The Words of the Cooper Family

The Main Message

Simon Cooper
February 25, 2010

I am on the flight back to London from Seoul and taking a bit of time to distil the last 4 or 5 days. It is essential for me to do this, in the context of sharing my thoughts with you, because I went on behalf of and to represent our UK church community. To post my conclusions here is important for me because I want to allow us to have a shared experience that articulates the vision for our church community over the next three years.

The world mission department staff did a great job taking care of all the national leaders. But when they asked for feedback on what to improve we gave them several suggestions. There was a severe case of information overload and by the end they also realized this. As a result of the multiple power points and case studies there was way too much talking at or to us rather than with us; generally there was a need to develop a more effective process of communication.

That was the toughest part for me to cope with and I regret that I was not more constructive in getting over those frustrations in the heat of the moment.

Aside from that I could salvage some interesting information which I will compile and send out over the next week or two.

Now here is what really made it all click into place:

We concluded our assembly this morning by attending the first Ahn Shi Il in the new 'mega' Unification Church temple. Hyung Jin and Yeon Ah Moon were there and he gave an almost one hour long message that washed away most of the frustrations from the previous days.

He spoke with a powerful honesty. Through charting for us his personal journey he cast a clear vision for the Unification Church.

He outlined the Unification Movement's main problem: Insufficient faith in True Parents as the Lord of the Second Advent; a lack of personal daily awareness of how True Parents have saved our lives by dying for us again and again. He pointed to the fact that many members are not able to be openly proud of these truths as evidence of our need for deeper more personal faith. He pointed to the book of Acts as an example of the type of faith we should aspire to. He referred to himself as an apostle.

He outlined the solution to the problem with two elements: For each of us to get into a life of devotion which allows us to first see True Parents with our spiritual eyes, and secondly gives us the heart and conviction to bring people to accept True Parents as their savior and lord.

But why us, and why now?

Father is 90 years old and is doing his very best to stick around and give us a chance to help him secure the future. It is us because True Parents have blessed us and given their lives for us more than for anyone else. In that way we are the bridge for True Parents to the world. If it is not us now, then who is it and when?

It is clear that pastor Hyung Jin Nim will keep on repeating this vision until is sticks. But what we must do is unpack it and bring it into a practical set of action steps for our community. We have to flesh it out so that we have a workable strategy and process which will empower each family member and give all of us the opportunity to fulfill the vision: Establishing True Parents as the Way, the Truth, and the Life for building the Kingdom.

I know we all have different approaches and styles of doing what we have got to get done. That is inevitable and fine. Nevertheless we need a recognizable rallying point for all of our efforts. The Sunday before I went to Korea I spoke about our HQ church's main purpose. We need to focus on teaching the Divine Principle and bringing people to True Parents. We will do many things, but our clear and transparent objective and purpose should be to successfully do these two things.

Again this needs to be unpacked and articulated in more detail. But let us keep our eye on these two purposes and patiently, step by step, answer all the other questions that will spring up as we go along.

On the bus to Inchon airport after leaving the temple this morning I realized we have to thank the Japanese church members for Hyung Jin Nim. It is because of his experience with their faith in True Parents that he is able to provide authentic spiritual leadership. That is why sincere, genuine, personal, mature faith counts. We need those adjectives to qualify the noun, but let us nevertheless remember that faith counts and trumps personality, local culture, and any other relative human factors. 

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