The Words of the Sutchar Family

UTS and Me

Bruce Sutchar
April 21, 2013

The first letter I ever received inviting me to apply to attend UTS was thrown into the garbage by my central figure (CF) (as were many others by many CFs). Then immediately after the Madison square Garden Blessing I was recruited once again. This time my Central figure asked me to go so that they would leave the others in our center alone. I was so high from the blessing that I was willing to do anything (as I had immediately gone out 40 day pioneering after the matching 1 ½ years earlier.

I was told by the UTS registrar that I would not be accepted since I already had a Master's Degree and that Father had some other idea for me. However, I was very happy just to go to David Hose's 40 day workshop.

1982 had been a difficult year for me. After a challenging year in Manhattan, I had gone back to Oakland to nourish my depleted spirit. I had worked on father's Court Case and then volunteered to fundraise in Southern California so the young fundraisers could go to New York and get matched.

So I began my 40 day workshop sitting in the back row and wanting to just take everything in -- no volunteering, no extra responsibility, no leadership. So, of course, I immediately was selected as a team leader. At the end of the workshop I was again selected, this time as a fundraising captain. My first experiences as a Fundraising Captain years before had been somewhat less than successful. While other teams were sent all over America, I was given a team of 10 members from all over the world. Most of them had never fundraised in the United States and most of them did not have green cards or visas. As a result my area was Westchester and Long Island in order that if we got arrested, we would be in close proximity to our immigration lawyers.

After explaining to my team that the purpose of our training was not just to make money as much as it was a challenge to become unified. The first night when I picked everyone up, they were smiling and filled with spiritual energy. However, our monetary total for the evening was zero!

Eventually, we did come together, no one was ever arrested and we wound up making the second highest total, surpassed only by the team that had gone to Las Vegas. We camped out at all the state parks on Long Island and had several opportunities to spend time and pray at Belvedere.

When we returned to UTS I was selected to be part of the incoming class and I was actually chosen as Vice-President if the class. I was feeling great, having liquid fasted (plain yogurt only) until dinner every day. However, the week before classes began I had a soccer accident which would eventually render me only able to get around on crutches for most of my first year.

I was seemingly OK for the next several weeks, however, even though I was able to play competitive tennis every day, I knew that when I took my socks off at night that something was wrong since I couldn't bend my coot back all the way.

Finally one morning, I was about to give a sermon on, Courage and Persistence and I collapsed in the classroom. They took me to the hospital and that began several month process because no one could figure out what was wrong. Finally after wearing a cast for 6 months, I went down to NYU Medical center and found the surgeon for the New York Islanders Hockey Team. He gave me on of the first cat scans in the U.S. (1983) and discovered that I had a hairline fracture of the bone in my heel that keeps us from falling when we walk on un-even ground.

He said that since the foot has so many little bones, he could not perform laser surgery and suggested that I give up tennis for golf and walking, because my foot would never again have the flexibility that I was used to. David Kim suggested that I resign my position as Vice-president of our class and just focus on my studies at UTS and regain my health.

When I first came to UTS I stood out on the soccer field and asked God why, he had brought me back to school. After all I had been in college for 7 years, already had a Master's Degree -- so wasn't that enough? God responded very simply by saying, "So I can be with you."

This of course proved to be quite true over the next 3 years at Barrytown. Much of my time in at UTS was spent walking on Father's and Mother's trails. One day while walking on my way to Bard College [past the apple orchard, God suggested that I invite my wife to come to UTS. She was currently on Mr. Tatai's MFT team in Hawaii and Southern California. Ilse is an Austrian Music Teacher, and asked me why in the world she should come to UTS. But, she just happened to have a university degree (Father makes some good choices for us) and amazingly, Mr. Tatai said OK, when she asked him if she could join me at UTS.

We would spend much of the next 2 years walking every square foot of the Barrytown campus. We spent one whole night praying on Father's trail. We walked down to the Post office and back up along the Hudson River nearly every single night and especially every night of our 40 day condition to begin our family life.

