Unification News for May 2004

Lasting Love Conference, Chicago

by Rev. Stephen K. Nomura,

April 23, 2004 was a memorable day for the World CARP Chicago members as about one hundred students participated in their first Lasting Love Conference. The event was held at the UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago) campus on Friday afternoon from 5PM to 7PM.

Of those attending were sixty guests from our witnessing activities, about fifteen students representative from various religious student clubs, seventeen local second generation high school students, twenty-five CARP/STF members, and also our local Blessed Central Families.

The quality of the participants was also very good. The two readers and nine group leaders were mostly new CARP members who listened to at least two-day content of Unification Principle recently. They took ownership of this conference to lead the group discussions by writing essays and reading the content several times in advance in order to have confidence as group leaders. Both readers also practiced many times before the actual event.

Our CARP/STF members also gave all their hearts in their efforts to bring guests and organizations even down to the last minute. This is the reason that atmosphere was so good. We were also very honored to have Regional Director Bishop Kim and his wife come and participate with us.

Opening Remarks were given by W-CARP UIC student vice-president Artie Shau (MC) who gave the opening remarks welcoming the guests, especially representatives of different student religious organizations that participated. The Soka Gakai Buddhist Association, Hindu Student Council, and Campus Christian Ministry all supported this event by sending representatives of their respective organizations.

Entertainment was presented by the Chicago CARP Choir. They sang two songs: "The Rose" and "Amazing Grace". Both songs were beautifully sung by CARP Members Christine Mourad, Yoshiko Araqi, and Sylvia Santelli.

Greetings were given by World CARP USA Mid-west Director Stephen K. Nomura who is the director of this lasting love conference. He gave a brief message emphasizing the importance of the marriage to all who attended and then we went straight into the next part of the program.

The Main Presentation, given by Rev. Joshua Cotter (World CARP USA President) was on the theme of "Marriage, Sex, and Character". He expressed the importance of love and the family to society and the world.

The First Session of the Lasting Love Conference first consisted of a short commentary by Campus Christian Ministry representative Ted Williams, followed by a reading from one of the UIC student CARP members, Siyun Mei. The first session consisted of reading selected Fatherís words based on "The Priority of Character". She read very proudly. After the reading, a discussion commenced amongst all the groups. Group leaders were pre-assigned.

The Second Session started through the reading of another set of quotes from Father about "The Significance of Marriage". It was read by another UIC student CARP member, Jason Senz. He read Fatherís words very confidently and clearly. Afterwards was followed by another discussion and another set of representatives from the different groups.

Additional Entertainment was also warmly welcomed as World CARP USA President Joshua Cotter played one of his songs "Love Each Other" to us. He gave his whole heart into playing the guitar and singing it to all of us.

Closing the event, W-CARP UIC student president Kenji T. gave remarks on Chicago CARPís activities and programs throughout the year and Master of Ceremonies Artie Shau gave closing remarks to conclude the program. In the end we all gathered together for a group picture to close the day.

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