Often, the seeds for the new community come from a reunion group, a small number of pescadores meeting for prayer and spiritual support in a geographic location where no community exists. They form a vision for bringing Tres Dias to their area, notify the Tres Dias International Secretariat of their intentions, and establish a steering committee to guide activities until a local secretariat can be formed.
The activities that follow, leading to the chartering of the new community, cannot be described as “steps” in a sequence. Rather, each action, guided by the Holy Spirit, becomes part of a dynamic unfolding of God’s love. These guidelines focus on activities that are critical for success, starting with prayerful consideration of whether conditions are right for a new community. All the activities require devout prayer, and prayer and patience should go hand in hand. As one pescador who has helped to start a number of communities advises, “Remember to wait upon the Lord and allow Him to guide you. Do not be overly anxious to start things moving your way.”
The written plan should be the combined work of all the leaders involved, local and sponsors.
- The weekend should be built on the foundation of prayer, and all are requested to pray for the Holy Spirit to clearly influence all decisions.
- The weekend must comply with all of the Tres Dias Essentials.
- It is wise to keep the first weekends simple and to avoid adding adornments beyond the Essentials. Added activities will be chosen by the rector after much prayer and consideration, on the following basis:
- Does the activity glorify God?
- Will it enhance the candidates’ weekend?
- Does it follow Biblical and Tres Dias guidelines?
- The team members’ past Tres Dias experiences will influence the weekend and its preparation. At the same time, an effort should be made to include appropriate local cultural elements that will enhance candidates’ experience.
- Weekend schedules should allow reasonable breaks for exercise, free time, and adequate sleep time.
- The rector should ensure that financial records of the weekend are maintained and that, following the weekend, an accounting is issued to show funds received and expended. The accounting should be made available to the sponsoring community, the new community, and to individuals who contributed funds to support the weekend.
- The rector should prepare a critique of the weekend, based on written and oral reports from team members at the final team meeting following the weekend..
The Tres Dias experience is not right for everyone, and a Tres Dias community may not be a good fit for every location. Determining whether conditions would support a community should be one of the first objects of prayer. Among the critical elements are:
- The existence of a significant number of viable Christian churches,
- A diversity of Christian denominations,
- A significant number of strong church leaders committed to growing in their faith and service, and
- Pastors of local congregations who would welcome and support an ecumenical Christian movement such as Tres Dias, and who would see the benefits of Tres Dias for developing leaders for their congregations.
Chartering of Local Secretariat:
- Term of charter is two years
- Criteria: – Adherence to the Essentials plus anything approved by the Secretariat and the Assembly - Submission of statistical data- Financial obligations unless waived
- Locals may appeal decisions to Secretariat. Decision of Sec. is final.
As early as possible, the leadership team should notify the Tres Dias International Secretariat of their intentions and describe their situation. This sets into motion the process of building resources and support. The International Secretariat’s vice president of membership will be able to recommend potential sponsoring communities, provide names of individuals who would be willing to serve as speakers or consultants, and possibly help locate other pescadores in the area who could join the leadership team. The International Secretariat is compiling a list of pescadores with experience in helping guide new communities. Some of these pescadores have indicated a willingness to travel anywhere in the world to help out.
Tres Dias Home Office 3512 Springwheat Rockford, Illinios 61114-5649 USA Telephone: Voice: (815) 636-0840 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Building a new community is partly a matter of “replication”—of a sponsoring community passing on traditions, planning tactics, supplies, and wisdom to the budding community—partly a matter of integrating elements of the local culture that will enrich the candidates’ experience. The replication and integration is held together by adherence to the Tres Dias Essentials, and one of the sponsoring community’s most important roles is to ensure that the budding community is established on the solid foundation the Essentials provide. Second, the sponsoring community often provides guidance, as needed, for helping the new community become chartered as an independent local Tres Dias.
To facilitate this arrangement, the International Secretariat will ask representatives from the sponsor and the new community to sign an Emerging Communities Agreement. By signing this document, both parties affirm that they will follow the Essentials and that they will take the steps needed for chartering the new organization. These steps include drafting a constitution and by-laws, establishing an elected secretariat with a rotating lay membership, and committing to a Tres Dias Essentials Training in the community within three years after the first weekend. A timetable for accomplishing these tasks is attached to the agreement.
The Emerging Community Agreement grants the emerging community permission to use the name “Tres Dias,” the logo of Tres Dias Cross, and the Tres Dias manuals until the community can obtain its charter.
Tres Dias is a nice organization for me to fall back on. I feel like I have a support group of people that are diehard. I don’t mean just diehard Christians, but they are real, the love is real.