Newsletter – March 2018


Sonshine North Via de Cristo

As the Rooster Crows – March 2018

In this article:

Message from the Lay Director

Sylvia Meister

When I accepted the position as Assistant Lay Director two years ago, I didn’t think 2018 would get here so fast. But here we are in 2018 and it’s already March. Where is the time going? Now as your Lay Director, I want to encourage us all to slow down a little and take time to appreciate the people in our lives that God has so richly blessed us with: our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, church members and anyone else with whom we have relationships. Especially in the aftermath of the Parkland shootings last month and other disasters that have occurred recently, we should never take for granted that we have a lot of time to enjoy these relationships. Cherish each moment we spend with each other while we can. Make a conscious effort to reconnect with an old friend. Pick up the phone and call that church member you haven’t seen in a while. Remember to tell your family members that you love them and say it as often as you can. Time is going by so quickly and the future is not certain. But I know for certain who holds the future and I offer this little prayer to Him now.

“Oh, Lord Jesus, calm our anxious minds and spirits and help us to slow down the pace a bit. May we start and end each day with sweet thoughts of you and your amazing grace. Help us to truly love one another as you have loved us and to cherish our relationships in the time that you allow us to be on this earth, until you call us home to be with you in heaven. Amen.”

Sylvia Meister
Sonshine North VDC Lay Director

Meet the Rectora for Co-Ed #10

Beverly Davis

Hi, my name is Beverly Davis, I worship and serve at Trinity Lutheran Church in Jacksonville. I attended Women’s Weekend # 35 where I sat at the table of Priscilla. Familiar, right? An introduction like this one is often all we know about our fellow “crazy chickens” whom we work alongside each day to help God’s world spin a little steadier. But as Rectora for Co-Ed # 10, I want to share a little more.

I was born in Florida, raised in Jacksonville and attended the University of Florida. I am a rehabilitation counselor by training and worked with individuals with disabilities most of my working life. I retired from CSX, a freight railroad headquartered in Jacksonville where, believe it or not, a counselor with my background did find a place.

I’ve been married to my husband, Ken for 10 years after dating for 9 additional years. We just didn’t want to rush into things, I guess. With Ken came a daughter, Courtney, and eventually two grandchildren where I am now a “BB” to 12-year-old Alex and 7-year-old MacKenzie Ann.

I’m looking forward to being part of Co-Ed 10, working with a team whose purpose it is to bring the light of possibility to a new group of Pilgrims. Having an opportunity to serve is truly a gift from God.


Please Pray for the Team of Co-Ed #10

  • Marie Allen
  • Tom Allen
  • Neal Avirett
  • Jerry Beltz
  • Joy Bolander
  • Byron Bollingberg
  • Mary Bollingberg
  • Genia Bryant
  • Geri Buchanan
  • James Cooper
  • Stephanie Cooper
  • Al Decker
  • Faith Halvorsen
  • Paul Halvorsen
  • Judy Hassler
  • Kitty Howell
  • Wayne Huber
  • Phil Jacobs
  • Robert Kinley
  • Karen Kwaak
  • Jim Kwaak
  • Don Long
  • Joanne Martin
  • Kasey Napoli
  • Deanna Ordonez
  • Kathy Ordonez
  • Rachel Poppell
  • Joey Ratliff
  • Twila Rhodes
  • Charles Rogers
  • Diane Rood
  • Larry Rood
  • George Scoble
  • Tom Touw
  • Kerry Underwood
  • Mike Vrban
  • Don Weeks
  • Jenny Winter

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner & Variety Show Fundraiser

Submitted by Sylvia Meister

Sonshine North Via de Cristo proudly presents a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner & Variety Show Fundraiser. As the name suggests, it will be held on St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17, 2018 at Middleburg United Methodist Church located at 3925 Main Street, Middleburg, FL 32068. The dinner will begin at 5:00 p.m. Our very own Master Chef, Jim Kwaak is preparing a salad bar, roast pork loin, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans and corn, biscuits and dessert. The variety show is scheduled to start around 6:00 p.m. and you will not want to miss this one. If you thought our show in 2016 was good, this one promises to be just as much fun if not better. Ticket prices are as follows: Adults – $20, children ages 6 thru 12 – $10, children 5 and under get in free. You also have the option to reserve a table for 6 for only $100. Tickets are going fast so don’t delay in getting yours. If you don’t know who to see to get tickets, email me at to reserve your tickets today. Hope to see you all on St. Patrick’s Day in Middleburg.

