CARP America hosted its ‘Global Momentum’ conference from July 27-31 at the International Peace Education Center in Las Vegas. Over 120 participants gathered from the United States, Austria, Canada, Costa Rica, England, Japan, Korea, Russia, South Africa, and Switzerland.
There was an incredible spirit, energy, and excitement from being together with such a diverse and uplifting group. Students, young professionals who serve as CARP mentors, and CARP leaders joined the five-day workshop, and National Youth Ministry also collaborated on several sessions together. The celebrations culminated in CARP’s 50th anniversary banquet over the weekend, bringing almost 300 participants including alumni, family, friends, and loved ones.
Global Momentum kicked off with an orientation about the founders’ vision for CARP. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon (Father and Mother Moon) created CARP 50 years ago to transform the world through the enthusiasm young people. Father Moon once shared, “One of my motives for establishing CARP lies in the youth and passion of university students. You do not live dwelling in the past; you live with endless hope for the future. You respect righteousness and long for truth and beauty. The innocent heart of youth has within it the most appropriate foundation to receive God’s Will.”
Participants also got a chance to see the purpose of principles and why they’re important. Through a short video on Youtube, Stephen Covey, a leading author in the field of principled leadership, conveyed the importance of standing on firm principles and the ‘character ethic’ versus developing only personality traits and techniques. Many students began to realize that today’s culture doesn’t encourage being strong and standing up for principles that matter; many practices may appear to be successful but may not actually be solid or trustworthy. With this understanding, participants began training on developing their hearts, character, and principles throughout the rest of the conference.
STEP UP & Level 2
Participants engaged in two days of education about principles and their application. This was also a chance for CARP to introduce its tiered levels of education which has been developed by CARP’s Education Committee. The first level of education is CARP’s signature student empowerment program based on Unification Principles, “STEP UP.” Participants were surprised at how open, accessible, and practical the sessions were, and not like the long lectures they were expecting.
For those who have already experienced the introduction to principle application at STEP UP, there was also a chance to go deeper with the second level of education, “Discover the Principle.” Gerry Servito gave passionate talks on the Divine Principle, the heart of God, and Unification Thought. Participants were amazed at the depth of the content. Further trainings are being developed for a third and fourth level of education, “Practice the Principle” and “Master the Principle,” respectively. Stay tuned for more training opportunities.
“Personally speaking, I’ve been struggling a lot with figuring out what my purpose in life is. I feel that all the topics we’ve covered during this session helped me gain an idea of what my purpose is and the tools needed to pursue my life goal.” – Chiaki Hagiwara, New York
“I really loved listening and learning from Uncle Gerry’s lectures. I felt that he was able to bring the Principle alive and help us to really experience God’s heart through the Principle. I could really feel God’s unconditional love for us and gain a greater desire to be more sensitive to God’s love in my daily life.” – Kailey Teo, Las Vegas
At the end of the day, participants came together for fellowship and bonding. CARP Los Angeles (LA) members hosted the first evening program where groups were asked to create skits of why they chose to come to Global Momentum or how they got there. The skits were seriously hilarious and demonstrated incredible creativity. Groups were organized by community, so there was a chance for CARP chapters and local community members to reflect on each day together.
The second evening program was hosted by CARP Las Vegas (LV). To celebrate the conclusion of the two-day education portion of the conference, they hosted a paper airplane extravaganza, symbolizing the participants being ready to take this education and fly with it to greater heights. Groups prepared paper airplanes to compete in four categories: distance, beauty/design, special tricks, and more. Participants experienced many deep breakthroughs and a beautiful family culture of fun.
Reflecting in Nature
When Mother Moon heard that this CARP conference was going to be hosted in Las Vegas, she encouraged the group to visit Red Rock Canyon. Students used this time to reflect, pray, and digest the experiences and content of the past two days. The participants were amazed at the beauty of desert and the uniqueness of the red rocks. It was an incredibly moving experience for many who felt incredible power at the rocks and a close connection to Father and Mother Moon.
