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How to Get Pastors Involved in VdC

REV. JOE FREEMAN


Since I'm a local person, I get to inform you that Car-mel' is by the sea, and Car'-mel is in Indiana.

A few of the questions that Wayne gave us to answer. First, Why my wife and I attended a Via de Cristo weekend. Why we became involved in Via de Cristo weekends as team persons. About a year before the Indiana Lutheran Cursillo began, (it was birthed at Zion Lutheran Church in North Manchester, Indiana, with Pastor Paul Borg, the handsome young man with the yellow coat who preached with us this morning), my wife and I attended an Indianapolis-based Episcopal Cursillo. It was a co-ed Cursillo event. We experienced in that Cursillo weekend what I would call a "re-gracing" time. Cursillo helped me coin that word -- "re-gracing." God graces us and sometimes in special ways, we need to be "re-graced" -- probably daily. That's what helped me a lot to experience, after several years in ordained ministry, to witness God's-love-in-detail and to be "re-graced."

I think one of the greatest benefits of Cursillo for me as a person, and it's still unfolding and developing, it kind of has a half-life for the rest of my life, and that is Cursillo for some reason God spoke through that process to me that: "I've got to learn to love Him even more than I love the work I do for Him." You know, whether you're ordained or not, just simply seeing what you do as ministry whatever it is that you do -- with your attitude and disposition being Christ-centered -- often times we tend to love the work we do for Christ, even more than we love Him. That's problematic because if we love the work we do for Him even more than we love Him and we get disheartened -- the disheartenedness sticks. But if we love the Lord even more than we love the work we do for Him, and we get disheartened, because of our greater love for Him we move through it. It does not define and confine us. I hope that makes some sense.

I've been taught in the seminary by a good teacher: Henry Nouwen, who I had four classes with and was research assistant on three of his books. He had a neat way of teaching that "the most personal is the most universal." What most personally is true for you is probably universally applicable to all people. Grief is a deeply personal experience, but eventually universally applicable. I do believe that we need to learn to love the Lord even more than the work we do for Him. Cursillo birthed that awareness in my work, in my life as a person and as a pastor.

How do you feel that you personally benefit from being involved and how does your congregation benefit from your involvement? We've had better than seventy people in our church involved in Cursillo, experiencing as candidates and a fair number of team persons. The congregation will be eleven years old this fall. We're in the fastest growing area of the state, so we'd have to be intentionally lousy not to grow. We'd have to do a whole lot of things downright wrong not to grow. We have the dual distinction of being the fastest growing ELCA congregation in our synod, and also the most indebted. We'll be meeting with Pat Dever for lunch to get even more indebted as we seek to buy an acre of land for $200,000 so we can continue to expand.

I think the beauty of Cursillo for laity if not to mention for clergy as I mentioned introducing communion this morning was it turns often times turns a dutiful person into a joyful one.

Lutherans tend to be emotionally constipated. The man who coined that was not me, a former Catholic turned Pentecostal turned Lutheran, but a man named George Forrell at the University of Iowa. He was the one I heard when I was youth pastor in Denver. He said that Lutherans are typically emotionally constipated.

The problem with us -- every denomination has problems. Billy Graham says, "As soon as you join a church, it by definition is imperfect because you joined it." Having been Catholic and then Pentecostal and then just Lutheran, I know experientially there is no such thing as a perfect denomination. In fact, I remember the Catholic priest telling me I was leaving the church when I was leaving Catholicism. A Pentecostal pastor assured me I was leaving the "whore of Babylon -- the anti-Christ," that I was really arriving as some purer version of Christianity. Then when I became Lutheran in the middle of college at Wittenberg, I remember the Pentecostal pastor saying, "That's almost as bad as becoming Catholic again."

The Lutheran pastor with whom I was catechized said, in so many words, that God only spoke German. The interesting thing about all that is I never personally asked about my salvational status. Each of those persons representing those denominations always volunteered the information to me.

I've learned that parochialism is the enemy. We've got to learn to love the Lord even more than we appreciate our current affiliation, because if our love for Christ is larger and greater than our current affiliation, then when the church life is dull as dishwater, then we want to do something about it, to enliven it again. If it doesn't respond, we exit, out of love for our Lord, a greater love for our Lord and find where he wants us to write the next "chapter" of our Christian life.

Laity that come back to our church from a Cursillo weekend have been very often more in a servant posture, are more hungry for God's Word. We have a fair number of Bible studies in our church, including Don Boden who's involved in this conference. He's been helping begin our Friendship Bible Study Series for the mentally handicapped. We have forty-five mentally handicapped persons who come to our Friendship Bible Study -- it's the most enlivened Bible study a person could ever hope to be in. Recently, the congregation bought picture Bibles for them -- many of them have never had Bibles in their entire lives. Ninety per cent of handicapped people don't go to church anywhere. These 45 mentally handicapped persons from half-way houses and group homes and individual private residences -- it's a good experience. We have a variety of Bible studies -- the mentally handicapped, but also for other sorts of traumatic foci.

My wife and I, Sandy and I, enjoy serving on Cursillo weekends. I've had a quietus for a couple of years and I'll help out with the men's this coming fall. You know, it's incredibly time-demanding, but equally rewarding. I think it serves to re-tenderize me each time. It takes a strong person to be tender. Cursillo, for some reason, when you move through the process, the heart and the soul get re-tenderized; and that's so important to keep the heart tender toward the Lord and toward others. It gives me a chance to serve Christ's church at large -- not simply the local congregation that I'm privileged to be pastor of.

It's great to see people with a diversity of lifestyles and backgrounds experience life-changes by God's grace. I think the whole integrity of the Cursillo weekend is that it lasts those three and a half days. If it lasted two days, it wouldn't be long enough. I think it's comparable to Jesus in the tomb. He was in the depths of the earth for three days -- right? Doing something about Hell. If He had taken a day break or shorter -- I don't know maybe things wouldn't have happened the way they did, if He didn't spend three days. We need to do that in Cursillo to honor that time frame too.

What do I see as the role of clergy and spiritual director in this lay movement? I think we as clergy need to be partners in renewal -- not competitors. Among Christians, the Christian faith should be a non-competitive sport. See, I call "Christian" a noun, and Lutheran, Catholic, and Baptist "adjectives". I don't like adjectives acting like nouns. I think it's pathetic when they are. I try to foster in our people a sense that Christian is always noun and Lutheran is always adjective. The guy who made our sign -- I ended up marrying him and his girlfriend -- they ended up giving us the sign as a gift. He was concerned at point of entry when we talked about the sign. "Why do you want 'the Christ the Savior' logo larger than 'Lutheran Church'?" He thought that was curious. I explained to him why and within a year, he and his fiance had joined and we had performed the wedding ceremony and now they're involved in a home Bible Study fellowship process.

