By Beth Fulmer, Synod Communicator for Messiah, Mauldin

Have you heard the term Via de Cristo? Have you heard the term Ultreya? Have you heard about re-union groups? Has your curiosity been peeked just a little here and there? Are you wondering if you are missing out on something? From personal experience, I can say, without a doubt, that I was “in the dark” regarding the Via de Cristo weekend. Then, at a Messiah gathering, I happened to sit beside Barbara, a good friend, who asked me if I had attended a weekend. I told her that I had not. From there, it was an explosion of excitement from Barbara. She said it was a wonderful experience and if I ever wanted to go, she would gladly be my sponsor. She went on to say that it was a tremendous life changing point in her Christian growth. Enough said! I wanted to go.

I attended a Via de Cristo weekend last fall. It started on a Thursday with Barbara picking me up and taking me to Messiah where I (along with five others) boarded a bus and headed for Camp Kinard. From there, my life was in the hands of God as I began my weekend. First of all, let me clarify that it is not a cult; nor is it a weekend to convert someone to Christianity. It is simply a program that builds on and forever enriches your spiritual growth.

There are no big secrets about the Via de Cristo weekend. There are fourteen talks given by both pas-tors and lay people. There are discussions. There are activities. There are some intense moments and many moments of laughter.

So, I’m asking YOU: Have you attended a weekend? That one question put me on the road to a life changing experience, which I will never forget. It strengthened my love of Jesus Christ and made me realize that in the tapestry of life, every thread is different and God is the world’s designer.

For those who have attended a Via de Cristo weekend and for those who are interested in learning more, the next Ultreya will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church* on February 17 from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. If you are wondering what an Ultreya is, an Ultreya is sharing and communicating our com-mon faith. It is the life of the Christian in harmony with the life of grace, which is a part of our daily life. It is living the same normality that was lived at the Cursillo (Via de Cristo) weekend, nothing more and nothing less. We hope to see you there!

*Messiah Lutheran Church, 1100 Log Shoals Road, Mauldin, South Carolina

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