In an effort to improve communication in our VdC family, we’ve decided to do what we’re calling “Thirsty Thursday”. We all thirst for deeper knowledge and if you’re thirsty for knowledge about VdC and your Council, this is the place. We are going to attempt to quench that thirst with posts here at least every other Thursday on a number of subjects such as: history of VdC, the NLS – National Lutheran Secretariat, council positions and details, our future plans, and much more!
We would love to hear questions you need answered. Please submit below your questions or comments. You can add your name, but you can always keep it anonymous if you wish.
Weekend #1 Recap
November 14, 2019
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. Let your light so SHINE before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
The verse chosen for Ignite Weekend #1 (Matthew 5:16) was a perfect fit for our new Ignite community. As Christians, we need to let that light shine and share it with the world. Can you hide a city that is sitting on top of a hill? Its light at night can be seen for miles. If we live for Christ, we will glow like lights, showing others what Christ is like. We hide our light by 1) being quiet when we should speak, 2) going along with the crowd, 3) denying the light, 4) letting sin dim our light, 5) not explaining our light to others, or 6) ignoring the needs of others. Be a beacon of truth – don’t shut your light off from the rest of the world.
This past weekend we were able to share this light with eight new members of our family. As usual, there were powerful moments throughout the entire weekend for both our guests and team. God was certainly present. He sure gives us what we need, right when we need it!
Thank you, Lord, for time together once again – time to share and grow with one another and with You!
Weekend #1 Updates, New Council and Annual Meeting Information
October 31, 2019
Weekend #1 Updates
Weekend #1 is just one week away! Please be in prayer for all involved.
The weekend page has all the information you should need, including: weekender and team lists, applications, and food still needed.
Other secretariats have 24 hour prayer vigils going on outside the weekend by the 4th day community not serving on the weekend. This not only increases prayer palanca, but also gets others involved that may not otherwise have the opportunity to help in other ways for the weekend. It also shows the guests just one more way that they are being supported and loved on. Rectora, LoRi Morrissey, wanted to try this form of palanca for weekend #1. Please consider signing up for one or multiple hour long slots. Wouldn’t it be amazing to get this full?
The Kindling Committee was started purely to get the ball rolling for Ignite, but now we need YOU! Ignite is looking to fill council positions, both chair and committee positions. Please consider helping in this way. There are many voting chair positions to fill, each with a committee of people needed to help them. Read the Council Structure document to find out more about these positions and pray if God places one of these jobs on your heart. This February, all chair positions are open and will be voted on. For this ballot only, half of the positions will be a one year term and half will be a two year term. All following ballots will be two year terms.
Every year, Ignite will have an annual meeting. At these meetings, there will be new council members voted in and any business discussions done at that time. There will also be an absentee ballot sent out to Ignite members that will be sent out for those who cannot make the meeting.
Deadlines for Annual Meeting
This year, the deadlines are as follows:
- November 1 – Notification to community to which positions are open and will be voted on
- December 30 – Nominations must be in to get your name on the absentee ballot
- January 10 – Absentee ballots sent out via email and postal mail to those that specify
- 2 weeks after annual meeting – online voting will end and all postal mail ballots must be returned. Nominations will be taken from the floor at the meeting. This way, absentee ballots can make a “write-in” vote after these nominations are taken at the meeting.
Reminder of Membership Transfer
Up until recently, Ignite had not officially separated its members from Lutheran Via de Cristo of Minnesota. We have been working as our own non-profit, raising and using our own funds. However, the membership list had not been transferred yet because the Kindling Committee wanted to make sure all of the legal parts were in order first, including the trailer, insurance, and our first weekend. In September, the VdC of MN board voted to graciously donate the trailer and all of its contents to Ignite. Without this donation, we would not be where we are today, planning our first weekend in just a week.
On October 21, 2019, Matt Morrissey, as a representative of Ignite, sent a letter to the VdC of MN board informing them of our official membership separation. We would like to thank you all for supporting this new journey on which God has sent our community. Please continue to be in prayer for Ignite to flourish and for VdC of MN as they now focus on where God is leading them without the Southern District.
If you haven’t done so already, please choose which secretariat you want as your family, your community, your “home base”. You can serve on weekends in any secretariat, but you have voting rights in only one secretariat – the secretariat you choose. Currently, we have all been listed as members of Lutheran Via de Cristo of Minnesota. At this time, Northern and Metro MN will continue with this name now that our transition is complete.
To continue as a member of the same Southern MN community, you need to request to move your membership to the Ignite Community. According to NLS rules, in order for current 4th day community members to be listed as an Ignite member, they must signify they wish to transfer membership to this new community. If you do not switch your membership, know that VdC of MN will keep you on their membership list, which means they will spend time and money getting information about their community to you. Plus, you will not be on the Ignite membership list, which may leave you out of getting pertinent information about the Ignite community.
