How do I sponsor someone?

You may be asking yourselves, “What exactly do I need to do if I want to sponsor someone?”

The Sponsor’s purpose is to help develop and encourage spiritual growth for a person attending a weekend and to support this person in the ongoing dedication of their life in grace. The sponsor is an example of a life in Christ.

The sponsorship fee is $50. However, please don’t let the amount deter you from sponsoring. If you can find the right person/people to sponsor, but don’t have the funds, we will reach out to the 4th Day community for help in sponsoring with the monetary part. For help with this, questions on sponsoring and other sponsor obligations, simply email current rector for help.

Before you become a sponsor you should…

  • Ask the Lord for guidance and help to enable you to carry out your responsibilities as a sponsor.
  • Have a home church
  • Be a part of a renewal group.
  • Be prepared to stay in close contact with the new 4th Dayer for up to one year. Be sensitive to the length of time a 4th Dayer wants your support.

You have a friend who would like to attend…

  • Help the applicant fill out an application on-line or print out and submit properly.
  • Take time to get better acquainted with the person you are sponsoring prior to the weekend (especially if you are not well acquainted with that person).
  • If you know there will be responsibilities or support you are not able to fulfill for the applicant, find a co-sponsor to help you with this. Be sure the co-sponsor also gets acquainted with him/her.

What to tell the person you are sponsoring…

  • If they are anxious, tell them what to expect. Feel free to explain everything. We are not about secrets. Of course, there are parts of the weekend that are best experienced if all the details aren’t known, so be honest and open without stealing any joy from particular events.
  • Explain complete attendance is expected for the weekend (no leaving and returning).
  • Explain start and end times of the weekend. This is 7:30 pm on Thursday – usually
    Sponsors choose to take the person they’re sponsoring out for supper prior to start time  – until about 5 pm Sunday evening.
  • Explain renewal groups and other gatherings after the weekend. Be willing to help them find one to participate in after the weekend.

The wait… Remember it’s in God’s time!

  • Help meet needs that may arise for home, job, childcare.
  • You and the person you sponsor will each receive a letter of acceptance from the weekend rector.
  • Check in with the person you are sponsoring a day or two before the weekend to answer any last minute questions and to give encouragement.
  • Remember Palanca – Palanca means sacrificial giving or prayer. Helping set up or clean up for the weekend is appreciated by all. Other material palanca may be delivered to the 4th Day room any time during the weekend. Group palanca for the whole rollo room is delivered during the weekend. Personal palanca for an individual, except letters/cards for bed palanca, is held and given to the weekenders in a Palanca bag.

The Weekend Arrives…

  • As to not ruin any memorable moments and weekend events sometimes vary, sponsor’s weekend responsibilities will be sent to you from the weekend rector.
  • Please know you or a co-sponsor are expected to be available at various times throughout the weekend. For more information on this schedule, please contact current rector.

Following Up and Following Through…

  • Pray for God’s guidance and the Spirit’s power in your sponsoring experience!
  • Help the new 4th Day Member become an integral part of their church and the 4th Day community.
  • Contact your weekender during the week following the Via de Cristo, in person if possible. They are still sorting out thoughts about the weekend.
  • Encourage the new 4th Day Member to be a part of a renewal group. The sponsor could even shepherd a new group to help get it started.
  • Take the new 4th Day Member to Ultreyas and introduce them into the broader Via de Cristo community. Be sensitive to the new 4th Day Member’s  desire for support.

How are teams assembled? 

     Once the rector(a) is chosen, he/she must first pray for guidance and really listen to who God is wanting on their team. This is the most important step. This ensures that the team is built for God and not ourselves. 

     The rector soon meets with the leadership training committee. This committee is led by a council chairperson and is made up of 2-3 additional people. In this meeting, the rector learns the steps of this process, some guidelines to follow, and guidance from the committee. 

     The rector also chats with the spiritual director on council to discuss possible spiritual directors for team. They come up with a list between them. There can be up to five SDs on a weekend – 3 in the rollo room and 2 in the palanca chapel. Most weekends have at least 2 in the rollo room and one in the palanca chapel.

     The rector is asked to try to find people that have not served in each of the leadership positions before. The rector chooses (with guidance from leadership training committee) their rollo room assistants, support team rectors, SDs, musicians, and treasurer. Each support team rector discusses with the weekend rector possible assistants for their support team, also trying to choose someone who is new to those positions.

