Here’s a student highlight story on Kristin Anthonis from CARP Kansas.
Meet Kristin, an enthusiastic communicator with an entrepreneurial spirit and a global edge. She is only 23 years old and has already developed a youth and young adult ministry in her Kansas community while attending university with a plethora of international experience under her belt.
Daughter to a Belgian father and an American mother, born in New York with a number of childhood years spent in Uruguay, Kristin comes from a diverse background. As a student of Dietetics, Kristin hopes to become a registered dietitian and help people nurture their external and internal well being.
Following two years at Generation Peace Academy (GPA), Kristin started thinking about how she could care for her community.
“Two core organizations that make a community function well are youth and young adult groups.”
From Momentum to Engagement
Kristin assumed the role of Youth and Young Adult Pastor after completing GPA in June 2014. She found that she was trying to feed a “starving” community.
“We have these kids and no one is taking care of them.”
In August of 2014, Kristin decided to attend a CARP Momentum event, which is an international convention for college students to develop personal confidence and clarity, practical skills, and gain a support network. Momentum 2014 was an inspiring and memorable experience.
“This was the first CARP convention I had ever been to and it was impacting, with a lot of wonderful activities. I was really inspired, but I didn’t think I had the means to start my own chapter on campus, so instead I focused on the youth and young adults in my faith community.”
With a newfound inspiration from the convention, Kristin set out to establish a youth program for the kids and a young adult ministry called YAM. She initiated all this as she was starting to attend college that Fall.
Kristin organized monthly youth meetings with the support of the National Youth Pastor, Kaeleigh Moffit, who had set up a system and resources for youth pastors across the country to implement.
While Kristin had a support system for her youth program initiative, she didn’t have many resources to develop and sustain a young adult ministry.
In January 2016, Kristin decided to attend another CARP Momentum event to find inspiration and support for her YAM initiative especially. There, she had some insights.
“I got the realization that as much as I wanted to set up a CARP chapter the way it is typically done on a campus setting, I felt our YAM community could really benefit from implementing CARP principles, even if I had to change the image of CARP a little bit.”
So, she set out to convert YAM into a CARP community chapter. Similar to the youth program support system, Kristin found a wealth of resources and ideas for engaging the young adults by plugging her YAM community into CARP’s mission and principles.
CARP Kansas meets every first Sunday of the month. A typical meeting looks just like a CARP campus chapter meeting – the members do a check-in, a young adult member gives a CARP Talk around one of the seven Unification Principles, and then there is discussion and sometimes other activities.
These CARP meetings are open to college-aged young adults. On average, seven or eight young adults gather at these monthly meetings and sometimes someone will bring a friend.
Balancing Life with Coaching
Accountability is key to maintaining consistency. In starting up her community CARP chapter, Kristin decided to get CARP coaching for greater accountability.
A weekly coaching session for three months helped Kristin to jump back into the public sphere after some months of not initiating meetings for the youth program or CARP. “As time passes, it gets more and more difficult to start up again,” but coaching really helped Kristin to re-determine herself to her public mission.
Balancing studies, relationships, and a public mission to engage the youth and young adults can be challenging, but achievable.
“Through coaching, I realized I needed to share responsibility with others. I learned the value of trusting people, that interdependence is a higher value than independence.”
It’s important to maintain a healthy personal lifestyle in order to consistently contribute to a public mission. Coaching also offered Kristin the opportunity to hone in on some important personal goals that would help her maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.
This, in turn, helped to sustain her public mission to engage the youth and young adults in her community.
Love like a Global CItizen
Since GPA, Kristin has felt such a profound heart for God and Father and Mother Moon. Now, she truly wants to connect other people to that same heart and the Divine Principle teachings.
Whether someone or some community is starving spiritually or physically, they can benefit from people like Kristin who truly believe in the teachings to live for the sake of others and to love like a global citizen.
CARP’s mission statement is “to inspire and empower students to be global citizens by engaging them in the study and application of Unification Principles.” Kristin invests a lot of her time to materializing this mission in her public work for the youth and young adults.
The portion of the mission that Kristin is truly passionate about is the emphasis on developing young adults into “global citizens.”
“A global citizen is someone who cares about everyone in the world as One Family Under God by doing what you can to love and serve the members of God’s family.”
Her advice is to start small. Like Father Moon always emphasized, you must conquer yourself then conquer the world. Through personal growth, we can grow our capacity to love and then truly contribute.
This contribution starts in the family, then the community, and finally the world. It’s a ripple effect.
The Unification Principles offer the tools to feed a starving person or community on campus and across the world. But practice makes perfect so it’s important to exercise these principles.
How can you believe in One Family Under God?
“You need to travel in order to understand the greater world you live in and the experience of all members of God’s family. Only by knowing and experiencing the world can you love all of God’s children as a true global citizen and as one family.”
Practice loving like a global citizen by joining CARP on an exchange trip this spring break.