas area they are having Ultreyas. There is another area in Texas…Houston where there is an interest and Nancy Shane will be looking in on that. They are interested in a Co-ed weekend.

Randy said that we need to see what is available in merchandise and what we want to bring to Saginaw.

Conexiones Volume 17, Number 1 Annual Meeting Edition October, 1998

Say ‘Yes!’ to Michigan in 1999

Hosted by Lutheran Via de Cristo of Central Michigan (LVCCM), most of the events will take place at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

Special worship services are being coordinated by Rev. Bernie Philabaum, host committee spiritual director, and Tom Kraska, who brought Lutheran Cursillo to Mid-Michigan from Florida nearly twenty years ago.

In addition to hosting the NLS Annual Meeting, LVCCM will be celebrating two other milestones in 1999: their twentieth year as a community and fiftieth pair of weekends, making an even 100 since 1979.

Conference Call June 7, 1998

Outreach, Doug Burrows – Doug said that Arkansas is still at the beginning stages of their development. He has been in touch with New York (still at beginning stages, also) and Tennessee, of course.

President, Randy Mullin – The Archives Committee is working still…Greg Steele is giving a perspective of his own experiences. We will need to get some others involved for their inputs… Pastor Ed will be doing the keynote speech on Saturday night.

Randy said that he has had formal notification from Minnesota to bid for the year 2000. Myra said that Florida will also bid. Doug said that he doesn’t think Rainbow will be bidding…

Conexiones Volume 17, Number 2 Winter Edition December,1998/March, 1999

New Movement, Douglas Burrows – To bring you up to date as best possible about Finland let me say that the movement has begun. The first weekend was held in November and was a success.

This new effort is known as Damascus Road Via de Cristo. Our contact there is the Lay Director Linda Hill. Linda and her team are being supported in their work by Vineyard Via de Cristo with Pastor Dave Schrader lending a hand.

Ark-Ok is still in the molding stages but they are meeting as ultreya at my last contact and are sending the Pilgrims to North Texas until we get it off the ground for their own start

Western Montana is another area that will be coming to the fore this spring. We have a small, but solid, group working to begin a new effort in the NW area of Montana.

Comments on 1998 Annual Meeting, Debbie Speights – the schedule was too “tight” and there is “never” enough time to complete committee work. The keynote was found to be entertaining and inspirational and the outreach forum was informative and challenging.

increased use of the website for disseminating information to affiliate members. …being Lutheran and ecumenical, getting secretariats to stick to basics, bylaws/constitution revision, and improving communications on all levels. Several suggested topics for forums, seminars, etc. were 4th day involvement, how to get sponsors to do their jobs, remaining both Lutheran and ecumenical, resolving conflicts within the local secretariats and getting back to basics.

Putting Pen to Paper, Debbie Speights – As we grow in numbers, both in affiliate secretariats and individual attendees, it becomes incumbent upon the Executive Board to provide the type of programming which would prove useful to a wider constituent while preserving time for free exchange and fellowship.

Thus, this year’s offerings will include a keynote address, forum, banquet, teaching seminars, committee work, business sessions as well as daily worship with Eucharist. Each attendee may elect to serve on a committee of their choice or choose not to be involved in committee work as committee times will run concurrently with seminar times on Friday p.m. and Saturday a.m. On Thursday and Friday evenings, following dinner and preceding vespers, our time will be divided into two segments – small discussion groups and unstructured/free time. Each evening will conclude with fellowship and offerings from our host committee.

Report of 11/14/98 meeting, Randy Mullin – Those present: Doug Burrows, National Lutheran Secretariat Outreach Vice-President, Kathie Burrows, grandmother to Doug’s grandchildren, Randy Mullin, National Lutheran Secretariat President, Bill Clark, former president of ECCOI, Dr. John Brackett, former president of ECCOI, Ray Gaebler, president of ECCOI.

The original planners of ECCOI (including Pastor Ed Simonsen) anticipated many of the problems to be found in providing a weekend experience that is respectful of differing liturgical and sacramental traditions. As a result, they spend a considerable portion of their weekend in the “Sacraments” rollo and the Saturday celebration of Eucharist. Our hosts estimated that this lasts from 9:00 to 3:00 on Saturday.

Mid-year Meeting, Saginaw, Michigan

Doug expects “A-OK” (Arkansas-Oklahoma), the VDC of Southern California, perhaps New York and Tennessee to be members soon.

Phil pointed out, too, that we have more Lutherans in the northeastern states than anywhere, yet we don’t have any movements north of New York. We need to make contacts with those people.

Myra said that she felt the small group meetings were a good idea, but we need to make the group smaller with a leader appointed and some way to feed back conclusions of the group. She suggested we do away with the New Member Orientation in favor of handing out printed material to new members.

In discussion, it was felt that we must have a current database. The secretary would secure the names of the current local secretariat leaders as well as those who have most recently attended annual NLS meetings. He/she would have mailing addresses, positions held, phone numbers, fax numbers, E-Mail addresses and notations as to when that secretariat’s data was last updated. He/she would be responsible for notifying the website manager of changes, as well as the newsletter editor. Myra said that the annual survey forms ask when secretariats hold their elections and how long their term of offices are. It was determined that the secretary will keep the data base and keep it current.

Wisconsin had indicated they would keep half of their approximate $2000.00 and send the rest to Michigan. Western North Carolina returned all of their to the NLS.

Randy pointed out that the NLS would never want a hosting secretariat to lose money and that we should make sure that doesn’t happen.

Doug moved that the Host Committee will pay the expenses for the Keynote Speaker and Forum leader. Registration costs for committee chairs not members of the Executive Board will also be born by the Host Committee. When travel expenses are requested, the NLS will cover those expenses. This will be made a line-item budget item annually. Motion passed.

