Jesus loves me, this I know.


Recently,  TN Episcopal Cursillo published a report by Pat Dunnavant of his attendance at the diocesan convention. In it he tells that he became aware of Jesus' love for him on his mountain weekend in 1998. I say the same though it was later in 2011 and I was quite a bit older. 

To finally understand the song, "Jesus loves me, this I know" was an indescribable joy, revelation, and relief.

I had been a committed Christian most of my life, but that commitment had been based much more on obligation than on relationship.  Cursillo has allowed me to know God as my loving Father, saving brother, supporting Spirit.  Cursillo brought me into true connection with the Christian family. I had been a member on the edge.  Cursillo has brought me in, closer to God and to the other members of the family, showing me how to be one that reaches out to strengthen connections to others.

I've just returned from a long overdue reunion with my brother in Atlanta.  It was prompted by an unexpected, casual phone call.  God often presents us with obvious opportunities for connecting with family members.  If we accept those opportunities the result can be an experience of renewing the spark of His love that waits in potential for our awareness. 

Group reunion experiences wait for us with that same potential. Taking the opportunity to reconnect with those Cursillo family members  renews and strengthens our connections to our friends, members of the Cursillo communion, and to God.  We receive that spark of Energy, God's love, and leave the meeting ignited.  We can live more fully, aware and open to the possibilities God presents for our growth into that person accepted in love by Him and equipped to live in His will.

We can live with our senses open to the full beauty and diversity of God's invitation to connect with Him.  De Colores!

- Patricia Petty 


Posted on January 10, 2017 .

Tell your story.

On Saturday, Feb. 6th, I represented Cursillo at the Diocesan Convention at St’ George’s Church in Nashville.  Thanks to all that dropped by.  Did you get your pin?  Due to the convention having to be rescheduled because of weather, they were not many display tables occupied.  We were all in the hallway between the Library and the Sanctuary. Our Cursillo table was located right outside the men’s restroom.  I found this most opportunistic. 

Across the hall was a display table for the Thistle Farm with 2 ladies from there working to sell their goods.  Yes, I purchased some – for two important people in my life.  About mid-morning and during a time in which the delegates were busy being delegates, a member of the staff of St. George’s struck up a conversation with the ladies from the Thistle Farm.  I was close enough to overhear without eaves dropping.  She was telling him about Thistle Farm and its founder, who was in attendance of the convention.  But what really caught my ear was that Karen, one of the ladies from the Farm, began to tell him her story - her story of drugs, alcohol and much more.  She told of how low she was at one time in her life and that without Jesus and the Thistle Farm, she would not have survived.  She told of how, even today, now that she is clean, still working with the Thistle Farm and leaving on her own, how important her relationship with Jesus Christ is.  She told her story.

Hearing Karen’s story or part of her story, reminded me of my own story.  It reminded of that moment when I first realized that Jesus loves me, in spite of myself.  My personal relationship with Christ became that mutual relationship on the Mountain – when I made my Cursillo in 1998.  Karen and I do not have lives that have the same experiences but yet we both love Christ and know that Christ loves us.  We actually talked about that.  There is much more to Karen’s story and to my story as well. 

Have you shared your story?  We all have a story to tell.  Telling your story can be therapeutic - not for you but for someone that may need to hear it or like me, someone close enough to listen.  Our Group Reunion card asks us if we have a specific plan to witness.  Be observant of those opportunities. 

Tell your story.

Peace to you all.

Pat Dunnavant  

Posted on February 16, 2016 .

Remember your weekend.

How was your Cursillo weekend?

Did you love it? Do you want others to experience it?  Long ago, in a time far away (TEC, years ago), we had a benefactor who contributed each year to cover the cost of the weekend.  Any registration fees paid by the team and participants was gravy.  Unfortunately, that time has passed. 

