Spiritual Director

Reverend Dr. G. Karl Gaston
Spiritual Director


Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Grace, mercy, and peace to all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Via de Cristo has been a life changing experience for me as it has for many who have attended a weekend and then have continued to grow spiritually on the 4th day in reunion groups. Via de Cristo is a gift from God to assist the church in His mission to make not only believers but also disciples.

I retired from full time pastoral ministry at the end of 2016, I am active as a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Charlotte, Florida, where I am asked to preach and take on other pastoral duties occasionally. Both Jeanne (my wife) and I feel the Holy Spirit has placed us at Holy Trinity to discover ways to introduce Via de Cristo in the congregation here.

Jeanne and I have been married for 50 years. We have three adult children, five grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

My higher education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from Capital University, a Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

I have looked forward to working together with all of you as I serve as the National Spiritual Director to the Board as well as all the Secretariats affiliated with Via de Cristo.

God loves you and so do I,
—Pastor Karl

Role Description

The Spiritual Director (SD) is a responsible servant of Jesus Christ who, as ordained and rostered clergy, wishes to glorify God by watching over the theological integrity of the ministry and assist the NLS Executive Board (EB) in matters of faith and spirituality. The Spiritual Director, with the President, will serve as liaison to the various church bodies to promote the mission and purpose of Via de Cristo (VdC).

  • Elected by the delegates at a National Lutheran Secretariat (NLS) Annual Gathering to serve a two-year term. Renewable by election for a second two-year term.
  • Serves without compensation.
  • Accountable to NLS President and the Executive Committee (EC).

Essential Functions and Responsibilities

  1. Prays regularly for the leaders of NLS affiliated Secretariats and the members of the NLS EB.
  2. Participates as an active member of a Renewal Group
  3. The SD will seek to promote Via de Cristo among the Lutheran Church and other official church bodies. This promotion should include corresponding with Lutheran Bishops, District Presidents, etc., each year, with an invitation to attend the National Annual Gathering.
  4. The SD directs the Executive Board spiritually and keeps the Board in tune with the clergy side of matters under consideration.
  5. Serves as the NLS’s official link to all Christian clergy communities throughout the United States.
  6. Encourages clergy attendance at, and participation in, VdC and NLS activities, particularly the Annual Gathering.
  7. Using our database, sends a communication each winter to all pastors who have attended a VdC weekend seeking their support for the ministry by serving on weekends and sponsoring pilgrims.
  8. In coordination with the Vice President for Outreach, the SD will assist in new VdC secretariat start-ups, as needed.
  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.

Other Duties

As requested by the President

Supervisory Responsibilities

Spiritual Direction for the National VdC Annual Gathering Host Committee – work with the Host Committee and participate in the planning and follow through of worship services and chapel facilities.

  • The SD should be well versed in both the method and the history of the movement, especially the roots as they pertain to the spirituality of our ministry.
  • Knowing that the VdC is not a church or a para-church, promoting the ministry as basic Christian discipleship and renewal for Christian spiritual well being.
  • Good human relation skills are essential, as well as good public speaking skills.
  • A champion and example, alongside the EB, of how lay and clergy work together.

Fiscal Responsibility

Appropriate expenditures/expense reports or receipts are to be filed with the NLS Treasurer that relate to the position, travel and needs for meetings.

Extent of Public Contact: Moderate to High

The extent to which the SD is able to accomplish outreach to other 4th Day clergy. Possibly leading worship or delivering a keynote address at the Annual Gathering. Attendance at the Mid-Year Meeting and Annual Gathering.

Physical Demands

Possible travel to maintain contact with communities and clergy. Attempt to be visible at Synod functions and other National functions as a representative of VdC / NLS. In attendance all NLS EB meetings.