What is Via de Cristo?
Via de Cristo, a Spanish phrase meaning "Way of Christ," is a spiritual method for the renewal of Christian Life.To attend a weekend, you must have a sponsor - that is, you have to be invited by someone who considers you a leader or potential leader in your environment. The weekend begins Thursday evening and ends late Sunday afternoon, and is very spiritually, intellectually and emotionally intense.
The Via de Cristo method includes an inspirational three-day weekend designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christians and bring them to a new awareness of living in God's grace.
The purpose of Via de Cristo is, above all, to see the world reconciled to Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:20). The Via de Cristo method assists individual Christians to actively be the Church. Laypersons are encouraged to strengthen their partnerships with their pastors, to be "extensions," building up the body of Christ.
Via de Cristo is a movement within the Church of Jesus Christ. The focus is not on Via de Cristo, but on the local church -- your church and my church. The objective of the movement is to inspire, challenge, and equip local church members for Christian action in their homes, churches, and communities.
Through the Via de Cristo method, we are encouraged to persevere and grow in our faith, to become an effective channel of God's love to others, and to strengthen a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The weekend is centered on a series of 14 talks given by folks who have already made a weekend. Each talk is followed by a table discussion, and at the end of each day, the tables share the main points of their discussion with the larger group.
Time is spent together in the chapel, in prayer and meditation, and while eating meals (a highlight for me!)
All the folks involved in the weekend have already attended a prior weekend, and each Participant is encouraged to help in any way on future weekends. The weekend 'team' meets several times during the months preceding the actual weekend to clearly define each members' role, and to build community.
There are two Via de Cristo movements in the Great Lakes State: Lutheran Via de Cristo of Central Michigan, based in the Saginaw/Midland area (lvccm.org), and Good News! Via de Cristo, based in South East Lower Michigan (gnvdc.org).