The Words of Hyung Jin Moon From 2012
Dear District Council Members,
Sincere congratulations to you on your election as a District Council Member, representing the members and Blessed Families of your district. You have been freely selected by your District members because they believe you are capable to represent them in making the important decisions that lie ahead.
The first order of business for the District Council is to select an "Interim" District Pastor. This is the person who will provide guidance and support to the local pastors and members of your District in fulfilling God's Will over the next year.
In making this selection, it is important to appreciate that the role of District Pastor has changed. In the past, a primary focus of the District Pastor was responding to national and international directions, mobilization and attendance. These priorities often required that responsibilities related to evangelism and church growth be given secondary emphasis. District Pastors will now be expected to place primary emphasis on growing vibrant, evangelical local church communities. Furthermore, the District Pastor will need to be a capable administrator, able to clarify and delegate responsibilities, and work in partnership with the District Council.
The election of District Councils is the first step in a larger plan to empower and develop our church. In the coming months, we are undertaking a process to develop a comprehensive system for governance and a vision for the future. This will take time, discussion and deliberation. As representatives of the church body, the District Councils will be a key part of this process. The end result of this process will include a written and ratified Charter that will detail the rights, roles and responsibilities of the membership, District Pastor, District Council, local communities, Pastors, etc. This will also include a more complete election process. Eventually, the new system will be fully implemented. For this reason, we are calling the current District Councils and District Pastors "Interim" and have designated the term as one year.
The role of the District Council is to work hand in hand with the District Pastor to guide and administer church development and activities in the District. There is no expectation that the Council will replace or eliminate existing local church organizations or departments that may be presently functioning at the state or more local levels. Rather, the District Council should work with the District Pastor to encourage further local empowerment.
The District Pastor is recommended by the Council but is vertically responsible to God, True Parents and the National Leader. He or she is the vertical spiritual representative for the District and as such is approved and "anointed" by the President. The Council, together with the District Pastor, will form a working team that integrates the vertical and horizontal components of a healthy church. They should communicate on a regular basis. Certain key roles in this relationship are delegated to the Council, which include financial control and oversight, District Pastor selection and approval of key District appointments. Please also refer to my October 25th memo that further details the roles of District Council members.
Council meetings should begin with a time for prayer and reporting. Deliberations should be conducted with sincerity, love and respect. God's spirit and love should dwell as you meet. Wherever possible, strive for consensus. If that is not possible, the Council should unite and be supportive of the collective decisions.
The first order of Council responsibilities is to:
1. Select a Council Chair and Secretary
2. Make a recommendation for Interim District Pastor by November 4 (This was extended from November 1). Please see the vision statement below.
3. Make a recommendation for a representative to the National Council by November 21.
1. The Council Member with the most votes in the District Council election shall serve as a Temporary Chair until the first Council Meeting.
2. The Temporary Chair will organize a conference call as soon as possible with the newly-elected Council to determine the time and place for the first meeting. The first council meeting does not have to be in person, but it is clearly best for as many as possible to gather in person.
3. Council members should prepare for the meeting as follows:
3a. Solicit input from community members about their ideas and concerns. Gather information about their satisfaction with the current leadership.
3b. Consider possible candidates for District Pastor or National Council. If appropriate, talk to people to see if they might be willing to serve if nominated.
4. Suggested Meeting Agenda
4a. Prayer/Report to God.
4b. Temporary Chair accepts nominations for Chair, and Chair is elected.
4c. Chair accepts nominations for Secretary and Secretary is elected.
4d. Discuss District Pastor position. Decide if the current District Pastor should be retained for the one- year interim period. If not, discuss alternatives. This may require nominations of candidates and perhaps subsequent interviews by all or some of the Council members. However, this decision should be made by November 4.
4e. (Note) Headquarters will provide financial information as needed should the Council decide to replace the District Pastor. This must be kept confidential
4f. Discuss National Council Representative selection. Nominations may likely include the District Council members, since they have already been selected by the membership. If others outside the Council are considered, they may need to be interviewed by all or some of the Council.
4g. Agree on time and format for monthly meetings.
4h. (Optional) Each Council member contributes a key goal or concern for the District to be discussed at the next meeting.
4i. The Secretary distributes the minutes of the Council meeting.
As a context to guide your selection of Interim District Pastor, we provide the following excerpts from two recent messages. We hope that by carefully reading these important messages, you will gain a clear perspective on the role and expectations of leadership in the Unification Church in the United States at this time.
Notes from Vision Statement, Rev. Hyung Jin Moon, National Headquarters, October 18, 2012
In three years, our local churches will have doubled in size (membership) and will be expanding. The central activity of the church will be teaching the Divine Principle with emphasis on education of "Absolute Sexual Ethics", the "Responsibilities of a Strong Abel", the "Theism/Atheism" or "God/No God" debate and the development of a concrete vision of a "Freedom Society".
Each of our local churches will be a "Freedom Society", a dynamic community proudly practicing and demonstrating the culture of freedom and responsibility. Our freedom will be expressed through (Divine Principle centered) intellectual productivity and public responsibility. Core features of our public responsibility will be:
an outwards-facing evangelism (focused on Americans aged from early 20's to early 60's),
financial viability and growth,
political and social activism, and
The core unit of the "Freedom Society" is the Blessed Family. The purpose of the church is to give birth to and nurture Blessed Families. The actionizing unit of the church are families organized into small groups, carrying out the responsibilities of the Tribal Messiah. Our churches will be managed based on the principle of continuous improvement, giving rise to steady growth, allowing God to be constantly creating through our members.
Excerpts from True Mother's Address to the American Leaders, Cheong Jeong Goong, October 2, 2012
The Unification movement started with the Holy Spirit and truth. Based on God's Shim Jung (heart), profound investment of heart was given by True Father from the very beginning. However, after many decades, when I look at our movement, I see that we didn't grow enough based on the practice of Shim Jung, true love and care for the members.
In the early days, when people heard the Divine Principle, they didn't want to leave. They felt so much love. In the early life of faith of members, no one wanted to go home even if they missed the curfew (in Korea after the war) and were stuck all night. They wanted to stay with Father and would often show up naturally without asking permission because their hearts were so moved. They just came based on the heart. Even though the movement's size was small back then, because of this unity and harmony the church could grow and progress.
Our utmost mission now is to bring members to the church, and we must also focus on educating and raising our second and future generations so they don't run away. We need to help them connect and reconnect. The American leadership and Blessed families must now pay more attention to our own Blessed children so that they can live the Divine Principle lifestyle and live for the church. It is not easy for the younger generations and all of our children who grow up in America and a world influenced by the modern, secular culture. However, we must educate our children and youth to understand that the life of faith is more important than external accomplishments and success
Again, congratulations and Heaven's blessings in your work.
Hyung Jin Moon
President, Unification Church, America