Thank you to all of you who emailed me about last week’s report with feedback and comments. It was very good to hear from all of you. I have been in Korea from the 8th – 14th February. It was over all a very good trip. I could attend True Parents’ Birthday celebration in the Peace Palace, and also many other meetings and events. I am attaching a few docs: notes from Hyun Jin Nim and Rev Kwak, and True Father.
I spent one night in Cheong Pyong which meant I could join two of the Holy Song sessions, which I was grateful for. I was wondering how long to stay in CP and when to go to the Marriot Hotel for the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) meetings, finding it hard to make a good decision. Then one brother from Africa mentioned how they were just going to catch the bus into Seoul to listen to Hyung Jin Nim’s Saturday Service at the Chong Pa Dong church. So I quickly grabbed all my stuff and went in to town with the African delegation. The whole service was very well organised, and as we were entering there was Hyung Jin Nim and Yon Ah Nim, his wife, both standing at different sides of the lobby greeting as many people as they could asking them for their name and where they were from.
The service was staggered in many stages and included music, meditation, testimony from from Yon Ah Nim, individual and collective prayer time, and also of course the sermon or main message. At one point I was crying so much I was wishing I had sat further towards the back of the hall. Towards the end he encourages everyone to have a VIP week (full of Victory, Illumination, and Peace.)
Again, at the end they stood near the stairs leading down to the exit and shook people’s hands as they left.
There was an American delegation of Reverends with Michael Jenkins who had come to join the service which was making its way back to the Marriot Hotel, so I grabbed my suitcase and joined another continent for the next part of my journey. They stopped on the way to visit the original church which was further up the hill where True Parents had held their marriage ceremony in 1960, and also visited the new museum which provides a very high tech audio visual account of True Parents life and work.
The UPF International Leadership Conference was over flowing with many prominent delegates mainly from the political field but also from the religious side of life, and some like the President of Samoa (who leads Mass when his priest is away) leading in both the practical and internal sides of life. It was impressive to see the level of commitment and energy among many of the Ambassadors for Peace towards the vision of the UPF and also their sincere and deep respect and loyalty towards True Parents.
It feels strange that on one level we are teaching Divine Principle to presidents and leading figures in our society, being invited to give seminars in people’s parliaments, but at home in our university, or at work, or in the playground picking up our kids after school we are sometimes still nervous to explain what our Movement is doing. In fact I wonder how much we feel we are members of the UPF, how much we feel part of that team. It seems there is a big gap. Something for us all to work on I guess.
It is important that we find a way to open wide the UPF to all Blessed Families, and also open our minds more to be free to catch the vision of the UPF so that there can be a stronger grass roots support for all the work True Parents are doing. Rev Kwak expressed clearly that it is Father’s main providential organisation of the age that we are in, so I am sure as those closest to Father in heart we would like to be helping all the efforts to drive that vehicle forward.
The day after True Parents Birthday I was in a group of about 100 who were invited to attend a smaller HDH session with True Parents and some of the True Family. It is not easy to understand Father, but to be able to sit close enough to read his face was an incredible privilege. His face is so full of life. They are a bit inadequate, and my brain was a bit low on battery power, but I wrote down a few words while I was sitting there to try and capture the moment: “richness, unashamed and wise, character, and honour, proud, intelligent and strong.” When I looked into his face all the lines are like a testimony to his life full of extreme experiences and I could sense the sincerity with which he faced everything. What a role model.
There is a lot more to say especially from the meetings I took part in, and especially in terms of explaining much more about the UPF and how we need to bring ourselves more fully into the spirit of the age we are now in. But probably this is enough for one email and please take a few minutes to read the attachments where you can catch something more directly from Rev Kwak, HJN, and Father.