Dear brothers and sisters,
Sorry this report is a few days late. What really comes to my mind is being: busy, busy, busy. I think probably for most of us there is only so fast we can go with our daily schedule, while effectively maintaining our soulfulness. (you can regard the grammar of the last sentence as an indication of my need to adjust my balance.)Anyway, it’s always good to challenge our limits and make improvements
Please find below a report on some of the things over the last week or so:
Thursday 6th LG meeting with Tim Miller, David Hanna and David Franklin
One of the interesting topics we worked on was finding a better way to develop all the volunteering that goes on in our Movement both in the UPF and FFWPU.
Friday 7th LG: worked on various areas, following up emails, and phone calls.
Saturday 8th South London Region: Joined a local game of football between the fit youth and the talented others. The fit youth won, (I think they had some talent too) and I am still recovering. It was a really good experience on many levels and something we should do more of.
Sunday 9th Chieko and I joined Hayashi San’s North London Region at LG, which is also our local region. After the service we had a meeting all together, to plan and also share about different topics. A strong theme seems to be ‘how much of a family are we?’ I guess it depends on one’s criteria. But, judging by the level of honesty and emotion, it is clear to me that we are a family, and considering all of our limitations we are also a generous one. There were also some good ideas for projects, and we also discussed local projects for the Global Peace Festival.
Monday 10th 11am HQs Finance meeting/ 3pm UPF HQs meeting/ 6.30pm GPF partners’ introduction meeting:. Everyone was a bit late in the morning, due to the storm. British weather, it is so dramatic! Lot’s to say, but here is a v brief summary:
Finance: We will be giving a report to the regional leaders at the end of the month and sending a report out hopefully next month for all of our membership to give an overview and update on where we are.
UPF HQ’s fortnightly meeting: This was the first of our new style restructured HQs meeting which is different from the traditional HQs Dept. Leaders meeting which we have had for many years. Essentially we are separating out the FFWPU and UPF elements, to give our work stronger focus. We had an over ambitious agenda, and decided to meet again in a couple of days on some more urgent specific topics.
Introduction for new and potential GPF partners: This evening meeting was really incredible. It was not the power point and short video that witnessed to the GPF theme of ‘one family under God’, but it was the incredible rich and diverse group that attended, listened and shared with each other about their ideas and suggestions: Libyan diplomat, rape counsellor, refugee NGO, Christian minister who said he is not religious but…., Nectar Arts, people representing the environment issue, editor of Mystic Way magazine, Pakistan India Friendship Forum, student activists from UCL interfaith society, etc.
Tuesday 11th took care of kids in the morning, so Chieko could do some shopping, hospital: i had an appointment organised by my GP from a long time ago – bit redundant now as I am ok, but thought I would go anyway. Also, while I was ‘taking care’ of the two little ones Eddie had climbed up something and fallen on his cheek and cut his face, so Chieko and Eddie and Mark came with me to the hospital and we got Eddie’s face looked at, they put some magic glue on it to close the cut, he was brave, and is fine now. worked at home in the afternoon, LG in the evening for the Civil and Religious Law event which had some really eloquent speakers, and raised some very interesting questions about how there is a secular trend in our ‘human rights laws’ that has a disregard for our freedom to practice our faith. Please see the HTN for a full report.
Wednesday 12th Business/property Meeting in Cleeve House, people present: most of those responsible for running our properties. Again lots to say, but an overall impression for me was being impressed and moved by the seriousness and dedication of all those involved to take on the very big job of continually bringing our external foundations up to a higher and higher standard.
Thursday 13th Breakfast (good word to include, sounds more civilised.) telephone conference with HQs, regions, and President Song, regarding preparations to send 20 participants to the UPF International Leadership Conference in Korea around the time of True Parents Day (3rd – 7th April.)
UPF HQs meeting about GPF assembly in September; we decided to have a change of environment from LG, so we met in a cafe in Kensington Gdns. It was hard work but we got a decent draft plan together.
Took Damon and Lenny to their Kumon class. It’s an out of school maths and English study thing that originates from Japan, but has become popular internationally. They love it and hate it.
Evening: Faithlink event at UCL: this was in partnership with the UCL student interfaith society, Matthew Huish chaired the discussion. There were 3 speakers: an Anglican priest form East London University, a lawyer, and the President of the UCL Jewish Society. Really good group of people there, who through each event are coming closer and closer together, and helping to build one family under God.
Friday 14th Environment Conference meeting in St Albans with Jeff Bateman and a group of environmental activists who want to hold an environment conference in conjunction with GPF in September. Again, lots to say, but maybe another time. Just I was thinking to not go to the meeting because of being too busy, but was really glad I decided to go. There were a lot of developments and action steps and the concept really came together. I guess when I am not sure about something the secret is to take a risk and put in a bit more effort and try to keep those commitments that I have made with others.
Dear brothers and sisters, thank you for reading. I hope you have a good weekend, and whatever you do, I hope it goes well.