Contributed by Gabriela Von Euw
On March 24th, 2018, CARP Bay Area hosted a 1-Day Unification Principle (UP) seminar at a gorgeous venue in Oakland Hills with a breathtaking view of the Bay Area. There was a total of 21 people attending (10 staff, 11 participants), with 4 returning guests and 2 new guests.
Inspired by our previous UP Seminar with guest speaker Bento Leal, we were determined to create an action plan to invite more participants for this seminar. CARP members spent one month preparing through outreach and special events. We held two ‘IGNITE’ evening programs, three Chabot CARP club meetings on campus, and one special Chabot event, featuring Bento Leal as a speaker on “Cultivating Your Relationship Garden.”
All these events were designed with the intention to build momentum to introduce the Unification Principle at the one-day seminar. CARP and the Bay Area Family Church (BAFC) community collaborated to organize, host, and invite participants to the UP seminar. We gathered an inter-generational group, ranging from college-age young adults to even one great-grandparent! There were six new faces among the 21 total participants.
The goal of the UP Seminars is to provide an experience of the culture of heart and God’s words. Through these seminars, we hope to build a supportive community that people can join for long-term study and practice of Unification Principle.
The seminar began with a warm welcome by the emcee, Naomi Froehlich, and was followed by an icebreaker activity which filled the room with energy as participants met and introduced themselves to one another. Just before the lectures, everyone’s hearts were opened by a song presentation of “Sukiyaki” by a mother-daughter duo, Mrs. Tomiko Gordon and Erika Gordon.
The lectures were all presented by Mr. Bento Leal who captivated the audience with his blend of animated, spontaneous humor and expressing the depth and heart of the Unification Principles. He covered the Principles of Creation, the Fall of Man, and concluded with introducing the hope and solution. Each lecture presentation was followed by a group discussion filled with laughter, new realizations, and even tears.
After a delicious, home-cooked lunch by the wonderful kitchen staff, the participants engaged in a reflective activity. Looking back on their life so far, they pinpointed their low and high points, when they first recognized God’s love, and a time when someone believe in them. This allowed them to unpack their hearts and recognize God’s constant guidance in their life.
The seminar concluded with a video presentation entitled “Man of Peace,” introducing the founders, Father and Mother Moon, who revealed the Unification Principles. Participants were moved by the footage of their life-long peace and reconciliation efforts.
As a follow up to this Introductory Seminar, we decided to host another seminar (Part 2) on Saturday, March 31st, inviting Pastor Thompson to speak on Jesus’ life and mission in the spirit of Easter and the Holy Week.
We also would like to express our gratitude to the hard-working cooks, Amily Van Galen and Mrs. Bridget, for investing their heart into the refreshments and lunch. It further added to the culture of heart which was created and felt at this UP seminar.