Dear brothers and sisters,
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
I hope you had a good Ahn Shi Il yesterday. So, I wanted to share our experience as the Cooper family, to reach out and get involved in the Global Peace Festival build up towards the 22nd November:
We made a list of people to invite. It is not complete yet. But I divided it up into family, neighbours, friends, and others. It is not really complete yet, but it’s getting there. Then Chieko and I discussed who to send sponsorship/partner invitation letters to. There are some quite good materials for this now. Chieko started to mention some locally based businesses and organisations: Innocent (the smoothie company), Virgin Active (our local sports club), and the BBC (we live not so far from White City.) When she mentioned the BBC, I really got a bit annoyed, I could not see the logic, or what our angle was; living nearby was not really enough of a reason for me.
The reason I mention my grumble is that beyond just motivating our self into action, there is the whole interfamily dynamic that is also there to be considered as we try to reach out and let people know about this exciting project. I had to deal with my own frustration of my wife not thinking like me. On reflection I accepted that it is probably an incredible blessing….that she doesn’t think like me.
So anyway, I have sent a very nice email to Innocent Smoothies. I called them up and also researched their website, saw they are ‘passionate’ about the environment, invited them to support the environment focus session in various ways, including providing healthy refreshments for our delegates. Have not heard back yet- its only being a day, but will follow the email up on Monday morning. It was a good effort. I also went online and registered for the ExCel day pass for Nov. 22nd , and got my 25% discount, and signed up for the interfaith focus session.
To get involved on a personal level really required a certain level of self discipline. My wife and I also had to unite together, and try and be on the same page. We are used to doing that with the kids and on other matters, but not so much on outreach. So we opened up a new dimension to our relationship. I felt quite proud when I told her I had sent the Innocent email off, because I know she was really into the sponsorship idea, even though it was not high up on my list of priorities. I had made an effort to also think of her.
Chieko and I still have to clarify our goals, and create a time frame for them. But, what I am trying to get across is that the effort we made to support the higher purpose, a project that has a noble vision (“one family under God”), is very meaningful for our marriage and our family: it helps to make the Blessing less conditional and more real, it reminds me of our wedding vows which I can’t remember distinctly, but had something to do with serving the world, raising our children in that tradition. Ideas that start to take form and touch reality through small, sincerely made steps.
As the Family Federation community we are a pretty significant partner in this Global Peace Festival project. It really is trying to promote a lot of the things we all believe in and hope for. It is different from things we have done in the past, but generally in a good way. I would suggest we all find some way to get our head around the concept, to then sit down and ask our self deep down: would I like to contribute? If the answer is yes, then figure out: how could I promote this project? What way could I reach out? If the answer doesn’t come, or you see some holes in the logic, don’t give up, ask someone who can help get you an answer, email or call me if you like. Questions are good. It will not only help to make this project more meaningful and successful, but also our families will really benefit incredibly. It is a vehicle, and it is always nice when someone offers you a lift.
Let us deconstruct our identity as members of an organisation, and rebuild it in a fashion that fits the time and moment that we live in today. That way we can all help drive this vehicle to where it needs to get to.
Lots to say about the developments on the HQs level, what all our staff are doing, but maybe better save that for another email.
Have a wonderful weekend. But while you have a wonderful weekend, how about register yourself for the GPF at http://globalpeacefestival-uk.org/ . If you are thinking of coming you will save a bit of cash, and if you are thinking of inviting someone it will give you a bit of confidence – it helps if you have tried it yourself first. Hey, and it will definitely be a new experience! When ever before did you get the chance to register on line for an event connected to your Unification movement? Talk about modernity!
God bless you.