I think we also as pastors need to make sure that the Cursillo weekend stays on target theologically. One reason I found myself leaving classical Pentecostalism is because I found that for me my passion exceeded my insight. Theologically, Luther was able to put his passion and insight shoulder-to-shoulder. When I was reading about him in college, I was touched. More than touched, I was moved deeply by his witness about being a citizen on earth and a citizen in heaven while he was on earth.

So we need to keep things grounded, theologically correct and make sure that our passions do not exceed our insights. That we are really partners, shoulder to shoulder with one another.

I love a weekend because you see God's unconditional love in detail. About my fourth time helping out with Cursillo and seeing all the people crying at the closings and always using those tissues through Cursillo weekends and also closing times and all of a sudden it hit me. In the Lutheran church there are two Sacraments -- Communion and Baptism -- right? The Cursillo movement adds a third Sacrament in my way of thinking. It's called the facial tissue. Because when the facial tissue touches the tear from the eye, it's "an outward and visible evidence of an inward and invisible grace". So I call the facial tissue the Cursillo Sacrament. And it's used in abundance on a good weekend. I really do think it is the "Cursillo sacrament".

I think we need to be responsible, imaginative, and illustrative. I think one thing about Cursillo -- it helps the laity, in Lutheranism particularly, let's say not just to cherish the faith but also to appreciate the importance of sharing the faith. Lutherans typically cherish the faith and typically don't share it.

Cursillo for some reason helps us break down some barriers and appreciate that that which we cherish should be shared.

How does your local secretariat select spiritual directors? That's an easy quick answer if you can believe that. Pastor Toby Rendleman is our head spiritual director in our secretariat in Indiana and he selects the spiritual directors for the men's and women's weekends. That's worked out for years, real well. A number of us clergy love and appreciate very much -- Pastor Toby Rendleman.

What do you feel is the best way to approach other pastors who have not attended? What do you tell them that they should attend a weekend and why their congregation should be involved? I think it's important, because pastors tend to be overly verbal, to be first and foremost authentic. It's not about your verbosity, but be authentic in that we need to see where our colleague/pastor person is in his/her life as they give us permission to be authentic about being attentive to that. Share not only verbally, but also genuinely why Cursillo has been a benefit to you - for myself as a pastor and be considerate of that person's response and realize God's the one who really is the best strategist in this -- not yourself or I.

I share it's good for a pastor to attend a Via de Cristo event because of these reasons:

The pastor truly needs a break, truthfully. Even though he/she doesn't want to take one and so do his people need a break from him/her. I had a couple in our church ....... got back from Europe and they love their kids and they haven't been away from their kids -- away from their kids for two weeks while they were away in Europe and I said, "You know, your son and daughter need to experience your going away and know that you will come back." Congregations need that, too. Pastors going away -- he/she will come back.

Then the pastor truly needs that "re-gracing". It's great for a pastor to see a large ........ event that doesn't need clergy domination. You know the first two hundred years of Christian history there were no ordained clergy. Pretty vital years for the Christian church -- those first two hundred years.

Then to witness what can happen when prayer is constant and the laity are alive in Christ. It's great for a pastor to see that -- when prayer is constant and the laity are alive for Christ.

I also share with a pastor that there's greater diversity of personal backgrounds and people in age groups on a Cursillo weekend than practically any one Lutheran parish would witness in their own celebrations of worship on Sunday morning. That to me is evidence that the Holy Spirit has permission to do some extraordinary things.

You remember your weekend? You remember all the age groups? You remember all the diversity of background and economic levels? How many of our parishes have parallel expressions of that? Not too many. But when I see it on a Cursillo weekend again and again, I know that's evidence that the Holy Spirit has been given great permission to operate.

Then it brings back home to the parish more dedicated servant laity. Paul Borg and I, a few years ago, drafted joint letters to pastors and parishes about the value of Cursillo. I think I gave that to Wayne Ford. For some reason, I forgot to bring it myself. I don't need it right now, because I need to close here in a moment.

How do you see Lutheran Cursillo as a useful tool for Christ with the ELCA and Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and how do you feel the Lutheran Cursillo/Via de Cristo can fit with the church at large?

Obviously, Cursillo or Via de Cristo is a parachurch movement. It's there to bless, to assist, to renew the institutional church at large, the local parish and the individual Christian.

It's not a competitive-sect-like-model. It's a Christian servant renewal model that truly enriches, blesses persons and congregations.

I think it's important to continue to dialogue and to listen to and to inform congregational districts, conferences, synods, bishops and their staffs, and local pastors to make use of this renewal ministry. There are many models out there. Cursillo is a strong and beautiful one. Thank you for your time.

REV. TOM HEYD

I spent my internship in Black River Falls. I interned with a pastor who realized that I was not always going to agree with him. He knew that I just came from those hallowed halls at Luther Northwestern Seminary and had the latest revelation from on high. And so he didn't want to say no to every idea that I had, but he handled it very carefully. He said, "Tom, you do it your way, and I'll do it God's way."

I want you to understand as I'm speaking this morning that most of what I have to say is what I perceive to be the Minnesota way. I realize that there are other movements and that our way is not exactly always the way that you would do it, but it works for us and I want to share that with you. I also want you to understand that the Minnesota way in Cursillo often uses overheads. Now the overhead is a little ways away from me so I do not have access for changing the overhead transparencies so Wayne will change them for me as I direct them.

It was about two and one half years ago that I entered the hospital for very routine surgery. The doctor told me that I'd be going in one day, have very routine surgery on my throat (it was not close to my voice-box), there was no malignancy -- a very simple cutting and sewing procedure. I would be home the next day and back at work the third day.

Well, things didn't work out that way. I came out of the surgery. I went back to my recovery room. The doctor assured me and my wife that everything was all right. She went home, and when I went back to my own room, we soon discovered that things were not so good. My blood pressure was shooting up. My face was swelling up. I took several nitroglycerine and several injections. Nothing worked and I was rushed back into surgery again. I came out of surgery. This eye was completely swollen shut. My head was like a basketball. I was on a breathing machine and my wife was standing when I came to a little ways away from the bed and I was wondering what was going on. Did I have a heart attack? Am I going to live? What was the prognosis? I couldn't talk, and I couldn't see very well -- I motioned to her.