“I really enjoyed the hike. The weather was great, the trail wasn’t too strenuous and it was a great morning exercise. I appreciated that they gave us time to reflect/pray during our hike. It was a quiet and peaceful environment that was perfect for reflecting.” – Chiaki Hagiwara, New York
“I am SO happy we went to the Red Rock Canyon! I experienced God so immensely throughout the entire walk.” – Sunhwa Reiner, New York
“It was beautiful. After two days of a lot of content and sharing it was nice to have time to breathe and be outside and reflect. I thought it was great that there was intention to connect in heart with True Parents through the hike and there was specific points to pray about. The length and difficulty of the hike was perfect for a group like this.” – Kailey Teo, Las Vegas, NV
“It was a great experience overall. I loved the time you gave us to pray. It helped me re-enter myself.” – Ricky de Sena, Connecticut
Principled Skills Training
After gaining personal insights and breakthroughs through the principled content, participants were able to put these principles into action through skills training in communication, storytelling, public speaking, goal setting and event planning, coaching, time management, and more.
“[Public speaking] might have been one of the most important parts for me personally, as I want to become a better speaker and learning a simple foundation like that was inspirational, and I also learned that improv speaking is my best skill.” – Soowon Moon, Connecticut
“I liked how I could be the person I imagined to be five years from now. It felt very powerful and was a confidence booster.” – Kobe Dean-Neuhaus, Las Vegas
In the public speaking training, they also hosted a competition with cash prizes and the opportunity for the best speakers to also share at the 50th Anniversary Banquet Celebration. First place went to Joshua Holmes from CARP LA, second place went to Nina Jesper from CARP LV and third place went to Michael Cordero from CARP LV. We are very proud of all of our students by how much they have grown and pushed themselves to be both internally and externally excellent.
Participants also planned next steps in groups based on their community size. Established chapters, developing communities, and starter communities met to share best practices, ideas, and plans with how to contribute to CARP’s 2016 goals of establishing over 40 chapters and gaining a membership of over 1,000 students.
“I liked the panel discussions and hearing about different CARP chapters, what’s been working and what’s been challenging.” – Takayo Hiraki, Los Angeles
“This was very inspiring and helped me realize a bigger vision and plan for my own CARP community. This inspired our community to get together during lunch and talk about what our goals and our actions steps are!” – Sunhwa Reiner, New York
Several professionals and alumni also joined to offer specialized presentations in “Principles at Work: How to apply principles in your career and life.” Susan Bouachri, Markus Karr, Steve Nomura, and Kiyomi Schmidt offered insights in the fields of human resource management, global entrepreneurship, business, and nonprofit.
50th Anniversary Banquet
On the evening of Saturday, July 30, guests entered the beautifully decorated hall of the International Peace Education Center, adorned with gold balloons and a beautiful display of historical CARP photos, magazines, and books from the past 50 years. During the networking hour, there were refreshments and appetizers for guests to meet each other, take pictures, and begin to share about their CARP experiences. Guests traveled to Las Vegas from all over the nation. Over 50 family and friends traveled from Los Angeles by bus to support the festivities.
When the program began in the banquet hall, Teresa Rischl, National Program Director for CARP America, served as the Master of Ceremonies and graciously welcomed participants and thanked them for being a part of CARP history. CARP alumnus Michael Smith also welcomed guests, discussed the vision of CARP, and shared his experiences of working intimately with Father and Mother Moon and former CARP President, Tiger Park.
The program then opened with musical performances by students and alumni. In tribute to the roots of CARP coming from Korea and then Japan, a choir of Japanese members sang a beautiful song. Jair Gonzalez from CARP Los Angeles also performed a solo samba on guitar, followed by a CARP Alumni Band. In CARP’s past, there were several CARP bands that performed all over the country and world.
