Living your 4th Day

The Feast of Pentecost
Living Out Your Fourth Day: Bloom Where You’re Planted

Canadian Anglican Cursillo National Conference And

General Meeting Edmonton, Alberta, 4 June 2006

as presented by the Rt. Rev. Ken Genge

Song: Bloom where you’re planted

You know this prayer… Please join me as we pray,

Prayer to the Holy Spirit:
Come Holy Spirit; fill the hearts of the faithful
And kindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and we shall be created,
And you shall renew the face of the earth.
O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit,
Did instruct the hearts of the faithful,
Grant that by the same Holy Spirit,
We may be truly wise,
And enjoy God’s consolations.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Greeting and thanks for the opportunity to work with you today. My responsibility is to look into that ever new day called “the fourth day”…The “transplanting” from the hot-house atmosphere of the a Cursillo Weekend into the climate of every-day life. The imagery is easy to talk about; the actual living of that life is – as you all know – a much greater challenge.

I am going to focus on two passages of Scripture, both from the New Testament. The first is John 14:1-15; the second is Luke 2:46-55. (And probably referencing some others….)

These passages from the New Testament describe, among other things, the real environment in which we live and move and have our being. Our faith works in the real world – or it does not work at all…! (John 3:16-17)

We begin with an invitation – the most important “invitation” we shall ever receive. It is not an invitation to position, power, control, or authority!!

1. Mobile Christianity

“Follow me.” – an invitation to a journey, a pilgrimage, not to a destination…”Truth” cannot be objectified, tamed or domesticated….cannot be denominationalized, or trapped in one particular faith expression. “Truth” is a living, continuing, creative “Way”…a way of life…a way of diversity…And for me, a Christian, it is a “Way of Jesus”.

John 14:1-15 ….”many dwelling places” The “places”, the rooms, are not all the same – The variety is far beyond what “we can ask or imagine” – far beyond all creedal or doctrinal boxes…..“prepare a place for you” – Just as you are, with no hoops to jump through before God loves you (and me) unconditionally…..” You know the place where I am going”….Thomas: How can we know the way to place we don’t know??……Jesus! Thomas says, If we don’t know the destination, then how are we to know the path??

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”…. At all times Jesus deflected focus from himself to God. And each of those three magnificent, challenging, words are always in motion, ever looking at a new horizon….The Way = journey, a direction in response to the invitation, “Follow me.”……The Truth = never to be domesticated! always sought as we respond to the invitation, “Follow me.”….The Life = obvious change, at every level of our being….

How do I/we see God? By knowing Jesus….Faith and works….In fact, “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father….If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”…..This is not a call to personal glory or position or power, or authority, or control!…..But to what we refer to in Cursillo as “Fourth Day Work”!! The “Saviour Syndrome” is not what Christian Mission is really about….!!

Let me refer to a couple of other well-known Scripture passages. The Letter of James 2:14-18 “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.” That passage describes in a challenging way the real world situation of the 4th Day! Struggle with the relationship between “faith” and “works”. The Weekends are designed (if authentic) to introduce each of us to this dynamic tension as we live the rest of our lives in the “fourth day”!

Micah 6:6a & 8 “With what shall I come before the Lord….? He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” As Christians, we, together and individually, are called (“Follow me.”) to effect systemic change in our environment, not just to apply band-aids.

Mobile Christianity is not a matter of “having it”, but rather of “doing it”

2. Realism Christianity

(Infiltration): Why don’t people go to church?….What
keeps a huge percentage of our population away from church, away from the faith community? The front line of the Jesus expedition(to love and to build up) is not in church or on a Cursillo Weekend – but the front line is in our leisure time, our family time, our work time – very mobile. Yes, there are resting moments (retreats, both formal and informal)

Be good students of Environment realism: – ethnic groups, cultural groupings, youth groups, seniors groups, & different age, ethnic and cultural groupings in between – and differences in each, of course. Differences – that is the operative word. Christian Realism takes seriously, without moral judgment, the way things are in the world – the world that God loves so much! The only redeeming equipment we have is LOVE….

A Little Group Work for a Few Minutes: (Using the old J.A. motto, or goal or aim, 5 simple but profound words) 1. pick the one that attracts you the most; Why? 2. Pick the one that is most difficult for you; Why? Share briefly, each in turn, with the others in your group – giving each person a chance to speak without interruption…)


There is no “correct” response to this exercise. It is simply a 5-word framework that can be used as personal check-up – and it is a very useful tool, also, to in the larger parish life…Obviously the relation and interaction between these dynamic words is a mixed rhythm back and forth… I give them to you to use as you will in your own 4th Day life.