Camp Setup

Submitted by Tom Allen

In preparation for Coed #10, camp set up is open for all day the 19th of April. Sooooo……

To the SNVDC Community, the Physical Arrangements Team (George, Tom, and AL) will be at Camp Luther Springs, on Thursday, the 19th of April, at 1030 hours (that’s 10:30 a.m. for you civilians) LOL. Please, if U have time, come one, come all, to help us set up for this blessed, grace-filled weekend. GOD Bless U ALL.

Tom Allen

SNVDC Post-Via De Cristo

Submitted by Al Speicher

“You Asked For It”; Anyone remember this TV show from the 60’s ?

As Post-Via De Cristo representative I am always looking for positive changes to enhance our Ultreya experience. One suggestion was to have individuals share their Mission Trip experiences in place of a ‘Talk’.

The February Ultreya was just that kind of experience. Trinity Lutheran Church presented a wonderful photo experience of their last mission trip to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We also heard from Pastor Kinley and DwayneTyson as they prepare for their 10th mission trip this month. Representatives from the Jamaica
Ecumenical Mutual Mission or JEMM, Marie Allen and Al Speicher, also discussed their experiences on their January mission trip to Jamaica.

I believe everyone was energized and excited to hear about the work of SNVDC Members doing evangelism in other countries.

Please let me know if others have similar experiences to share or have suggestions to enhance our Ultreya experience.

Sponsoring a Pilgrim is a wonderful opportunity to watch someone bloom in God’s Love in just a few days! I would like to remind everyone to please get a copy of SNVDC, ‘Sponsors Statement of Commitment’ and review the commitments of the Sponsor.

It is very important that Pilgrim Sponsors review and follow the guidelines outlined. And I would like to emphasize that the Sponsor is responsible to help the Pilgrim find a Reunion Group.

Further, staying in close contact with the Pilgrim and inviting them to Ultreya’s, is important step to keeping the Pilgrim involved.

If you have further questions, or need a copy of the, ‘Sponsors Statement of Commitment‘ document, please contact Beverly Davis ( or me (

See you at our March ‘Variety Show Fund Raiser’. March 17th at 5:00 pm.

AL Speicher

(Jamaica Ecumenical Mutual Mission which is a partnership between Christian churches of several denominations in Jamaica and the Saint Augustine Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church).

SNVDC Pre-Via De Cristo

Submitted by Karen Kwaak

De Colores My Brothers and Sisters!

Can you believe how fast the year is going! Wow, it seems like we just got through the Christmas season and now we are in the season of Lent. It won’t be long and then we will be in the Easter season, then on and on until we are back to Christmas season. If you think about the other seasons in our life, we are also almost over winter season! This makes me think about what other kinds of seasons are in my life and how are they changing. As you may or may not be aware, I have been selected as Assistant Lay Director assisting our Lay Director Sylvia, who by the way, has hit the ground running. I feel like this is another season in my life because this is a six year commitment. Two years as Assistant Lay Director, then two years as Lay Director, then two years as National Lutheran Secretariat Delegate. I guess I will call this my Secretariat season. All in all, like the other seasons in my life, I am looking forward to seeing how God will be showing His majestic beauty through this Secretariat season.

On another note, since Beverly Davis who is on the Secretariat as the Pre-Via De Cristo chairperson is a bit busy being Rectora for Co-Ed #10, I will be handling her duties. This means that I will be collecting and processing the pilgrim applications for this weekend. If you have a pilgrim, please send the application and fee to me at 580 Arthur Moore Dr., Green Cove Springs, FL. 32043. You can e-mail me at and/or call me at 904-759-9205 if you have any questions or concerns. If you have already sent them to Beverly it is OK, she will get them to me. God has already blessed us with some pilgrims and will bless us with many more.

God Loves You and So Do I,

Karen Kwaak

Weekend Training Information

Submitted by Jim Kwaak

Happy Lent everyone!!! At least for those of you who didn’t grow up observing Lent (like I did as a good Southern Baptist). For those of you who have given up things that you wouldn’t ever eat or do anyway, again…Happy Lent!

The team meetings for Coed 10 have started and as Training and Leadership Chair for the Secretartiat, it is time for me to get busy for the first two team meetings where my part of the training is done.

I would like to ask that any person who might be interested in helping with the training for the Fall weekends give me a call. This training doesn’t require a degree or certificate. It does require a knowledge of how the weekend progresses and how the various team positions are affecter during the progression.

If you have held any of the team positions and are willing to relate what you learned doing that task to others who haven’t yet experienced performing the duties of that task, give me a call and we can talk about it.

