The Words of the Rogers Family
Creating a Community for the Sake of the Children
February 17, 2000
In the Seminary we did home church, actually adopting Christian churches to go to on Sunday in the local surrounding towns. When I had children, I also visited them and found them to have more money for their children's programs, Grandmas to help with babysitting and Sunday school and overall more organizational strengths. They also had more people. Because we are a movement, our members and often resources with them are moved to a new location and different mission focus before we can set down roots. I think it is because we are a young church with a lot of "in the situation" training we have to give each other a break, even though we long for permanency and solidarity. I think the permanency is coming...with more and more people awakening to the ideas True Parents are illuminating.
I have experienced a lot of the exact situations and feelings you mentioned, including being the one who tried to organize a daycare, Sunday school, a lending library, and church services into something meaningful. In all fairness, I realize now that I wanted to have things my way ( by my concept) too much, and was often very difficult to reach others who seem to be in some kind of cultural or spiritual shell shock during and after their "battles" known sometimes only to themselves, which I knew nothing about. I was just impatient to change things and do God's Will. I think that some of us resist being organized without our permission into relationships which lack the input of love and care as compared to individual one on one relationships (family to family),the method Pam mentioned. One on one is much better, but it seems we are always in a war zone and there is no time as the Providential moment will be lost if we don't rush off to do this or that. I think Father would rather have things differently, too, but he also has to do so much in a certain period of time and space.
I don't remember who first coined the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child" (way before Hillary took the words to title her book, PLEASE!), but it is the situation that seems to fit our movement well, and especially for those families volunteering their time to serve others. When all the above activities failed to net the result, then I reasoned that the children tend to model the actions of their parents. So I realized that they (I have 4) were looking at my reactions(feelings and words expressed) to everything more closely than I realized. So I decided to challenge them to have something to look at...do more community service, take them to more countries and expose them to the realities of the world, and at the same time True Father's words of Hoon Dok Hae (1 hour every day, 30 min in the morning and 30 min the last minutes of the day because of the school and Dad's work schedule being so early).
I really admire you taking your kids to Mexico, I took mine to Africa, and they can never forget it. Experience is the best teacher, by far......more than all the words that go over their heads and go somewhere else up and out the ozone hole in the sky ! I wish we could start some kind of UM children's exchange program. Of course it is tough as we do not, I found out, have any international education system in the world that is taught consistently in the same language.
Just for the record, I was in the US when I took my children to the local soup kitchen and the hospital to sing to the elderly at Christmas, etc., with other UM children. We used to have a thing called Home Church in the US. I haven't been there in a while so I don't know how viable it is but you can cut out a territory near your home and seek to meet the needs of the people. Trying to work within organizations, in my experience creates suspicion and fear sometimes when we UM people have so much energy and seem to take over!!! There are, I bet, ways to serve the people in your area. There are so many lonely elderly, for example. I was shocked to find an elderly lady who speaks English right next door recently! There are all sorts of treasure chests buried.....but we have to look for them. Happy hunting!
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