The Words of the Rondon Family
A CARP speaker draws a crowd at the University of Texas at Austin.
Feeling the desperate need to bring our True Parents' love and tradition to the universities of this nation, members of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), under the direction and guidance of Hyo Jin Nim, initiated a nationwide Campus Renaissance Festival. This spring, a dynamic and energetic program h-,s been traveling from the West Coast to the East Coast and into the Midwest, reaching thousands of university professors and students in Los Angeles; San Francisco; Sacramento; Albuquerque; Austin; Washington DC; Boston; New York; Madison, Wisconsin; and other cities.
The CARP Renaissance Festival seeks to communicate Father's vision for America and the world with an uplifting program of music by the CARP New Vision Band, martial arts demonstrations by the Wonhwa-do team, and messages given by speakers from each local campus community. Every Festival ends with the keynote speech "Campus Renaissance: New Vision for America" given by Dr. Joon Ho Seuk, the national director of US CARP.
Last fall at the Third CARP Convention held in New York City, Hyo Jin Nim, president of World CARP, gave a glimpse of Father's vision to representatives from all over the world. The purpose of the Festival tour is to provide a foundation and preparation for Hyo Jin Nim himself to tour American campuses in the future.
The New Vision Band creates an upbeat atmosphere.
CARP members found the administrations of the various universities to be understanding and cooperative. Both professors and students responded enthusiastically, expressing gratitude to hear such a new and refreshing message. Through the colorful display boards and book tables at each of the festivals, hundreds of students have become aware of our Father, our movement, and CARP. Thousands have listened to Dr. Seuk's message, giving enthusiastic and loud applause to his speech.
At the University of California at Berkeley, a historical and spiritual victory was achieved. Because of the long history of leftist attacks against CARP on this campus, the Unification Church Berkeley CARP members made extensive preparations, including prayer conditions and the printing of 13,000 leaflets and 1,500 posters. The day of the Festival was cloudy, windy, and cold, but fortunately the rain didn't come until all the activities were over.
Students listened to Dr. Seuk attentively, and his words warmed everyone's heart.
America has a great spiritual heritage. We need to tap into that spiritual reservoir as we point ourselves toward a vision of a better world.... There is no doubt that America has been at its best when it has taken a serving role toward the world.
America will only be able to fulfill its proper role in the world when its proper role in the world when each one of us takes responsibility. First, we have to change ourselves. Next, we must learn to serve this nation with our whole heart. Finally, we need to unite together in order to help America serve the world.
Although two leftist hecklers did show up, they did not disturb the speech. Many students commented that they were happy to hear such a refreshing, positive message and that they were tired of the same old critical voice they had been hearing on campus over the years.
Wonhwa-do demonstration at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
The atmosphere was congenial, peaceful, and open, allowing the beauty of each event to shine through. This was completely different from any experience CARP has had at Unification Church Berkeley! We were totally surprised and moved that, for the first time, Father's message was given on the Berkeley campus with negativity and opposition subjugated. It was truly a victory.
Dr. Seuk, amidst all the pressures of external preparations and last- minute details, moved the members by maintaining a pure heart of sincerity and prayer. "He always has a desire to do a professional job and to inspire God, paying attention to every detail in order to convey the heart and tradition of our True Parents" commented Christine Froelich, Western Region CARP member.
"The time is right, as Heavenly Father knows, to revitalize the campuses with beauty, truth, and love. The students are waiting. The Festival is touching something deep and genuine in their hearts"
When the Festival moved on to the University of Texas at Austin, professors and student government representatives there were invited to a luncheon preceding the Festival. At the Festival itself, the eye-catching decorations, the abundant refreshments, the riveting martial arts demonstration, and the harmonious music were able to attract and maintain a large crowd.
A group of Christian fundamentalists stood by with signs in hand, damning CARP and trying to grab the attention of the bystanders in an effort to "save" them. But despite all this, the CARP speakers and non- CARP speakers made everyone feel welcome, regardless of race, religion, or national origin.
At the close of the program, most of the onlookers came away with a new awareness of the nature of CARP -- that is, a group of collegiates associated for not only the research of principles but the sincere practice of them.
