The Words of Hyun Jin Moon and his supporters from 2014
Around 50 people gathered at the Bowie Public Library to hear from Mr. Takeru Kamiyama on Saturday, August 30. The attendees represented a wide spectrum of Blessed Families, with perhaps ỳ as native Japanese speakers, so the translation was quite crucial to the presentation. The guests were welcomed with coffee and pastries, and those who had ordered lunch paid for their orders.
The meeting began with singing of Holy Songs, led by Diane Falk and Glenn Strait. Kazuo and I welcomed the guests, explaining that they were the hosts, and that their desire was to have a warm and close communication, with courtesy and respect. They explained that questions would be able to be written on prepared index cards, or to be given orally during the lunch break, and would be translated into Japanese, and given to Mr. Kamiyama to respond to within the context of his overall afternoon presentation.
After a prayer, Mr. Kamiyama began his presentation.
He started the meeting by having each audience member choose from a collection of photos of Father, on which a quote from his speech of that time was printed in Japanese. He then went around reading their quotes, and the translator gave a rough translation through the head sets (FM radio-type.) However, the accurate translations were arranged to be sent to each person by email.
The focus on Father's words continued throughout the entire day's presentations. The content was far too detailed to summarize accurately without practically transcribing it, word for word. However, some of the general topic areas that were covered (not listed in order of presentation) were:
The role and mission of the messiah
The centrality and sacredness of Father's words as his legacy to the world
The mission of the Bride, and the Children
The function of the continuation of the messiah's lineage
Father's intention and purpose for Foundation Day
Why Father's life should have continued at least until Foundation Day
Historical failures, satan's claim, the messianic sacrifices to save humanity
The meaning of engrafting and change of blood lineage
Comparison of Abraham's course with Father's
What characteristics are important in inheriting Father's mission
The responsibility of Blessed Families to investigate and discern truth as spiritually mature adults
The meaning of absolute obedience
During lunchtime, Mr. Kamiyama ate with the other guests. Despite a number of people having arrived without letting us know of their attendance, we were able to provide food for pretty much everyone.
During his presentation, Mr. Kamiyama touched on many difficult and even heart-wrenching topics, and was often in tears, as were many of the listeners. He shared his struggles accepting responsibility for providential events such as Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium and Washington Monument, showing clips of videos of those events that brought back memories to most of the listeners. He shared some experiences with Father in the last few years before his passing, at Yossu in Korea, and described some situations that showed Father in some considerable anguish and frustration during that time period. He alluded to specific changes that have taken place since his passing that are incompatible with his repeated directions. He spoke unflinchingly of the possible repercussions, historically, of some of the actions which have taken place.
We ended with prayer, bowing to True Parents, and Kazuo and I bowing to our guests (our family's custom.)
The extremity of reaction even to our invitation of people to this presentation was a signal that the content would be significant. For those attending, there seemed to be a variety of reactions, from the warmth and shared camaraderie of veterans of historical events, to reminders of situations that once seemed promising and now seem agonizing.
One thing I noticed was that some people came with a heart of giving, helping and being co- owners. Others came with the intent to listen and discern. Others came with antagonism and criticism.
Yet, through this all, I felt proud of our community. There was a decency and honor, a commonly-held commitment to courtesy, which I found inspiring. Despite some people's obvious pre-set opinions, they generally behaved well. This was "spiritual meat, not milk" and not every person could digest the content easily. Overall, however, there was a genuine mature and honest openness.
My own situation was rather complex: as the hosts, Kazuo and I and our family were involved in logistics, preparations, and handling many details that were simply practical in nature. Also, we had to be aware of the guests' health and safety and comfort, so at times, I was in and out of the presentation dealing with many different situations. At the same time, we were taking an "ownership" role of the event, and were very conscious of supporting the clear communication and sharing of issues.
Thus, it's hard for me to sum up the total experience in an impartial way. The journalist in me wants to describe the event's specifics. The organizer in me wants to describe all the practical issues. The truth-seeker in me wants to mull over the new information that came out, filling in gaps and blank spaces that exist in the public awareness about certain areas, and to discuss the implications for where we now stand. None of these approaches, however, feels right. Our family is still processing the experience -- some of which is colored by the attitudes we encountered, some of which reflects our own journey as a Blessed family.
One thing that did happen was that shortly after the event began, a message was sent out to the community by the Maryland Pastors, urging a spirit of "forgive, love and unite" towards our event. I don't know what spurred it, but I felt grateful that the authors chose to counsel community members to keep the spirit of Father's teaching in our interactions. We were not aware that we needed to be forgiven, but the message mentioned the event being seen as "provocative." I'm not sure what we were trying to provoke. Our heart was to give DC area members a chance to hear from an elder who was inspiring families with his direct knowledge of Father's life. In any case, we appreciated the effort to apply a Godly and principled spirit to the controversy.