Randy will meet with both secretariats in Southern California in January. Doug expects to see both secretariats in Arizona soon. Doug said that he would like to pay for pastors to go to weekends in Western Montana out of the Outreach budget.

Randy will encourage the group in Illinois – ECCOI, which is an Ecumenical group operating independently (Catholic, Episcopal and Lutheran) to come. Randy and Doug met with this group recently. Doug says Outreach will fund the expenses for someone from New York and A-OK. Phil will excuse the first year’s dues when they become members. Houston is a “work in progress,” as is Alabama. Pastor Dow wants to get something started in Louisiana and plans to send people to the Texas weekends. Randy will give him a name of a contact with the Emmaus. We will see that someone comes from Tennessee and will help financially, if needed. New York will have a secretariat in January (they will be there). New Jersey is a “work in progress,” too, and perhaps would be ready to send someone.

We hope to have a map with each secretariat listed according to region (on website). We need an E-mail connection. We need to be current with website information. We would like for the web user to be able to point at a region and click to display our NLS constituents in that area.

Randy said that the newsletter needs to be regular (quarterly) and timely. We discussed how we can improve upon this.

Pastor Carroll feels he will still need to keep up the database as he is the NLS 800 number. The secretary will see that he gets it.

Phil moved that we produce some select number of items with the logo and/or “Via de Cristo” and that we bring them to the 1999 annual meeting to sell in Saginaw. Motion passed.

Discussions re: seminarians and VdC. Schools are Berkeley, Austin, Gettysburg, Philadelphia, Chicago, Columbus, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Dubuque.

Discussion re 4th Day movements – We should perhaps be sending the Vice President of Outreach.

Doug moved that Randy have time allotted Saturday evening to give his report on where the National Lutheran Secretariat of the Via de Cristo has been, where we are now, and where we are going. Motion passed.

Authentic 3 day experience – This committee will familiarize what materials are available, hazards of add-ons, the least common denominator and will most likely finish in the year 2000. They have a budget of $500.00.

Video – The charge is to evaluate past efforts, define the purpose and limitations of previous efforts and to target “works in progress.”

We need to give him a year for the video (2001) 20th Anniversary in Minnesota as an expected finished product. This video will depict what one would expect as a 4th Day experience.

Doug moved that we instruct Video committee to produce a video by 2001 that will depict the 4th Day experience and that we also instruct him to video tape for the Archives the Keynote address, the Forum and the Banquet speech in their entirety and that he be requested to furnish us with a cost. Motion passed.

Developing Leader Training Material – This committee has been directed to develop a training module. We will give them a target date of 2001. Their budget is $300.00.

Lay Talk Outline Revision – We will charge this committee with a year 2001 deadline to complete.

We want to give committee chair people an idea of what they can be budgeted and need to know before the annual meeting. We project $1000 for video, $750 for training, $1000 for Lay Talk and $1000 for Authentic 3 Day Experience. Randy will pass along this information with his request that present chairs remain.

Teleconference January 17, 1999

Pastor Dow said that he and his family are now settled in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Myra received the required papers from Tennessee that now make them official members of the NLS.

Randy said that all changes in database will now be sent to Myra. When people have new information, they should notify her.

Phil said that he has an appointment this week with an attorney to discuss the trademark.

Doug reported that he had talked to Bill Thompson from Arizona. He said that Southern Arizona has been having financial problems and are thinking of moving their weekends back to Phoenix. Doug will talk to both movements in Arizona. Doug said that we now have a new secretariat in New York.

Randy asked Pastor Carroll about the Conexiones. He wants to get the Conexiones out this month because of registration forms.

Conexiones Volume 17, Number 3 Spring Edition May, 1999

NLS Conference Call April 25, 1999

Phil said that he had had a request from Damascus of New York to pay their dues for this year.

Randy said that he is disappointed that the website hasn’t gone forward. It appears that Ed Hillers doesn’t want the responsibility of keeping NLS information up to date. He is interested in doing graphics, etc., but not the job of keeping data current. Oran is searching for someone willing to do this.

Debbie asked Phil if he had received any money of the left-over funds from Wisconsin. Phil indicated he had not.

The board felt that a policy needs to be established and Doug made a motion that the overages be returned to the NLS for discretionary use by the First Vice President for NLS expenses connected to the annual meeting.

Pastor Dow had suggested to them that one offering be taken up on Saturday night.

Pastor Dow said the he has finally mailed off two rollos which completes the work on the Spiritual Director’s Manual.

Doug expects Tucson of Arizona to send delegates and hopefully Phoenix as well.

We may need also to help Pittsburgh and Nebraska; both seem to be rejuvenating and expect to be in Saginaw.

NLS Meeting #22 July 21-24, 1999

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Saginaw, Michigan

Minutes of NLS Annual Meeting

Randy began the meeting with a musical devotion, “Go Light Your World.”

Doug moved that we sell the following items at cost: Five dozen ‘tee’ shirts, $7.00 each; 5 dozen golf shirts, $30.00 ea., five dozen sweat shirts, $20.00 each, and 6 dozen coffee mugs at $4.00 each. All of the merchandise has the NLS logo printed. Motion passed.

Pastor Carroll Lang reported that he has brought 200 Spiritual Director’s Manuals with him and there are 300 more to be sold through the Distribution Center.

Phil notified us that we should specify in the minutes that we are trademarked for ‘Via de Cristo.’ the Via de Cristo design, and ‘VDC’.

Oran asked that we allow him to purchase the Front Page 2000 program (the cost will be around $145 to $150.) Motion passed.

Diane’s report: She discovered that we had not been incorporated since 1987 because we hadn’t filed. She has taken care of that and we are now valid, incorporated in the state of Minnesota. The IRS accepted this. Our legal address is: 10815 Thomas Ave., Bloomington, MN 55431. This is the home address of Mike Swecker who is Minnesota’s full time administrator.

Diane reported further that according to our constitution, our fiscal year ends May 31.