Dr. Joon Ho Seuk delivers the keynote address on the Austin campus.
On April 8, as part of the Renaissance Festival in Washington DC, the first campus God Conference was held at the University of Maryland. Representatives from diverse religious backgrounds, including members of the Church Universal and Triumphant, the Navigators (non-denominational Christians), Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and Unificationists, gathered for the "Conference on God: Seeing Through the Differences" Even the Baha'is and Hindus expressed their desire to participate, but were unable to send representatives.
Dr. David Rodier, professor of philosophy and religion at American University, was the host and master of ceremonies. In order to facilitate openness and sharing, the theme "The Heart of God" was chosen. Each representative offered a short background on his or her own faith supported by a brief personal testimony.
"All we have is God, but that's all we need" said the Jewish representative, sharing about the persecution his people endured throughout history. "We love God, so we want to become like God" a student from the Church Universal and Triumphant stated. The Unificationist representative said, "God's heart is my home" and she followed with a testimony of how her longing heart is being filled now that God is in her life.
Near the end of the first session, Dr. Seuk spoke. "I can readily speak about God because God is my Father.... I was told by Rev. Moon that the fundamental relationship of the universe is the parent/child relationship" He explained that the purpose of religion was to teach people how to live with God. He exhorted "all those who believe in God to unite together to understand the purpose of God's creation and to establish a world of peace and harmony"
Dr. Rodier moderated the final question-and-answer period in an atmosphere of high spirit and brotherhood. Originally scheduled for two hours, the conference continued on to three. Many of the participants stayed even later to meet the various members of the different religions, exchanging ideas, names, and phone numbers. That we could bring people of such diversity together in harmony surely brought joy to our Heavenly Father and True Parents.
Students get information at a CARP book table.
Beatrice Clyburn, Washington D.C. CARP member, attended a banquet for university professors and administrators in Washington on April 9. She reported:
Dr. Seuk, in his speech, reminded us that the most important thing is love. "In a university" he said, "we should be like a beautiful family. The relationship between professors and students should be like that between parents and children" Such was the feeling at the head table! As Dr. N'yang joined us a few minutes after the banquet started, he was received by the warm, brotherly embrace of his colleague and friend, Dr. Rodier. This black African and white American professor instantly became friends when they met at the CARP Convention last October. They have each been CARP advisors and speakers for years. In the presence of Dr. Seuk, they were like children in front of True Parents! Father and Mother would have rejoiced at their humble hearts.
In his address at the banquet Dr. Rodier said, "My commitment to CARP is one of shared values and vision of what can be done.... Students are in an environment where they need to apologize for morality:' He reminded his colleagues and himself that teaching is not just conveying ideas, but setting an example of pastoral ministry. "Sometimes, it's just being there and being accessible'.'
Dr. Mathur, a professor at the University of the District of Columbia, also spoke to the banquet guests.
I want to congratulate Rev. Moon for his work in this world, in which he teaches young people how to be good spiritual thinkers. He teaches students what a human being is.
At Boston University, Dr. Seuk speaks to professors at a luncheon banquet.
Boston, with its quarter-of-a-million students, is called the City of American History and the City of Education. The Festival there was held at Boston University.
The final week of preparation was difficult for the Boston CARP members, because the weather was cold and rainy for three days before the Festival. The stormy weather required much more effort on the part of brothers and sisters to poster the campus and hand out leaflets. The New Vision Band arrived about a week before the main event with an enthusiastic heart; they said they were eager to come to Boston because it is such an important and providential city.
The day before the Festival was warm, sunny, and bright, but through the night, it started to rain again. CARP members set up the stage, and everything was ready, except for the sunshine!
CARP members collect signatures from supporters of the Festival.
Despite the shower, the Wonhwa-do black belts proceeded with a strong spirit, shouting "Chung-Hyo!" ("loyalty") from the bottom of their hearts. The peak of the excitement was reached when Dr. Seuk stood at the microphone. He looked out at the mere 250 students who had gathered bravely, regardless of the bad weather, and spoke strongly and seriously.