She said, "You want something?"

"No, I don't want anything."

"Me?"

"Yeah."

"Talk?"

"Yeah."

"You want me to talk to you?"

"Yeah." I wanted her to tell me what's going on. How things are going. What happened to me? I had no idea.

Now this woman that God has given to me has never, ever been at a loss for words. In all her life, she's never been at a loss for words. So she leaned over my bed and she said, "Tom, I love you."

I wanted to grab her and shake her but you must understand that I was in no position to do that.

There was a time when Israel was upon the ropes. They cried unto the Lord, "What's happening to us?" "Where is the Messiah that You have promised to us?" "We're under Roman rule. We don't even have our own nation which we're supposed to have." And they cried unto the Lord.

And the Lord, who has never been at a loss for words, who spoke in the poetry and the prose of the psalmist and the prophet; He stooped over Israel and in the manger of Bethlehem said, "I love you." Have you ever thought what that love really means?

It was on a Cursillo weekend that I think that love became more real for me than ever before. I have never, ever seen so much skin on Jesus than I did on a Cursillo weekend and it was for me like reaching down and picking up the Bethlehem babe. How do you respond to that kind of love?

I guess for me it goes back to the very call of ministry. I came out of the seminary thinking that the way to accomplish the mission of the church is to remember the great commandment and the great commission. Jesus summarized the whole Old Testament with the great commandment, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself." And he sent us out with the great commission to make disciples and to teach them to obey.

So my churches have always been organized around the great commandment and the great commission. I think that a great commitment to the great commandment and the great commission will build a great church. The great commandment: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind." We've organized the worship committee to do that. "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." We've organized the fellowship and service committee to do that. "You shall make disciples of all nations." We organized the evangelism committee to do that. "You shall teach them to obey," We've organized the education committee to do that.

If you want to get pastors involved, I don't think that there is any pastor who has a vision beyond the end of his nose or her nose who does not want to organize around the great commandment and the great commission. If we want to get pastors involved in Cursillo, I think we have to help them to understand that they're not going to Cursillo or getting their church involved for our sakes, but entirely for their own faithfulness to the call of the gospel.

We're all looking for tools. We're all looking for ways to be faithful and we need to help pastors to accomplish that faithfulness. Now, through the years the churches have organized for that faithfulness, we've established an evangelism committee. I want you to notice that evangelism comes from the Greek word "evangelisma" which means to proclaim, as good tidings, to announce good tidings. But Jesus didn't tell us necessarily to evangelize the world. He told us to disciple the world. And that's the second Greek word you see there "......" which means pupils, to learn ......, a follower, a student.

There's a difference when you think of the word evangelism, often times a name of an evangelist comes to mind -- perhaps Billy Graham. The focus of most of evangelism is often upon the one who is doing the evangelizing, but Jesus asked us to do our focus upon the one who is being discipled, the pupil. Does that pupil comprehend? Does that pupil understand enough so the pupil can respond? I think Cursillo helps us focus our attention upon the one who is evangelized, not the evangelist. The disciple who is able to hear and understand and respond to the Lord.

We need to understand that that's not the only way to disciple. Evangelism also has its place, and Cursillo is not the only evangelism tool. I think that's the second thing we have to help pastors understand. Pastors are often looking for ways to do things. They think that they can have only one way to do it.

In our church we have an evangelism program in which we invite people to join a discovery class. In that discovery class they learn, in a period of seven or eight weeks, the basic assurance of salvation. After they've finished the discovery class, we ask them to join a growth group which meets in homes, and that's a two year commitment where they go through a course of study and they learn to reach out as friendly visitors to the community. They learn to evangelize. They learn to be caring servants. We've had about 1700 members who have gone through this program.

We conduct sharing clinics twice a year to invite other congregations in and even some foreign countries have come to our church to learn of this discipling program. One day I received a call from a young pastor who said, "you know, I attended one of your sharing clinics, and I just can't get my church to buy the program. Can you help me?"

And I said, "I think I can. We've had a number of people in your congregation who have gone through Via de Cristo/Cursillo. Why don't you get them together to help you?"

"How do I do that?"

"Oh," I said, "you know the old adage that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. If you slip the horse a salt tablet the horse will drink the well dry. You need to slip the folks the salt tablet. Tell your people who have been in Via de Cristo and in Cursillo that you will help them (and they had been trying to get him involved). You will help them reestablish the Cursillo-Via de Cristo program in your church and you want them to help you with this program which we call 'Life in Growth'."

He said, "Are the two compatible?"

I said, "Absolutely! Via de Cristo is compatible with every other evangelism program you might ever have."

I have people who can't make a two year commitment. They just don't have the time. But you slip them a salt tablet in a Via de Cristo weekend, and they'll come back so thirsty they'll join anything that will help them to grow. The two complement each other.

Via de Cristo is not the only evangelism program. One of the best evangelism programs in the church is Sunday School. Another good one is vacation Bible school. Another good evangelism program is junior and senior high ministry. Another good evangelism program is, in our church, senior citizens -- we call it Keenagers -- with a "K". There are many, many evangelism programs of which Via de Cristo is one of them.

Our responsibility is to help people to discover ways in which they can touch the Word that has become flesh. Now in Minnesota we have a very special way to get people involved. The apostle Paul often reminded his people and thanked them for their partnership in the gospel.

We do not allow a pastor to go alone. And in order for a lay person in a congregation to come to Via de Cristo a pastor has to come along. In order for a pastor to come to Via de Cristo a lay person has to come along. Paul thanked his people for their partnership in the Gospel and we try to establish that partnership.

(transparency)

I don't know if you've ever seen anyone like this before. This is a lay person who has just gone through a Via de Cristo weekend. He's come back to the parish. Please ask me about the Via de Cristo/Cursillo. Please let me talk to you about the greatest thing that ever happened to me and the pastor who's never gone is very threatened.

In our movement we have a picture of the three-legged stool. Do you use that? Piety-Apostolic Action-Study. The pastor would like to take this guy's three-legged stool and kick it across the barnyard, by the time he's finished with his push. Of course, you could send the pastor alone. He might look like this:

(transparency)

He's just come back with his brand new evangelism program that he's going to foist upon the congregation and everybody says, "Let's look out for this guy. He's hot right now, but let's let him cool down. When he comes to his senses, things can come back to normal again." I think it's important that we do everything that we can to establish the partnership between lay and clergy. Why should pastors have all the fun? Ministry is a call that goes out to everybody once they've said yes to Jesus Christ.

Let me share with you some ways in which we try to get pastors involved and what their responsibilities are.

