Spiritual Director · June 15, 2015

Happy Father’s Day

he came up to me after church to chat. This is his custom whenever I sub at his congregation. I served on team when he made his weekend several years ago and we have even served on teams together over the years. I have always admired his son making his weekend and what that might have been like for this father and son. He doesn’t reunion with anyone, he doesn’t really fellowship with anybody at church, and I know he has not been on a team in a few years. As the topic turned to Via de Cristo he said “Via de Cristo? Hasn’t that about run its course?” I ask you the same question:  “Have we run our course?”

There are many, many of our leaders who are burned out and burned up. The 80/20 rule is alive and well and that is that 80% of the ministry is done by 20% of the people. The complaints are loud and numerous about not getting the candidates/pilgrims, inability to fill teams, and financially not being able to afford to come to the National Gathering. The politics of this issue or that issue, or this part of the denomination “playing” with the other part. I’m kind of tired of it, really. The Via de Cristo did not begin “out of the blue”, it began because of Christ drawing people to Himself, and providing a weekend mechanism to do that.

We are a tired culture. We don’t rest, we are busier than ever, and life is stressful. And then a weekend comes around and God stirs the hearts and souls of a few saints and a team gets formed and pilgrims are invited and we are off and running. This is our Father’s World, and on this Father’s Day week we remember God is alive and well and God will spur us on to continue our beloved movement! We may need to die to some old ways of being and rise up to some that are new. We may be battered and torn some, bruised in some areas, but still alive, still breathing, still hoping. My favorite hymn sums it up:

“This Is My Father’s World,” ELW 824
This is my Father’s world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world;
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world;
the birds their carols raise;
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world;
he shines in all that’s fair.
In the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world;
oh, let me not forget
that, though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world;
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is king, let heaven ring;
God reigns, let earth be glad!

Happy Father’s Day!

Pastor Doug Givan


St. Vincent Clay (Brazil)

St. Vincent Seton Specialty (Indianapolis)

dgivan@stvincent.org (email)

“I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something hopeful.

-Bob Hope

“May the Lord continually bless us with Heaven’s blessings as well as with human joys..” Ps. 128:5


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Eric is our current Webmaster and works on the NLS Communications Team. Raised in Judaism, he found Christ and the New Testament at age 16 in a Southern Baptist Church. He searched many denominations for the real church, only to find the Holy Spirit is present in all of them. He's worked for One for Israel, a group of native Israeli believers who are sharing the gospel in the holy land in Hebrew and is part of the only Hebrew speaking seminary in Israel.