We present an alumnus and woman leader, Christine Froehlich, on today’s Throwback Thursday ‘Meet the Alumni’ series.
I first came to work with CARP after graduating UTS in 1980. At that time, Tiger Park was the leader of CARP and this was an exciting time.
You could say CARP was a very masculine organization. We were trained to be tough, to stand up to rowdy leftist student demonstrators, to march in rallies and to debate over the issues of Communism and the Cold War.
In 1982, however, CARP culture shifted to a more nurturing family atmosphere, which was crucial for our witnessing and outreach activities.
The Joy of Pioneering
That year, 1982, (right after the 2075 Blessing) I was asked to pioneer a CARP chapter at University of Alabama, Birmingham.
The assignment was to become a student, do “Campus Home Church,” establish a CARP chapter on campus, engage speakers and create campus events, connect with professors, impact the culture of campus, and witness to new members, while maintaining self-support through fundraising.
I remember after finding a small house to rent, I had a showdown prayer under a few trees on campus – three nights for 40 minutes – asking God, “Why did you send me here?!”
I was not particularly inspired yet to be in the south. I was feeling very small, in a place that seemed insignificant and far away from the excitement in Atlanta, or New York for that matter.
On the third night, I had a profound experience of the voice of God speaking within my heart, “You are my hope! My only hope for this campus!” This was quite a surprise. I threw up my hands to God and said, “OK I am ready for whatever you have prepared for me to do here!” The next morning, I received a phone call from a professor.
“Is this Christine Moore?”
“…Yes, how do you know me?”
“I heard you are the moonie on campus, and I’d like to ask if you could speak to my class.”
Remembering my prayer from the night before I said, “Yes, I guess I could…and when would you like me to speak?”
He answered, “Today! To my journalism class.”
Remember these were the days when journalists were not friendly at all to our movement! But I could not refuse. I went there that afternoon, and responded to a torrent of questions, the most exciting of which were about the mass weddings so I told the story of our Matching and Blessing.
By the time I finished the interview, the students were actually asking for my phone number, and showing sincere interest in CARP, when the professor interrupted and I was summarily dismissed.
Later that semester, I made friends with the school newspaper editor who invited me to do a full interview on the front page of the school paper. This was my first taste of the joy of pioneering.
Relationships in Unlikely Places
One of my best experiences was at Stanford University. In 1984, after I requested to go to the place where there would be the most witnessing, Dr. Seuk (who became the President of CARP) sent me to N. California to establish CARP on campus as a graduate student.
I was honored to be given this opportunity to pioneer in such a stimulating environment.
During my year at Stanford, I took two classes in Moral Education with a professor called Nel Noddings. Dr. Noddings taught “A Feminine Approach to Moral Education,” and I will never forget when I went to her office to introduce myself before writing a term paper.
“Hello, have you ever heard of the Unification Church?”
“Well, as a matter of fact, I have…”
“Have you ever heard anything good about the Unification Church or Rev. Moon?”
“Well actually I have not.”
“I would like to write a paper comparing your work with the teachings of Rev. Moon, but I wanted to confirm with you first what you think about that idea.”
She answered that she would be happy to read what I had to say. And I wrote “Towards a New Ideal for Moral Education” comparing her “feminine ethic of caring” with Unification Thought’s Theory of Education.
We had a wonderful dialogue through class discussions and my papers over the months ahead, and at the end of the semester she asked students to recommend books for a future reading list. I recommended Dr. Young Oon Kim’s Unification Theology, which Dr. Noddings had read.
One student said, “Isn’t that the cult? The Moonies?”
And Nel answered, “Yes, I have come to see the Unification Church in a new light this semester, and I would like you to be aware that truth comes to us in surprising places. I will add this book to the reading list.”
A Mother’s Heart in Witnessing
I learned a lot from Dr. Noddings, who is a mother of 10, about the feminine qualities so essential in nurturing a heart of compassion, caring and moral values in the family and in our schools.
The following year, I worked with a team of 5-6 women who became the heart and soul of the witnessing and outreach work of CARP in the Bay Area. I deeply appreciated Dr. Seuk’s respect for women and trust in giving us important leadership roles.
I learned that when women can unite with each other, embodying the harmonizing heart of a mother, everything goes well.
As Dr. Noddings had taught in our classes at Stanford, women carry the culture of the family. The heart of a mother brings new life, literally, emotionally, and spiritually.
The family culture of CARP Centers in N. California was bursting with life in the 1980’s and early 90’s in large part due to the patient nurturing education and counsel of “mother figures” and “IW’s.” This helped form a healthy balance between feminine and masculine qualities diligently practiced by our CARP members and leaders.
CARP as a Foundation for Other Roles
Based on transformative experiences of overcoming conflict, and becoming best friends with women I didn’t get along with at first, gave me great strength and confidence to work with WFWP from April 1992.
WFWP of California initiated the Interracial Sisterhood Project in 1996, which was recognized as a “Promising Practice” by President Clinton’s Commission on Race, and in the early 2000’s created a Youth Forum on Racial Harmony, held on college campuses and high schools.
To this day, my experiences with CARP have given me strength and faith to pioneer new initiatives, and commit fully to constant growth and education. The spirit of CARP is to apply our faith in Divine Principle to real issues in our culture and society.
I have been working with GPA for the past 15 years to continue this education of young Unificationists in life of faith and in application of Divine Principle. I am excited to work on addressing the issues of our times, whether educating ourselves to transcend the “culture wars” of today or creating constructive dialogues on moral and character education.
I am committed to empowering young Unificationists, men and women, to shape the environment, and create the culture of heart with a healthy balance of masculine and feminine leadership.