In order for a pastor to become a spiritual director in Minnesota, that pastor must first be the spiritual director on a palanca team and then be an assistant spiritual director in the rollo room. Then that person is eligible to become a spiritual director in the rollo room. We want that background and that experience. To do that we send out letters to every pastor who's gone through a Via de Cristo weekend and we send out the schedule telling them when the next year's weekends are scheduled. Would you be able to participate in one of those weekends? In that letter there's a postcard and they can respond with first, second, and third-choice weekends. They can also give some comments as to how they would like to serve or how they've served in the past. But we also have a record how they have served and so as the spiritual director of the Minnesota community, I try to find out what the experience is of that pastor who is willing to serve the weekend and we try to schedule them accordingly. We call them and also send them a letter with their responsibilities.

We have a little brochure that we send out with that letter called "The Spiritual Director" and it simply outlines what those responsibilities are for the weekend. We're now trying something new this coming year. We have usually secured the spiritual director for the weekend, giving that spiritual director the names of other pastors who have said they're willing to serve on that particular weekend, and it's then the spiritual director's responsibility to develop this team.

This next year, the spiritual directors for the Minnesota Via de Cristo are going to try to develop the whole team. We will ask that spiritual director if there's anyone they would like to work for and with. We will try to put the whole team together. Instead of just having three people; the spiritual director, the assistant spiritual director and the palanca spiritual director we will try to have five -- three people in the rollo room and two people in the palanca chapel. And the only reason we're trying to do that is that we're trying to move up the experience a little faster so that we have a larger pool of pastors to work with.

We see as the role of the spiritual director team preparation and to provide counsel to the rector, to nurture the team during the team meetings, to be the pastoral Eucharistic leader -- especially to maintain focus. Some of the literature that you've already seen discusses what we term adiaphora. It's so easy to pick up all those little extra things that are not essential and sometimes side-track us. We need to maintain focus -- why are we doing this? Who is this for? What is this about?

Again the focus is upon the weekender. We are but tools. Our Lord could raise up stones to use, if we are not faithful. The weekend is for the weekenders so that they can be in touch with their Lord and their Savior.

On the weekend, the Spiritual Director supports and encourages the leaders -- not dominates them -- and again is the pastoral/Eucharistic leader.

Let me summarize again what I think are a couple of key principles in getting pastors involved. Help them to understand that this is something that they want. They're not doing anything for you. This is something that they want and they need to be faithful to their calling. This is not another packaged evangelism program. One that will meet all of the needs in their particular congregation. But this is a very, very helpful tool that can be one amongst many. It's been a pleasure to visit with you.


 
REV. GENE HERMEIER

(first prison Cursillo)
(first Iowa Cursillo)
(first Minnesota Cursillo)
(Papua, New Guinea)


Well, it's great to be with you. I'm so glad that Randy is handing that outline to you. He assured me that there were two people at the door to collect the fruit, so the rotten fruit wouldn't be thrown too hard. That's nice, Randy, thank you. I hope you're successful. Also, Ed Kutay reminded me, what -- 20 minutes? I can clear my throat for twenty minutes. Right, Ed? They usually set their calendars now at Good Shepherd in Naperville, so that we just talk a long time sometimes.

I want to say that this is an honor. It's an honor to be with these two folks -- a long-time friend in Tom and a new friend in Joe -- just to be among friends. The Cursillo movement is more than just simply a tool. I love that statement, Joe, that we're here to adore the Lord. It's not just another mechanical way that we find to get something done. That's what we're here about, aren't we? You didn't say it that way, exactly, but that's what I heard.

This Cursillo is personal to me. This is not just something that is a technique. It is that, of course, but it's personal, isn't it? I think it's very, very important. In other words, my closest friends -- people who have been so supportive over the years -- just so many wonderful things -- these are Cursillo people. I'd have to say, from a vocational perspective, however, that the goal is always self-starters in the church, isn't it? In the Living Water Cursillo that I'm working in now, in eastern Iowa and western Illinois, they say, "Write this." Self-starters. I think that that's very important. Self starters. Self starting lay people. People who enjoy their ministries. That's always my goal. That's what I want. That's where I get my kicks vocationally. When a lay minister says from whatever experience he or she has come out of, "I'm ready to go to work. I'm ready to put this into action."

It was kind of interesting in Des Moines to work a number of years -- I think two or three, at least -- where there were no people on the church council who had not been through a Cursillo weekend. Nobody legislated it that way. It just worked out that way because these were the "gunners." These were the people ready to serve Christ in His church. I want to tell you. It's kind of a lazy man's way of doing things. If that many lay people, by the grace of God, can be that turned on, a pastor can get out of the way and let it happen.

Then at Redeemer at Fridley -- fourteen years. All those people -- three hundred people or more -- and they were the people behind the scenes, they were the pray-ers, the workers. Now, in moving to a most interesting setting out of a most interesting miracle in itself, Good Shepherd in Naperville, the fastest growing suburb in Chicago, one of the fastest growing in the United States, one of the wealthiest in the country, and still to see that the vast majority of the people there -- fourteen hundred people -- and fifteen years of existence as a congregation, and nearly all are, you might say, re-churched people. They had a church background at some time or another, but they're nearly all are new to the church and I so glad that there's a tool there working. It's not Cursillo right now, but it's related. "Christ Renews His Parish," also coming out of the Roman Catholic church, and to see people who are alive from the inside and not just being mechanically herded into a building somehow. The hunger of the young for God. The most exciting thing in my 32 years as a pastor, and I think Cursillo works right into this.

There are some points that I would like to make. First of all, I like to say that right from the beginning, "Don't mess with the message." Don't mess with the message was always, I think, the message of the Cursillo and I think it still is. Don't mess with the message. The Bible is there. Witness is there. Sacraments are there. Prayer is there. They do accomplish God's task, don't they? I have a morning conference with the "Boss". I do that with the living God not because I'm so righteous, but because I'm trying to survive. It's simply -- that's why I do that.

I was interested this morning in reading Luke 8:51. You know how it is when you read Scripture, you're always seeing things you never saw before, and here it is. This is Jesus going to the home of Jairus, whose only daughter, a girl of about twelve, is dying. Remember that? Remember that account in Luke 8? And so in verse 51, when He arrived at the house of Jairus, He did not let anyone go in with Him except Peter and John and James and the child's father and mother. Isn't that interesting? I never saw that before. Honestly, before this morning during my conference time. I think that's so interesting. Why was He doing that? Was He doing this to teach them? Was He doing this because they alone could understand -- those people on the inner circle that understand what Jesus was doing in healing that child? Was He doing this for prayer support? Was He doing it because of what Tom had up here on this screen about ........ -- about disciples who are learning to minister? See I'm not quite sure. When I get to heaven, I'll have to ask Him and see what in the world He was doing. I think that's interesting that only the inner circle could get right in there on that healing.

