History of the Brethren Way of Christ
The movement originated as ―Cursillo‖ in the late 1940’s in the Spanish Catholic Church and moved to the United States in the late 1950’s. It began in the Brethren Church and the Church of the Brethren when lay people and clergy attended a Lutheran version, Via de Cristo. Other denominations offering weekends based on the Cursillo model are Episcopalians, Methodists, and Presbyterians.
When is it offered?
The first Indiana Brethren Way of Christ weekend was held in March, 1991. The second in March, 1992. Since then a weekend has been held each March and each October. Each weekend thirty-four pilgrims (those who have completed a weekend), including three pastors, serve on a team for the next group of candidates. Pastors of the Brethren Church and Church of the Brethren have prepared the spiritual content of the materials used on a weekend. Individuals from any denomination may attend.
What is the Brethren Way of Christ?
It is a three-day school, which takes a New Testament look at Christianity as a lifestyle. Brethren Way of Christ is a highly structured weekend designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christian people and through them, their families, churches, and the environment in which they live and work. It is a united effort of laity and clergy to aid congregations in developing Christian leaders who will renew the Church.
Purpose of the Brethren Way of Christ
The Brethren Way of Christ deals with the basics of Christianity, concentrating on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ. The focus of the Brethren Way of Christ is not the weekend but on the local church. It purposes no new type of spirituality—only a simple method through which your grace-filled life may be lived and shared with others in a natural and loving way.
Who should attend?
This faith-centered experience is intended for lay people from all walks of life, as well as for pastors. Candidates for a Brethren Way of Christ weekend should be people living strong and active lives in Christ and those who are seeking renewal and strengthening in their relationships with Christ and the persons around them. There are separate weekends for men and women. In the case of married individuals, it is preferred that the husband should attend first. Single men and women are very welcome and are encouraged to participate.
What happens on a weekend?
The Brethren Way of Christ weekend begins on a Thursday evening and ends on the following Sunday night. During the weekend, you will attend morning chapel, sing, enjoy fellowship, eat delicious food, make new friends and discuss talks given by laity and clergy. The talks center on the grace of God, the reality of grace in your life, how to live the life of grace and how to impact grace to others. Each participant will experience the weekend a little differently, but all will come into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. You will end the weekend feeling loved and blessed.
What happens after the weekend?
You may attend a Brethren Way of Christ weekend only once. However, you may serve on a team. Also, you are invited to build on it for the rest of your life. This period is known as the ―Fourth Day. You are asked to do two things during your Fourth Day:
- Expand your inner spiritual life through study and church participation.
- Become a more active Christian in your daily life.
The Fourth Day community offers two means of perseverance:
- Group Reunion – a small group of two to five friends who meet together weekly to reflect on their spiritual growth and to encourage each other in discipleship.
- Ultreya – a regular meeting of the larger Brethren Way of Christ community. The Indiana Brethren Way of Christ Ultreya meet at various churches once every three months. The group enjoys fellowship, worship and communion, singing, and sharing. The summer Ultreya is a picnic for the entire family.
We urge you to participate in these two activities because they will help you remain strong in your faith and commitment to serve God.
Click here to print the Brethren Way of Christ brochure.