I want to write once a week to all our brothers and sisters/members to tell you what I have been doing and also share some of my thoughts, feelings and experiences. It will help me first of all to remember the importance of being accountable to all of you as the national leader for our United Kingdom Unification Movement, and I hope also it will allow me to build a relationship with all of you.
Week 1 :
The change over ceremony two Sundays ago was a very special experience. To feel supported and encouraged by so many brothers and sisters of our Blessed Central families in our new mission made me feel very privileged. What was a real surprise was when three of the Faithlink committee members from the Muslim community also reportedly representing the Islam Channel, turned up and presented a shiny bronze plate, inscribed with the 99 names of God, as an expression of their support.
Monday 28th Jan in the morning I was at Tim Read’s house where we held a finance meeting with Tim Miller (now finance director) David Hannah (assistant national leader) and Juan Pique (Youth Dept. Director.) I felt it was important to have someone representing the youth in the meeting as they are an ever growing majority in our community and need to be more involved in the decisions of how we grow and develop our movement.
Also on Monday evening we had a Global Peace Festival (GPF)partners meeting in Lancaster Gate. Massimo Trombin (International field director for the GPF) was visiting and it was an opportunity to present the GPF project to new partners and discuss with existing partners. Unfortunately there were very few new partners, and the majority of us were from the Family Federation part of our movement. However, after the presentations we had a vigorous discussion.
On Tuesday I had my first ‘Department leaders’ meeting, which involves all the HQs departments and staff. Then a series of other smaller meetings developed throughout the day, and by the time I got on the bus to go home in the evening I was trying to digest all the emails and meetings and information over load that I was experiencing. That was last week, but I think I remember laughing inside and realising that this new mission will take some time to fully dawn on me.
Wednesday and Thursday worked on some fund generating ideas for the GPF project with Simon Rosselli and others.
On Friday evening we drove down with all the kids to see David and Kyung Ja Hannah who we will be working together with us as the assistant national leader couple. It was good to talk with them and get feedback from them on various topics. Our little kids were well entertained by their big kids which was nice.
Saturday was Ahn Shi Il and we didn’t wake the two big boys up like we normally do because we had got back quite late from the Hannah’s home. So it meant we did Ahn Shi Il with them in the evening and that meant including the two little ones as well. I always wonder how other families are managing with the whole thing of passing on tradition in an effective meaningful way. I lit the candle, and explained they could not play with it and that it was holy: they started offering full bows to it, which we didn’t really approve of. We have a book called the history of God which is in English but I think is put together in Korea, and though it is for children always seems to be a bit of a struggle getting the concepts across. Nevertheless we made our condition, and maybe God could enjoy aspects of our family service.
On Sunday as a family we visited the Watford/Harrow Church where Jeff Bateman is the pastor. His son gave an inspiring and short power point about some plans for an upcoming HARP program which involved inviting their friends and the local community. I gave a sermon; the main theme was that our week tends to contain various ups and downs, but as long as we have 3 basic routines in our daily life then all our experiences can be very meaningful and constructive. 1. A personal partnership with God. 2. Developing our Blessed Family tradition by bringing God into our home. 3. As a family contributing to our community and wider society. In the car on the way home the boys said that they had caught a bit of it when they came in at the end, and on being asked how it was expressed emphatically that it was “bor-ing; every single word.” They did say that they heard the congregation laughing. I pointed out that this was because they had not found it boring.
In the afternoon, I went down to Norbury by tube and train for the South London service. I got there a bit early so Franklin Fortune could show me the new Peace Embassy. I was really inspired, that they had pulled together as a community to buy such a place – it was a real community centre, and was just beautiful. Simon Rosselli gave a powerful sermon about the effort people put in to their life when they are serious about fulfilling their dreams. I always feel at home in South London, partly because so many people there took care of me when I was younger and still trying to figure out what to do with my life.