Well, don't mess with the message. It seems to me that was so basic and it still is. I remember when Ed Simonsen -- are you here, Ed? -- I know he's been here. Ed, why don't you stand up? This is such a heart throb for me. I've never been at a national secretariat meeting with you before. Such a movement of the Holy Spirit! You know, to think that we thought we were the only ones doing this in Iowa. Then, at the same time, in Florida, (we haven't exactly traced down the month yet), but it's almost exactly that the Holy Spirit raised this up on the East Coast, and then we met in Atlanta, the first Lutheran Cursillos there, and that is one of the first times, I think you called us all together about the possibility of a Lutheran Secretariat. Right there was the idea: "Don't mess with the message." The method works; let's work the method.

Then at that meeting, remember Tom Johnson was there, part of the Roman Catholic group coming up from Miami to put on the first Lutheran Cursillo in Atlanta, and he said, "Oh, you're going to do a Cursillo in prison." He didn't ask. He just said, "I'll be there." That's all he said, "I'll be there." So he was at Ft. Madison, Iowa in 1975. It's been consistent, you see.

The Virginia Cursillo. I worked on one of those weekends. The Chicago Cursillo that this great "agitator", Ed Simonsen, brought together in, I think, 1974. The Florida prison team ...... I met with them in Miami at Tom's home. And now, the Living Water, as I mentioned in western Illinois and eastern Iowa. But always it seems to me, the gratifying thing to me is you can talk the basic message and you can close your eyes and it doesn't matter where you are, all kinds of different styles, cha chas and all kinds of little different things to learn, but it's always "Don't mess with the message." I think that's truly great.

The second thing that I wanted to comment on is -- now the rest of my comments are specifically on recruiting. "Earn the right to recruit." I think that that's so important. In other words, if you are a faithful lay minister, and are not just there saying, "I've got a program, pastor, you ought to get involved in it." But instead if you're one of those people, one of the "diggers", one of the stool cleaners until something else comes along, you know, I think earning the right to recruit is so important. Remember that talk on the Cursillo weekend: "Find a friend, be a friend, and bring that friend to Christ." I think that's true about recruiting pastors, too. I was recruited by a lawyer named Bob Bray. He was a friend. He is now head of Legal Aid of Iowa in Des Moines. He just kept at it and kept at it and kept at it. His dear friend, and also mine, Phil Riley, who for years was the city attorney of Des Moines, when our daughter Kristi died suddenly in Des Moines, these were the people who came to me and said, (not asking), they just simply said "A retreat has been set up for you. You are going to be with a spiritual director for one week." I cried my heart out. I think I came and started healing on that retreat with that Jesuit that these friends had set up. It's that earning the right to recruit that is so terribly important.

#3 -- "nagging". I think nagging is good. If you really are convinced that this is a tremendous tool for renewing Christ's church and for helping lay ministers and clergy ministers to be alive in their faith and in their ministry. Hey, I think it's good to nag. Keep at it and keep at it and keep at it. Bob Ray kept at it with me. It took three years, and finally I was so tired in Council Bluffs, where he was living at the time, I thought, "You know, this would be a good retreat to get away from it all." You know, just kind of kick back. I envisioned kind of sitting back in a lawn chair or something like that, and little did I know, huh? When I saw lay people coming through the doors like they had been shot out of guns, and then I learned about the palanca. I tell you, I can still quote some of the talks to this day. The clergy talks -- you know, they're good, they're fine. But the lay talks. Those are the ones I could quote to this day, and it came out of Bob Bray and his tremendous nagging.

#4 is "explaining". I think it's important to explain what's going on. Pastors are pretty well trained, frankly -- have come out of a lot of training. I think it's important to explain what's going on. Typically when I recruit somebody into Cursillo, I go through the entire first day's talks, every single talk, every single one, all of the topics, what's going on and of course reserve a few "surprises". I promise you that every place in these United States that I've worked on Cursillo, the big hold-up, the big bugaboo, and you all know that, is a thing called secrecy. I've heard so many lay people speak about that, "it's just a mess in our place". You know how it is, Cursillo people are smart. They're sharp. They're told on a weekend, we're not supposed to tell all those things, so they go home and they say, we're not supposed to tell. Guess what that does? It raises all kinds of things. I always like to say, "If you find something new about the Gospel, in addition to what Jesus Christ has revealed on a Cursillo weekend, please tell me about it, so I can get out of it as fast as possible." Well, this is not a new gospel. This is the old, old story. I think we have a right to explain it very, very thoroughly.

#5 - Expect the entire congregation to own it. I really believe that's important. You know, they talk about division. Well, I think that division in churches has one of two causes. One is, maybe when you put a red hot coal in the midst of a bunch of clinkers, maybe there is division. I don't know that division is always bad, you know, if that's what's going on. But sometimes red hot coals do have to have a bit of discretion. That's what I think is so, so important about helping the congregation to own it. In the three congregations that I have been in that have had large Cursillo groups, we have never, I repeat never, had a Cursillo weekend without it being in the bulletin for the Sunday. In other words, every team member, every person going through for the first time, we expect the entire congregation to be praying for them. We really do. And it's verbally mentioned, too. Because, "when one of part of the body rejoices, all rejoice", it says in the Word. When party grieves, all grieve." We expect everybody to own it. One of the really neat current leaders at Redeemer in Fridley is the chairman, Bill Linton. Bill, in fact, helped, and laid hands on when I was installed a few months ago at Good Shepherd in Naperville, Illinois. Bill Linton has never been through a Cursillo weekend. Bill is chairman of that congregation and a great leader in my book. He has never been through a weekend. Somehow, he and his wife have kind of got hang-ups about it. But they recognize that it's a tool of renewal. They've had renewal in other ways. They're supportive. I dare say that they have even prayed for people going through Cursillo weekends. But I think that is so important to keep that up front. I have yet to see a division in the congregation happen, personally, because of Cursillo.

#6 - and Tom made this crystal clear, so I won't spend much time on it. Always go with laity. I can't tell you what that meant to me that Calvin Peterson, a fireman from this humble congregation in Council Bluffs, was mysteriously, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I think, and separately recruited into a Cursillo weekend in 1969. We went together, and we came back and we told the story together.

