The Words of the Spurgin Family
At the beginning of this year, Father asked Rev. Won Pil Kim to assume responsibility for blessed families worldwide when he became the new head of the Blessed Family Department. Rev. Kim said that his position is to serve as an advisor and offer internal guidance to all the blessed families.
Rev. Kim is reorganizing the Blessed Family Department so that it can better serve our members. At the end of March, he invited New York area members of each of the six Blessing levels represented in America (the 43; 777; 1800; 35; 74; and 8,000 Couples) to meet with him on each of six successive days for the purpose of receiving guidance and forming blessed family associations for each Blessing level. Since the 8,000 Couple Blessing group is so large (the 2,000 and 6,000 Couple Blessings combined), Rev. Kim met with 35, representatives chosen by department leaders. At those meetings, association officers were elected, including a chair-couple, a vice-chair-couple, and another couple to manage general affairs.
Before the nomination and voting, Rev. Kim proposed certain criteria for these Blessed Family Association officers. First of all, they should be in or near New York so they can easily meet with Rev. Kim and work closely with the Blessed Family Department. Secondly, they should be couples who are working on the front line of Father's providence, or who are at least supportive of and in some way substantially connected to it. Finally, they should be couples whom the members can respect and trust.
Rev. Kim hopes that he can work through these elected officers to help association members support and take care of each other. He says that the blessed couples are the church -- its internal heart. The number and quality of blessed couples in any country determine the amount of God's blessing that country receives. So, by helping each other, we can protect the blessings that God has given to America.
The family is the basic unit that the blessed family associations will be concerned with. On the next level, families will be organized into trinities so they can care for each other in a more extended way. The next level is the Blessed Family Association itself, and the final level is the combined associations, with all blessed couples uniting as one body.
Externally, the associations will help organize, administrate, and facilitate communication among blessed couples. Rev. Kim asked the officers to determine what kind of regulations and bylaws would be most suitable for the associations. He asked me to develop materials for one-, two-, and three-day workshops which would cover preparation for the Blessing and help create a consistent standard of education for all blessed couples. A number of task groups were set up to investigate some of the concerns of blessed couples, such as blessed family education, counseling, financial planning, medical care, and practical aspects of family life. Rev. Kim also encouraged the associations to organize meetings and get-togethers, and to reach out to inactive couples.
In Korea, where Rev. Won Pil Kim served as the director of the Blessed Family Department for ten years, the blessed family associations have a tradition of collecting dues from couples, and the money that is raised is used to offer gifts to True Parents and the True Children, support couples in trouble, create scholarship funds for children, and support their own association's activities. Such activities have to be done according to certain bylaws which are established legally.
Internally, the associations should help couples inherit True Parents' tradition vertically, and encourage them to serve and love each other horizontally as True Parents have loved us. Each Blessing level has its own special meaning, and blessed couples from each level already tend to have an affinity for each other. Such affinity needs to be strengthened into a feeling of oneness. It is time for us to carry the concerns of the providence ourselves, and relieve True Parents' burdens. As Rev. Kim said, we are the church, and we should be responsible to solve the problems of the church, not just air our complaints. Once a tradition of love and service is established within each association, couples can reach out in the same spirit to the other Blessing levels.