At the FFWPU USA National Leaders’ Meeting for the month of October, speakers and participants revealed new strategies being developed and events being planned for the final quarter of 2016 and the beginning quarter of our concerted efforts to achieve Vision 2020.
The meeting was emceed by Miilhan Stephens, Vice President of FFWPU USA, who invited Karlsun Allen of the Evangelism Ministry Team to offer the opening prayer. Vice President of FFWPU USA Mari Curry followed with a scripture reading from “Life of the Cheon Il Guk Citizen.” Read the presentation summaries below to learn about the events and opportunities shared at the October meeting.
The final takeaway of the gathering was the following message by Dr. Kim, who shared both practical details of True Mother’s upcoming visit to America, and spiritual insight into our movement and humankind’s collective responsibility to resolve fundamental problems in our global society through the teachings of True Parents.
LET’S REVIEW: AMERICA AND GOD’S WILL RALLY
Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of FFWPU USA, gave an overview of the events surrounding the America and God’s Will Rally which took place on September 17, 2016. The vast majority of the National Ministry Team had attended the rally, but benefitted from hearing all that transpired that weekend from the commemoration banquet to the Sunday Service.
Dr. Balcomb then shared his honest insight about the event, first asking leaders to reflect on their own honest thoughts. “How many of you compared the numbers of the original rally in 1976, and the one that took place this year, and wondered whether we are going in the right direction?” He added, citing the Bible story of Moses and Joshua, “When do you think there were more people ready to cross into the Promised Land? With Moses or with Joshua? The first time, the people were so excited, they had just been liberated from Egypt, and Moses was in charge. Imagine the faith it took to then stick around for 40 years—even the second generation who didn’t hear the promise or the message firsthand.” Dr. Balcomb concluded that those who are still committed to True Parents’ vision after all these years are the ones who will get the job done.
Upon that introduction, the National Ministry Team looked ahead to upcoming initiatives and the work to which they are committing for the remainder of 2016.
SPECIAL UPCOMING: JAPANESE REVIVAL 7-DAY WORKSHOP
Rev. Hiroshi Inose, Director of Kodan and Cheon Il Guk IW, shared about a new Divine Principle workshop available in the Japanese language at the International Peace Education Center from January 14-20, 2017. It hasn’t been long that Divine Principle workshops have been available in Spanish, and now the magic of the Divine Principle seminars at IPEC (see Rev. Tanya Edwards’ testimony in the next section, below) are available in Japanese as well.
At the Japanese workshop, a Divine Principle lecturer from Japan will be invited to lead the discussions about Divine Principle, True Parents’ course, and providential history. There will also be an opportunity to see nearby sights such as Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. Japanese-speaking Unificationists and guests of all ages are invited to attend.
“Divine Principle education is our foundation to revive America,” said Rev. Inose, noting, too, that education is the future. “IPEC is not just a building,” added Miilhan after Rev. Inose’s presentation. “True Father embedded his promise to God there.”
Stay tuned to hear more about the upcoming workshop and registration details.
OPPORTUNITY: DIVINE PRINCIPLE WORKSHOPS
Rev. Jesse Edwards and his wife, Pastor Tanya Edwards, also shared about their IPEC experience, after attending a seven-day Divine Principle workshop last month. Rev. Edwards shared the insight he gained from the Divine Principle: that our purpose as daughters and sons of God is to find God’s heart and bring joy to God, rather than finding joy for ourselves.
Pastor Tanya then admitted to being initially hesitant to attend the workshop, but then from day one being excited, inspired and energized thanks to Rev. Andrew Compton’s talented and welcoming lecturing style.
“Dr. Kim had asked me one day, ‘I think you need to go to the seven-day Divine Principle workshop’. Outside I’m going, ‘Yes, yes’, and inside I’m going, ‘No, no’,” she described, eliciting laughter from the meeting participants. “I went, and I’ll tell you, from the first day I was so excited, and so inspired. What I liked about it was that [Rev. Compton] allowed us to ask questions at any time, interrupt, and if we had a statement, or something we weren’t sure about, he just welcomed it at any time during his lecture. It was so emotionally wonderful because not only was I feeling inspired and happy because I was there and learning, but the input from the Word, the input from learning, the input from the teaching, was so gratifying, and uplifting. I encourage everyone to go. In fact, I’m trying to get my mother to go, and she’s willing to go.”
If you haven’t yet experienced a Divine Principle seminar at IPEC, find out more about upcoming workshops at familyfed.org/ipec.
NEW: MINISTRY SUPPORT STRATEGY
Demian Dunkley, Director of Evangelism; Crescentia DeGoede, Director of the Blessing & Family Ministry (BFM); and Naokimi Ushiroda, President of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) USA, together presented on the new FFWPU international ministry structure officially instated by True Mother earlier this year. This structure is based on three central ministries–Outreach and Education, Blessing and Family, and Youth and Students–which will be led by teams and coordinators on the international, national, and local levels.
The goals of the three ministries include providing tools and materials to local communities, raising the satisfaction and happiness of FFWPU members, reenergizing the Blessing movement, creating programs for families, and developing leadership opportunities for young aspiring leaders. The ministries will support pastors by helping to instate a team in each district devoted to these three ministry areas.
Demian, Crescentia and Naokimi then shared current and upcoming projects that will make immediate headway toward these goals, including the installation of local BFM coordinators to support pastors, as well as a CARP tour devoted to creating permanent young adult ministries in local communities.
The first stop on the CARP tour was the New York community on Sunday, October 2nd. Forty young adults met and discussed key needs and concerns, the most popular of which were Divine Principle education, reaching out to young adults who are feeling distant from the movement, discussing taboo subjects openly and honestly, and coming to a clear understanding of our movement’s purpose and vision. CARP looks forward to more fruitful discussions in the near future.
UPCOMING: INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
One of the key events taking place in the last quarter of this year is True Mother’s visit to America for the International Leadership Conference (ILC), launch of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) in the USA, and the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) National Convocation.
FFWPU and its affiliate organizations are working diligently to connect with bipartisan congressmen and women to plan for these upcoming conferences, which are groundbreaking initiatives by True Parents to take the conversation of world peace to the level of government and politics. So far, IAPP has drawn much support by congresspeople, particularly those with Christian backgrounds who are working to keep God at the center of our nation’s leadership.
Stay tuned for more information about the ILC (November 27 – December 1) and the ACLC national convocation (November 30 – December 3).
SAVE THE DATE: WFWP NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
True Parents founded the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) in 1992 with the intention of empowering and educating women with a new paradigm of leadership, one based on “reconciliation, compassion, love, service and sacrifice.” In keeping with this vision to raise up women leaders, WFWP is kicking off their annual National Assembly on Friday, November 11 with a celebration in honor of Veteran’s Day, featuring a Bridge of Peace Ceremony, WFWP’s signature peace and reconciliation project.
On Saturday, November 12 the main event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel will feature topics and discussions on how women can and do make an impact for creating peace in their families and communities. The 5th Annual Global Women’s Peace Network (GWPN) Panel will highlight distinguished women leaders, activists, and experts who will speak on what compassionate, sustainable leadership looks like in action. The afternoon will culminate with the first ever National Schools of Africa Gala Fundraiser. Participants will experience the beautiful and vibrant cultures of Africa as well as have the opportunity to donate to the nine schools WFWP founded and continues to support. A Marriage Blessing Celebration will be held on Sunday, November 13, a celebration of strong, healthy marriages and families as the cornerstone of peace.