My dairy farmer father used to say it this way, and I still smile about it, he said, "We're used to pastors coming back from all kinds of things all steamed up." You know, hugging the Cursillo box. You saw that -- that beautiful little picture that Tom had up there. We're used to pastors coming home all steamed up. But I want to tell you when pastor and lay people come home together all steamed up, get out of the way. Well, I think that's really what happened. Now, you had ten commandments passed out to you. I won't spend a lot of time on them, but I did want to especially call to your attention what I believe is the number one tool, the number one key in the recruiting of pastors and that is the first one. "Thy job is scriptural". Here's where I'm coming from. I wish I had kept a record of how many pastors have told me, "Well, you know that sounds like something pretty good that I'd like to do sometimes if I have time." When I have time, sometime I think I'll do that. Come on. We are never going to get that much time. But if by the grace of God, and it is that, we can help pastors understand as Tom nicely said it, that this is something they want to do. They want to fulfill their ministry. They want to enjoy their ministry.

You remember Ephesians 4:11-12. "His gifts (Christ's gifts) are, that some should be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. We're equipping the saints for the work of ministry for the building up of the body of Christ". That's our job description, if you will. Our job description is to do whatever we can do to help lay people to be in whatever experiences they can be exposed to the Word and Sacrament, so they may be fired up in Jesus Christ and go back into their congregations as self starters and real participants in ministry. That's our job. That's our primary job and if we can help that happen -- boy, I think that that's where it's at. We can't make Ephesians 4:11-12, however, come alive, can we? We can't brow-beat pastors and say, "Well, this is your job description." I don't think we can do that. But you know there is a lot of sheer desperation happening around the Lutheran church, I believe. It may be that the market is being prepared for the Cursillo even more than ever before in our lives.

Let me share a story about that. I asked at my first synod assembly for metro Chicago, I asked a rather innocent question. How much has the metropolitan synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America -- how much has it grown? What is our status? Would you believe that nobody knew? Not from the bishop down. Nobody knew whether we were growing or shrinking. I had a letter a few days ago from Sally Almen from the synod staff, and I'm sad to report to you that the Chicago metro synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lost 1202 members last year. In a fast growing, huge, eight million person metro area, the metro synod of Chicago lost twelve hundred and two members! Now that's a sad, sad, sad disgrace, I would suggest to you. It seems to me that now the time for renewal is more ripe than ever, ever before. I would suggest to you that the way to start for pastors being involved is pray, pray, pray, and having done all, to pray.

Let me give three short examples. One is, recently I had the experience of coming out...I had my first visit to the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. First time I had ever been there. We were talking to the seminary president about some possibilities of work in Estonia. In any case, we came out and there was a blond young woman standing there and she looked familiar. Nah, I don't really know her. Ah, she looks familiar, and we were still standing there. Finally, I went up to her and I said, "You know, you look familiar."

And she said, "Pastor Gene," and she gave me a hug. It turned out to be Joanna Brown. Joanna Brown was just ordained. Joanna Brown is accepting a call to the Bronx in New York City, the Lebanon of the United States. Joanna Brown comes out of Zion in Des Moines. I was her confirmation pastor. I hadn't seen her for years and years. Would you believe that we were in a small prayer group -- Bible prayer group -- you know one of those that everybody here has been a part of -- in Des Moines, and here's what happened. Two lay people brought up something. The first one said, "You know, this congregation is a hundred and ten years old -- the oldest Lutheran congregation in Des Moines, and do you know that we have never had a pastor come out of this congregation?" Wow, we started to think about that. And then somebody said, "Why don't we get specific? Why don't we start praying about that? Let's pray for eight." Pray for eight pastors. Not one, not two, but eight. I don't know why it wasn't eighty, but we started praying, then for eight. Would you believe that in a matter of fourteen years or so, Joanna Brown is the eighth pastor to be ordained out of Zion Church in Des Moines? The point is prayer, huh? We are not going to make pastors understand Ephesians 4, but two or three people together in prayer -- powerful, powerful.

A second illustration is Ellie Henning. Ellie Henning and this Papua, New Guinea miracle. We didn't know if -- Ellie, where are you? We didn't know if Cursillo would work in a third world setting. We raised $40,000 to have twenty people on the other side of the world. I mean, this is crazy. But the idea was born in a restaurant, where a missionary named Ken Grosch and I were chatting together and he was talking about the reversion of people to paganism and it would just seem so natural for me to say, "well, why don't we just have a Cursillo over there?" But you know there's a lot between that and happening. And so there was tons of prayer going on and Ellie Henning ended up all the prayer time, we just didn't know if it would work. Here we were, over there and we didn't know if it would work. We didn't know if they would show.

I'm happy to report to you today that I think it's right close to a thousand of their key lay and clergy leaders have been touched and changed by the Lutheran Cursillo movement. Amazing! It works in the third world, too. It absolutely does.

A final example comes right out of Indianapolis. There's a beautiful Catholic leader named Dick Aller, who helped the Lutherans get going in Iowa in 1972. I'm sad to report that he is not with us in this world, now, but I think two years ago right here in Indianapolis he went to heaven. But Dick Aller and Bob Reynolds and I were outside a prison at Fort Madison, Iowa. We had had all the materials sent to the warden, and there we sat outside those ugly walls, and drove up and we were going to meet with the warden about the possibility of thirty men coming inside that prison to put on a Cursillo for three days, if you can imagine that. It still seems laughable to me that anybody would have the guts to do such a crazy, crazy thing. This is impossible! And before we went in, we suggested, maybe we had better pray about this. And so we did. And I remember the prayer yet. "Lord, this is absolutely insane. This is so crazy that we can't even imagine our being here. If You want it, You're going to have to make it happen. Amen." And we walked inside those walls, and in twenty minutes, it was all arranged. It was done. The warden said there will be one and all his staff said, "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah." And that was the first Cursillo inside a prison, and the rest of it I think you know about. So, in other words, the business of prayer activating pastors to understand that their job is scriptural. I think that is number one.

I'm going to mention these other nine briefly. "Thou shalt provide a theological skeleton." I think that's very important. That there is an important job. In other words, pastors are valued, pastors are needed. It's not just because they're good guys. They're absolutely valued, and absolutely needed. A theological skeleton, I think, is important.

"Follow the outline." I think I have mentioned that, and I mentioned "Charismatic Renewal" here. Please don't take that negatively. I just mention it. I don't mean it in anyway that I -- I mean I honor that movement a ton, but they aren't to be mixed, I believe.

