The History of Heart of Illinois Via de Cristo
Via de Cristo is based on the fundamentals of Christianity concentrating on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ. The purpose of the movement is to inspire, challenge and equip local church members for Christian action in their homes, churches and communities. We emphasize a method of living the faith that people can use in their daily life. All participants are encouraged to develop a vital relationship with their own pastor. The weekends are ecumenical and remain consistent with the historical Lutheran confessions.
I have loved you with an everlasting love... Jeremiah 31:3
Late 1996 and early 1997--The foundations for HOIVdC were developed and laid by a group
of 4 dedicated people. This original group of people made their weekends at Heart of Florida Via de Cristo.
1997--Heart of Illinois Via de Cristo joined the National Lutheran Secretariat (NLS) of Via de Cristo. The NLS is the leadership group of the Via de Cristo movement worldwide.
August, 1997--The very first Ultreya [worship and fellowship] was held. Fifteen people participated. From the attendees at that first ultreya, other leaders for the secretariat [board of directors] were discovered. Ultreyas have been held on a regular basis [monthly] ever since.
During late 1997 and early 1998, dates were set and a retreat center reserved for the first HOIVdC weekends which were held in April, 1998.
April, 2001--Women’s weekend #7 had 22 participants, which today
remains the largest number of participants for a weekend so far,
either men or women.
2019 -- To date, 30 Men's weekends, 32 Women's weekends
and 7 Coed weekends have been held. Over 400 people have
attended a Heart of Illinois Via de Cristo weekend.