Planning for the 36th Annual Assembly started with a vision--for the first time in Tres Dias History, delegates from all chartered communities worldwide would gather together in one place to praise the Lord. And even if attendance at the Assembly, scheduled for July 12-14, falls a few communities short of this ambitious goal, it is still likely to be a landmark event. The 36th Annual Assembly...A Vision in the Making
Now let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24:25
Abundant Life Tres Dias and Northern Illinois Tres Dias will co-host the event. Planning started last November, when Tom Miller of Abundant Life Tres Dias sent letters to leaders of all communities worldwide announcing the Assembly and seting the 100 percent challenge in motion. The Assembly theme, from Hebrews 10: 24:25, is "Encourage each other." Building on the theme, the letter asked each community to partner with another community to encourage that community to attend. The letter also included a response card, asking if the community planned to send a delegate, and if not, why not. If a community indicates that finances prevent sending a delegate, the Abundant Life team hopes to pair that community up with another community that can offer support.
Generally, between 30 to 40 communities send delegates to an Assembly. The planning committee is giving special attention to the 39 communities that seldom send, or have never sent, a delegate. Each of these communities has now been assigned a "prayer warrior," a volunteer from the host communities who will pray for their assigned community and reach out, personally, to offer support and encouragement.
In addition, individuals who have been associated with the startups of foreign communities are serving as liaisons to encourage attendance. If with all this effort, the community cannot send a delegate, the community will be asked to appoint a representative to carry the community banner.
The host communities have asked for responses by the end February. If your community has not yet responded, the hosts ask that you please do so by the requested date.
If you have not yet contacted another community and encouraged them to attend, put this item on the agenda for your next secretariat meeting and select a community to encourage.
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The banner shown above displays the names of all Tres Dias Communities, with the founding communities in the center frame. Below is a sampling of banners that will be carried in the parade of banners that opens each Assembly..
The Advancing Kingdom and Tres Dias
A Pastor's PerspectiveBy Rev. Christopher Leighton
I believe that the Kingdom of heaven is advancing and that God expands his Kingdom at the edges. Like a rising tide, God's work goes forward, affecting those in the Kingdom and those entering it.
I experienced my first weekend in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1980. It was the youth version of Cursillo, called "Happening." Since then I have been on dozens of weekends as staff on Cursillo, Happening, Tres Dias, Emmaus, and Kairos (prison). I have come to believe that there are few experiences equal to these weekends as a force for creating that rising tide-a renewal of faith for those already in the church, and expansion of the kingdom to those who have never had an authentic encounter with Christianity.
For instance, I was priest-in-charge of a small family-sized church where people had relationship to one another in a church context without really understanding faith in the Lord. They held on, trying to keep the little church open for social and familial reasons. The entire congregation went on Tres Dias weekends, and in a year's time, every member had a personal encounter with Christ. It was an experience akin to what John Wesley described when he said that, as a child of the church before his heart was "strangely warmed," he had related to God as a servant, but now he knew he was a son. Once they came to know the Lord in a personal way, they realized that the church belonged to Him. And it began to grow as they reached out beyond themselves to the local community.
I have seen many individuals outside the church transformed by the Tres Dias weekend as they encounter authentic Christianity for the first time. Through the friendships begun on the weekend, and through the worship and prayer and the teaching of the rollos, non-churched people meet the Master and join His followers. They are then nurtured with their new friends in sequelas, reunion groups, and ministry in the local church.
Perhaps the greatest impact I have seen by the Tres Dias movement is as a training program for the ministry of the baptized. I've served in churches where the leaders have been spiritually formed by their involvement on Tres Dias teams. They learned how to serve Christ on Tres Dias. They gained confidence in their witness by the support of the community. Terry Fullam, my predecessor at St. Paul's Church, Darien, CT, likened the need to activate those baptized to the situation at a football game. On the field there are 22 people in desperate need of a rest, while in the stands there are 60,000 people in desperate need of exercise. Tres Dias helps activate the latent faith of those "attending church."
