Saturday, April 6th, 2019
Potluck: 5:30 p.m.
4th Day Talk
& worship to follow.
First Christian Church
105 S Main St
Princeton, IL 61356
Couples bring one dish to pass; families please bring two. Coffee, water and ice are provided by the host church, but any other drinks will need to be brought by the community.
Directions from I-80 Westbound:
- Take I-80W
- Take Exit 56 for IL-26 S/N Main
- Turn Left onto IL-26 S/N Main St
- Church will be on the Right (West side of street)
Directions from I-80 Eastbound:
- Take I-80E
- Take Exit 56 for IL-26 S/N Main
- Turn Right onto IL-26 S/N Main St
- Church will be on the Right (West side of street)
|From the Spiritual Director
|“Bloom where you’re planted.” It’s a popular phrase used to encourage people to make the most of the setting or situation you find yourself in. When it comes to our Christian faith, we ask not only the question of what we do where we find ourselves, but also the question of “where are you planted?” Not in the way of the setting or situation we may find ourselves, but where our foundation, direction and source of strength.
In Psalm 1, we read “happy are those who … delight … in the law of the lord … They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.” And in Jeremiah 17 it says “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord … They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.”
I love that image of being planted and rooted. A tree draws its sustenance and strength from the ground in which it is rooted, reaching down to find nutrients and water. A tree by a stream would find plentiful water which would help it survive heat and drought. Of course, the Psalmist and Jeremiah aren’t trying to give us a horticultural lesson, they are talking about us, and where we draw our life and strength and direction from. What will help us weather the challenges and crises of life – the droughts and heat? Trust in the Lord. Delight in the law – and love – of the Lord.
Putting our faith roots down in the One who takes us in in the waters of Baptism and promises to be with us, to forgive us, to gift us with the power of the Spirit, that is the place where we will find our strength and direction to live our faith in every situation, every challenge, every crisis we may face. These are the waters that Jesus spoke of that well up in us to eternal life (John 4:14). As we sink our roots down into the life and love of our Lord and drink of the waters he provides, into the well spring of the Spirit, we will not thirst, but thrive, and bear fruit, and know the love and joy of the Lord. Then we can truly “bloom where we are planted!”
|From the Lay Director
|Greetings Living Water Community.
I hope this finds you all well and surviving another Mid-west winter in good spirits.
As you all know our spring weekends are fast approaching. Over the last few weeks we have had some obstacles pop-up. There have been some problems with the 72 hour prayer sign-up. Weather has played a significant part in team members getting to team meetings. The planning committee for the fall renewal weekend has had to postpone meetings and reschedule. I look at the calendar and realize time is quickly slipping by.
This is where I ask you fellow pilgrims to continue, or start, praying fervently for Living Water. Prayer is the foundation of this mission of ours. I say ‘ours’ because I believe God has entrusted Living Water to us. I plead with you to put aside any differences you may have with Via de Cristo, the E.L.C.A., or problems with personalities, and remember what God, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, has done for you.
When we all attended our weekends we had many strangers lifting us up in prayer before, during, and after our event. I am asking you all to please, please consider your participation for Weekends 58: by being there at the Send-off, Serenade, and Clausura. Let the new pilgrims see the size and feel the love of their new community.
I know we all have busy lives… we are tired. But, we are not alone. We have each other, but more importantly we have the love of God. Psalm 121:1-2: “I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (If you have time, read the whole Psalm.) He has given us so much, can we not return some to assist others on their journey?
I hope to see all of you at one of our upcoming events, the Send-off, Serenade, Clausura, and / or Ultreya (April 6).
God’s peace to you all, with my brotherly love to you.
P.S. I often wonder if our communications to you all are being received. Let one of your board members know, or me, if you received this newsletter. Again, peace to you. AK
|Assistant Lay Director Chair
Wanted Servants for Christ
Our Secretariat Board has positions that will be open for a 2 year term starting this July. We will vote on this at the June Annual meeting. We are looking for people with dedicated hearts to help keep Living Water moving forward. The positions open are: Secretary, Weekend, Pre-Weekend and another Spiritual Director. You can find out what each position’s duties are by going to our website or calling us for some information. The board meets once a month for 1 ½ hours in Geneseo to conduct the business of LWVdC. If you are interested in serving, please let us know. If you get a call to serve, please prayerfully consider serving on the board.
Gary & Pam Gross
2019 VdC Annual Gathering
Thursday July 25 – Sunday July 28
University of Indianapolis
Save the date to attend this Gathering. LWVdC is allowed to send 2 delegates & a Spiritual Director to this event and also any visitors who wants to attend. It is 3 days of worship services, learning, sharing, fellowship and fun. Get to know others from around the country and share ideas about how our communities differ while still having so much in common. To find out more information you can go to viadecristo.org or contact me. I will be driving there and could use some company. Since it is so close, it would be great to have a good number from LWVdC there.
