The Words of the Sardella Family

The Challenges and Opportunities of Being a UTS Alumnus

Don Sardella
July 2005

One brotherís take Ė whatís yours??

Going back to the year of 1978, when I received the call and the invitation to study at UTS, I am reminded of key themes Ė for me, a time for deep prayer to develop a personal relationship with God Ė the chance to part of a life-long fellowship with fellow-travelers on the Providential path Ė the challenge to serve in central leadership roles during this uniquely historical time period Ė the life-time & ongoing commitment to be the West Point version of leadership for Godís Providence.

Here we are, over 25 years later, with a variety pack of situations amongst ourselves as alumni.

So now what do we do?? Given some level of field/life experience and after talking with a number of other UTS grads in recent months, I want to offer a few ideas for your consideration as part of the growing alumni forum that seems to be actively unfolding.

The meter is running, so to speak, and virtually everyone I know wants to do all they can to make the balance of their earthly life effectively count and to be as meaningful as possible. I understand that the core UTS leadership team is working as hard as they can to craft an attractive/relevant vision, from which to draft and execute a viable, sustainable game plan. From my professional work in the field, this is no small task. Itís an ownership taking process that almost parallels the writing of the Constitution and then working to cultivate an authentic culture that makes it real.

So what can we, as UTS Alumni, do to make the most of our gifts/talents/passions and offer that up for Godís Providence and celebrate/enjoy the process? I suggest that part of that is determining what we really feel called by God to do and pursuing it whole-heartedly. I sense that many have been quietly doing that or at least have seriously thought about it and are pursuing further training to develop/hone/polish those gifts.
The Vision Thing, as it has been dubbed - for me, in my personal relationship to God and for the greater human community. What it is?? Recently, I responded in writing to some key questions, to newly consider what that might be at this point in time. Such questions included:

What is my life going to look like in the year 2007 if I am really living my life the way I want to live?

What do I want in my life that I do not have right now? What do I want to have more or less of?

As Helen Keller once said, "Worse than a life without sight is a life without vision." Of course, we have the shared, assumedly understood upon, global, cosmic, historical Providential vision. And for me, the question is, in light of that much greater Providential circle, what is my personal, from-the-heart, no kidding, personal vision, values and game plan, at least for the next few years?

Again, from talking with other alumni, and especially in light of the increasingly rapid pace of change in todayís world and in many of our lives, many of us are discovering that itís either time for a check up from the neck up or even time for a completely new re-write - certainly a process.

I am happy to say I have some ideas that I think (hope?? -J align with the much greater view of Godís Providence. I envision that you, the reader, do too. Or at least you are feeling the need for it or are actively in process, sorting it out for yourself and those around you. So now what to do??

I know that for me, the biggest challenge I find is to first model what I seek to advocate, be it Godís True Love or an effective leadership training program. In a classic "mind/body, mind over mattress" sense, to make myself the pilot project that I think might be expanded to serve the greater whole.

I am inspired by ideas that I am hearing from other grads about systematically developing "vitamin-supplement" type Institutes for Spiritual Self-Mastery, Healing, Marriage, Family, Parenting, Leadership Development, Effective Ministry, Global Service and so on. I envision that these can all, in some form or fashion, add to the main menu of UTS, Family Fed and beyond.

I am further inspired to see the writings and the powerpoint presentations that are emerging on these topics and the idea that an increasing number of grads are seeking quality training beyond Unificationist ranks, to work to learn from the best of the best, be in the Christian ministry fields, world religion fields, philanthropic disciplines or from the professional development arenas.

So for now, without being too grandiose, what might I next suggest we do as UTS Alumni?? To begin, I think it is a good idea to get our lines of communications freshly going. A current inventory and total update of our database. Get a monthly e mail newsletter going, similar to what is being presented here. A vehicle for celebration, activity updates, exchange of best ideas/best practices, innovative ways to further strengthen our personal and public foundations, etc, etc, etc.

I, for one, would be happy to chip in to help make that happen. I see it as an opportunity to freshly connect our dots and discover new energy in fellowship and mutual service. I suggest, and will support, self-funding the Alumni Association, so that it serves as a plus, not a drain. Part of what I see is possible here is how we can better understand each other, for real, and how we can help each other become more successful. Maybe put an interactive UTS AA website into the mix??

I am confident that our exchanges and synergies can be an increased source of inspiration and tools, not only for each other, but also for the greater good. Enough from me Ė what do you say??

All The Best To Your Providential Success

Don Sardella, UTS Ď80 leadfromwithin@aol.com

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