Agape-palanca means love in the highest form in greek and level in Spanish. Perhaps the intent is to convey the leveraging of common things to make felt God’s highest love. Agape-palanca comes in many forms; external, group, and individual.
General Agape-palanca are messages exchanged between Cursillo method communities in support of their weekends.
These messages, often embellished with art work and good wishes can be a very great gift to the pilgrims and staff and a great way of showing God’s love because people from all around the world are thinking of us and praying for our weekend.
A reasonable initial goal would be to send general Agape-palanca to all of our Presbyterian Pilgrimage-Cursillo weekends this year. See our list of events or Prayer Banner for currently scheduled weekends. Prayer Banner, though updated just prior to the weekend, often has specific contact information.
A next step might be to contact your local Catholic Cursillo, Episcopal Cursillo, Emmaus, Kairos, Tres Dias, Via de Cristo, Celebration and their international counterparts and agree to exchange general Agape-palanca.
Palanca is addressed to God. It is given to God, therefore all palanca is given as an expression of communion with God and as we trust in God’s gracious provisions. Palanca is no different from the tithes we bring as part of our worship. Palanca is inextricably entwined with prayer so that without prayer, palanca is a little more than a kindly human gesture. Palanca is given to God that God may bless it and use it for the conversion of the hearts and minds of the participants.
– Fred Keith
I’ve seen these brightly colored well-wishes plaster the hallway leading to the talk room, stretched beneath the prayer banner and displayed along the wall outside the bathroom. Sometimes there are hundreds of notes.
All it takes is someone letting their local council know they would like to be responsible for getting a program of external Agape-palanca started in their community.
When the general Agape-palanca is presented to your pilgrims, be sure to read some of the more noteworthy ones and consider having them on ribbons or with rape ready to be displayed for the duration of the weekend.
General Agape-Palanca Suggestions
Send general Agape-palanca with a separate request note to exchange general Agape-palanca; include contact and weekend information
If mailing, have a copy available at your next Ultreya-gathering or training session for others to sign
PRAY! Pray all through the process! Pray for the communities, the names on the Agape-palanca, your community, your leaders. Pray when sending and when receiving.
Group Agape-palanca consists of small gifts to all the participants or to all the participants and staff. These can come from groups or individuals and are often handmade. Group Agape-palanca, if contributed by a group, should have your group or church name on it; the purpose is to help pilgrims learn about God’s love, and the love of God’s children who went to the trouble to make the Agape-palanca for them.
Many times, these they take the form of “Pillow Agape-Palanca” to be placed in pilgrim rooms during the day by Palanca Chas or handed out before the music box.
They may be simply candy attached to a scripture or other encouraging message or quite elaborate handicrafts. One example is “Life Saviors” – a full roll of life savers wrapped in a label with a scripture on it with the phrase “Our Lord Jesus is a life savior”. Here are a few more: Lifesaver mints on a card which reads “Jesus is the real Life saver”, Hershey Kisses on a card which reads “Jesus sends you a hug and a kiss”.
Homemade fudge and crafts are great! Maybe yarn on a twig representing the butterfly emerging from its cocoon; “How much more can God transform us?” along with the scripture “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5). Be creative!
Lastly, group Agape-Palanca needs to be provided in sufficient quantity for all pilgrims and staff, or at least for all pilgrims on a weekend.
Take time to remember how much that part of Cursillo touched you, and pass this particular gift on to those attending Cursillo
I saved the apple left by the Palanca Chas; I worried that I might become hungry while at Cursillo and would need the apple. The other palanca arrived little by little, the written palanca, food, music, “pillow palanca”, more food, hugs, party, fudge, such an abundance of gifts.
The palanca touched me and I am still responding and learning to accept and use gifts, God’s gifts of love, grace, acceptance, talents and responsibilities.
I have also found it easier to accept gifts from family and friends. Yes, I still take out the written palanca and reread them and each time I am touched by the love and care shown by people who did not know me, but wrote anyway.
In the love shown through the palanca, I realized that God loved me even more.
He had a wonderful plan for me, and I was worthy to have these gifts, not because I deserved them, but because God knew me by name and loved me.
– Magaret Brubaker
Individual Agape-palanca refers to the notes and messages of love, encouragement and support that are distributed to everybody on a weekend at a set, specific time, often mid Friday afternoon. Individual Agape-palanca is one of the most meaningful things about the weekend. Messages should be short and reflect God’s love and the love of God’s people for the pilgrim or team member.
Individual Agape-palanca needs to be sorted into two batches; staff and participant, and alphabetized. It needs to be in the hands of the palanca CHAs at camp no later than Thursday evening, so that they will have time to sort it, process it and place it in gift bags.
It’s often useful to include two or three notes with blank envelopes, in case there are late adds to the pilgrim list.
It’s not about how much time and effort you put into it; it’s about how much love and inspiration the pilgrim gets out of it!
If that sounds a bit like “Music Box”, you shouldn’t be surprised!
Some folks like to send one of a kind palanca remembrances to the camp to be put in the room of the pilgrim they are sponsoring. Most communities don’t allow this, out of recognition of the reaction of the people; roommates, table mates, members of the same church, who don’t get a gift like it: “Why didn’t I get one?” If you feel this violates your right of free expression as a giver, try to understand that it’s not about you; it’s about the pilgrims!
Your local newsletter or website will have pilgrim and staff lists as well as specific instructions about when and where to send palanca. Pilgrim and staff lists can also be found on Prayer banner.