Our Journey in Faith
In June 2007, folks in Reading, PA started Reunion Groups. They had attended their weekends in TN and WV.
In July, the Regional Via de Cristo (VdC) Group decided to sponsor or create a new movement possibly in Pennsylvania or Connecticut.
Just days later, Steve Barnett initiated contact with our regional group representative at the time, Steve Gielda.
Meanwhile, Betty Ebersole and others in Harrisburg were coming together with hopes to build a PA Community.
In December, Betty and Steve were linked together by NLS VdC and that month we held our first Ultreya with 18 people in attendance from the Reading and the Harrisburg areas.
In January 2008, we formed a Planning Team made up of interested parties from the Harrisburg area, Reading area, Rainbow VdC, and Vineyard VdC representatives, and began meeting monthly with the objective of creating a new VdC Movement in Eastern PA.
We compiled a demographics report showing over 700 Lutheran Churches with 88,000 weekly Worship attendees in our 60 mile radius.
We approved a name for our new community at our February Ultreya – “Journey in Faith Via de Cristo.”
We continued to receive support of encouragement and willingness to help us from so many individuals from Living Stones VdC, Vineyard VdC, Notes of Grace VdC, Good News VdC and Crossroads Walk to Emmaus, which is a southeast PA Methodist Group.
We had 7 Pilgrims from our area attend weekends in the fall with either Living Stones or Vineyard VdC, and 4 for the spring weekends.
We had 9 members of our community who served on weekends with either Living Stones or Vineyard VdC to gain team experience.
We created and approved a Constitution and By-laws.
We began the process of Incorporation and filed for our 501c3 status. Both of which were subsequently approved/granted.
We bought the domain name for our website (journeyinfaithvdc.org) and created our website.
We had applied for and been approved to have a display and a Forum at the ELCA Northeast PA Synod Assembly the last week of May.
We had individuals committed to traveling to Phoenix to represent our community at the National Lutheran Secretariat Annual Meeting at their own expense.
We requested financial support of our members and sent out letters to the VdC Secretariats in our Region and to Notes of Grace VdC requesting financial and people resource donations.
We elected our first Secretariat at our May 2008 Ultreya.
Our first Weekend was May 14 - 17, 2009 which was held at Camp Conquest in Denver, PA. With the extensive help from other VdC communities, Journey in Faith Co-Ed Weekend #1 was a rousing success!
Our plans for the future continue to be:
Offer Co-ed weekends at least once a year - currently the third weekend in October.
Journey in Faith weekends follow the VdC essentials manual. We encourage all members intending to serve on a weekend team to attend Leaders Training offered regularly. See the links for a team application and the dates for the next weekend.
We continue to hold a monthly Ultreya! with rotating locations in Camp Hill, Reading, Manheim, York (all in PA) and in Hockessin, DE. Check our Calendar tab for the location of the next Ultreya.
We continue to stress the importance of Reunion Groups by encouraging and helping our community members join or start a group.
We will continue on our Journey in Faith to help people to realize that they are surrounded by God’s Grace on a daily basis. Our Ideal is to live in that Grace and grow the body of Christ through our leadership within our congregations, families and friends.