The Early Unification Church History
THE SATELLITE CENTERS
There came a time when things were going very slowly. Most of the new members were only marginal at best and certainly not the type of people you would choose to launch a world wide movement.
One evening Miss Kim called a family meeting, something we were always apprehensive about because it usually meant getting chewed out. She said we were bringing few results for all the work we were doing, and that nothing was ever going to happen if the progress continued at that slow rate. We discussed at length the problems we faced in finding new members. Miss Kim suggested that we split up the center and everyone go to various cities in the San Francisco area, where we would then be on are own. The members were all against the idea, we felt defeated. We felt that we had failed if we couldn't find people in San Francisco.
We talked of working harder, about renewing our dedication and doing special indemnity and prayer conditions. The members thought the idea of building a strong center was very important, and it wasn't happening. There were no core members coming from San Francisco, no members with any spark. But, we wanted to continue with the same game plan. Miss Kim was somewhat overpowered by us, she was outnumbered in the discussion for that evening. The meeting was closed with tearful prayers.
It would sound as if we overruled Miss Kim and that we ran the group democratically--the majority rules. That is a sure formula for failure in most groups. No this was not a democratically run group, not at all, but Miss Kim always brought her core members together when making any major decision. She would receive input from everyone before making the major decision. The old saying "two heads are better than one" is very true. A wise person can listen and learn from others, which is one of the secrets of successful management or leadership, and this she knew intuitively.
The following evening Miss Kim called us together again for another family meeting. She said that she had thought long and prayed hard about it, and she knew that the only way we were going to expand was for the people to go out on their own, to pioneer. We would have to witness and teach people by ourselves. Then we would have to be responsible to raise them. We would be in the position of having to look to God for strength and guidance, and not depend on her. It was time to wean us.
The power of God comes through people who are the central figures and are doing his will. If you are the only one, he will work with you. When people are so much dependent on the central figure, or the central figure is unreasonably dominating, the people can't grow. We teach people to follow unconditionally and that is necessary. And, at a point in spiritual growth, it is absolutely necessary to obey unconditionally. To become a leader a person has to learn responsibility. Everyone needs to learn responsibility, even if they are not able to become leaders. The time will come when they are married and have children, and have to support and run a household. Have we not seen members not even responsible enough to get themselves up in the mornings. How can they be responsible for a family or for doing Gods work.
It was easy to witness to people and just bring them to the center and turn them over to Miss Kim. She would then teach them and work with them. But, once a person is out on their own they have to look to God for strength and guidance. They have to teach the new members, deal with their problems. This is how to grow and mature spiritually. That is the main reason she sent us out on our own. People that grow spiritually have to go this path. There is nothing revolutionary about this idea, it is one of the oldest concepts in religion, it is called being a missionary. It is how all religion is spread, and it comes through the personal contact of the missionary with people on a one to one level.
It is on this missionary level that you hear of miracles happening throughout the history of Christianity. When people are out on their own depending on God for strength, that is where his power and spirit are, not back in the churches with the beautiful music and the beautiful services.
In the early 1970s, when Reverend Moon selected pioneers to go to all the states it was the same concept. He gave them $500.00 and picked a state for them and they were on their way. They needed to find a place to live and start teaching the Divine Principle. Some failed but many succeeded. Many of those early pioneers were chosen to go out to every country in the world.
The same pattern was used in Pioneer program at Barrytown, during the mid 1970s, and it worked. People went out with a bicycle, a tape recorder and the Divine Principle. They had to teach and raise spiritual children and be on their own. Many failed because they were not self-sufficient but there was also much success with that program.
This was to be the same concept used when father told everyone to do home church and later go back to their home towns.
It is well known by people who study religious movements, that mass approach does not work bringing very little results. The successful mass approach to converts finally filters down to workers having a personal relationship with converts. The one on one personal connection is what works.
It is easy to be a follower, there are too many born followers, God's restoration needs leaders. Among the qualifications of being a leader are the requirements of becoming self-sufficient, responsible and accountable. In the secular world, people are rewarded according to the amount of responsibility they can handle. This is not to discredit being a follower. Good leaders have at some time also been the best followers. At some point a person has to serve someone unconditionally. Then at some point they have to assume responsibility and become self-sufficient.
This is the pattern of life, we serve our parents. Then as we grow older, we become self-sufficient. We have to be responsible and accountable for wife and children. It is a part of life.
WE MOVED TO SURROUNDING CITIES IN THE BAY AREA
Based on missionary concept the members went to nearby cities, to start working on their own. They also had to find a place to live and a means of supporting themselves.
The members soon moved to nearby cities. Doris went to San Jose, Pauline to Berkeley, and I went to Burlingame, where I worked as a letter carrier. Patty and the boys moved across the bay to Hayward. All the new satellite centers were an easy drive from the center in San Francisco. This change in tactics - which made us rely on ourselves, and look to God for help - was to bring results.