3. From another perspective….

A little story from my time at St. George’s College, Jerusalem:
Palestine/Israel experience – River Jordan ecstasy (describe the person unable to leave the water of the Jordan…But it was time to get back on the bus…! Refer to the Weekend habit of suggesting that the candidates remove their watches…Great, but remember that all time is God’s – both kairos AND chronos…; walk where Jesus walked – But can’t quite pin him down to a particular location….Why? The Ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:6-11) gives us the clue…. Don’t stand around gazing into heaven! Get on with the works of faith…

Now, let’s step into the garden… (Bloom where you’re planted…)

Different plants produce different seeds What for? Beauty and Nourishment – true of nature, and true for human nature

Difference between a real rose and a fake rose: If the fake is very good, it’s hard to tell the difference sometimes…”Gullible” Christianity is stupid Christianity!!

“Bloom…” 5 reality checks: – type of soil; type of seed; time of year, fertilizer, weed & pest control… All this “gardening imagery” demands some analysis of the environment… (Briefly reflect on each…) One size – or one seed… – doesn’t fit all! Variety!! But each seed = the beginning of resurrection….

Cursillo is not the weekend! Test of what really happened on the weekend is what happens in that 1st week following the weekend, and then the 3rd week, and then the 6th week. It is the responsibility of sponsors and Secretariat to check the health of the new “fourth day” in a pastoral, non-judgmental way following each Cursillo weekend.

“Follow me.” – on the move, not a destination

Another Brief Group Exercise: Which of the following three images best describes your experience of the Church – a donut; a fortress; a puddle. Why? A little fun…recount the story of my Uncle Fred: the centre of the donut is very dangerous; don’t eat it!! Of course it’s empty… ; the sadness of the fortress is that it is designed to keep the unwanted out… ; the puddle dries up, and drought follows…. It does not take a lot of imagination to see through the eyes of the world (or our eyes, perhaps?) what the church looks like to the many who do not seek the community of faith…And perhaps, as we be honest, the way the church looks to us, too….

I’m going to conclude with the challenge of Mary’s song (Luke 1:46-55).

The Magnificat – to do with the environment – our mission field – our place – in the world – the place we really are, not some place or situation we would like to be – bloom where you are planted…

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,” (use the illustration of the magnifying glass….Very conscious of the magnifying glass – until we get focused; then the magnifying glass is forgotten – why? Because it is doing its mission – It is doing, if I may say, its 4th Day ministry.)

“and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (This is not arrogance on the part of Mary. It is simply acknowledging that she is beloved by God, and not worried about worthiness…)

“His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.” (Sometimes we get hung up on the reference to fearing God. It is often referred to as some sort of faith space to be desired……But consider this: God is merciful to those who have any kind of fear – even the fear of God! The 4th Day is not about a faith that fears God, but rather a faith in action that demonstrates in thought, word and deed the love of God for the whole world – and love that introduces a faith that removes all fear…!)

“He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. ” (And this without violence, righteous or otherwise…!)

“He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.”

“He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendents forever.”

I cannot live the fourth day alone! Nor can you. Everything I have said is about community of servants. For my and your ministry to function, we need each other….The “fourth day” is lived in the vulnerable and dangerous open country of the world that the world describes as the “real world”…That’s the “environment” in which Jesus lives and moves and has our being….

Bloom where you are planted…

And a little story to conclude: Large window in St. Barnabas, St. Lambert, Diocese of Montreal….Only made sense as one viewed it on the way out of the church….”Come unto me”…..


Song: “Draw the circle wide”

Ken Genge
4 June 2006 Edmonton, Alberta

Group Reunion, the Biblical Foundation

by the Late Reverend Joseph Walker,
Edmonton Anglican Cursillo

Gathered in His name

Jesus once said that “wherever two or more are gathered in my name, I am there among them”. The basis of group reunion is just this: we gather together as fellow disciples “in the name of Jesus”. What make grouping different from all those other times we get together with friends is that little phrase “in my name”. While it is always good for a few Christian friends to get together and enjoy each other’s company, and we can often get together “in his name”, grouping is about getting together for a specific purpose.

Group reunion reminds us of the great commandment: We are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

Learning to love God

Learning to love God with all our heart means to love with all that we are, at the very core, the very heart, of our being. Jesus used the term “heart” very often in the Gospels. It is the work of the Spirit to give us “new hearts”, as the Scripture says “I will take away your heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh”. We depend upon the grace of God to give us new hearts.

