Unification News for February 2004

2nd Gen Blessing Workshop

From January 9th to the 11th, seventy one parents and blessing candidates gathered for a Blessing Workshop at UTS. There were several unique features to this workshop that made it a memorable experience.

First, we had over twenty parents attend this time. They attended from beginning to end and participated in all of the presentations and activities. They added a lot and as one parent said to me, "We need this workshop more than our children."

Second, Rev. Phillip Schanker from Headquarters came and announced that Dr. Yang has appointed Rev. Schanker to head-up a new Education Department at Headquarters. This means that Rev. Schanker and this department will be working to develop a curriculum and workshops for Blessing preparation and marriage enrichment that can be used nationwide. We all are grateful for this new level of commitment by Dr. Yang to invest in the Blessed Families.

Rev. Schanker also helped to lead the entire workshop and gave presentations on Change of Blood Lineage and internal guidance on preparing for matching and Blessing. He also personally met and counseled with several participants and parents.

Third, a college-aged Second Generation "Revitalization Retreat" was underway at UTS at the same time as our workshop. They attended our afternoon presentation on "How to Be a Good Marriage Partner," by marriage expert and counselor, John Williams. Thus, we had over 150 parents and students packed into the lecture hall for that and the atmosphere was great. John Williams also did a great job of combining his presentation with group discussion and video clips. Both workshops also combined on the evening entertainment and we all enjoyed some great performances. Special thanks to all the Blessing Workshops participants for pulling together your group entertainment pieces in record time.

Dr. Tyler Hendricks and Rev. Schanker addressed issues related to the Meaning of the Blessing. John Williams addressed insights relating to preparing for the Blessing. Betsy Jones then gave a presentation on developing the right skills and attitudes we need to have a happy marriage.

Fourth, we had a special session for just the parents and children in attendance together (while everyone else played sports.) We took a page out of the Marriage Encounter seminars and had the parents and children write letters to each other and then read them to one another. Many said they had a great experience with this, especially because it is often difficult to find the time and place to have deeper discussions with their children at home regarding the matching and Blessing.

On the last day, Dr. Yang and Rev. Jenkins came and spent some time with the workshop. Although both are very busy, they see Second Generation Matching and

Blessing as one of the most important parts of our movement activities and thus are committed to helping in any way they can. We thank them for coming and sharing their hearts with us.

UTS had some water problems such that for all of Saturday morning and afternoon there was no running water. Thus, showers or flushing toilets were not allowed. But not even this could dampen the wonderful atmosphere that was created by the wonderful hearts and attitudes that everyone brought to this weekend. Thank you all for making it a wonderful workshop together.

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