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PALANCA

 WHAT IS PALANCA?

Palanca is a spanish word that means "lever."  Just as a lever enables a person to move something which is beyond normal strength, palanca, as used in Tres Dias, empowers the accomplishment of things which would not be possible without the Grace of God. 

 Today, perhaps more than ever, it is necessary to remind ourselves that without God we are nothing, bereft of value, and incapable of doing anything of spiritual value.  With that in mind, we must keep the concept of palanca in balance.  In other words, whatever service we perform on a Tres Dias weekend will have little or no value if done in and of ourselves.  Palanca, which is one of the most characteristic marks of the Tres Dias method, is effective only when the prayers, sacrifices and works of mercy are done in conjunction with the presence of the Holy Spirit; allowing God to use us to serve his people.

If the effectiveness of all the human efforts in the Tres Dias movement is to be assured, palanca must be genuine and offered by communities and individuals living in union with Christ.  The purpose of palanca is to serve as God's arms and hands in the lives of the candidates on the weekend by extending the grace which has so freely been extended to us. 

Bear in mind that letters in and of themselves are not palanca!  Letters are merely one vehicle in which we convey the actual palanca being done at that time.  In other words, the effort, thoughts and prayers that go into the letters are actually the palanca, not the letters themselves.  Palanca can fall into several categories; not all of which result in notes or letters.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF PALANCA?

  • PERSONAL

  • GENERAL

  • SERVICE

PERSONAL PALANCA:  This is palanca performed on behalf of individual candidates and team members.  It is most frequently demonstrated in personal notes that are not meant for anyone but the recipient.

  • DO THIS:

      A brief note of encouragement

      Reassurance that God will meet the candidate right where he is

      Adding an encouraging scripture is recommended (reminding of God’s promises, etc).

      Let them know you are praying for them (and do it!).

      It is important to have personal palanca available for Friday and Saturday.  (It’s a lever, so use it).  

      You can include small items that can fit in an envelope can be included.  Such as “pass it on” cards, small bookmarks, small pins, etc.
 

  •  DON’T DO THIS:

      Do not refer to any special events that happen over the weekend.  Your palanca may not be delivered when you expect it to be, so you wouldn't want to spoil the surprise.

      Do not refer to home or family.  It's important to maintain the focus and sequestered nature of the weekend.

      Do not talk about how you felt on your weekend.  The candidate may be having a very different experience and you wouldn't want to set him/her up for disappointment. 
 

  •  SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS:

      Do not send gifts as palanca.  Anything larger than envelope size will  be put aside for the candidate until after the weekend. 

      Don’t mark palanca for delivery at specific times.  You may specify a particular day, as well as “am” or pm”, but not specific times.

o   We understand that people often write palanca in a progressive manner, trying to keep the notes in line with the theme and focus of each day of the weekend.  As such, the auxiliaries will make every effort to honor the delivery request.  However, palanca is delivered at different times on each weekend, as determined by the Rector and Chief Aux, so the time you request may not be valid. .    

o Bear in mind that the first palanca is not distributed until after the Holy Spirit rollo which is given on Friday afternoon following lunch.  (In other words, don’t specify "Thursday pm" or "Friday am").

      HOW MUCH PALANCA IS ENOUGH?  Be sure your candidate receives enough palanca.  Palanca is generally distributed six or seven times during the weekend.  If the candidate only gets 3 pieces at each delivery (which is a bare minimum), that means that they need AT LEAST 18-21 pieces of palanca throughout the weekend.

o       You cannot (and should not) write all of the palanca yourself.  You are encouraged to contact other Pescadores to write to your candidate (and you can write to theirs).  Ask Pescadores in your church or Reunion Group, or perhaps those you have served on team with, or experienced a weekend with.


GENERAL PALANCA:
 
This is palanca performed on the weekend in general.  It is most frequently demonstrated in notes, letters or posters that are addressed to the team and candidates, often accompanied by small gift items or tokens.

       The letter should be addressed to the team and candidates on a particular weekend.  It should include the      actual palanca that you will be providing to the weekend - such as:

o       A gift of prayer.  Let them know that you will be praying for them.  Perhaps you will pray for the weekend everytime you have to stop at a red light, or something like that.  They should know it.  (And you should be sure to honor your commitment). . 

o       A gift of sacrifice:  Perhaps you made something that you are giving to the weekend.  Let them know the spiritual significance of the item.

o Try to include an encouraging scripture.  Using the theme scripture of the weekend helps to promote the unity of the weekend.

o The letter shouldn't be too long - a maximum of one typewritten page.  Keep in mind that general palanca is read by the auxiliaries throughout the weekend when time permits, so the letter should not be too long or complex as it's meaning may be lost.

o This IS where you can refer to your own weekend ("I sat where you are sitting...")

o       If possible, include small tokens for the team and candidates.   The items should have some spiritual significance and can be as simple as some chocolate or candy, as complex as craft items that you and your Reunion Group made, and anything in between.  Remember it's the thought, prayer and service that's important, not the actual item itself. 

o Posters with brief notes signed by individuals in your church or Reunion Group are an excellent form of general palanca.

      General palanca is also provided in other ways:

o       Providing the decorated palanca bags for the weekend;

o       Providing the decorated aprons for the auxiliaries;

o       Providing the rollo candle;

o       Providing supplies for communion;

o       Providing break food;

o       Providing candy for the tables;

o       Providing flowers for the dining room or rollo room.
 

SERVICE PALANCA:   This palanca is service performed before or during the weekend, often behind the scenes and without specific recognition.  (The exact definition and how it may differ from general palanca is somewhat vague; often determined individually by the user of the term.  It is most frequently considered to be physical effort).  For instance:

o       Assisting in the preparation and breaking-down of the Agape;

o       Running errands to obtain supplies during the weekend;

o       Serving meals to the team and candidate (aka: Kitchen Palanca);

o       Serving as the cook's helper.
 

REMEMBER THAT PALANCA IS A LEVER - SO USE IT!
 

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