To this day, I go back to Barrytown, every chance I get. But again, I spend most of my time outdoors, because that is where my most special memories remain closest to my heart.

As I look back at my three years at UTS I am so grateful for so many things. Most of all, Father and Mother came many times (it still seems like only yesterday).

When I first came to UTS I had a strong feeling that being with Dr. Young Oon Kim was going to be a very special part of my life. This intuition proved to be quite true. It was a very special time to be at UTS as each of Dr. Kim's three books was being published while I was a student. I loved her theology classes and was always happy to run errands for her when I went into town. She would always walk early in the morning wearing her white Adidas with the green stripes. She would tell us that all the theologians in the spirit world would come and bother her and ask her to please put their ideas into her theology books.

I was also so fortunate to be at UTS while President David S.C. Kim was still active. He was such a special person. Sometimes I would just go over to his office and sit quietly until he was ready to talk. These were always very special spiritual times for me. President Kim was an amazing man. One of the first three missionaries in America. He was still leading morning service whenever he was on campus. He was also still actively playing tennis and ping pong. No one could be him in doubles since, even if the other team was better than him, he would spiritually intimidate them into defeat.

Jim Flynn, who was Student Body President when I arrived at UTS was a very special mentor in my life. I remember walking with him on Father's trail and listening to his every word of advice. Happily, after graduation I was able to follow him out to Denver, where he remained my central figure.

Next on my special list is Dr. Tyler Hendricks. Dr. Hendricks was the very first UTS graduate to complete his Ph.D. he returned to UTS and I was fortunate to be in his very first church history class. When I was accepted to the 3rd year Divinity Program, Dr. Hendricks was our advisor. Here I had a very special experience. We were deciding where to spent our Divinity Summer. I had applied to be a staff member on the Student religious pilgrimage to all of the religious shrines around the world. I explained in my application how, even though I had traveled extensively with the continental United States, I had never traveled outside of America. After being inspired by the autobiographical statement, the staff accepted me for the Divinity Program and informed me that I could to go to any church center in America to help work on the 3 initial ICC Ministers Conferences.

At this point I had a very unusual experience -- one that I had never experienced either before or since. For the next 10 days, I had dreams which each took place in Chicago. The dreams may not have had anything to do with Chicago (like being in my boyhood back yard with Dr. Durst) but they all took place in Chicago, nevertheless. One the eleventh day, Dr. Hendricks came up to me and asked me if I wanted to go to work in Chicago with Michael Jenkins. I knew I didn't have a choice and the summer proved to be a wonderful experience working with rev Jenkins. Thirty years later, Michael and Reiko Jenkins have become not only my wife and my elder mentors but also our best friends. Likewise -- our 10 children grew up together and to this day are like cousins who love each other very much.

UTS was such a special place academically as well. What other seminary in the world would have only 1 professor from their own denomination (Dr. Young Oon Kim). Our professors were from the Dutch Reformed, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Greek Orthodox denominations. Our philosophy professor went to seminary with Pope John Paul, and our Jewish scholar was an orthodox Romanian rabbi who used to get to know by taking us out for cheesecake every week.

We also had a Korean professor who taught us Oriental Philosophy and a psychologist who taught us many aspects of psychology. Interestingly, since I already had a Master's Degree in Psychology, I thought that I would probably write my thesis on some aspect of religion and psychology. However, by the time I was ready to write my thesis, I had been enveloped in my Jewish Heritage and wrote my thesis comparing Judaism, Christianity and Unificationism.

My Divinity Class of 15 students was very special to me as well. We became quite tight as we all shared one study room throughout the year. Each of us had very special experiences the summer before we graduated and we did many many things together. David Ryan and Marika Gustaffson went to Wyoming and worked with ministers and Native Americans, Clopha Deshotel traveled across America doing videography and half of the class served as the staff for the religious Youth Tour traveling around the World. Today, Christl Brunkhorst is the Principal of our school in New Jersey, Kate Isham is living on an island in Puget Sound, Jack Rothstein, after making millions in the stock market is living in the Phillipines, and my wife and I are safe and sound in Chicago. 

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