Said Joseph Soo, New England Region CARP member:
Through Dr. Seuk's speech, I came to realize how serious we have to be about restoring the whole of Boston, America, and the entire world. He surely was representing True Parents and opening the door for Hyo Jin Nim to speak in Boston. Continuous rain didn't even bother us, after all. I felt like we were paying indemnity for the victory of American CARP.
Panelists at the God Conference, University of Maryland.
On April 28, the University of Wisconsin at Madison hosted the CARP Festival on its library mall. UW Madison is notorious for the radical student movements that started there in the 1960s. When we began the preparations, we expected some confrontation with leftists.
But Dr. Seuk always inspired us. "Never be afraid of communists," he said. "Invite communists to the Festival:' Supported by his courage and faith, CARP members determined not to allow anyone to destroy the event.
By coincidence, on the same day as the CARP Festival, leftists organized a rally to oppose deportation as a consequence of the new immigration law. The rally was to take place only 1,000 feet away from the library mall. When our martial arts members started performing their self-defense techniques, the 100 leftists also started their rally.
Hecklers at UW Madison confront CARP members face to face.
Then the New Vision Band started playing, and about 500 students were drawn by the vivid sound. At the same time, the leftists started marching toward us. It was clear they wanted to disrupt everything. As they drew near to the audience we had attracted, they stopped marching, took masks of True Father's face out of their bags, and started yelling, "Moonies, stop supporting the Nicaraguan contras!" and similar chants.
They tried to provoke the martial arts members to get angry and exert violence, hoping to cause their arrest. But our members remained calm, trying to maintain a light and joyful atmosphere.
When Dr. Seuk started speaking, 700 students gathered to listen to his speech. Surrounded by such a welcome, and a bit of exciting conflict, Dr. Seuk spoke with more strength and enthusiasm than he had on any other campus. After his speech, the New Vision Band appeared on stage again, creating an uplifting atmosphere.
One student, commenting about Dr. Seuk's speech, said, "This guy is speaking absolutely right" A police officer taking care of security remarked, "What that man is saying is amazing, and necessary for young people to hear!"
Overwhelmed by the successful atmosphere of the Festival, many leftists filtered into the crowd. Ultimately, even they could not help but be affected by the tremendous spirit and power of CARP.
Students gather to hear Dr. Seuk at Boston University despite the rain.
Jung Ho Lee, a biochemistry senior and pre-med student at the State University of New York at Stonybrook, attended the Festival on his campus and immediately afterwards started studying with CARP members. Below are his reflections on the Festival.
The New Vision Band, Wonhwa-do, the spirit of God -- what a full day I enjoyed! I had initially planned to watch the Festival for only a few minutes.
Attending the CARP Renaissance Festival was an extraordinary experience worth more than thousands of biochemistry lectures. Being someone who has continually sought for happiness, it was astounding to meet young people who are genuinely happy.
The Wonhwa-do demonstration, with songs such as the "Eye of the Tiger;' gave a powerful impact, demonstrating how the study of a martial art, especially a unified martial art, can purify one's heart. The performers literally had the eyes of searching for true heart, purity, and compassion. Without a doubt, the breaking techniques displayed the power of mind-body unity and determination: If we try our hardest, there is nothing unattainable.
The Festival site at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
The New Vision Band also provided a vivid example of how to fulfill one's goal in life -- mainly, to be happy. What inspiration they must have in order to maintain such a high level of performance! In recent years I have enjoyed many live bands; however, the New Vision Band was the only one "alive." Their happiness, love, and inner peace shone on their clear, bright faces. The lady singer especially was full of joy and a warm heart. I thought that if there were an angel in this secular world, she would be it. Who said one picture is worth a thousand words? She was the single most important person responsible for my desire to join the CARP movement.
Within one week, CARP became the place for me to discover my happiness. Just spending a couple of hours with them was enough for me to realize that external fame or success will not bring me lasting happiness.
Language is so limited to express my total feelings and heart towards the Renaissance Festival. Although I missed a couple of my classes, which I have never done in my last four years in college, I am so grateful for attending it. I am certain that I would not be bored to go a billion times.
Thanks a million to all the performers who traveled a long way to Stonybrook. God will be with you in all your future endeavors.
A wide variety of literature is always made available.