Anyone who donates more than $250 needs documentation.

Randy said that the new board needs to be reminded that there are three people, Ed Simonsen, Tom Johnson and Gene Hermeier who are working at getting their talks on record.

Thursday – President Randy Mullin invited Pastor John Rauh forward to open our meeting with prayer.

Randy said that we need to encourage those not present to attend: Vineyard, Pittsburgh, Nebraska, Texas (San Antonio area), Montana and Utah.

Randy asked representatives from secretariats that are either new, or were not present last year to come forward and tell us a little about their movements. Those speaking were: Judy Flaskamper from Lutheran Cursillo of Southern California, Jim Widney from Arizona Lutheran Cursillo, Ralph Jensen from Southern Arizona Lutheran Cursillo, Jan Nelson from A-OK. (Arkansas/Oklahoma), Chuck Simmons from Tennessee and Dottie Schwartz from Sonshine North of Florida.

Randy acknowledged the presence of the following past-officers: Wayne Ford and Ellie Henning, past Presidents; Pastor Peter Setzer, Pastor Nate Lundgren and Pastor Carroll Lang, Spiritual Directors; Judy Lang, Leona Fox, past secretaries; and Ed Hansen, past Vice President, Administration.

The merchandise in the front of the church is an example of what will be available through Trans World Services, Inc. located in Columbus, Ohio. Their product will be displayed on the website in the future.

Randy called on Fred Schneider to report on the work his Constitution Committee has done. They recommend no changes for the present, but will most likely bring some for next year.

Randy called on Vi Christiansen, chairman of the Nominating Committee to give their report. Karen Schneider and Lee Zimmerman served with her on this committee. They present the following slate: President – Doug Burrows

Vice President, Outreach – Mike Swecker Secretary – Lucy Hightower

Randy appointed Leona Fox as Parliamentarian for the annual business meetings here.

The President asked for nominations from the floor. There being none, it was moved that the nominations be closed and the nominees declared elected. Motion passed.

Committee Reports:

Lay Talk Revision Committee – Karen Schneider, Chairman of this committee, reported that they reviewed the “Environment” talk and began “Christian Community in Action.” This year’s committee revised the “Group Reunion and Ultreya” talk (instead of “Total Security”). She moved that the Lay Talk Revision Committee be allowed a budget of $2400.00 for travel for a subcommittee of five to meet and work during the year. Following discussion as to the needs of the committee, the motion passed without dissent.

Video Committee – …to reinstate the Publications committee to “create common graphics, formulate and to deliver print media”.

Outreach Committee – Some steps were offered as a suggestion in helping new movements in getting started: 1. Seek assistance of the NLS. 2. Start a reunion “core” group. 3. Send reunion group members to any nearby expression. 4. Begin the Ultreya process. 5. Establish a secretariat to begin the process of organizing the new community. 6. Provide the new secretariat with a “New Movement Startup Kit.” 7. Identify, contact and inform other leaders in local churches and other environments. 8. Inform synod or church headquarters of activities and intentions. 9. Develop “Leadership Planning Timeline.” 10. Establish a site that will accommodate the weekend. 11. Establish tentative dates for the first VdC weekend. 12. Identify materials and supplies needed to accommodate a weekend. 13. Selection of weekend rectors, SD’s and team members. 14. Pre-Weekend preparation. 15. Weekend. 16. Post Weekend.

Leaders Training Material Committee – Wayne indicated that he hopes the scripts for the Leaders Training will be ready by 2000. He feels this will be a “Course 101” workshop.

The committee’s goal is to complete the first draft of both workshops for final review by Pastors Carroll Lang and Paul Schmidlin so that they can be brought to next year’s meeting.

Wayne moved that the committee be allowed a budget of $750.00 in the 1999-2000 budget to reimburse committee members for long distance calls, copying and other incidental expenses. Motion passed.

Finance Committee – Some issues were discussed such as whether the 800 number which Pastor Carroll maintains (1-800-214-1155) is worthwhile.


Doug stated that there were two appointments to be made by the Board: Supplies Distribution and Palanca Coordinator. Mark Carnes and Dick Emery were appointed.

Position of Archivist: Doug stated that there is a need to create a position as archivist. Randy Mullin’s name was suggested. Phil moved that the position be created and Randy be appointed. Motion carried.

Randy pointed out that, according to prior minutes, a camera was to have been bought from some unused budgeted funds. Pastor Carroll was asked to purchase the camera before the December meeting. He is to keep it in his custody.

Talk Copies: Carroll was asked to secure copies of talks made by Ed Simonsen, Gene Hermeier, Tom Johnson and Randy Mullin.

Lay Talks: As some of the lay talk revisions are getting close to publication state, the question was asked whether we should begin to release them as soon as possible or wait until all are finished. Consensus was to release ASAP. Randy suggested that a different cover be placed on the revised talks along with the publication date..

The basic fee for the facility will run $117 per person based on attendance of 150 persons.

The theme will be “Go Light Your World” for NLS 2000.

Conexiones Volume 17, Number 4 Annual Meeting Edition September, 1999

A Request, Doug Burrows – Pastor Nate Lundgren opened by calling us to our responsibilities as Christians to evangelize the world and not just our churches.

Ed Kutay reminded all of us to keep the integrity of our movement protected by adhering to the basics and fundamentals and to respect the dynamics of what happens on a weekend in the life of the Pilgrim. Pastor Peter Setzer outlined our work as it pertains to gaining the support of Lutheran Bishops and Pastors. A newcomer as presenter was Larry Witham of Western NC who presented a seminar concerning the Co-Ed weekend and how it can be presented in different ways and still be successful. Mark Carnes of our new Colorado Secretariat shared his knowledge of the Ultreya Properly Done. Myra Hogan presented fourth day and group reunion. Her presentation was just like the rest of her work for the NLS. Outstanding, and we thank her for it. Leona Fox presented the subject of Palanca to us with the admonition that true Palanca is prayer and support through prayer. Ellie Henning, one of our tireless workers, presented the topic of Hosting the Annual Meeting.