Leadership is a Lifestyle Not a Role
One of the fundamental goals of Cursillo/Via de Cristo is to build leadership within the church body. Each of us are given leadership opportunities each and every day within our environment. In the Leaders rollo outline the definition is: “ Leaders are people who influence the thinking and actions of others because of who they are and what they do.”
People who self-identify as extroverts or introverts are both given specific skills and attitudes that will influence those within their sphere of influence.
The rollo outlines five natural qualities of leaders: a spirit of initiative, willingness to risk, sense of responsibility, personal authenticity and generosity.
Challenge yourself to examine each of these qualities in your own walk. Seek guidance through your reunion group or spiritual director for ways you can develop or improve in one of these areas. Participation in your local church body is a good way to develop your leadership and influence.
Encourage others to this leadership lifestyle by your own example and by supporting fellow servants in ways that build stronger relationships. Welcome others on your journey and be prepared to be transformed by the leadership of brothers and sisters in Christ.
Janet and Jim Larson LWVdC Leaders Chairs
|From the PreWeekend Chair
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus
to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
At the elementary school where I serve as a classroom aide, we have an incentive program through which students can earn “Hawk Bucks.” These are school “dollars” that can be spent on popular items at a pop-up Hawk Bucks store offered once a month. The children can earn Hawk Bucks by following directions promptly, being exceptionally kind to a classmate, going the extra mile to help out, or generally being “on the job” with their learning. I will admit that I am fairly stingy in dispensing Hawk Bucks, as I am of the old-school belief that one should simply do what is expected—that the reward should be in the satisfaction of knowing you did something good, or made someone happy. But let’s face it—kindergarteners are not that altruistic (or even naturally compliant). They want to know what is in it for them. And isn’t that how much of our world works? Even we as Christians often want to tie an external reward to our good works. We seek to do Christian acts in an effort to “earn” our way to heaven.
But the above verse in Ephesians tells us that we were born for doing good works. This was God’s plan—not ours. It even goes so far as to say that God has already set up the circumstances for us to step up and shine. These good works were prepared “in advance” by our Lord for us to do. They are of God’s choosing. You might say good works are in our DNA! As God’s people, saved by His unending grace, we respond to His great love by doing what He has called us to do: To love as He has loved, and to live by Christ’s example. We’ve already received our heavenly reward, and all the Hawk Bucks in the world couldn’t buy it. Good works are not our currency, but rather our priceless love gift to our God!
As the Via de Cristo weekends quickly approach, ask God to prepare for you the good work of candidate sponsorship. Whom shall you ask, and whom shall He send? We all know the power of the Holy Spirit that is unleashed through a Living Water weekend. Someone, somewhere, is needing you to make that invitation, so that person can experience a new sense of closeness with the God whose handiwork they are. Who knows what future good works might come of this?
What’s in it for you? Gloriously more than you could ever ask or imagine.
Your Pre-Weekend Chairs
Barb and Joe Geerts
|From the Weekend Chair
Dear Christian Friends,
As I reflect on my own Via de Cristo weekend (#2) in March of 1991, it brings back a multitude of feelings and special memories. My weekend was held at the Villa de Chantel in Rock Island and at that time the ministry was so new my husband, Don, and I didn’t have sponsors. I was on the Lutheran Coalition and Pastors John LeCander and Jeff Linman encouraged all of us to go on a weekend.
On the weekend during my first experience of meditation, I saw a figure in a white robe and sandals. This figure stayed a clear imagine in the darkened sanctuary for the entire time we were there and I can still see it yet today. When us 35 new pilgrims were led back to that sanctuary, I looked at the place where I saw the robe and sandals. On the wall hung a picture of Christ – not of Him standing; it was the head/shoulders view!
God not only touched my head and my heart that weekend, He showed me His Son. I’m guessing that you, too, have had a wonderful experience on your weekend. And I’m guessing you have
verbally shared your awesome experience with many others.
At this point, you are probably wondering why I’m sharing my experience. Because the next uplifting experience is being a sponsor. My most recent “Babe Chick” is serving on her first team and to watch her excitement and enthusiasm is awesome. Please pray for a name of someone who is active in their church and who would like a wonderful weekend walking with Christ. God will give you a name;
then pray they accept your invitation and finally ask them.
Dennis Von Holten, 815-303-2984, will be delivering the trailer of all the supplies on Thursday, March 21 to Camp Menno Haven. If you are able to help unload and carry the totes to the appropriate locations,
please call Dennis and let him know.
On Sunday, March 31 of the Women’s Weekend starting around 2:30PM, a group will be carrying all those totes and stacking them back into the trailer. Please call Dennis (again J) and let him know If you are able to help with that task. Many hands make light work. Thank you, in advance, for your help.
