What Happens & Why Unique

During the Pilgrimage-Cursillo weekend, a series of short talks are given that cover fifteen topics central to spiritual renewal, formation, and nurture. These talks have two purposes: to inspire and to instruct, and they are grouped under three themes (please see below).

What makes the Pilgrimage-Cursillo experience unique is these short talks are wrapped in the context of an idealized, living Christian community. The love of God and the love of people is demonstrated in every action at Pilgrimage-Cursillo. This is experienced in a number of ways from prayerful worship, to fun skits, to shared meals, to small group discussions, and abundant grace. Because of these shared experiences and fun, most leave the retreat with life-long relationships and the retreat experience can continue through small devotion groups, gatherings, and returning to serve as staff.

Many say they have never been so loved, felt so touched, and laughed so hard. – Michie Dew

Because few of us have experienced such unconditional love sustained across days, attending a Pilgrimage-Cursillo retreat may feel like immersion learning of a foreign language. Thus, we provide an outline of the talks below and linked here is a theological discussion of Pilgrimage-Cursillo that also contains a detailed script of what you will experience. Most maximally benefit from experiencing Pilgrimage-Cursillo as God unveils it in real time. Others, maximally benefit by “reading the book before seeing the movie”. Thus, we are here to support all the ways God works in and through your life and look forward to seeing at Pilgrimage-Cursillo soon.

If you would like more information, please contact us.

Our Approach

In brief, Pilgrimage-Cursillo seeks to form, renew, and edify Christians that are thereby empowered to better facilitate the work of their home church in reconciling God’s creation.

Pilgrimage-Cursillo is an outreach program of the Church. Pilgrimage-Cursillo is not for individuals searching personal salvation; that is the work of their home church. Rather, Pilgrimage-Cursillo seeks participants that have already experienced the saving grace of God and that are mature in their faith, needing renewal, and/or aspiring to Christian leadership. Pilgrimage-Cursillo seeks to spark and support a deepening of personal faith and continual commitment to God and Christian community.

Our approach is person to person. Pilgrimage-Cursillo offers no educational program or pastoral care outside of the renewal retreat. This is also the work of the home church. Pilgrimage-Cursillo also does not focus on changing systems, customs, societal, or political structures. Rather, Pilgrimage-Cursillo focuses on people and their God given power to transform the world by transforming their lives and communities.

For many of us, Pilgrimage-Cursillo is a bonding experience with new Christian friends unlike anything else we have ever experienced. We share a common experience of Christ’s love and grace that truly does make us Family. – Jim Cahalan

As outline below, the first two themes of a Pilgrimage-Cursillo retreat seek to renew, to energize, to focus, and to inspire spiritually mature Christians to persevere in their faith. Afterwards, many take on leadership roles in their community and home churches. The third theme or the retreat seeks to send renewed Christians into their world inspired and empowered to identify and accomplish meaningfully transformative work for the Kingdom of God.

Lastly, and importantly, Pilgrimage-Cursillo is led by non-clergy. Nonetheless, at least two clergy staff each retreat, and every governing council, both national and local, have an ordained advisor. Moreover, consistent with reformed tradition, Presbyterian Pilgrimage-Cursillo leadership is not restricted by gender, race, national origin, sexual preference, or Christian domination. Pilgrimage-Cursillo is neither liberal nor conservative. It is Christ-centered and Christ-focused.

Outline of topics covered

  1. Liberated by Christ
    • Ideals: The human journey
    • Grace: An invitation from God
    • The body of Christ: The People of God
    • Faith: Responding to Grace
    • Piety: Practicing the Presence
  2. Transformed by Christ
    • Study: Learning the Way
    • Sacraments: United in Christ
    • Action: Committed in love
    • Obstacles: Confronted by sin
    • Leaders: Called to the front
  3. Sent by Christ
    • Evangelism: Reconciling the world
    • Life in Christ: A continual renewal
    • Christian Community: The church alive
    • Pilgrimage-Cursillo: A life-long journey
    • The 4th Day: Perseverance in Christ

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