It’s only one 45 minute class twice a year and I’ll provide the training material and any assistance you may need.

Please pray about this opportunity, and if you decide to try it out, I can be reached at:

(904)282-1689 – Home
(904)759-9196 – Cell – E-Mail

God Bless.

Letter from Spiritual Director – From Christmas to Lent

Pastor Tommie Darm – Feb. 23rd

Having just returned from a trip to Australia and New Zealand, I was struck with the fact that I left the USA with Christmas still lingering in my home and winter cold only to return to what is now the Lenten season and spring here in Florida. It seems that we no sooner celebrate Jesus’ birth than a few months later we are heading toward the cross and Easter.

Christmas is the “gift giving” season and Lent is traditionally the “giving up” season. But what if Lent could be the gift season where we look at the gifts that Jesus gave us and how we can give those gifts to others. Whether it is Christmas or a birthday, we are at our best when we are giving. We are most like God when we are giving. James tells us that every “good and perfect gift comes down to us from God.” (Jas 1:17). Every gift revels God’s love, but no gift reveals God’s love more than the gifts of the cross.

In New Zealand, every spring thousands of baby lambs are born, but unfortunately some die at birth and some mother sheep are also lost. In an attempt to save the orphaned lambs, the shepherds take the skin of a mother sheep’s dead lamb and wrap it over the living lamb so the mother will accept the orphaned lamb as her own.

That is what Jesus did for us. At Christmas, he took on our skin that he might become one of us. Then at the cross, he sacrificed himself as the “lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (Jn 1:29) Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, God has adopted us into his family. Once we were orphans and now we are God’s adopted children. This is the gift of the cross.

As we remember the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal, the trial, the crown of thorns, the garments, the cross, let us remember that these were the divine gifts given to us that we might be adorned by the Good Shepherd with a coat of righteousness. And to think, he did it just for you and me!

This Lenten season, don’t “give up” but “give out” the good news, the gift of God’s grace with others.

Lenten Blessings,
Pastor Tommie

Texas Roadhouse Fundraiser Update

Submitted by Deloris Malone

I Would like to Thank everyone for their participation in our fundraise at the Texas Roadhouse, the gift card sales was a big success! We raised $742.

Then on January 29 th , over 80 people showed up to support the Dine to Donate at Texas Roadhouse. They donated 10% of the event sales generated from that evening back to us. We raised $176.00 but the manager Matt, handed me a check for $200. Way to go Texas Roadhouse!

NLS 2018 Annual Gathering

Submitted by Joe Malone
Come to the Sonshine!
NLS 2018 Annual Gathering
July 26th – 29th
Palm Beach Atlantic University
West Palm Beach, Florida

Our very own cursillistas Bettilyn Lunetta and Sabrina Harding are co-hosting the hospitality community. They are looking for volunteers to help them over this weekend. You can come down and stay the whole time or come for the day. Their job is to have refreshments ready in the morning before chapel and throughout the day and evening. Paul Lunetta has volunteered to be in charge of Communion and is also looking for volunteers. If anyone is interested please contact them.

This is the song we will be singing to welcome everyone to the Gathering:

“One in the Sonshine”

Chorus: One in the Sonshine – Come to the Sonshine!
We’re inviting you today
To gather with us
In Palm Beach County –
Make your plans NOW – don’t delay!

Verse 1: So we will gather in the Sonshine
This July the 26th.
DeColores in South Florida –
This is one you should not miss!

Verse 2: Jesus, our Sonshine, our only Sonshine
Calls you each new day to be
A reflection of His glory –
God loves you and so do we!

Thank you, Joe Malone – National Lutheran Secretariat Delegate

Update from the Treasurer

Submitted by Kathy Ordonez

Did you know…

The cost to hold a weekend can be expensive. For Co-ed # 9 total cost was $6539. This includes $6095 for 53 team and pilgrims at Luther Springs, $390 for the bus, and $75 for supplies (poster board notebooks). The cost for our men/women’s weekend #62 was $12,225. This included $10,925 for 95 men and women team/pilgrims at Luther Springs, $780 for the bus both weekends and $520 for supplies (poster board, notebooks, crosses and pilgrim guides).

We also have annual dues that must be paid to Sunbiz to maintain our corporation status, National Secretariat dues, trailer registration, CCLI ( music copyright) and liability insurance.

As you can see, we stay busy through out the year. If you ever have any questions about what your money goes to,please feel free to ask. We are also always willing to accept donations either thru pay pal or in person.

God loves you and so do I

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