One of the duties of being the “Community of Via de Cristo” is to attend the closing ceremonies. As the Weekend Chair, it is my job to find the perfect location and, thankfully, I have.
The Men’s Clausura will begin at 5:00PM on Sunday, March 24, 2019.
The Women’s Clausura will begin at 5:00PM on March 31, 2019.
Both the men’s and women’s Clausura will be at:
Hampshire Colony Church
604 S Church Street
Pr. Dave Barnes and Carol Zehr (contacts)
May God bless you with His peace and joy –
|From the Post Weekend
|Greetings Living Water Community!
Some of you may not like what we are about to say, but it needs to be said. There are a great number in the community that are not very active in supporting weekends and Living Water events. The last time we were on the secretariat board 12 years ago, a count was taken of all who have gone through a Living Water weekend and the total was over 1300.
Today, even more have gone through. Granted, some have moved away or passed away, but that still leaves a substantial amount that are not participating. Many are content to “LET SOMEONE ELSE DO IT!!!” while sitting around and collecting cheap grace. There may be exceptions but chances are, if someone is not participating in Via de Cristo activities, they are also not participating much in their home congregations. Change will only come from within, or a force from outside of you acting on you. We sincerely hope and pray that it does not take some of life’s misfortunes to turn the inactive ones from one hour a week Christians (if that), to fully functioning members of the Body of Christ. We should ask ourselves, When was the last time I asked someone to attend a weekend. And asked sincerely, and not a half hearted will you attend? No. Ok goodbye. Please let everyone in the community start participating in weekend 58 and attend the Ultreya right after the weekend on April 6th at First Christian Church in Princeton, Illinois. Jesus knows how busy or not busy we really are, so those who would offer excuses to Jesus, (and risk lying to God!!!) will sound pretty lame to Jesus.
May God’s love enlighten us all to participate.
Your Post Weekend Chairs
Gary and Jan Morse
|From the Rector/a
The JOY of the Lord is your strengthRecently on TV there was a commercial about driving a car. The spokesperson said that true joy was obtained through this particular car and driving that car. REALLY? Does true joy come from material things? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and a gift from God. We freely receive this gift when we focus on who God is, commune with Him in prayer, and rely on the community of believers He has provided.As you read this, weekend #58 team training is nearing completion. We have spent time focusing on God, serving Him faithfully and bonding as a group. We are keeping our focus on God and serving joyfully. Thank you all for keeping us in your prayers during this important time.Together Donna and I have been truly blessed to be serving with this team and the amazing community God has given to us. Thank you for this opportunity to express our joy!And finally, I would also ask for one more thing….please pray about sponsoring a candidate for the upcoming weekend. What a better way to experience the joy that we have been given by sharing that joy with someone else. Joy could shine through us if we let God have his way with us!!
Blessings in Christ,
|From the Secretary
We seem to be enduring a winter that never quits (the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ comes to mind), but your Living Water Via de Cristo Secretariat Board has kept on working. Come June, we will have positions to fill on the Secretariat Board, so be thinking if that is something you would be interested in. See Pam Gross if you have any questions. Our plans for the 2019 Fall Renewal is moving along, so keep your eyes and ears open for those updates from that planning committee.
We should all be thinking about who we can talk to about attending the upcoming weekend #58. Talk to God and see if he lays a name of someone on your heart. While LWVDC is not for everyone and our involvement changes with the normal changes of life, I can’t imagine going through my day without the things I have learned since my weekend. Devotions start my day and even though I read a couple of different ones, there always seems to be one directly on point speaking to what I am feeling/going through/experiencing at that very moment. I am very thankful for all of my LWVDC sisters and brothers. So, when was the last time you reached out to someone to speak about LWVDC? Pray about it….then do it.
Ellen Dalton, Secretary for LWVDC Secretariat Board.
|Find a Reunion Group
This list is a work in progress, but I pray that it can be the start of accurate information that can continue to grow. If you have a group to be added or changed, please email Jan Morse (Post Weekend Chair) at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call at 815-223-0765. If you had a reunion group listed on the previous list that is still active, please notify me so that I may add you to the current list. If you are in need of a reunion group, but don’t see one in your area or time frame, please contact myself or another member of the secretariat. We can connect you with other Living Water Pilgrims in your area.
Gary and Jan Morse
Please remember that the ideal reunion group size is 3 to 5 members. If your reunion group seems large, please consider splitting off to allow new members to join. It can be difficult for new or inexperienced pilgrims to start a reunion group, consider being that mentor.
WEBMASTER NOTE: To maintain security for the contacts in this list, I have added images of the tables to their own pages, to which I referred in my article. You can access the lists at this link.