The Words of Hyung Jin Moon From 2009

Hoonsa and Spiritual Power for Church Growth

Hyung Jin Moon
April 2009

In the following excerpts from extensive remarks Hyung-jin nim made to those who accompanied him to a hilltop in Seoul for his early morning meditation, bows and prayer, he outlined his vision for a movement supported by the devoted efforts (Jeong Seong) of a dedicated group of members. The concept of this core group, Hoonsa, sprang from Hyung-jin nim's concern for the future of pastors in Korea (some of whom are early followers) who face mandatory retirement as the churches in Korea are consolidated.

Is there a way in which early members, now in retirement, can devote themselves deeply to God's providence and will for the remainder of their lives? There are very good people, such as Seo Yoo-ahm, who has been a church leader from the early days. But because he is sixty-five years old, he would now retire and become a general member. Yet retirement seems an inadequate step for someone who has followed such a path in life. I have thought seriously about this. After praying about it for several months, an answer suddenly came in January. The completion stage is from 2009 to 2013. The answer came at the very beginning of the completion stage.

The title of Hoonsa may be unfamiliar. But through the efforts of those who qualify to be Hoonsa, our church will surely rise to the world level. Our church leadership here at present would not be able to lead religious people on the world level.

Church leaders are like masters degree holders, and Hoonsa are like the doctoral degree holders.

Returning to their hometown and relaxing after retiring is not the path by which church leaders can become Hoonsa. True Father has not retired or stepped back, has he? When you reach sixty-five, there is now the opportunity to begin anew.

A new beginning after a long career

Right up until you go to the spirit world, you can devote your life completely to Heaven. You can offer Jeong Seong, fight it out, deny yourself, and follow the ascetic path of a monastic for True Parents' sake. However, because you follow this difficult path, you will rise to the highest position. You will have mastered yourself. After going to the lowest place, you will rise to the highest. Through taking the most difficult path, you will find yourself marvelously elevated.

Not everyone will be able to qualify as Hoonsa. There may be church leaders who do not qualify. You have to pass through a four hundred-day course; it's a four hundred-day test. You must gather your resolve in order to accomplish this. Those who are of a mind to follow this ascetic path will find joy, gratitude and honor in becoming Hoonsa. This is not a path for those who are merely interested in the title or for those who prefer to remain at home and watch television. It is for those who can truly feel the joy and gratitude of the training course. It's training that lasts until you ascend to the spirit world.

This is a way for the early church leaders to have a victorious life. Their sons and daughters will support their parents during the program. Let's gather our sincere devotion to support our fathers and mothers in this last stage, the completion stage, on the way of God's will. For the sons and daughters, it's a concrete act of filial piety. Up until no our parents have raised us and put us through university; now let's do something for them. Such a family culture is emerging.

I'm saying that the first-generation era is not over. This way bodes success for the sons and daughters, for the church leaders, for the families involved -- and for our church. For the sake of church development we are cutting down on expenses, so the sons and daughters will support their parents on the Hoonsa program, which is both their sincere offering and helpful for the church.

When I explained this idea to Kook-jin nim, his response was "Oh good. Very good!"

A revival of the church

We are working to develop our church, as you know. We are developing a system, seeking the best methods, and creating programs based on a scientific approach. But in so doing, if we lose the spiritual aspect, we will just become like a business. There must be core personnel who maintain a genuine spiritual lifestyle. Without such people, religion descends into practical science and methodology. If the lifestyle of sincere devotion disappears, the church will become a business venture. I am saying that the Hoonsa nims will revive the church. They will save our church. They will continue to strengthen the root and center of our church.

To put it simply, these Hoonsa nims are the ones following the steepest path of asceticism. They don't have anything for themselves. They cast everything aside and go this way, but because they leave everything behind, they gain everything. Because they follow the path that involves the most suffering, they become wonderful people. Because they go to the lowest position, they ascend to the highest. In fully investing themselves in a course on which they must die to themselves they can save the Unificationist community.

The power of a focused spiritual tradition

Hoonsas will be those who have first been church leaders for at least thirty-three years. Then, they must offer the four hundred days of Jeong Seong without missing even three days. As you know, our vice-president [Rey Lee Dong-han] and our church leaders here have been following this way already for many months....

The elder leaders have certainly endured hardship. We can by no means say that the era of precious people such as Rev. Seo Yoo-ahm has come to an end. I have prayed about this a great deal. Finally God has showed us the way forward.

Recently I was in America. At East Garden, there is a church brother who has worked very sacrificially on the upkeep of the buildings for thirty years. He told me he had originally wanted to be a priest, as many of his relatives were. He was planning to become a priest when he met and joined our church. He is now sixty years old. He feels that his physical strength is waning and he should prepare for when he goes to the spirit world. He wants to be able to offer more Jeong Seong. He was very excited to hear about the Hoonsa program.

I have to think about this in relation to those who have not completed thirty-three years of church leadership. If someone is sixty now, they would have to lead a church until they are ninety-three before they could begin Hoonsa training! ...

We need a huge foundation of Jeong Seong at Cheon Bok Gung. There is a need for people who make this their lifestyle. In the future, at places such as the Chung Pyung training center, conditions must be made to protect True Parents, don't you think? Such places could incorporate training for widows who are focusing on prayer (hoon-nyeo) and Hoonsa. If that were possible, many members would want to go there to train. They would truly be places of God's grace. If there were Hoonsa and hoon-nyeos all over the world, what a heart-warming situation that would be!

We should even make special clothing, so that whenever people see the Hoonsas, they will know this person is a practitioner from the Unificationist tradition. The path of an ascetic is quite different from church leadership.

Everyone, no matter who he is or how great he is, will inevitably bow his head to those who are following this way of training and asceticism. Hoonsa will not need to be able to speak well, as a church leader does. Even without saying a word, their devout, austere lifestyle will surely compel others to bow their heads. Even the nation's president would surely respect them.

As these people with a completely different lifestyle emerge, they should wear distinctive clothing. They will be like Jesus or Buddha walking on earth. They must be able to give sense of that to others.

Even as the church is still developing, the Hoonsa nims will be able to guide renowned people of the world. They will also be able to teach young church leaders -- not by being arrogant or by taking power, but by providing wise spiritual leadership. Can young people who have just graduated from university do this kind of work? Can those who have graduated from the church leaders' basic training do this? They cannot.

The early church leaders should not just retire to their hometowns. There is still a much work to be done!


Mrs. Daek Seon-ja, referring to the day Hyung-jin nim received an answer from God about what recently retired pastors might do, reminded him, Hyung-jin nim in the early hours of that day you suddenly called out, 'The way has opened up! The path has appeared!' You were going urgently back and forth. You looked so happy as you ran in and out of your tiny office, genuinely joyful and excited." 

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