     Once all of the leadership team is assembled, there is another meeting with the leadership training committee and leadership team. At this meeting, the team learns important leadership information. This is also where they start building each team. The weekend rector first chooses the rollistas and table leaders and they may feel certain people called to certain teams. They will then share this with the support team rectors, along with a list of people that have expressed interest in serving by signing up either online or in person. It is also stressed how important it is to have new people serve who have never served before. Each team should shoot to have a few of these new people on their team as well. 

     Support team rectors may now start calling people to join their teams. Ideally, there are a total of 50-60 people on team: 15-20 in rollo room, 12-14 in palanca, 12-14 in kitchen and 10-12 in 4th day. Depending on time of year, location, or other factors, some teams fill up more quickly than others. Please know that if you request to serve, team tries hard to fill those requests but it isn’t always possible. Don’t give up, try signing up again for the next weekend.

    Once teams are all assembled, full team meetings begin just a few weeks before the actual meetings. These meetings are meant for team building, learning, and planning. Team members are asked to attend these meetings as much as possible. 

     Every effort is made to follow the guidelines outlined above. Great care has been taken to craft them over the years to successfully create effective teams. These guidelines are placed for a purpose, to build new Christian leaders. Rectors should be shooting for that goal when choosing team. 

How are rectors chosen?

     First, a rector eligibility list is comprised of people that have met the requirements to become a rector. These requirements are the following:

  1. Person must have served three of the four teams in some capacity.
  2. Person must have been a rector or assistant rector on at least one support team (palanca, kitchen, or 4th-day). Also, in order to be in one of these leadership rolls, one should have served on that support team before being a team leader.
  3. Person must have been an assistant in the rollo room and have given a rollo.
  4. Person must have been active by serving on team in the last 3 years.
  5. Person should be active in a renewal group.

     This list is then given to the director, director-elect, and past director that discern who on this list is spiritually ready to lead a team. They reach out for advise on this list to a spiritual director, leadership and training chair, and oftentimes a couple past rectors. Of course, they first pray and seek God’s vision for the task at hand. All of this helps them get a good idea of who is ready for this big position. 

     Once they come to a consensus, the director gets the privilege of asking the potential rector(a) to pray if this is the right time for them. They are given a couple weeks to pray and think about it. If they say no or not at this time, the director moves on to another name on the list. Keep in mind that if a person says no to being rector, they are still eligible to rector future weekends and may be asked again. If they say yes, the process of team building shortly follows. Come back in two weeks to get answers about the process of building a team.

What is NLS?

     NLS stands for National Lutheran Secretariat. Secretariats from all over the country meet once a year in varying locations. There is a board to help guide and support each individual secretariat throughout the year. They also help facilitate planning for upcoming annual gatherings and direct the board meetings at the annual gatherings. The board would like to stress that they are readily available to anyone and would love to help in any way they can. In order for them to help us, we need to simply reach out to them. There are regional coordinators who can help as well. Our regional coordinator takes care of region 2 which is Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin. All contact information is found on the NLS website if you ever need to reach out to them.

     NLS gatherings include time for worship, fellowship, speakers, exchange of ideas (EOI) in workshops, and of course food. Each secretariat can have as many participants as would like to attend; all are welcome. There are no qualifications for attendees other than being a Via de Cristo 4th-day member, meaning you have attended a VdC weekend at some point in your life. Each secretariat gets one lay delegate, one SD (spiritual director) delegate plus one delegate for every 1000 members on their roster. The delegate positions only matter when it comes to voting at the business meeting. Attendees who are not delegates are welcome to attend these meetings, they just don’t vote.

     The awesome thing about this gathering is that there is a wide variety of attendees. One 4th-day member in attendance just went through his weekend this spring and one attended in 1986. It’s great to exchange perspectives and ideas with such a variety of people. You leave invigorated and spirit filled, ready to bring information and ideas back to your home secretariat.

Mark your calendars for July 27-30, 2023 for the Via de Cristo Annual Gathering at the University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana.

There will be worship services, keynote speakers, workshops, as well as opportunities to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Anyone thinking Road Trip….?

For more info in this year’s gathering or to volunteer for next year’s, please reach out to us…

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