This brings me to the conclusion of the weekend. Our outgoing President, Dr. Randy Mullin, gave an outstanding talk. Combining with with wisdom Randy encourages all of us as we continue in our walk.

We said goodbye and thank you to Randy Mullin, outgoing President, Myra Hogan, outgoing Secretary, Leona Fox, outgoing Palanca Chair, and Jerry Vehrs, outgoing Distribution Center Chair.

…secure board approval for the appointment of Mark Carnes of Colorado as the new Palanca Chair, and Richard Emery of Fl. Sonshine South as the new Distribution Center chair.

Pathway – What a lot of us don’t know much about is Pathway, a similar retreat for college students. Pathway was begun about seven years ago by Chaplain Don Just and his secretary, Laurie Wegner along with several students at Lenoir Rhyne College. timandwendy@appstate.campu

NLS Executive Board Conference Call September 12, 1999

Debbie will be working with Dennis Hogan and Peg Lustig to ensure that we use the same (registration) form in Conexiones, on the Web Site, and for mailing.

Mike reported: Lauren Kingrey has moved to Minnesota from Nebraska. Mike understands that there will be a Via de Cristo weekend in Lincoln, Nebraska – probably in year 2000 or 2001. Phil stated that a good contact would be Pastor Conrad Braaten and his wife Jennifer. He will be moving to Nebraska in the near future and his wife Jennifer is the president of a Lutheran college there.

Doug asked Mike to keep in touch with John Brackett who is affiliated with the Ecumenical Cursillo. Doug reported that Pastor George Kahl is very interested in pursuing Cursillo movements in Norway and Sweden. The Finnish movement is working on holding two weekends.

Western Montana and Sonshine North (Dottie Schwartz) are also areas that would appreciate some form of contact.

Mike will be going to Salt Lake City in October and their people plan on attending National next year.

Mike has sent information to Mark Carnes concerning a pastor in Littleton, Colorado who is interested in bringing Via de Cristo to that community. He asked for our prayers for that situation.

Doug asked Pastor Dow if he would be the Keynote Speaker for the convention next year. Pastor Dow accepted.

Pastor Carroll said that with tonight’s information from Debbie and Mike he is ready to go and will be getting it to the printer very soon.

Doug asked that Lucy maintain the master database and send it to Pastor Carroll. Pastor Carroll reported that the digital camera had been bought as well as the program to put the issues on the net.

Oran wants Mark Carnes to set up a palanca page and a Distribution Page with an order blank.

Doug asked that Lucy send Oran a copy of the minutes so they can be posted on the Website.

Doug stated that he had received the original signed constitution from Damascus, New York Secretariat and will mail it to Lucy.

Cursillo in Bolivia, Shel Groff– We just attended two full days of Ultreyas here in La Paz celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Cursillo. Cursillos in the Catholic Church began here seven years after the Cursillo began in Spain.

I gave them a challenge asking them if they were willing to share it with Bolivian Lutherans also. There was a thunderous applause.

It would cost about $1400 round trip and some costs for food and travel within the country, but travel by land is cheap here. People could stay in local homes and we have some space at the mission house free of charge. We would put on two weekends and two or three nights of training the first cursillistas here who would continue the program.

Conexiones Volume 18, Number 1 Winter Edition February, 2000

Wanted: E-Mail Addresses, Lucy Hightower – We would like to have at least one good e-mail address from each secretariat. Please send an e-mail to both of these addresses at the same time, identifying it as “Email address for (NAME) on (SECRETARIAT NAME) Secretariat”: (Carroll Lang, Conexiones Editor) (Lucy Hightower, Secretary)

Greetings to all, Richard Emery – The new address is: NLS Distribution Center, Richard Emery, 1780 NW 82nd Avenue, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024 954-432-4090 (H) 954-437-8141 (FAX)


Update on NLS Activity, Doug Burrows – We will be meeting at Eckerd College, a very lovely campus. Our program this year will include seminars on:

Legal and financial issues of the secretariat

Purpose and role of the secretariat

Team formation and training

Palanca on the National level

We will also offer a forum on the subject of Spiritual Direction

In February I traveled to Winter Park, Florida, to meet with the leaders of the Fourth Day Movements. Dr. Randy Mullin and I met with the Catholic Cursillo, Episcopal Cursillo, Kairos Prison Ministry, Presbyterian Cursillo, Tres Dias, and Walk to Emmaus. The meeting was too short, there is so much to learn from our brothers and sisters, that I could have stayed fro more. We came home with new materials that will help in understanding the movement and one another. I take my hat off to Randy, who’s laid fine groundwork for the interchange of ideas and help to one another.

Jesus is Lord of the Harvest!, Mike Swecker – Shel Groff, Here in Bolivia, the fields are ripe unto harvest, people are really open to the Gospel. I am saddened to see firsthand much of the harvest falling and being lost. False cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons are building expensive universities here in Bolivia to gather in the harvest, but with a false gospel.

What are the immediate needs?


Spanish speaking individuals who feel called to help with the Bolivia startup.

Via de Cristo materials in Spanish.

Leader & Church type contacts in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Latvia who have participated in or would be a likely candidate for VdC.

Leader & Church type contacts in the Pacific Northwest. Particularly Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon who have participated in or would be a likely candidate for VdC.


P.S. We changed the name to “Camino de Cristo” (which also means Way of Christ) at the suggestion of Pastor Juan Fernandez. He is from La Paz and is pastor of St. Martin’s Lutheran Hispanic congregation that meets in First Lutheran Church on 8th & Maria in St. Paul. Juan felt that the name “Via de Cristo” is associated with the Catholic Church here and would not be acceptable.