In my life as a father, I have seen the experience of "the weekend" produce lasting fruit in the lives of my four children. All four are walking with God as leaders. Two of them are clergy. Years ago on a Sunday evening following a weekend, our leadership team went to dinner at a local restaurant. The tables and booths could not contain the teenagers, who started moving about the restaurant, talking to the diners, even praying for them. Two servers came up to me and asked, "What happened to these kids?" I responded, "They have come to know and love Jesus Christ, and they want to share their faith with others."
The Kingdom of heaven is advancing, and people who participate in Tres Dias experience the movement of the Kingdom at the edges.
After 36 years in parish ministry, Christopher Leighton has moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to co-lead Bethany Life Center, an outreach to serve those in need in the city." Back to Top
Taking Tres Dias to Spain
Sometime this month, local secretariat presidents will receive a letter from the Membership Committee of the International Secretariat announcing plans to take Tres Dias to Spain.
The letter points out that although the Spanish population is predominately Roman Catholic, fewer than 10 percent attend church on a regular basis. At the same time, the number of evangelical churches in Spain, although small, has more than doubled from 2004 to 2014, with a combined membership estimated at between 400,000 and 1.2 million. And it is within this growth of evangelicals that the Membership Committee sees opportunity for Tres Dias to support a spiritual awakening.
As with all new community start-ups, the first step is to introduce potential leaders to the Tres Dias experience by inviting them to attend weekends. The Membership Committee has made contact with Churches in Barcelona and Madrid, and is hoping to raise $15,000 by April to bring the first four Spanish couples to attend weekends at the Tres Dias Spanish Incubation Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. These individuals, along with others who subsequently attend weekends, will form a secretariat, sign an Emerging Committee Agreement with the International Secretariat and, with the guidance of a sponsoring community, hold their first weekends.
Ironically, Tres Dias is returning to its ancestral home, proclaiming the same message its Cursillo forefathers spread some 70 years ago: We are all on a pilgrimage, and when lay leaders and clergy walk together, they can lead the way toward a vibrant Christianity that renews individuals as well as religious institutions.If you wish to make a donations that will help take Tres Dias to Spain, go to the Tres Dias Website (tresdias.org) or send a check to Merve LeMasurier, 294 Atwood Ct.. Thomaston, CT 06787. Checks should be made to the Tres Dias Fund and earmarked "Taking Tres Dias to Spain."
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Are Tres Dias Communities
Making Effective Use of Social Media?
Given the increasing reliance on electronic media, one would suppose that social media, such as Facebook, would have a special role in helping organizations like Tres Dias keep in touch with their members. It doesn't appear that way, however. Only five communities--Fairfield County, Mid-Hudson, Cleveland, Peru, and North Georgia--have set up interest groups on Facebook. For some of these communities, Facebook serves as a virtual community bulletin board for posting secretariat announcements, news on small group meetings, calls for last-minute palanca, dates for secuelas, and testimonials from new pescadores about their weekend experience. For others in the group, Facebook is there, but seldom used.
Of course, Facebook is only one medium in an array of media. Send us an email telling how your community is using social media effectively, so we can pass the information along to others.
Reply to Newsletter@tresdias.org
New Spiritual Director's Guide Published
This announcement appeared in our December issue, but some readers may have passed over the opportunity to download a copy. Here it is that opportunity again.Compiled by Dr. Charles Allen, spiritual director to the Policy Committee of the Tres Dias International Secretariat, this 14-page booklet covers a variety of topics related to the spiritual director's roles and responsibilities. Download by clicking the link below. .A link will also be posted on the Tres Dias Website. Download Guide
Please share a copy of the newsletter with all spiritual directors in your community.
|March 13-15, 2015: Secretariat||North Florida TD (Tallahassee area)|
|July 10-12, 2015: Assembly & Secretariat||Abundant Life TD & Northern IL TD|
|October 23-25, 2015 Secretariat||Tres Dias of Southeast Tennessee (Chattanooga area)|
|March 4-6, 2016: Secretariat||Tampa Bay TD|