The Words of the Stephens Family
First Meeting on the Topic: Matching the Second Generation
Unofficial notes by Jim Stephens
March 3, 2001
The first meeting in the DC area for members wanting to open a discussion and bring out the many issues regarding our new responsibility for matching our own children took place at the home of Maria and Ted Agres. 19 people were able to attend, including Michael and Bianca Roshuni, Youth Ministers for DC Family church.
We went around the circle and members were asked to share their motivation for coming to the meeting and the issues that concerned them the most. Discussions and reactions occurred as various points came out.
Many new and deep insights were shared as well as some touching moments and deeply serious concerns as well. For the sake of keeping this report brief, Iím going to just list the ideas that struck me as the most important and then some of our conclusions. Please realize this is only one point of view (what elseÖ) and another person at the same meeting would probably have a completely different list. (I welcome additions and comments from other participants.)
What we are trying to do is very serious. It not only effects and involves our families and our church but can also be expected to be the pattern for society at large. As more and more people recognize True Parents, then the culture of our church will become the "standard" to follow. We want to create a pattern that our children will be proud of in front of all young people and one that those young people will choose to follow themselves instead of what society is offering.
Every child is unique and every family is unique. God looks with love on every situation individually and uniquely. No system can be rigid and express Godís love.
It is important to understand what each personís role and "portion of responsibility" is in the process. The BC to be matched has the ultimate responsibility of accepting the match and creating the resultant marriage and family. The parents must use all of their resources, spiritual and physical, together with their child to find the spouse that God has prepared, not the one that they might personally think is best.
Numerous outside resources are available. Volumes of scientific research have been done on marriage. Many other faith-based communities have developed methods for finding spouses for their children, e.g. the Jewish tradition, Quakers, Mormons, Muslims, India. This area is the specialty of Cheryl Wetstein from the Washington Times.
Second Generation Blessed Couples that have successful matchings and marriages are a very valuable resource that would be especially attractive to those preparing to be matched. They can give their testimonies.
Thinking horizontally of just the physical mechanics of matching, especially trying to match to an international spouse, we have to conclude itís impossible. Therefore we have to recognize at the very beginning that everyoneís faith is the heart and soul of it all.
We are not just arranging the wedding of two young people. We are putting together two people to live together for eternityÖtwo people to reflect the nature of God. Not only that but we are marrying together two families and two whole lineages for eternity. Each family is being matched to the other spouseís family, so every person in each family is involved and should have a role and a responsibility.
How can we take the same view as True Parents did toward the matching? Father always set strong prayer conditions before each matching. What kind of prayer and conditions should we be doing? Without the help of God and spirit world it seems impossible to make successful matches.
No child should be pressured by parents or peers to be matched. Each should be encouraged to seek the answer from God and to ask "Is this MY TIME?" to go. The BC has the portion of responsibility to decide if itís "not my time".
BCís should not be thinking or encouraged to look around and choose their own spouse. What is their true responsibility?
Working TOGETHER with their parents, trusted elders, and others, they should FIND the person that God has chosen to be their eternal mate. They should be counseled that the person God chooses for them may not be physically attractive or have any interests in common.
One family together decided 3 important criteria. (1) Keep purity. Preservation of our lineage on Godís side. (2) This is a family decision. We all have a voice, including siblings. Our family is being matched to another whole family. (3) Without a relationship to God, donít even bother.
The BC preparing for matching should give as much input as possible to parents, even to the point of developing criteria for selection. This will give the parents a clearer picture of where the child is at and will open up discussion on what makes for a successful marriage.
Some BCís in the past wanted True Father to match them so they didnít have to take responsibility. If it "didnít work out" then they blamed True Father or the church.
How can we be best assured of Godís acceptance of our matchings? What if different factions develop in the church with different ways of matching? There is a rumor that Dae Mo Nim is doing matchings in Japan. Where is "higher authority" going to come from so the BCís and the parents can feel secure in the process? Different groups will try to claim superiority over each otherís methods. BCís want to believe that they are matched to Godís choice.
A match that makes them happy in the moment may not be the best eternal mate. How can we identify the qualities that best grow into happiness and the wholeness that reflects the love of God. Many of the matches that True Father made were people who seem to be opposites. Can we develop an educational program to help them learn and believe this.
We are just scratching the surface of the concerns. We need a steering committee or something. We need to identify people who are committed for the long haul to work on this process.
When a match is suggested, the BC needs to be able to have the "tools" to determine for themselves if this is "the ONE that God has chosen" so they can make an eternal commitment.
We need to pray a lot. How do we do that? What kind of conditions should we do? What kind of study? What kind of prayers?
The directions and qualifications for matching that have come so far from the USA Youth Headquarters are the following (more clarification is needed). USA Second Generation Leader is Young Joo Yoo. He is under Hyun Jin Nim.
A. Total of 120 days of "approved" Divine Principle workshops in the BCís lifetime
B. Individual interview with church leader to be sure candidate really is ready and wants to be matched.
C. Church leader recommendation
D. Lists of Eligible candidates will be prepared in every region and country.
E. All parents of eligible candidates will be given a copy of the list.
F. Matches are arranged by the families involved. Parents work it out.
G. To avoid confusion a match is official when church leaders in the region of each BC are notified.
H. Matched candidates are taken off the list.
According to these criteria, no BCís are currently "eligible" because they havenít had the 120 days of workshops.
Washington, DC, area needs to develop its own 7 day workshop geared to those 2nd Gens who are ready to be matched. The content needs to cover the entire DP plus classes on parenting skills, life skills, internal guidance on male/female relationships and some individual counseling.
Many concerns were expressed about particular mandates coming down from Church leaders. Other concerns were expressed about the past workshops where the "leaders" abused participants with foul language or denigrated the First Generation as "failures".
Hyun Jin Nim has been directed by Father to oversee the Second Generation and he should be our connection. He can get guidance from True Parents. We want to be as faithful and connected as we can be.
The process is just beginning and itís a long complicated road ahead. Everyone has the best intentions. This situation will really increase our connecting and communicating to each other and take our movement to a whole new level.
Reports will be presented to Rev. In Hoi Lee and Rev. Henri Schauffler. Several work groups will be initiated to study different aspects of the process and develop proposals to present to the community for additional input and discussion.
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