Minutes of the NLS Mid-Year Meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida, Eckerd College, December 4-5, 1999

Web Site – The committee generally feels that the site needs to be more user friendly and would probably be more easily accessed if it were less graphic intensive mainly due to the time it takes to open a graphic intensive site. A map of the United States could possibly be a useful tool to provide information according to states.

…consider what our goals are for the web site. Conexiones needs to be on the website as well.

Manuals – Doug would like to see us develop a library similar to what the Episcopal movement has available. Theirs is printed on 3 hole punched 5 ½” by 8 ½” paper. This allows the user to order revised sections of any new information without replacing other sections. It would be nice if we had such a system and were able to download sections from the web site.

Distribution Center – Doug reported that an official “Team Formation Manual” does not exist. Apparently the information in the old team formation manual has been combined with other information into the “Essentials” book. It appears that the “Essentials” provides what is needed so we do not need a separate team formation manual on the national level. Each local secretariat, however, should own and be used the “Essentials” manual.

Service Cards – There was a general discussion about the lack of a Service Card in connection with the new green card.

Treasurer’s Report – The cash balance includes about $3,000 from the Distribution Center about $4564 from the Michigan host committee, which amount includes about $1000 from the Wisconsin host committee.

Doug reported that during the year 2001, we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the National Lutheran Secretariat.

Sunday Morning, December 5, 1999 – The following committees are scheduled to meet for committee work during the July annual meeting: Authentic Three Day Weekend: Pastor Paul Schmidlin, Chair; Finance Committee: Phil Lustig, Chair; Lay Talk Revision: Karen Schneider, Chair; Leaders Training: Wayne Ford, chair.

Doug brought out the fact that we need to get the Ultreya Manual published and introduced at the 1999 annual meeting by Ed Kutay.

Doug will contact Wayne Ford in connection with the development of the Leadership Manual. He will ask Wayne to have the prototype ready for the year 2000 meeting so that it can be finalized by that committee and ready for distribution at the year 2001 meeting.

Video Committee – The video taping at the annual meeting will be limited to specific events specified by this committee and will most likely be handled by the host committee.

Displays at Annual meeting:

1. Booth with web site available for persons to view on their own.

2. Display of crosses available for sale.

3. NLS materials available from the Distribution Center.

4. Display of tee shirts, cups, sweat shirts for sale at cost (same as last meeting). A new item will possibly be baseball caps. Mike moved that Doug be authorized to spend up to $3500 to restock. Motion carried.

Board Expenses – The Host Committee will pay expenses for Keynote and Forum speakers. The Host Committee and the NLS Board will split the cost of registration and lodging for any Committee Chairperson or seminar presenter who requests that his or her expenses be paid; in that event, the Board will absorb the cost of the transportation.

Video Tapes – There will be no other authorized filming other than the Keynote talk, the Forum, and the four seminars.

Outreach – Mike is working with Sheldon Graf concerning Bolivia. They are trying to identify some Spanish speaking people to help. Both Via de Cristo and Walk to Emmaus are working in the same direction in Latvia, but the Emmaus community has not responded to Mike regarding joint efforts.

Pastor Dow reported that somewhere in Louisiana a group had apparently held a weekend. He will try to find out who and contact them.

Conexiones Volume 18, Number 2 Special Palanca Edition May, 2000

Jottings from Our Spiritual Director, Rev. Richard Dow – …phone calls I’ve gotten pertaining to who can serve as an SD on a weekend. We decided that qualifications included (a) serving with a Lutheran SD, (b) being ordained to formal ministry by a recognized denomination, and (c) having someone else in the movement attest to the person’s high character all add up to a highly acceptable choice for SD in special cases. Count me as one of the many, many Lutheran SD’s who will tell you that they eagerly look forward to serving with clergy of other denominations. Jesus prayed for oneness in his church in John 17 – those prayers are constantly answered on Via de Cristo weekends.

But, there’s that great word, “Clergy.” Most denominations set aside and consecrate qualified and called people to forms of ministry in addition to clergy. Are they OK for weekends? Yes, as long as the above criteria have been met. Encourage these valued servants to serve within the parameters of their calling, too. Can they lead a communion service, for example? Welcome these people with their special gifts.

Help with the Harvest, Mike Swecker – We need your prayers, team participation and financial support. As previously reported, by the grace of God, Via de Cristo is going to Bolivia. At this time we are looking at mid-summer of 2001 in La Paz, Bolivia. We are considering applicants for this team. Applicants need to:

have a solid understanding of the Via de Cristo fundamentals.

speak Spanish

smile in any language!

Conference Call of NLS, February 27, 2000

Outreach, Mike Swecker – Louisiana – Mike reported that we have been approached by LA. They have been participating with folks in Texas and are not interested in starting their own secretariat.

Norway – There is ongoing contact by e-mail. There are six or seven interested persons.

Bolivia – There are persons in Bolivia who are willing to come to the United States in order to attend a Spanish speaking weekend.

Pacific Northwest – This is an area where VdC might begin to expand.

Montana – A weekend may be happening soon.

Doug reported that New York has held its first weekend and that A-OK should be holding their weekends very soon.

The chairperson for rewriting the rollo booklets has asked to step down. Five rewrites have been completed and the committee is meeting in Ohio on March 11 to continue work.

Doug reported that at a meeting of the Fourth Day Movements he learned that the Catholic Movement has completely rewritten their materials.

Doug wondered what the possibilities might be for getting TEC started under NLS and suggested that perhaps this is something for Outreach (Mike) to be thinking about.


Conference Call of NLS, April 30, 2000

Lay Talk Revision – Doug reported that Karen Schneider is still functioning as chairperson but wants to step down from the responsibility of writing.

Treasurer, Phil Lustig – As the teleconference calling will probably run around $1600 this year, he encouraged the board to look at options in teleconferencing via the Internet.

