Unification News for November 2002

Educators Conference at UTS

by Tony Devine

In the past few months True Parents have placed special focus on education, in particular, the education of our second generation. Father instructed us to read "Sun Myung Moonís Philosophy of Education" for Hoon Dok Hae during the month of October, and during the Alaska Educators workshop, True Parents were guiding us daily through Hoon Dok Hae on our 2nd generation properly inheriting heavenly tradition.

In alignment with True Parentís emphasis and concern for education, Hyun Jin Nimís Kodiak workshops focused on preparing leaders to be effective educators and that we would inherit the original culture of heart of living for the sake of others, ownership and teamwork.

The Fall 2002 Educators Conference was organized for the benefit of those who were unable to attend the Kodiak workshop. To this end, the program focused on a few key purposes, namely to convey the key insights shared by True Parents and Hyun Jin Nim. We also wanted to get to know and appreciate one another as educators, to coordinate our efforts in regards to the education of second generation, improve our effectiveness as educators, create a network of support among educators and share resources and best practices.

Response and Participants

The response was beyond everyoneís expectation and it was the first time such a conference has occurred specifically for educators.

Over 100 educators came from all over the United States for this three day program. The participants represented diverse backgrounds, interests and educational focus and many wondered if such a novel gathering would in fact work.

We had school administrators, youth ministry, childrenís ministry, homeschoolers, Sunday school teachers, public school teachers, community service organizations, marriage educators and counselors, parenting experts, curriculum development, character educators, CARP, SFP and others all in the same gathering.

The program started with a greeting from Dr. Tyler Hendricks, President of UTS. The orientation focused on True Parents and Hyun Jin Nimís perspective on education and ended with a beautiful quote from Father on the "irrepressible desire to teach." Everyone wanted a copy of the quote. Each day started with HDH from Sun Myung Moonís Philosophy of Education. During the morning sessions the Original Culture of Heart content that emphasizes Living for the Sake of Others, Ownership and Teamwork was conveyed.

True Parents and Hyun Jin Nimís guidance provided a common base for all of us to unite around especially in our efforts going forward. This creates a model of transformation for our ongoing educational outreach and efforts.

This also gave focus and clarity to the remainder to the program which consisted of professional development breakout sessions, topical focus groups and best practice panels.

There was a resource fair where the best educational materials developed by our members were displayed. In addition many educators brought promising practice resources that they are using effectively in their mission to share with the conference. On Sunday the first session was on what it means to be a transformative educator along with World CARPís Educational Epistemology and the power of the Modular Educational Concept. During the final session all participants divided into action committees such as summer camps, youth ministry, schools, children ministry, SFP, CARP, staff development, character education, etc. and created a list of action steps that they will pursue to develop that specialized area going forward.

All of the educators present truly valued the opportunity to network and discover what each was doing in their respective areas of education and thus learn from one another. All participants were given a contact sheet so that they can network with each other directly and better support one another following the conference. Every single participant expressed their gratitude for this unique opportunity to get together as educators with the goal to continuously improve their ongoing efforts. The following comments from several educators represented the sentiment of most:

"This was one of the best conferences I have attended for vision-building and information sharing." "God was here. He really wants us to realize how much we have to give, to each other and to the world." "I was most deeply moved by the content illustrating True Fatherís and Hyun Jin Nimís approach to education." "Through this conference I now have deeper conviction, a larger vision and a wealth of resources that I never knew existed."

Every single person left with new inspiration, new ideas and energized to want to give more. We all want to thank True Parents and Hyun Jin Nim for the inspiration to gather and unite as educators and in giving a strong root to our efforts together.

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