A few of the members from the band New Vision gathered with other alumni and friends to perform with much spirit, enthusiasm, and energy. Even though it has been many years since these legends were together and performing, they were an absolute hit! Joshua Cotter (founding member and former CARP president), Victor Moore (CARP alumnus and New Vision member), Miyuki Harley (CARP alumnus and New Vision member), and Scott (on drums) reunited on stage for an incredible performance.
Then, CARP America shared a beautiful tribute video with testimonies, pictures, and stories of CARP history from the past 50 years. The video will be available shortly for all to see! It was incredibly moving and touching to see how much love went into CARP in the past and how CARP continues to serve as a tool for students to share about God.
CARP America President, Naokimi Ushiroda, then gave a “State of CARP Today” address where he shared that “CARP is alive and well.” The top two winners of the public speaking competition, Michael Cordero and Joshua Holmes, also shared their testimonies. Naokimi shared about recent updates and asked the audience to help secure a bright future with CARP through humorous pledge donations, declaring that he would also lead the way by pledging $1,000. Several alumni and guests also pledged their support.
As a finale to commemorate the 50th anniversary of CARP, the Hyo Jin Moon Scholarship Fund was inaugurated by his wife and International President of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), Yeon Ah Moon. As the eldest son of Father and Mother Moon and as the first World CARP President, Hyo Jin Moon worked to bring all CARP members and youth together as one family. In following his example, CARP America wanted to continue his legacy, build on his foundation, and honor the ideals of True Parents.
President Yeon Ah Moon shared her heart, her husband Hyo Jin Moon’s heart, and the heart of Father and Mother Moon who continue to work towards the ideal of ‘One Family Under God.’ She also graciously offered seed money to inaugurate the fund. More details about the scholarship will be announced shortly. To read President Yeon Ah Moon’s full speech, go here.
Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chairman of North America of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), offered closing remarks. He honored all of the guests, alumni, and families for attending, offered $50,000 on behalf of FFWPU, and announced that he would ask Mother Moon to match any donations that are made to the Hyo Jin Moon Scholarship Fund until the end of the year. The audience was inspired by the collective support and celebrated together with a cake and a victory cheer.
Guests continued to share, take pictures, and connect over coffee and desserts. President Yeon Ah Moon, also made herself available to anyone who wanted to speak to her, making her the most popular person at the event. We were so grateful to be able to host her and welcome her.
“I enjoyed the video and testimonies given. It really showed the core message of what the CARP movement is all about.” – Kobe Dean-Neuhaus, Las Vegas
“It was beautiful to see the history.” – Denthew Learey, New York
Thank you to everyone that attended the 50th Anniversary Celebration Banquet, to everyone who has contributed to CARP in the past 50 years, and especially for the support, guidance, and love of Father and Mother Moon. We invite all of you to keep the legacy alive in the coming years and to donate at www.carplife.org/donate.
Participants felt so much love from the investment, heart, and blessing given to them through the beautiful facilities at the International Peace Education Center, the great food, awesome content, merchandise, experiences at the Red Rock Canyon, the 50th anniversary banquet, prizes, and more. This was definitely a turning point in CARP history where current students could inherit from the past. Together, we will continue the legacy of Father and Mother Moon and bring much joy to our Heavenly Parent.
“I liked all of the talks and presentations, but most of all being able to connect with other CARPies from all over the country and world. It was inspiring to hear what everyone was up to.” – Ian Cherutich, Texas
“I loved this event so much and it really empowered me to make a difference in the world.” – Hung Yoo, Korea
“I appreciate all the empowerment and guidance given to me. It really pushed me to take ownership as a member of CARP to strive for God’s Will.” – Kobe Dean-Neuhaus, Las Vegas
“I felt challenged, inspired, empowered, and loved. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart.” – Sunhwa Reiner, New York
“Thank you for the opportunity to make personal breakthroughs and connect in heart with incredible people from around the world. I feel a greater sense of unity and oneness in CARP and a lot of hope of moving forward! I appreciated that it was also rooted and aligned with True Parents and the providence. Thank you so much.” – Kailey Teo, Las Vegas