Leadership Training Material Committee – The first draft of the four-hour course has been mailed to Chuck Simmons for review and editing. The eight-hour course is not very far along.

Outreach, Mike Swecker – We did receive a response from the Archbishop of the Church of Sweden stating that their schedules would not accommodate us this summer.

The Latvia Via de Cristo is moving slowly ahead.

The Bolivia Via de Cristo startup is well underway with leaders from that country scheduled to attend a Spanish speaking weekend in Florida in November.

I’ve just returned from a couple of days in Lafayette, Louisiana where I met with a group of 25 cursillistas (including 2 pastors) to discuss a VdC startup in their state.

Arizona is in the process of changing its organizational structure from Cursillo to Via de Cristo.

NLS Meeting #23 July 27-30, 2000

Eckerd College St. Petersburg, Florida

Conexiones Volume 18, Number 3 Annual Meeting Edition October, 2000

What can we do for you?, Doug Burrows – In Florida we received outstanding presentations by people dedicated to their work for Christ. We learned of legal and financial issues facing the secretariat presented by Diane Purcell our new NLS treasurer. Tracy Ziemke presented us with the purpose and roll of the secretariat. We heard about Palanca on a National level from Mark Carnes and of Team Formation & Training from Dave Saggiser. In these presentations we were teaching our attendees to be more knowledgeable of what we are about.

Rev. Frank Langholf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America came to us to speak on the subject of Spiritual Direction. This subject is confused with the role of the Pastor or with the role of the Spiritual Director on the weekend. Pastor Langholf was able to explain how the Spiritual Director aids us in focusing our spiritual attention on God’s presence in our lives. How through prayer and meditation we can recognize how God is working in our lives.

All of these presentations were video taped and will be available to the community from our distribution center.

Norway, A Proposal, Lee Sather – Here is a proposal I sent to Norway – I want Via de Cristo to be a major component in Norway at the USA Congregational Life Conference, June 4-8, 2001 in Sakendahl, Norway. Excitement is growing regarding the proposed conference for church leaders! Our goal is to jointly explore creative, effective ministries that bring vitality and joy to the congregational life. The following outline is a planning tool, which includes resources (to this date) from staff, lay leaders and friends of Trinity Lutheran Church, Stillwater, Minnesota. Teams would collaborate with leaders and teams from Norway.

NLS Executive Board Meeting, St. Petersburg, Florida, Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Outreach – Bolivia is sending representatives to Florida and the Spanish materials are ready.

The bishop of Norway is not interested in pursuing Via de Cristo at this time.

Doug expressed interest in developing the movement in the northwest – Seattle/Portland area. He suggested that there might be a push to get a group together for an organizational meeting that Mike could possibly attend to help them get organized.

NLS Shirts – Doug reported that both women’s and men’s polo shirts will be available this year. There are also different colors.

Taping – Tim Johnson will be handling the video taping.

Only six events are to be taped: Keynote, Forum, and the four seminars. The tapes are to be given to Dick Emery before he leaves the meeting.

Other Business – There is a Methodist Church in Texas that has taken the name, “Via de Cristo Methodist Church.” They also have a website address, “Via de”

Minutes of the NLS Annual Meeting, St. Petersburg, Florida, Thursday afternoon, July 27, 2000

The next order of business was the official seating of the delegates by Lucy Hightower, Secretary. A total of 29 secretariats were represented.

Doug Burrows then recognized three newly formed secretariats and introduced representatives for each secretariat who briefly explained how each of their secretariats had gotten started. They were as follows: Cheryl Bothwell, A-OK; Kristin Thralls, Utah; and Steve Dubois, Louisiana.

Vice President, Administration – Debbie explained how the seminars and committee work would run concurrently and that each of the seminars would be presented twice.

Vice President of Outreach – Mike Swecker showed us a banner that had been sent to us from Bolivia and asked that we pray for their planned first weekend.

Indiana is playing a role in developing the movement in Latvia.

Breakout sessions – Topics for the discussion are, “How does your community do this in preparation for Friday?” “What was uncomfortable? And “How did you grow from it?”

Minutes of the NLS Annual Meeting, St. Petersburg, Florida, Friday afternoon, July 28, 2000

The pastors dialogue session will be meeting with Pastor Langholf during lunch. They will be discussing the difference between a Spiritual Director on the weekend and Spiritual Direction in the Fourth Day, a distinction that Pastor Langholf made clear during this morning’s forum.

There will be an offering taken at the worship tonight. It will be designated for NLS Outreach.

Nominations – …moved that the nominees be elected by unanimous ballot. Debbie Speights, Vice President of Administration; Diane Purcell, Treasurer; Pastor Larry Llewellyn, Spiritual Director.

NLS Executive Board Meeting with Minnesota Delegation, St. Petersburg, Florida, Saturday afternoon, July 29, 2000

Randy Mullin presented some thoughts and ideas for our celebratory year. He suggested that there be three forums, as follows:

1. The Movement in Majorca, 1972. Tom Sarg

2. Twin Beginnings: 1972-1981. Pastors Ed Simonsen and Gene Hermeier.

3. Growth: The 1980’s. Leona Fox and Luther Piel.

4. Unity: The 1990’s. Randy Mullin

Minutes of the NLS Annual Meeting, St. Petersburg, Florida, Saturday afternoon, July 29, 2000

Use the schedule as printed in the notebooks; the schedule printed in the daily newsletter is incorrect.

Committee Reports

Constitution and Bylaws – The committee also intends to review the entire Constitution and Bylaws during the coming six months.

Lay Talk Revision – Karen Schneider reported that the committee has finished editing the Sunday talks. The “Christian Community in Action” talk has been given a new title: “Developing Christian Community within Our Environments.”

The last two talks (on Sunday) have been kept separate in order to give more exposure to the Via de Cristo method of group reunion and ultreya during the weekend.

Their goal is to finish the talks by next year’s meeting.