Loving also involves three other things: soul, mind, and strength. I find it helpful to think that the three legged stool of Piety, Study and Action corresponds to soul, mind, and strength. And it helps to be a bit specific in looking at the ways we are learning to love God. Just as an athlete might look at different exercises for different muscles in order to achieve overall excellence and health, so we look at different ways in which God calls us to love him. How do we exercise our different spiritual “muscles”?


In Piety we learn to exercise our soul – what helps our soul to love God. This includes many things: worship and prayer, confession and self examination, how we deal with temptation, how we offer praise and thanks. It could also include our emotions and feelings, and how we use those in ourselves and in our personal relationships. How do we exercise our soul? Jesus said “take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble, and you will find rest for your souls.”


In Study we exercise our minds – what helps our minds and our thinking to love God. This includes taking a look at what we put into our minds. We look at how we think about God, and how we think about our place as Christians in the church and the world. How do we exercise our minds? Scripture tells us to “put on the mind of Christ”, and to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.


In Action we exercise our strength – our ability to “do something”. It is when we take what we have experienced in worship and prayer and learning, and then we apply it in our daily lives. It is a “lead in” to the second great commandment – when we begin to love our neighbours as ourselves. There are many opportunities to exercise our strength in the church and in the world: “Go and make disciples”, “the Son of Man came to serve”, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.”

Of course the first great command is followed by the second – we are to love our neighbours as ourselves. I have a feeling this is because it is easy to fake my way through the first – after all, how would you know how much I’m loving God? But it’s not so easy to fake loving my neighbour. I actually have to do something.

In all these things we are not alone – grouping is a way of fellow disciples to share and encourage each other in learning to love God and neighbour, and in all things we depend upon the grace of love and example of Jesus, who calls us to gather “in his name”.


A Talk for the Servant Community

Diocese of Edmonton Cursillo
18 March 2005 St. Timothy’s Church, Edmonton

by the Rt. Rev. Ken Genge

This is a talk about SPONSORSHlP in our Cursillo community. We have about 45 minutes in this setting. God willing, and you all don’t rise up in rebellion, I intend to do 3 things. And, if time permits, we will have a brief question/answer/discussion to conclude.

But first here are two little “stories” or “parables”.

When I mentioned to someone that I had been assigned to give a talk on “Sponsorship,” I had to immediately make it clear that the talk was not on one of the current governance issues in our country! Sponsorship is though, about responsible and transparent invitation and support around one of the most sane renewal movements there is.

A story about a bicycle: Paul took his bicycle into the bike shop for an overhaul because he was riding back and forth to work. This ride took him over slushy, snowy, salty, pot- holed streets. Paul found out that there were some serious problems with some spokes, a wheel hub, and brake and gear wires. If he had not done the maintenance, in all likelihood he would have had a serious crash. So, even though the cost was significant, Paul paid for the repairs. Of course he still had to ride safely and sensibly according to conditions and road rules to be as safe as possible, but at least he had put the bike back into good condition. No! This talk is not about bicycle maintenance. Sponsorship is about healthy spiritual maintenance of God’s instrument, the Church.

And now here are the 3 things I plan to do:

  1. Reflect very briefly on the two parables just shared;
  2. Reflect on the difference and similarity between a noun and a verb;
  3. Name what I believe to be foundational guide-posts on the pilgrimage of recruitment of women and men to Cursillo Weekends.

And so to the first:

The two “parables” are experiential, and not from Scripture. It is important to see “parables” in our every-day experiences.

In the first parable, we simply focus on 4 words: responsible, transparent, invitation, and support. They are fundamental to the Cursillo sponsorship process.

Here in the second parable we highlight the following:

  • bicycle = life-style;
  • bike shop = Christian community;
  • work = environment;
  • road conditions = the way life is;
  • found serious problems = self-examination;
  • maintenance = personal spiritual work — prayer, corporate worship, grouping, etc;
  • serious crash = results from ignoring spiritual work;
  • cost = sacrifice, discipline, advice;
  • ride with common sense & obedience = no magic light switch -things can happen but in God nothing can overcome the soul.

This is obviously about the sponsor first; it is also about the actual and potential of the possible candidate.

Nouns and verbs…

The second of the three parts of this talk has to do with 2 words: sponsor and sponsorship. It is helpful to make the simple distinction between “verb”and a “noun.”