#4 "Thou shalt be visible." I think both bishops yesterday mentioned this that in our zeal for the ministry of the laity, sometimes I have seen pastors shrink into the background so much that they were hardly to be seen. I'm sorry about that. I think this is a "Co-thing". It's not pastors running everything. In fact, one of the beauties of Cursillo is that you don't have to run stuff. You can let it happen without you as a pastor, you know. But it's something where we're all needed. That I think is so necessary.

#5 Exciting liturgies, such as we had this morning.

#6 "Sell to thy congregation the responsibility to the greater church." I have yet to be a part of a Cursillo weekend in which I didn't feel whole-hearted endorsement of my being there from other people in the congregation. They understand that if pastors will sell it, that we have a responsibility to the greater church for one or two weekends a year.

#7 "Thou shalt teach the Cursillo as a tool to renew congregational life." You know Cursillo junkies, don't you? You know them, and so do I. I feel so sad when I meet one. I say to myself, "Wouldn't it be nice if he or she were having that same excitement in their local congregation, wouldn't that be neat?" Instead of saying, "Oh, when we went through that Cursillo six years ago together, boy, we really came close to the Lord." Man, the Lord is current. We have some excitement today to share. I like to think that that's within congregations as well as on a Cursillo/Via de Cristo weekend.

#8 has been well talked about. The "mother-henning" of new pastors. I think that's so important.

#9 "Thou shalt mix it up." Tough love, sometimes. In their zeal that this be a lay movement, sometimes pastors again shrink into the background. I think that's too bad. I think pastors have to mix it up a little bit if something is not coming off that will help the movement.

#10 Finally "Communicate with the bishops." I'm so glad to see that that is happening is here.

Thank you very much, and we'll look forward to your questions.

******************************************************************

WAYNE FORD: It was mentioned by you about the problems that we sometimes have with secrecy. I know when I went to my weekend in 1978, I was told nothing. Absolutely nothing, other than have trust. It is opened up quite a bit today. My understanding is that came out of the Catholic tradition to which we are very much indebted. What do you feel, when we are talking to a lay or a clergy that we should talk about or not talk about to .... them to come, particularly pastors?

REV. JOE FREEMAN: I think there are a couple of things that we can tell both lay and clergy about the weekend. I don't feel that there is so much a need of secrecy as we need to remember that sometimes the weekends are different. If we talk about what the weekend is all about, people come in with certain expectations, and they wait for things to happen. Since they are a little different, they all follow the basic outline, I think I encourage our people to tell them simply to go and experience it for themselves. We can talk about what happens. There's singing, the time of the worship, a time to learn, a time to share, a time for fellowship without revealing every detail of the weekend.

GENE HERMEIER: I might just say, too, along that line, you don't have to tell them about the agape meal, if there is such, or some of the other surprises. You know, they don't have to be told about, but I find that people, especially pastors like to know the exact topics. I remember Bob Bray sharing with me even the details of how the Cursillo movement was developed. He even shared some of the dynamics of the table, e.g. the conceptualizing the talk with a poster. He described that. He went into some detail.

WAYNE FORD: On commandment #10, "Thou shalt communicate with thy bishop." Would you go into more detail, Pastor Gene, and we'd also like the comments of the other two pastors in terms of how you specifically communicate with the bishop. Has you bishop been to a weekend?

REV. GENE HERMEIER: In Chicago, yes.

WAYNE FORD: If you had a bishop who had not been, how would you recommend communicating with that person to let them know this ministering tool that is working in your congregation.

REV. GENE HERMEIER: I think when I was on the secretariat in Minnesota, also in Iowa, I think we tried to make an appointment, the two of us, at least once a year for a time of clearing. Any tensions that are happening, any problems like that are happening, so that's how we tried to do it. I want to ask a question of the audience and get any response. This is later, after this one has been answered. I'd like to ask you, what kind of difficulties have you run across in recruiting pastors for Cursillo or Via de Cristo?

REV. TOM HEYD: I think all of the bishops of our two metropolitan synods in the Twin City area and most of their assistants have gone to a Via de Cristo weekend. Most of them have had positive responses, so we have not had to work quite so hard to get them to understand what this movement is all about. If they had not, my encouragement would be to simply visit with them and have as many pastors who had gone through visit with them to help them understand what it's all about.

REV. JOE FREEMAN: Our own bishop here in the I-K synod has not been through a Cursillo, but over the years of observing him, I think he has moved from initial curiosity and nervousness to growing appreciation and acceptance. I think one creative way is to do what happened yesterday. Invite him to a meeting like this to talk about empowering lay people and have him experience the love and fellowship of people and be next to a Minnesota bishop buddy of his who also makes a presentation which gives even a greater credibility to it. I think it was quite a creative measure yesterday to do that. I know Bishop Kempski is very much more appreciative and supportive of it now.

REV. LOCKLEY: One thing that I have done just recently was that I sic the Roman Catholic bishop on the Lutheran bishop. We are fortunate enough that the Roman Catholic bishop in the area has been spiritual director for probably twenty Cursillos. His influence upon our Lutheran bishop I hope will in him attending. If I could respond to your question though, also. I have spoken with several Lutheran pastors in North Carolina about attending a Via de Cristo and their reasons not to almost all have to do with horror stories coming out of the past and I really hope those days are past. Well, you know, a parishioner went and they came back and they weren't allowed to go to the bathroom by themselves. They weren't allowed to etc. you know. All these secret thing that I really hope we've moved beyond, but there were perhaps some real problems in our past. Maybe we've gotten beyond. I think we have to be clear about that. That we are, in fact, open in a lot of ways and if somebody wants to go home, fine. We'll get a car for them, whatever.

TIM JOHNSON: Our bishop in North Texas, Mark Herbner, went on one of our weekends. Since then we've not a whole lot of success in getting him to be actively supporting us. He's not trying to hold us back, but he is at the very least, neutral. Part of the problem is that because we are Cursillo and Hughes -- whoever the National Lutheran Secretariat director was until recently is right in Dallas. About half of our community is very legalistic about not wanting to have non-Lutherans on our weekend. I think that's one of his problems. He doesn't like the exclusivity. How would you counsel us in visiting with Bishop Herbner? The other thing he didn't like, too, is because we want the pastor to be incognito, we made him have a different name -- he was Herb Martinson. There was a lot of kidding about that in fun but he did not like that. There's two questions. Counsel us as to how can we help him through that besides the fact that our own Cursillo community right now is going through the struggle of becoming ecumenical. We've had twenty-four weekends. With the exception of one, I think, at every one of them there has been at least one and as many as five non-Lutheran that have kind of sneaked in -- not sneaked in, but the Holy Spirit called them to be there. So.....help!