Leader’s Training Materials – Chuck Simmons reported that both Courses 101 and 201 have been printed and one copy of each will be provided each secretariat in attendance. They are to be considered “work in progress” and subject to change.

Chuck then made a motion that the NLS distribute the manuscripts asking the local secretariats to use them in team and community training. Further, he asked for feedback from those secretariats so that a revised edition may be published in May of 2001.

The motion was carried by voice vote, and the materials will be distributed.

Spiritual Director – Pastor Dow reported that the clergy present met with Pastor Langholf. Judy Richmond, a licensed Spiritual Director, was present and gave some helpful input.

Publications – Pastor Lang presented a document, which was also distributed, outlining the process for publishing an NLS document.

There were questions from the floor asking why other documents produced at annual meetings had not been printed for distribution. Other comments pointed to the fact that, although we do want our printed materials to be consistent and look good, sometimes the need to get the information out is more important than whether it conforms exactly to the printing procedures and specifications.Finance:

I. To direct the Board to instruct the Newsletter Editor to make the Newsletter

a. Available on-line for downloading, and

b. To notify, via e-mail, the current recipients who have indicated their desire to receive the Newsletter electronically that it is available on the web. (Carried)

2. To direct the Board to instruct the Web Master to make products (merchandise, crosses and publications) available for order on line. (Carried)

3. Direct the Board to move with all haste to create a process for conference calls to be conducted on line. (Carried)

4. A Corporate Resolution be drawn up naming Diane Purcell Treasurer of the National Lutheran Secretariat, effective August 1, 2000, and authorizing Diane Purcell to open accounts on behalf of the National Lutheran Secretariat. (Carried)

The proposed budget for 2000-2001 is $20,935.

Other Business – Pastor Dow and Phil Lustig, who are both leaving the Board, were recognized and each was given a gift on behalf of the NLS.

Business Meeting of Executive Board, St. Petersburg, Florida, Sunday Morning, July 30, 2000

Publications – Doug asked Lucy to check the 1996 minutes in regard to the music document that was presented at that meeting. Doug also asked that Lucy follow up with Chuck Simmons to make sure that he gets feedback from the various secretariats on the Leadership materials that were distributed yesterday. After final changes have been made, the information should be sent on disk to Kari Sheppard who is actually the Publications Chairperson. She will handle the final formatting and printing. These documents should be finished and published by July, 2001.

Merchandise on Website – Doug will get with Oran about putting such things as shirts, cups, crosses, etc., on the website. Although we are not equipped to handle direct purchases on-line, a prompt e-mail site link can be set up to facilitate ordering.

Budget – Attention was called to the fact that the president’s budget is probably insufficient. It actually ran over $1200 this year.

Conexiones Volume 18, Number 4 Winter Edition December, 2000

He Will Raise You Up, Jerry Vehrs and Don Merdink – This year’s meeting promises to be extra special because it will celebrate the past 20 years of history of the NLS. Because this is a celebration of 20 wonderful years of the NLS, the format for these sessions will be presentations that will celebrate the accomplishments and ministry of the past 20 years rather than the usual educational forums and seminars.

From President Burrows – our mid-year meeting was held at Augsburg College on December 2-4 to prepare for the 20th anniversary of the National Lutheran Secretariat. Our host community has been hard at work preparing the way for a great meeting next year. Our plans are to look at our origins, our growth to date, and to our future as a fourth day movement. Past NLS President Dr. Randy Mullin is spearheading this effort and we look forward to a great celebration

We are also asking for secretariats to consider hosting our Annual Meeting in 2003.

Phil Lustig has undertaken the responsibility of Nominations Committee chair

And just a short note to acknowledge Mike Swecker and his sister Lori for the groundwork they laid to bring Via de Cristo to Bolivia.

2001: A Faith Odyssey, Mike Swecker Bolivia – Will hold its first weekends in July of 2001. Financial contributions are still needed for this effort, and can be sent to the NLS Treasurer, Diane Purcell, 8303 Ingleside Ave. S., Cottage Grove, MN 55016. Please write “Bolivia Outreach” in the memo area of your check. Other prayers, palanca, and inquiries can be directed to: Bolivia Outreach Chairperson Lori Kemper or Bolivia Missionaries, Shel and Sharon Groff

Latvia – Plans are moving forward to hold weekends in late 2001. Prayer, palanca and other inquiries may be directed to: Dave and Linda Erdman

Norway – The Church leaders are not able to meet with us at this time. We will approach them again at a later date.

Hamilton, Montana – DeColores from the Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana! Dale and Clairice Brady with help from the Yellowstone secretariat will be ready to hold their first weekend in March 2001.

Lafayette, Louisiana – These folks are really on fire to hold their first weekends in April of 2001. It’s been exciting to watch this community grow! Saline Botteron is the contact

Seattle, Washington – The Lord is doing great things in the Seattle area! This community is just forming and already has enough cursillistas to host a weekend. Steve percival is our contact there and would appreciate your prayers

Hartford, Connecticut – There are a number of Cursillista transplants that are in this area. Kirt Danielson is helping in the formation of a community in Hartford

NLS Executive Board Conference Call Minutes, October 29, 2000

Treasurer’s Report – The feeling of the Board was to continue investing in certificates of deposit. A motion was made that Diane be given permission to use her discretion. Approved.

Minnesota will provide coverage (taping, etc.) At the July 2001 meeting. It was noted that the Video Fund was originally created to help with outreach, i.e., provide a new outreach tape. Films made at NLS meetings should not be financed out of the Video Fund. Doug is to make Tim aware of the Minnesota plans.

Outreach – Mike reported that Bolivia is moving along with plans for their first weekends in 2001. Norway has been in conversation with ELCA in Chicago. The church there is in a state of transition as tax support is being withdrawn. Louisiana expects to hold their first weekends in April. Pastor Dow and some friends from Walk to Emmaus will be helping. Steve DuBois (their National Delegate) will be the men’s rector. Pacific Northwest – Mike has sent a start-up packet to a group in the Portland/Seattle area and expects to be in continued communication with them.

