European Leaders Meeting

Dear Blessed family members,

Happy Ahn Shi Il.

Location: I am waiting in Girona airport in Spain for my delayed Ryan where (is the plane?) flight. Sitting here with the Celtic fans (Barcelona: 1 Celtic: 0) who are not happy about the 10 hour wait for our flight, especially because of missing their London connection to Glasgow. Lots of strong Glaswegian humour, making me nostalgic for my old MFT days and late night rose runs.

After the initial shock about the delay I could embraced the time and duty free space and started to review  the material from the last week and try and take it in a bit more. Our 6am flight eventually left at 17.30, ended up really appreciating the wait.

We have just finished the WCARP HQs alignment workshop which came on the back of the European Cheon Il Guk Leaders Assembly. So I have been in the same hotel for a week and probably put on about 2 kilos. Chieko was here for two and a half days, and that was very good, to be here together. She also really appreciated coming and having a chance to meet so many people. Also, I have spoken to the boys 2 or 3 times, and they sound like they are doing well.  I had a long conversation with what sounded like Lenny (5 and a half), who kept answering my questions with “yea”, only to find out after it had been Eddie (2).

27th February: Went to Barcelona for European Regional Leaders Meeting. (As UK national leader I should also take responsibility as a regional leader for Ireland, Iceland, and Malta. Still figuring out what that really means.) Basically spent the whole day travelling: arrived at the hotel around 9pm.

28th February: Regional leaders meeting with President Song.

One of the things we discussed was last year’s Otocec Resolution which is basically the goals and objectives for our movement   during 2007. It was set up at last year’s European Cheon Il Guk Assembly which took place in Slovenia, Otocec.

President Song asked us to discuss and review the objectives. The main objective last year had been to remove the Shengen ban on True Parents’ entry into Europe. This was successfully achieved!

There was a lot of feedback. One key point was that if the resolution is something we want to all read on a daily basis as a determination and have as a focus for all of our prayers, it should be shorter, and more motivational. President Song asked four or five people to make a committee and work on reforming the concept a bit. They focused late into the evening trying to get the wording and over all vision for the resolution clear. It was simplified and reduced from 6 points to 4.

To make more space for creativity, an invitation at the end of the four points was added:  for us to all make personal goals and action plans and express our own passion for God’s Providence in Europe in 2008. You should receive it soon through your regional FFWPU chapter.

29th February: Everyone arrived for the well attended assembly with a large contingent from the UK made up of HQs and regional staff from UPF and FFWPU, WFWP, CARP, HARP, SFP, and Ambassadors for Peace. (Sorry for all the acronyms.)

Over all the assembly was constructive in helping everyone catch an over view of all our movement’s developments and also giving people a chance to discuss in focus groups on different topics and areas of expertise. There were enough breaks in the schedule to allow people to network and spend time together.

2nd March, Sunday: Most people left after lunch and about 50 or so stayed on for the workshop with the WCARP HQs staff. A lot of national leaders and CARP leaders from Europe stayed. President Song also joined and took part in all the lectures, which I think really helped to create a very special spirit of unity between WCARP and UPF/FFWPU.  Together with the others who attended from UK I want to pass on the content, over the next few months. Some of the elder brothers and sisters who were hearing this content for the first time felt it was really revolutionary. Since Hyun Jin Nim started his public mission in 1998 he has been consistently developing a very clear vision for our movement through sharing his understanding of God’s Providence as a son of True Parents. Starting with the inheritance and development tour in 2000, then the Settlement Age Workshops, and now through the WCARP HQs staff he is giving us again a deeper insight into where we are heading  over these five years leading up to 2012. They have been visiting all the continental ‘regions’ of our worldwide movement: Africa, South America, Asia, ‘North East Continent’, etc.

It was really a chance to catch a profound perspective on our lives as Blessed families. To see how we fit into God’s dream to make one family, and to understand our past experience and our current role, and the type of culture we can now create. We could consider the opportunities that are in front of us and reflect on our openness as families and as a movement to shed our old skin and catch the spirit of the era after the coming of heaven that we are now in. I really wonder what you all make of some of this content and how much for some of us it sometimes or often sounds like a theory, and at other times for some of us we can reach out and touch it, and it is very real.

It was very difficult in the beginning of the workshop for me to have an open heart. Cheon Il Guk Assembly finishing on same day as we started the Alignment Workshop was a contributing factor to my initial restlessness. Never the less, as I started to evaluate myself, I started to feel that this is not just part of my job to attend this workshop, but actually there are some very deep points of Principle through which God wants to educate me.

Also a lot of the UK youth department were there and I was very moved by how they not only participated but also helped to facilitate the whole program by jumping in at the last minute, and serving the whole group by helping as the MC or with the general affairs.

Take care, and I hope you have a good week.

Simon

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working at 43LG church community in West London

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