We had always been dependent on Miss Kim to teach The Divine Principle to new people and to "raise" them. Faced with doing this ourselves, we ran into many problems. Miss Kim was always available to come to the rescue. She was only a short distance away, and often helped members out with teaching. Sometimes a member would go through some extreme spiritual difficulty, she would come like a doctor on call to help.
We were also able to give support to each other. Many times, we would take people to San Francisco for a study session or for someone to go through the Divine Principle. This was a time when we sat people down and went through the whole book in one day.
Working with new members, and becoming a spiritual parent is the only way to grow spiritually. A person can study The Divine Principle until they know it forward and backward, however if they do not become spiritually active nothing can happen: God can't work through that person and their growth will be stunted. People often expect that there might be some prescribed course for spiritual growth and perfection. Maybe like going to college and getting your degree or going through doing all the requirements in the Boy Scouts to become an Eagle scout. Spiritual growth isn't quite as easy or as obvious.
It is like a person who reads book after book, on children and how to be a parent. You can fill a library with books on parenthood, read all the magazines published on the subject, but when you become a parent, you can really begin to know about children or parenthood. This is also true with The Divine Principle.
MISS KIM TEACHING THE DIVINE PRINCIPLE
When Miss Kim taught the Divine Principle it was often to just a very few. It was at some of these small informal meetings that Miss Kim was at her best. When speaking before a group she often tended to become very formal, lecturing from notes or reading a sermon or lecture she had written, however when she was in a small informal setting and she had a good spiritual rapport with the people, that she was at her best.
The most memorable and powerful presentations of the Divine Principle were given by Miss Kim in a small intimate, receptive group of people. She would teach with just a few notes and a black board and she would become radiant and her words would flow easily. The room would become vibrant with spiritual energy.
If the people were unresponsive, she would be rather stiff and methodical. In later years when she spoke before a group, she would often read a prepared text, and lacked the spontaneity and warmth I so much remembered her for.
On the other hand, ask a dumb question and she would often reply in kind.
This was the time when good new members began appearing, from Berkeley, Dr. Ang, Ernie Stewart, Elke Klawitter, from San Jose, Carl Rapkins and Ora Schoon, I brought in a married couple from Burlingame who became strong early members.
As the new members in these cities took responsibility the older members could move further away. Doris soon moved from San Jose to Los Angeles and Pauline moved to Sacramento, it was from the work in Sacramento that Paul and Crystal Werner joined. Pauline moved right into their house with them, a real home church. In Los Angeles Doris found Teddy Verheyen and moved into his apartment and started bringing people to his apartment to hear her lecture. At the time he had hardly been through the Divine Principle and knew little about it.
SOME WHO WERE SPIRITUALLY LED
We would often go to the center in San Francisco on week ends, bringing new people to hear The Divine Principle. This was a time we sat people down and read through the whole book in one day.
There was a lady and her husband who was active in a Baptist church, and thought they had found everything in Christianity, but soon began to feel something was missing, but didn't know what. She began having visions of Jesus, and started conversing with Jesus. At one point Jesus introduced her to an Oriental man and told her this was the person she was to follow. She assumed this man to be some Eastern master, a spirit guide, and he was going to teach her.
Shortly after this experience, they learned about The Divine Principle and heard their first lecture from Miss Kim. The following week end, they went to a meeting in San Francisco, their first. After the meeting she was shown a picture of Reverend Moon by Miss Kim and the woman was startled. She exclaimed, this is the man that Jesus introduced me to. She had seen Reverend Moon in spirit before ever knowing that he existed or knowing about the Divine Principle. As powerful an experience as this was, she and her husband later dropped out of the church.
THE SECOND GENERATION OF SATELLITE CENTERS
From the success of the satellite centers, it became apparent that was the way to go. It was not long before some of the new members were able to take over the responsibility of the local activities. Soon Pauline had gone to Sacramento, and Doris to Los Angeles.
Some of the most memorable times were the special days, Parents day and Children's day especially. Other holidays were not in existence yet. Everyone would come to the Center in San Francisco, usually on a weekend. We made it a two or three day celebration. Everyone brought food, Miss Kim taught and told stories. Everyone was required to sing a song, a tradition that Reverend Moon had begun in Korea.
In later years I wondered why these celebrations were so special and the later ones were not. It was because, the later ones are held at a center, where everyone lives every day, it is planned in the center and the food is prepared there, another meal. Those early get-to-gathers were a potluck affair. The food was good and it was good to see people that you hadn't seen for a long time. There was a lot of conversation often late into the night. Miss Kim would walk into the kitchen where people were talking late at night and say, "why don't go home", or "why don't you go to bed". A statement that would sometimes take back new members that were not used to Miss Kim's ways.
As the members became more competent as teachers, we began go move across the country.