Do you remember the Sunday reflection, “Sermon on the Amount?”  Probably not; you were overwhelmed with so much at that point.  Currently, it costs approximately $220 per person (per team member, per participant) for the weekend; we ask that all pay $50 to attend, and request that any team member add as they are able, up to the $200.  Does $200 seem too high for 3 days & nights as well as 8 meals & endless snacks?  I’ll be going to the mountain in January for a workshop; I’ll be paying $80/night to stay at the Smoke House Inn….no meals included!

We have reached a point where we need your generosity.  If your experience was worth a donation of $10, please click the link below.  If you want to share $50, great.  A $200 donation will almost cover the weekend for someone else.  If you feel called to share a larger amount – we’ll put it to good use!  The important part to remember is – any donation you feel led to make is so very helpful, regardless of the amount.  You can even  have your bank account charged monthly with a recurring gift to TEC.

As we approach this time of giving thanks, please remember Tennessee Episcopal Cursillo.


Posted on February 9, 2016 .

Cursillo Team Applications

Would you like to serve on a Cursillo weekend team?
Click here to fill out an application expressing your interest in serving on a team.  Applications will be reviewed and teams formed so that there is a good balance of male/female as well as representation from as many parishes as possible.  Applicants should expect to serve on a team within 2-5 years.

Posted on September 28, 2015 .

How I Spend My Summer Vacation

De Colores!

God willing, Tennessee Episcopal Cursillo (TEC) #73 will be my 21th weekend to serve on team. I made my Cursillo at TEC #46 in 1996, and Janelee Wise invited me to be on her team the following year.  The gift from my Cursillo weekend was learning that the tools of piety, study and action were less cumbersome and more organized than what I had been trying. Adopting their simpler discipline allowed me to stop struggling so hard to be a Christian.  I began to know Christ more personally. 

Being on Music Team revealed the gift of “servant leadership” and helped me find a better place with music.  Performing could still be intensely personal but even more fulfilling, as it was centered on God and wasn’t all about me or my vocal or instrumental abilities (or lack thereof). 

The key to leading singing is getting the song going in tune, on tempo, comfortable and compelling for folks to lift their voices in prayer and worship. The joy and excitement that singing creates in the Rollo room and at the Serenade are always wonderful. 

The presence of the Spirit invoked by prayer and “quiet music” during the Anointing in the Chapel is my closest moment on every weekend; I thank God always for the honor and privilege of being there.    

One of the unexpected gifts of Cursillo was that it introduced me to new friends and I developed relationships across the diocese with priests, musicians, and laity that I would have never gotten to know otherwise. 

In that process of using the tools (piety, study, action), being committed to a regular Group Reunion, experiencing the Cursillo method and its presentation on a number of weekends, and becoming more a Church musician, I began to realize Cursillo was one of my ministries. I served on the TEC Commission a couple of times and will continue to be active on Servant Community committees after I complete my term as Commissioner following the 2016 Annual Convention. 

Remember that we hold Weekends to create Group Reunions. If you are not grouping, please consider renewing that commitment and using that discipline again. Attend an Ultreya and seek others who are looking to group. 

If you want to be on a weekend team (or be on team again), visit the TEC website and complete the form so we will know your interest. Attend a Servant Community meeting and see how you can help on a committee. Consider a regular donation to TEC to help cover the cost of someone’s weekend or make a memorial donation to cover the new Alleluia III songbooks.  


Jim Rutledge, TEC 46

Posted on August 18, 2015 .

Servant Community Up and Running

The Cursillo Commission of the Diocese of Tennessee has organized a Servant Community for the work of Cursillo.  The Commission is the group of Cursillo leaders, appointed by the Bishop, who set policy, administer the movement, and connect to Cursillistas in the diocese and in other dioceses.  The Servant Community is the much larger body of Cursillo leaders who do the work of the movement—arrange all parts of the three-day weekend, shepherd the Fourth-day, handle all the communications, and handle administrative tasks like book-keeping, registration, and reporting.

