Via de Cristo is a Spanish word that means "Way of Christ." It is a three-day school that takes a New Testament look at Christianity as a lifestyle. Via de Cristo is a highly structured weekend designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christian people, and through them, their families, churches, and the environment in which they live and work. It is a united effort of laity and clergy to aid congregations in developing Christian leaders to more effectively serve Christ in the church.
Purpose of Via de Cristo
The heart and essence of the Via de Cristo is to bring Christians to a full awareness of what is meant by living the life of Grace, adding new strength and vitality to their Christianity. The purpose of the Via De Cristo is to develop in Christians a consciousness of their Power and Mission to become leaders in Christian renewal, and the desire to continue to live the life of Grace, personally and together with their brothers and sisters in Christ.
History of Via de Cristo
The movement originated as "Cursillo" in the late 1940’s in the Roman Catholic Church in Spain and moved to the United States in the late 1950’s. It began in the Lutheran church when lay people and clergy attended a Catholic Cursillo in 1971 in Iowa and in Florida. The first Lutheran sponsored weekends were held the following year in both Iowa and Florida and have been held all across the U.S. and in several foreign countries.
The name Via de Cristo was adopted by the Lutheran Community in 1986. Some other denominations offering weekends include Episcopalians, Brethren, Methodists, and Presbyterians with weekend names such as: The Great Banquet, Way of Christ, and Emmaus Walk. The Latvian community held its first weekend in August 2002. Brothers and sisters from Indiana and Kentucky communities from the USA assisted in establishing our movement.