Unification News for June 2004

Philadelphia CARP

by J. Cohen

We had a successful interfaith symposium at Temple University. The idea to have this symposium at Temple was inspired by the Temple Muslim Student Association President. Laurel Sayre, one of the Philly student Carp members also attends Temple and was a key organizer in the event. Six different religions were represented by student panelists. These included: Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Won-Buddhism, and Unificationism. The keynote speaker was IRFWP Executive Director Dr. Frank Kaufmann who talked about ongoing Peace efforts in the Middle East and about the core of how we as people are all connected as children of God.

After the panelists spoke and Dr. Kaufmann gave his presentation, the whole room broke up into discussion groups which were moderated by group discussion leaders. The discussions were focused on why inter-religious cooperation is important and necessary and what we as students can do about it. Overall, the atmosphere was very inspiring as students of all different faiths came together and put their petty differences aside in the name of peace and tolerance. The concept that we are all children under the same God is easy to grasp once you think about it, but so hard to think of when you view your neighbors as an individual of another race, religion, ethnicity, etc. We are all part of the same whole, we are all connected. All we have to do is bridge the gaps with love.

The semester came to a close and we had our last a mini-outing with the STF/Full Time Carp team at a local park next to the Penn campus. We played a bit of volleyball and then enjoyed a dinner/banquet all together. The STF/Full time team also decided to join the last Divine Principle Study Night (DPSN) of the semester. It was great to have everyone together as one family one last time before the semester finally ended. Itís amazing that most of us are different in many ways, and may not agree on different things and yet we are but the same when it comes to the ultimate goal, the ultimate dream, which is fulfilling Godís dream to bring this world back to Him.

The co-founder of Carp/ President of Carp, Naokimi Ushiroda, and student Carp member/Wharton Valedictorian of the class of 2005, Gelo Fleischer have graduated and have thus finished a remarkable chapter of their lives. These two Second Generation BCs really helped in fashioning a community that has become more and more like a family. They have also had a profound influence on many of the Second Generation BCs who have come to know then not just in Philly, but all around the country as well. Personally they have become great brothers to me this semester and have always welcomed me into their lives.

And as the next chapter begins for the coming year, I will be the new student Carp leader for the Philadelphia area for the academic year of 2004-2005, and many new, exciting, promising things loom on the horizon. The world is just yearning and crying out for our help and support, desiring to be loved. And if you just stop one moment to look at the world around you and listen a bit, you can hear it, you can feel it.

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