How to Get Pastors Involved in VdC
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
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.
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."
"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
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
"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.
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:
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.
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
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
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
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
#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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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,
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,
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,