This work of maintaining Cursillo belongs to all Cursillistas in the diocese.  We want and need you to help with all this work.  Below you will find a description of the four committees in which the Servant Community is organized.  Where do you see your gifts fitting into this work?  How would you like to help?

Check out our new Servant Community page for more info.

Posted on April 14, 2014 .

Check out the new smartphone app from National Episcopal Cursillo


The Episcopal Cursillo has been transforming lives and changing the face of the Church for over four decades. This app is a gateway into the life and practice of our faith through the Cursillo Method. Here you will find: - The Reunion Cards for both permanent Reunion Groups and for Ultreya Floating Groups. - Access to both mobile and full websites and all their contents without leaving the app - The latest email blasts from MailChimp - Current Cursillo News - Published Newsletters - An events calendar that will post to your personal calendar if you wish - A Cursillo photo Gallery - A video gallery - Links to our social media presence - How to contact us. And this is just the beginning! We can develop this app in ways that will enhance your relationships through The Cursillo ministry. Ultreya!


Posted on November 6, 2013 .

Sponsorship Deadline 9-24

Make a friend.

Be a friend.

Bring a friend to Christ.

Most of us are familiar with this mantra.  We might be able to remember opportunities  when we have put it into action in our everyday relationships.  We might even recall when someone loved us enough to introduce us to Jesus, either for the first time, or with a renewed vitality.  Consider sponsoring a friend for this upcoming Cursillo weekend.  The dates are October 24-27.  

Talk to God about your friend.  

Talk to the clergy in your parish about your friend. 

Sign your friend up for TEC #71.  (download registration form here)

Part of the work of the Cursillo weekend retreat is giving the participants a crash course in receiving.  The vitality of our work depends on reckless, lavish, and excessive giving.  We barely scratch the surface of the deep, broad, and high love of God, but the idea is to encourage the practice of depending on that grace.  While the bounty of the love of Christ will never run out, we cannot facilitate learning to receive unless we are willing to give.

Consider sponsorship.  (learn more about being a sponsor)  

Consider giving to Tennessee Episcopal Cursillo.

The deadline for registration is September 24th.  

Looking forward to seeing you and your friend on the mountain!

Posted on September 16, 2013 .

Clergy Reflection on Cursillo

"But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift. The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ." ~ Ephesians 4:7, 11-12

There are many ways God gets a hold of us during our journey of faith that call us into deeper relationship with God and our community. One particular way early in my journey was my weekend experience of Cursillo. Cursillo is a movement of the church which helps folks understand their call to be Christian Leaders. In many ways it was the turning point for me from receiver to giver in the Christian community.

The goal of Cursillo is to bring all to Christ which is done by allowing participants a weekend to experience the hands and feet of Christ in a real and present way in their brothers and sisters in Christ. The weekend helps to renew and deepen Christian commitment. This is done as a diverse group of Episcopalians come together in worship, learning, and conversation. New insights, deep relationships, and a renewed sense of purpose are found in the midst of the weekend.

You may have been told that Cursillo is a "secret" movement. This is not so..  If you are interested or have questions, please feel free to contact me, someone you know who has attended a weekend, or those on the diocesan Cursillo commission.

~De Colores!

-Julie Anna Johnson, Rector St. Mary Magdalene, Fayetteville

Posted on July 31, 2013 .

A Note from Mark Rutledge, Lay Rector TEC#71

Cursillo changed my life. 

I know we are only supposed to send mature Christians there, but I wasn't a mature Christian when I went.  I did encounter Jesus, and felt I was in that "thin place" where Heaven and earth coexist. That mountain top experience is kept alive today in me via reunion group. I realize we all come to Cursillo when we are supposed to at different phases of our spiritual life.  There is no expectation that the Cursillistas of Cursillo 71 will have the same experience I had.

A good portion of the team has been selected. Initial meeting tentatively scheduled to be at my home in September and then a Friday night training at St. Paul's Murfreesboro in early October.

Please be thinking of those who might benefit by participating in Cursillo 71.


Posted on June 7, 2013 .