Last week there was an event to wish Rev and Mrs Song farewell as they prepared to leave for Japan, and a chance to meet the new director of the European Movement, Rev An. It wasn’t quite like the ceremony that took place in St.Paul’s cathedral today as the new ABC was sworn into his post, but it was possibly as long, just with less fancy dress.
One speech at our FFWPU event that stood out for me, was the one given by Dieter Schmidt, the president of our German FFWPU community in which he welcomed Rev An, on behalf of all the other leaders present. Germans certainly know how to say what they think with grace and confidence, how to be clear and direct about what they feel. Something we could learn from over here in England.
He kindly sent me his notes, and gave me permission to post it, as many people said they were interested to know what he said.
He high lighted the need for our movement to learn how to allow the next generation of Unificationists to be more fully involved in the organisation of our european congregation. He also recognised as a good German, the success of the EU, while not ignoring the existing financial crises that still prevails in Europe. His reference to us all learning to work with cultural differences was an important one, because Rev An went onto share deeply but very emphatically in his address about Confucianist family values of obedience.
Enough from me. here is Dieter:
Welcome remarks at the Inauguration Ceremony of the new Continental Director by Dieter Schmidt
We welcome you Rev. An and your wife Mrs Mi Jung Chow to Europe, our continent which is a home for more than double the population of the United States of America. Seen as one country our population is the third in the world after China and India.
We have just said good-bye to President and Mrs Yong Cheon Song. The change of their mission to Japan was for most of us totally unexpected and came as a big surprise. But we have been trained in Europe to welcome and unite with our Continental Director, as we did with Pres. Young Whi Kim, Rev. Byon Ho Kim, Rev. Won Bill Kim, Rev. Kwang Kee Sa and Rev. Song.
And now it is your turn. How do you feel to receive this important mission out of the hands of our True Mother?
We have always opened our hearts to our Continental Director who is representing True parents. The loyalty of European brothers and sisters has been proven for more than 40 years and we are ready to open our hearts to you, Rev. An.
How can we describe the heart of Europe and its people?
The Divine principle explains that Christianity in Europe was chosen as the central dispensation of God to welcome the Lord of the Second Advent for most of the last 2000 years. Our history is full of Christian saints who sacrificed their lives and longed for the return of Christ. But our history is also full of wars and battles, and often religion was at the core of these conflicts. People became disillusioned by the practices of the churches, their Kings and their governments, because of the corruption. This struggle has led to the birth of the Cain and Abel major philosophies and worldviews. Europeans have always battled fiercely for what they thought was the truth and righteous. The bitter experience and the loss of millions of lives during the World Wars have led to a strong desire for peace.
This is probably a reason why we could finally enjoy peace in the European Union for the last 67 years, which was acknowledged with the Nobel Prize of Peace this year. We have also seen the peaceful reunification of East and West Germany and celebrated last week 60 years of friendship between France and Germany.
The European societies have learned much and have matured through all these experiences. Now Europe, even though it has financial crises, is ready to welcome a new spring, which will strengthen our unity even more. True Father has said in one of his speeches in Europe that the underlying principle for this unity are the values and the spirit of Christianity.
Our Unification movement in Europe is even more ready for a new spring.
What a wonderful occasion for you Rev. An to start your new mission at the time of the Foundation day, the beginning of Cheon Il Guk (CIG). Through the huge grace of the total Amnesty granted by our True Parents we can all make a new start together, being lifted up into the position of direct children of our Heavenly Parent through the Blessing at the Foundation Day. At this historic moment we are taught we will enter the time before the Fall when we will hear only the sound of our True God!
This implies we all should be young people again and we should especially turn our main attention to your young brothers and sisters.
We want to build with you, Rev. An a CIG community; a community, which follows our main Principle to live for the sake of others. In this spirit we want to support the individual abilities and talents of our young brothers and sisters. They long for a church community where they can participate in the decision making process and where they can share freely and openly about the Divine Principle, as well as about our cultural backgrounds and differences. This desire reflects the European spirit of self-determination and the ideal of responsible citizens in the realm of CIG.
We want to bring with you the victory of manifesting the heart, the Shimjung of our Heavenly Parent, which has been wonderfully shown by the life of Jesus Christ, and our True Parents. This will take away all doubts, mistrust, cynicism and resentment, which have lowered the life of faith of many of us. It will make our true-self blossom and our hearts will speak the language of True Love.
My wife and I have seen this desire and hope in the eyes of my brothers and sisters, young and old, while I was teaching the OSDP seminar all over Germany.
The time of winter when our movement could hardly grow in terms of membership is over and spring will inevitable come when we will unite the vast potential of our youth with the wisdom, determination, sacrifice and the faith of the first generation.
The Foundation in Europe has made significant steps forward by overcoming the Schengen Ban and introducing our True Parents to the audience of thousands during the time of the leadership of President and Mrs Song.
You, Reverend An, have already shown that you are a good listener while you visited our communities in the last months and thus have won the hearts of many.
We are now, and I will surely speak for most, if not for all of us, ready to welcome you with an open heart to Europe.
Let us bring together joy and glory to our Heavenly and our True Parents.