REV. GENE HERMEIER: Would you please explain a little more about his concern then that there would be not there are non-Lutherans there? Would you say that that's one of them? Is that your understanding?

TIM JOHNSON: I have not had a chance to talk to him personally about it. My understanding is that the exclusivity is what bothers him.

REV. GENE HERMEIER: Exclusivity meaning....

TIM JOHNSON: In other words, nobody but Lutherans can go. We should be ecumenical.

REV. GENE HERMEIER: Oh. Is that happening? Is that...

TIM JOHNSON: We're in the process of doing that right now but there's half the community that wants to and half does not.

REV. GENE HERMEIER: Oh, so you want to have multi-denominational there and he's concerned that it is not happening yet?

TIM JOHNSON: Well, again. That's just part of it, but also the secretiveness that he talked about, too, the way it was handled was not done very well.

REV. GENE HERMEIER: Secrecy?

TIM JOHNSON: Well, because he couldn't use his own name.

REV. GENE HERMEIER: Couldn't use which name? His own name?

TIM JOHNSON: No. He had to use a nom de plume, while he was at the weekend. He did not like that.

REV. GENE HERMEIER: Oh. Do you understand that?

TIM JOHNSON: Why? Because our community insists that the pastors are incognito so that nobody knows they're pastors.

REV. GENE HERMEIER: You mean in other words there was some deception was the perception. I see. Okay. Yes, yes. I've seen that.

TIM JOHNSON: How do we fix that now?

REV. GENE HERMEIER: Well, don't do it, I guess. I think if I can respond. You might just stand up there and maybe we can dialogue enough until we understand one another, but I think have been some real honorable reasons why rectors have wanted to make pastors not too visible and so on or team people. They're not up here and we're down here, and so on. I think there have been some real honorable reasons, but sometimes I expect it's gotten so cutesy that it's gotten deceptive or the perception of deception. If somebody asks, "Are you on the team?" I've heard all kinds of ducking and hiding -- dumb and you know, stuff like that. Come on. Let's grow up. We don't have to do that. I don't think we have to do that.

A second thing I don't know how this business works out as far as ecumenical, but I've always felt comfortable, and I think most Lutherans frankly now feel comfortable that, for instance, with the Lord's Supper that if we say, "This is the body and blood of Christ," we believe that.

By the way, there are a number of Missouri Synod congregations in the twin city area who are allowing full communion of all people because they say, "This is the body and blood of Jesus. We really believe that. If you feel comfortable, we don't care who you are, you're welcome at the table." That's the policy at Redeemer, Fridley and Good Shepherd, Naperville and tons even of Missouri Synod congregations, so I kind of think that Lutheran exclusivity is kind of a dinosaur.

TIM JOHNSON: That's the bishop. That's not the problem. It's just the opposite. It's some of the original founders of our particular movement who are insisting on staying as a Cursillo because they want to honor our contract with the Catholics, so they can continue to use the word "Cursillo." We have to just grow through that. Other movements have had to do that, too. We understand that. I'm really more concerned is we really do want the bishop's active support and since he went and he had a good experience (because I staffed the weekend he was there), we just need to understand how to help him, and maybe some of the other bishops that are involved could maybe give him a call or something which would help us a lot.

REV. GENE HERMEIER: I fought hard for the name Cursillo. I still do. I don't believe it's loving to the Roman Catholic sisters and brothers to let one man named Jerry Hughes have that way. It's not loving. It's just not loving, so I continue to use the name Cursillo. I even took an attorney to Columbus as some of you know who .... and we had along the letter from the Roman Catholic bishop of Minneapolis-St. Paul, saying that he would testify for Lutherans if Jerry Hughes came to sue Lutherans for using the name Cursillo. That's a dead issue. I think it ought to be reactivated. Just use the name Cursillo. It's no big deal. I don't care what the name is -- too much. Anyhow ....

REV. TOM HEYD: I believe that I would also visit with that bishop and take along some of the materials that have been developed for the Cursillo method. I believe that the Cursillo/Via de Cristo method is theologically and methodologically sound. While we do not always have full control as to how those methods are used within a weekend, we do strive to keep them theologically and methodologically sound. The materials might show that to the bishop. The bishop does not have full control of what happens in the Synod and we do not have full control of what happens on a weekend, but we certainly strive for it.

 

Rev. Gene Hermeier, The Fig Tree Resort, 8820 West Expressway 83 #123, Harlingen, TX 78552

Dear Pastor Gene,

It has been my pleasure to assist in transcribing the workshops from the NLS meetings. I enjoyed the time perspective you offer from your 20+ years in the movement. Please edit the enclosed copy, and return it to me upon completion. I anticipate the Publications Committee contacting you regarding permission at a later date.

Your brother in Christ,

Randy Mullin

 

Rev. Joe Freeman, Christ the Savior Lutheran Church, 11965 N. Allisonville Road, Fishers, IN 46038, 317-842-6194 (H)  317-842-5649 (O)

Dear Pastor Joe,

I enjoyed hearing your remarks at the 1993 NLS Annual meeting. I enjoyed them again when I made a very rough draft of your remarks from the audiotape. The NLS Executive Board will be attempting to publish our excellent workshops when we meet again this year. Please edit the enclosed copy and return to me at your convenience. I anticipate that the Publications committee will contact you subsequently regarding publication permission.

Thanks for your good works,

Randy Mullin




Rev. Tom Heyd, 4035 Highland Avenue, White Bear Lake, MN 55110, 612-429-9287 (H)  612-429-5349 (O)

Dear Pastor Tom,

It has been my pleasure to help in editing the workshops from the NLS Annual Meetings. It is the hope of the NLS Executive Board to make our workshops available in printed form to our members. To that end, please review my rough draft and return it to me at your convenience. The Publications Committee will subsequently contact you regarding permission for publication. Thanks again for your contributions,

Randy Mullin



Rev. Tom Heyd September 6, 1995, 4035 Highland Avenue, White Bear Lake, MN 55110  612-429-9287 (H)  612-429-5349 (W)

Dear Pastor Tom,

Thanks for taking the time to speak with me yesterday. We see great value in the forums of our past annual meetings. We hope to publish them before our next summer's meeting in Dallas. Please edit the copy/diskette enclosed and return it to me at your earliest convenience. Thanks for your cooperation.

Your brother in Christ,

Randy Mullin

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