The Words of the Thompson Family
The Bay Area Family Church was host to a Blessing Preparation Workshop on February 5-7. 85 participants from all over the western United States descended on the church.
Some were seriously preparing to be matched and blessed soon and others were there to be educated as they began the process of their own preparation for future blessing. Many parents also took the chance to participate along with their children.
After dinner on the first evening, MC Kenritsu Yamamoto started everyone off with an icebreaker and orientation. This was followed by a talk from Pastor Kevin Thompson on "Why Be Blessed?" in which the value of the blessing was discussed. This was followed by group discussion.
The next day Pastor Thompson gave a morning talk on "God's Ideal For The Family" in which he outlined the original plan of God to bring about his ideal through mature individuals creating beautiful families with God at the center. Emphasizing the need for each person to grow and develop their heart and to reach a position of maturity which is affirmed by parents and elders, is a prerequisite for receiving the blessing. With the affirmation of parents and community then God's blessing is given by True Parents to begin a new family. In the next talk Pastor Thompson emphasized the reason why this ideal was never realized. Through the introduction of selfishness and a "me first" attitude the process created by God has been short circuited and instead of families with God at the center we see a history of families with self at the center leading to societies ills. After each talk group discussion followed and lively, animated give and take ensued.
After lunch Mr. Bento Leal conducted an afternoon of practical communication skills development. Many participants said that this was a highlight of the workshop, to be able to develop much need skills in sharing and listening, skills which are useful for all relationships. "Hearing my own experience shared back to me gave me the sense of being deeply listened to and therefore actually loved and valued, this was a profound experience," shared one participant.
Before dinner we had the ever popular sharing of 2nd Gen Blessing testimonies by Henry and Ann Helen Bechtel and David and Lily Freeland as well as Kenritsu Yamamoto. This was very practical and meaningful for the young people as they could learn from their elders experiences.
The final talk by Pastor Thompson was on preparation for the Blessing and confession. Letting the young people know that they have a course to take towards the blessing and how to prepare internally and externally to make the most of the opportunity they have for the Blessing is important information. Also the confession process allows young people the chance to unburden themselves of things which are weighing on their conscience and to come clean with God as they move forward. After the written confession period a meditation was conducted by Mrs. Pat Detlefson which allowed everyone to feel the love and forgiveness of god for any mistakes made.
The next day gave everyone the chance to attend Lovin' Life Sunday service live from New York and to hear from In Jin Nim. This was a wonderful conclusion to a beautiful workshop.