John Aclin
NLS President

A retired engineer and Naval officer, I have been an active member of Via de Cristo for over 23 years.  I was blessed to be born into a “Leave It to Beaver” kind of family, with parents deeply committed to the Lord and to their family. I moved nine times before graduating high school, living throughout the northeast US, from Illinois to Massachusetts.

Fulfilling a childhood ambition, I graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis) and served as an engineer on a nuclear submarine. Following nearly 4 years at sea, I served two years ashore in Japan. I left active duty to pursue a career as an engineering analyst, but remained in the Navy Reserve, retiring as a Captain in 2004. I spent 30 years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense.

In 1983, I was blessed to be united with Charissa, my wife, companion, and partner in life. We have two grown daughters, Rebecca and Leah. After 33 years living in the suburbs of Washington, D.C, we moved to Durham, NC, in 2018. In 1998, at the invitation of my pastor, I attended Rainbow VdC men’s weekend #33, an event that has had a continuing impact on my walk with Christ. Since then I’ve served on over 20 teams, as a Lay Director, and Regional Coordinator. Weekly Reunion Group meetings have proven vital in helping me focus and be more intentional in my walk with Christ. In 2018, I had the privilege of traveling to Papua-New Guinea to conduct Essentials and Leadership training for the VdC community in that country. It is an honor to serve as president of the NLS now.

Role Description

The President is a responsible servant of Jesus Christ who wishes to glorify God by coordinating all work of the NLS Executive Committee (EC)and serves as the official representative of NLS to the Church and all sister 4th Day ministries. The President will be a tireless advocate promoting the mission of Via de Cristo.

  • Elected by the delegates at a National Lutheran Secretariat (NLS) Annual Gathering to a two-year term. Renewable by election for a second two-year term.
  • Serves without compensation.
  • Accountable to the affiliated Via de Cristo secretariats through the NLS Executive Committee (EC).

Essential Functions and Responsibilities

  1. Prays regularly for the leaders of NLS affiliated Secretariats and the members of the NLS EC.
  2. Participates as an active member of a Renewal Group
  3. In partnership with the Executive Director, represents the NLS and Via de Cristo in promoting the Good News of Christ using the Via de Cristo method at: Ultreyas and meetings of Lutheran church bodies, other denominations and other 4th Day ministries.
  4. Directs and coordinates the EC efforts, as needs and experience dictate, and to make and clarify additional assignments to maximize their effectiveness.
  5. With the advice and consent of the EC, appoints individuals to other national positions. The current appointed positions are:
    • Communications Director
    • Palanca Coordinator
    • Technology Administrator
    • NLS Distribution Center Coordinator
    • Database Coordinator
    • Historian/Archivist
    • Non Profit Compliance Coordinator
  6. Sets the Annual Meeting agenda and Mid-Year Meeting agenda with EC approval and convenes and chairs all NLS meetings.
  7. Annually reviews and/or modifies the job descriptions of the appointed positions, with input and recommendations from the Executive Committee.
  8. Along with the Executive Director, envisioning, development and monitoring the Five-Year Plan created by the Executive Board.
  9. Maintains an accurate and timely manual for this position including a timeline of responsibilities.
  10. Provides an annual report of activities to the Vice President of Administration for inclusion in the Annual Gathering binder no later than June 15 of each year.
  11. Appoints the chairperson(s) and members of each of the following temporary committees:
    • The Audit Committee – to review both the Treasurer’s records and the records of the NLS Distribution Center.
    • The Parliamentarian – to serve at the Annual Gathering.
    • The Nominating Committee – to establish a slate of potential candidates

Supervisory Responsibilities

The President supervises all activities of the NLS.

Knowledge, Skills, and Related Gifts

  • Extensive understanding and insight into the Via de Cristo method and the 4th Day movement.
  • A clear understanding of Cursillo® history and the other 4th Day ministries that have evolved since Cursillo® began.
  • Interpersonal human relation skills are essential.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Ability to delegate duties as needed to others.
  • Presents self well with an ability to comfortably speak publicly.
  • Demonstrates leadership skills in large group situations.
  • Working knowledge of parliamentary procedure.
  • Good reputation among peers.
  • Able to keep agendas, schedules, meetings, and committees on track and reasonably on time.
  • Computer skills are essential.

Fiscal Responsibility

See supervisory responsibilities

Extent of Public Contact: High

The President will have extensive contact with people from all walks of life. As the official representative of Via de Cristo, the President, in partnership with the Executive Director, will meet and greet Church officials, government officials, educational leaders, representatives from other countries, as well as the many pilgrims who wish to make use of the President’s knowledge, experience, and skill.

Physical Demands

Due to the nature of the office there are physical demands placed on the President due to travel and long meetings, including phone conversations. The President should take advantage of as many communication devises (telephone, e-mail, voice and video conferencing, etc.) as reasonably possible. The skill the President uses in using such devises will determine the extent of travel that may be necessary.

Attempts should be made to be visible at Church body and at other 4th Day ministry meetings. There will be many requests for the President’s participation in visioning and organizational meetings.