Sponsorship is the noun; sponsor is the verb. This is simply a useful was to keep focused on what is happening in the sponsorship work of Cursillo. The distinction is a simple way to the important awareness of the difference between doing and being. Who we are as a pilgrim Christian and recruiter of candidates is the primary shape and impact of the “invitation” we issue —regardless of how smooth and persuasive our words.

Let’s have a little Bible study here. Please turn to the first chapter of the Gospel according to St. John. The verses we will use are 35 to 51 inclusive. ..John I: 35-51.

This is a Gospel story of Sponsorship! …Of being a sponsor, and what can happen to both sponsor and candidate. It is full of conversation -talk about Jesus -invitation – hesitancy- new relationships. Let’s look at it. (Go quickly through the story. Read it first if there is time; if time is short, then highlight through it, with the folks following closely in their Bibles. What happens in this Gospel examination will vary from group to group, and so should not be scripted.)

Third, the guideposts…

Finally, here is how I understand the guiding principles of sponsorship in Cursillo. I note that I have not copied Cursillo books and lists, but rather listed the guidelines as I have experienced and observed over the years, and in different Cursillo movements in Canada.

Each point is important not as it stands alone, but rather as an individual part, each part necessary to a healthy whole.

  1. As a “recruiter” ( would-be sponsor), be comfortable in your own faith…. not arrogant, but an intentional pilgrim on the path of faith to which you are welcoming a potential candidate.
  2. Look for women and men who are reasonably stable in their personal and family life.
  3. Look for women and men in your parish, work place, or recreational life, who are or have been in leadership roles in church, work or the larger community. And consult with your parish priest as to suggested persons.
  4. A sponsor is not a would-be counsellor, looking for someone to help. If in doubt about a potential candidate, consult your parish priest.
  5. Never reduce sponsorship to frantic scrambling to find enough warm bodies to hit a minimum number of candidates to avoid cancelling a planned weekend, Instead, pray calmly and realistically.
  6. Never forget that a faithful sponsor neither breaths a sigh of relief and then disappears after their candidate leaves for the weekend, nor does a faithful sponsor consider his or her relationship to the candidate to continue forever. Help them into the right -for them-grouping, and let them go free.
  7. Cursillo is not a secret organization! Different personality types are all represented in the family of God. An able sponsor is guided more by the potential candidate than by a “one size fits all” rigidity; and don’t let your invitation be over-related to your own experience of your weekend. There are all kinds of beautiful surprises for candidates on a Cursillo Weekend, even if your candidate is one of those who need to know the basic weekend schedule.

Relaxation in the Spirit is the key of any successful Cursillo Weekend. Of course the Leadership Team is the first key for that success. But the second key, and vital it is, is the sponsoring of Candidates. And, of course, all is in God’s loving and restoring hands.


Ken Genge
(retired Bishop of Diocese of Edmonton)

Pulpit Talks


Those who have attended Cursillo Weekends are often willing to share some of their experience with others.

One way to do that is to give a pulpit talk. This short talk may be given during Church announcements, or perhaps even replace a sermon — with permission of course! Consult with the clergy in your parish for an appropriate time to share this talk.

The Edmonton Anglican Cursillo secretariat has provided a sample pulput talk for use in parishes. You may download the pulpit talk

Expectations of Cursillo Secretariat Members

Serving on Cursillo Secretariat is a call to God’s service. But, there are also particular responsibilities and performance expectations which come with this ministry. As a Secretariat member, you are called to:

1. Support all fellow members of the Secretariat through upholding each in regular prayer.

2. Live the Fourth Day through participating in a permanent group reunion and attending Ultreyas and Servant Community events on a regular basis. Piety, Study, and Action should be an integral part of your life in Christ.

3. Become familiar with the Edmonton Cursillo Guidelines, CACS Guidelines, and relevant NECS Cursillo information.

4. Be committed to promoting the authentic Cursillo.

5. Work together with other members of the Secretariat to promote a spirit of love, unity and trust.

6. Be familiar with the particular job responsibilities which accompany your position, and ensure that each of the tasks associated with these responsibilities are completed in a timely manner.

7. Act in good faith and in the best interests of the Edmonton Cursillo community, since you have a fiduciary responsibility (hold a position of trust.)

8. Prepare for meetings. This includes reading the minutes of the previous meeting, identifying any questions or concerns, and bringing your written reports.

9. Attend all Secretariat meetings, ask questions as needed, and develop a working knowledge of meeting procedures and current activities of the Secretariat. In the event that you are unable to attend a meeting, advise the Lay Director and provide your report in writing.

10. Keep confidential matters of a delicate nature, as defined by the Secretariat.