Music Document – Lucy asked if the Board would honor the directive given in 1996 to publish this document in booklet form. Since Lucy has a copy of the original on disk, she was asked to send this to Pastor Carroll along with a hard copy so that he can proceed with the printing of this document.

Leadership Materials – All secretariats were asked to “field test” these materials and report to Chuck Simmons, committee chairperson, by April 2001. Doug asked Pastor Carroll to touch base with Chuck and Kari to see how things are going.

One problem mentioned was that Conexiones is not getting out on time.

Other Business – Doug reported that The Constitution and By-Laws committee continues their work under Fred Schneider; the Lay Talk Revision Committee has held a meeting and their work continues; Phil Lustig has offered to help cursillistas who relocate make contact with other cursillistas in their new location. Doug reported that Randy Mullin, past president, would attend the December meeting. Proposed speakers are Tom Sarg, Ed Simonsen and Gene Hermeier. Since the next annual meeting will be more like a celebration, the schedule will be somewhat different. There will be more presentations and less personal involvement.

Doug said that he had received an e-mail from Michael A. Sahl stating that we will be required to have liability insurance for the 2002 meeting.

Music Booklet – Pastor Carroll reported that he would have this ready for distribution at the annual meeting in July. Lucy called attention to Motion 2 made by the Music Committee at the 1996 meeting, which called for the inclusion and distribution of a document containing information relative to Copyright law. She will fax this information to Pastor Carroll.

Trademark – Doug asked if anyone knew of anything published under the name of VdC only.

A Methodist church in Scottsdale, AZ has named their church the Via de Cristo Methodist Church; they have a website called

While there may be no immediate harm in what this church is doing, it was felt that, in order to protect our trademark from any future infringement, we need to take some kind of action. Doug proposed that we charge this church a fee of $1.00 per year and require them to include a link to our website on their website.

Outreach – Minnesota is sending somewhere between five and six thousand dollars to support the Bolivia movement. Sweden and Norway have “officially” turned us down. Dave Erdman and a group from Indiana are working toward developing Via de Cristo in Latvia.

Planning for the 2001 Annual Meeting – Randy distributed a report containing general plans and outlines for the annual meeting. He would like to involve some past presidents in the presentations. As this is to be a celebration of the twentieth year of NLS, the presentations this year will primarily be a celebration of our history and will replace the forum and seminars.

Doug said that he would like for us to use the LBW for the Saturday Evening service. Debbie mentioned that many people had made favorable comments about the commissioning service held on Thursday of last year’s meeting.

Video taping of all events will be handled entirely by those Minnesota people designated by the Host committee. The raw footage is what will be duplicated.

We will need an emcee for the Ultreya. Ellie Henning was suggested.

The presentation on Saturday will be done by the Board with break-out groups.

Treasurer’s Report – Diane gave a copy of the current state registration and tax return to Lucy to file with the official records. Diane asked for authorization to open an account with Strong Investment Funds. This fund currently pays 6.74% interest per annum and has 100% liquidity. She can electronically transfer funds into the checking account. …there are to be two designated signers: either Diane as treasurer or Doug Burrows as president. Carried

Ultreya – Presentation by board and encouragement to persevere. Break-out groups will follow with use of questions.

Don said that dinner will be an agape meal, Minnesota style. After the serenade, all-including serenaders-will go to chapel. There will be a traditional, full worship service. We hope to have a procession of banners from various secretariats and would like to include a Processional Cross and Bible in the procession.

Debbie explained the cost sharing plan for invited participants. Tom Sarg, Gene Hermeier, and Ed Simonsen will be the responsibility of NLS-both transportation and registration.

Possible dignitaries that might be welcomed include the president of Augsburg College, a former governor who is a cursillista, and the bishop of Minnesota.

Bolivia Connection – Cursillistas, Shel and Sharon Groff, are in their 5th year of mission work in Bolivia. They are also the Rectors for the first Bolivia weekends that will occur this summer. Excitement is building and plans continue to unfold as the Spirit leads this enthusiastic couple to share God’s message of grace in the communities they’ve befriended. We praise the Lord and are greatly thankful for the participation and the palanca that is already showing up in many forms to support this effort.

Minutes of NLS Conference Call, February 4, 2001

Outreach – Louisiana expects to hold its first weekend in April. Many cursillistas from Texas will be helping them. Montana will be holding theirs in March.

Mike voiced his opinion that the Board might consider the possibility of hiring either a part of full time Coordinator/Director.

Website – Doug has been working with Oran on the problem of publishing the newsletter on the website. Oran has been critically ill; consequently, he has not been able to work on the problem. His health has improved at the moment and he is looking for a format that can be published.

Doug would like to see all materials in a format that will fit into a three-ring binders. He wants pastor Carroll to convert the hard copies to 8×11 format.

Other Business – In reference to an e-mail from Randy Mullin regarding the Authentic Three-Day Weekend and the use of the term Cursillo, Doug said that he would like to see the Authentic Three-Day Weekend wrapped up and published. In regard to the term Cursillo, he said that he will be in contact with Tom Sarg concerning how sensitive we need to be about the use of this term.

Revision of six of the lay talks will be ready for final review in July. The committee wants to come in on Tuesday of that week in order to accomplish the necessary work.

Comments on the Leadership Training Materials are due from the various secretariats by April 1, 2001. Doug asked pastor Carroll to call Chuck to see about arrangements for printing the final copies. He also asked the Pastor Carroll proceed with arranging the final printing of the Essentials Manual. Doug asked Pastor Carroll to let him know if he needs any help with these two projects.

Administration – Debbie reported that Fred Schneider is working on the constitution revision.