The 2016 annual National Leadership Conference, themed this year as “430 Tribal Messiahship,” is a gathering of over 150 FFWPU USA pastors and ministry leaders this week in Las Vegas. Like last year, the conference embraces a family mentality where our national team of pastors and ministry leaders connect as one family and go about their day as families would, breaking up into teams of families, sharing their dreams and goals together, brainstorming together and even playing games together. The difference this year is that last year’s participants were each able to invite one more person to attend, expanding the scope of this meeting to include not only district pastors but local pastors, youth pastors, regional coordinators, and even Universal Peace Academy (UPA) cadets and Global Top Gun graduates from around the world. The intended outcome is a sense of leadership as a family, where every element and individual that makes up our national family has a shared role in leading our American movement and moving forward together.
Taking place over four days, the 430 Tribal Messiahship leadership conference covers four specific areas for reaching our National Tribal Messiahship goals for Vision 2020: Celebrating Achievements, Vision and Modeling, Goal Setting, and Action. On Tuesday, April 12, the conference opened with a lunch at the International Peace Education Center, followed by worship, prayer and icebreaker activities.
The theme for the day was “Celebrating Achievements.” Dr. Michael Balcomb, FFWPU USA President, gave opening remarks, and then Demian Dunkley, Director of Evangelism, gave an overview of the entire conference, its objectives and projected outcomes.
The presentations began that afternoon, with FFWPU USA Vice President Miilhan Stephens giving a review of the recent International Leadership Conference in Korea, Dr. Balcomb sharing a presentation about claiming our national victories, and Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP USA) President Naokimi Ushiroda leading a follow-up reflection activity.
The day closed with a garden party at the Las Vegas Family Church, where participants ate dinner and enjoyed entertainment, making for a lovely evening of family bonding. There was time to share favorite memories, during which participants learned a lot about each other’s lives, were able to connect deeply, and talked for hours on end. Several participants noted that this was a great way to open the conference, and they look forward to moving together as a family.
The conference continued bright and early on April 13, starting with a Hoon Dok Hwe (scripture reading) session and a testimony given by Bay Area Family Church Pastor, Rev. Kevin Thompson, on the recent Set Free Summit in North Carolina.
The theme for the day was “Vision and Modeling.” After an exercise session, breakfast, and group prayer, Continental Chairman Dr. Ki Hoon Kim talked about True Parents’ 40-year ministry in America. Dr. Balcomb followed up with a presentation on Vision 2020 and our plan for the next four years, and then Demian Dunkley gave three evening sessions about Tribal Messiahship, including discussions and guided reflections.
In the next two days, pastors and national leaders will receive more presentations and practical activities geared toward uniting under a common vision and everyone finding their personal contribution toward it. Pastors will be given the conference materials to share and practice with their communities upon returning home. Stay tuned for more news from this conference in Las Vegas in Friday’s weekly update video.