You remain “family” in our hearts, no matter which community you choose to hold your membership. Whichever secretariat you choose at this time, please follow the membership form link and fill out the membership form. Every individual interested will need to fill out their own form, so multiple members of the same family will need to fill out the form separately. If you would like assistance with this form, please call Marian Mallory at 319-493-0301. There is a team to help you with this process.
New weekenders will automatically become part of the Ignite community, just as you joined the current community as a 4th Day member at the end of your weekend. They will not need to choose their membership.
Two New Features on the Website!
October 17, 2019
The Donate Page has been updated. You can now pay your JoG and sponsor fee online. You can also make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor.
Also, you may have noticed there is a new Documents Page in the menu of the website. This page will be utilized for documents that members will need from time to time. This includes, but not limited to: meeting minutes, manuals and legal documents such as Articles of Incorporation and By-laws and weekend food palanca sign-up lists.
This page is password protected so we can relay weekend information to the community without spoiling any blessings to potential guests. The password is the third leg of the stool (hint: piety, study and …). Any 4th day community member should easily remember this password and is welcome to view this page full of documents.
Some documents are still being put together but as soon as they are ready, they will be added to that page. For instance, the By-laws of our organization will soon be finalized and will be posted there for all to view. These By-laws will then be voted on by Ignite members in February when we also vote in council members.
Eventually, all of the team manuals and individual job manuals will be available there as well. These can be downloaded to save printing cost and members can print them at home or simply pull them up on any device. Don’t worry – if you do not have or want these capabilities, paper copies can still be provided to you.
Shortly before each weekend, you may also see weekend food palanca lists here. These lists will give you a chance to fill your name into a spot to purchase food palanca even if you are not serving on team. You can send these items with a friend that is serving or simply bring it to the event on Thursday.
Are there going to be big changes with Ignite?
October 3, 2019
Absolutely not. The Kindling Committee wants to reiterate that Ignite weekends will be the same as you’ve all come to know and love. Weekends will have the same rollos, special events, and schedule as in the past. It is also still the same Lutheran-based theology.
There are things such as manuals, verbiage, and council duties that the state has been discussing updating and simplifying for years. The committee thought this would be an opportune time to do some of these updates. Again, these updates do not change what our community has been doing. The committee is just updating complex manuals, simplifying some verbiage, and restructuring the council to run more more efficiently. The committee is committed to keeping things in accordance with the Lutheran Via de Cristo ways and most community members will not notice any differences.
The Kindling Committee is working on council structure with Chair positions and job duties. When this structure is finalized, it will be posted in detail on the site. We will then be looking for nominations for Chair positions and the community will hold a vote in February to fill these spots. Each Chair will have a committee to help them. These committee members will be appointed and are not required to come to meetings, but as are all 4th day community, they are still welcome. The Ignite community would love to see new faces on this new council… we would love to see YOU!
As a new secretariat, we also must have our own By-laws. The committee has been working on these By-laws and they are not all that different from what everyone is used to. Once the committee gets these ironed out, they will also be posted for Ignite member review. There will be ample time for suggestions and discussion from the community before the Ignite community all votes on them in February.
The Kindling Committee meets at least once a month and all are welcome to these meetings at any time. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us. We would love to hear from you! We want to make sure that every concern is heard and any misunderstandings ironed out. Meetings are always posted on the calendar on the event page and are open to all 4th day community.
How do I sponsor someone?
September 12, 2019
Now that the Willmar weekend is officially the first Ignite weekend, we need some sponsors. 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 Dayer 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 Dayer 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 Dayer to Ultreyas and introduce her/him into the broader Via de Cristo community. Be sensitive to the new 4th Dayers desire for support.
How are teams assembled?
August 29, 2019
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 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?
August 15, 2019
First, a rector eligibility list is comprised of people that have met the requirements to become a rector. These requirements are the following:
- Person must have served three of the four teams in some capacity.
- 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.
- Person must have been an assistant in the rollo room and have given a rollo.
- Person must have been active by serving on team in the last 3 years.
- 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 and what happened at this year’s gathering?
August 1, 2019
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.
This year’s gathering was held at the University of Indianapolis and it did not disappoint. The Holy Spirit guided us along throughout the weekend. Relationships were made and friends from past gatherings reconnected. Two-hundred and ten 4th-dayers from thirty-two secretariats were in attendance, plus a large number of host team helpers. There were 22 Minnesotans, 9 of which are from Southern Minnesota. There are more details in the Conexiones Newsletter published every day of the event that you can read here: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. If you would like to get a more personal take-away on the event, we will have one of the attendees reach out to you if you fill out the form below.
Next year, Minnesota has the privilege of hosting at Hamilne University in St. Paul on July 30 to August 2, 2020. We are already looking for volunteers to help on teams. These teams are different than our weekend teams and don’t necessarily require all-weekend participation. For instance, we need people to help with registration, shuttles to/from airport, prayer, and music, just to name a few. Keep an eye out for information as it develops. If you would like to volunteer in any way, please fill out the form below and your contact information will be sent directly to the coordinators of the event.
For more info in this years’s gathering or to volunteer for next year’s, please reach out to us…