The Words of the Orme Family
The "Unified Family" gathers for singing in the hall, which 10 years ago was used as a schoolroom for Dorney Children.
This report was published on Slough Observer
The setting is a secluded and picturesque Elizabethan cottage in Dorney but the atmosphere is reminiscent of a passenger lounge in an international airport. People constantly coming and going from exotic and far off lands, all with stories to tell.
This is the 'home' of members of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of the World Christianity or more simply the Unified Family.
The Unified Family is primarily a missionary society. The secretary of the movement in Britain, Mr. Dennis Orme and his wife, Doris moved into Dorney Cottage in July.
Living with them are members of the movement who are preparing to become missionaries. They will stay the 'family' until they "tech a higher state of spiritual understanding" when they are ready to leave and start their missionary work in the country of their choice.
The cottage, set in 1.5 acres of land, also acts as a magnet to members returning from places all over the world, after they have completed their missionary work. Even though there are people there who they have never met before, they are coming home-"back to the family --
On Monday I had a brief experience of this communal feeling. Mr. and Mrs. Orme, both aged 31, explained the beliefs of the members before introducing me to the rest of the 'family'.
Our aim is to achieve Christian unity," said Mr.' Orme. "The world should be one family."
"This cannot be achieved by lengthy discussions by members of the church. It has to come from the heart by ordinary people coming together all with a common aim -- to have a face-to-face relationship with God that they can live day by day."
Meeting the best of the family proved that it can be done. There were people from many denominations, Anglican, Baptist, Roman Catholic Pentecostal and Methodist who had all come together irrespective of the differences in their upbringing.
Mrs. Orme, an American who has been a member of the movement for ten years, explained its origins.
Their beliefs are based on the teaching of a South Korean scientist and philosopher, Sun Myung Moon.
In 1936 when he was 16 Sun M. Moon had a vision. Jesus appeared to him and told him he was going to accomplish a great mission on earth. His spiritual senses were opened up and he went into seclusion in the mountains for nine years. During this time he had several more spiritual experiences and discovered answers to questions that had so far been unanswered to man.
He provided answers, with scientific proof to questions such as: Who is God? Why do we exist? If God created the world, why is it so full of injustice? What is the origin of sin?
It was not until 1954 that he began to spread his message, which resulted in relentless persecutions from the government and his imprisonment in a concentration camp.
But he survived to see his beliefs from the strongest spiritual movement in South Korea. He has over a million followers in his home country and many more throughout world.
There are two other centers in England, at Mitcham and Worcester Park, whose members visit the Dorney center several times a week to help with the renovations and repairs of the old cottage.
They are also in the process of buying furniture. "It may look a bit extravagant," said Mr. Orme. "But God has provided us with beautiful things and it is for us to enjoy and appreciate them."
The same applies to food as we were soon to find out when we joined the 'family' in an exquisite meal of tuna fish backed in rice and onions.
"Having people of different nationalities coming and going certainly ensures we have a varied and interesting diet," said Mrs. Orme.
"We have a rotation for all the household chores so we all get an opportunity to try our favorite dish on the rest of the family."
Sharing the meal with us was June Darby who returned from Amman, capital of Jordan, on Sunday after completing eight months as a nurse and Alec Herzer a cartographer who leaves today for Korea. He will complete his training there before taking up his missionary duties.
There was also Hazel Ifill, from Trinidad a booking clerk, Leslie Snowdon, a sales assistant, Barbara Cottle, a schoolteacher and Rachel Eden, a student who are all bring trained by Mr. and Mrs. Orme until they are ready to go abroad.
A late arrival at the table was Yong Oon the seven-month-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Orme.
"It may be a very strange name to our ears," explained Mrs. Orme. "But she was named after the woman who introduced me to the movement who was such a beautiful person that our daughter is lucky to have the same name."
After finishing our coffee and biscuits we moved into a hall adjoining the house that has been converted into a place of worship. Members from the other two centers had arrived and with our number now risen to over 20 the singing began.
Gospel songs, calypsos, and the old standby, Jerusalem, all sung with enthusiasm and conviction. One last question- where does the money come from to keep the members at Dorney and send them off around the world?
Mr. Orme said: "Although we are a charitable organization all our members make generous donations themselves and we also receive contributions from many people who admire what we are trying to do. We circulate a magazine around the world which brings in quite a lot and hold concerts to boost our funds."