Unification News for April 2005

Blessing Workshop in Kentucky

On April 1-3 we had a regional blessing workshop in my home centered on the Blessed Family Department and the 2nd Generation Department, with 26 participants, including staff.

Rev. Jim Stephens of the Blessed Family Department gave the lectures; Takamitsu Sakuwa of the 2nd Generation Department helped with internal guidance and the organization of other activities. The lectures were simple and to the point, looking at the Principles of Creation and the Fall in modern terms. Rev. Stephens was very good at keeping the excitement level high.

The real heart of the workshop happened in the group meetings afterwards, what is called in the business world the "meeting after the meeting." We broke up into 3 groups: adults, sisters and brothers. This was great because the second generation could talk very openly about things they would not be comfortable to talk about in front of the opposite sex.

Kerry Williams led the girls' group, Jim Stephens and I led the boys' group, and Hiromi Stephens led the adult group. Each group wanted to know what the other group talked about, especially the girls! Some of the adults had expressed that they thought the lectures were not detailed enough, but, being in different groups, they couldn't see the depth covered in the group meetings of the second generation. The real workshop was in the group meetings. I realized that the lectures were external and the group meetings were internal. Free time was the digestion time. More time was spent in group meetings than lectures. One of the second Generation said that it was a perfect balance of lectures, group meetings and free time.

We held a graduation ceremony on the last day; each participant received a certificate, which is one of the qualifications to attend the Matching/Blessing. At the end of the workshop, one second Generation gave a very moving testimony to the adult group; we were all in tears. After the workshop finished several of the second generation reported that it was the best workshop they had ever attended. Several really liked to be able to discuss things such as sex and husband/wife relations openly.

Our 2nd generation are all very special people. Now that all have gone home I feel lonely and miss them all very much. Overall it was a great workshop. Everyone worked well together and made a beautiful atmosphere.

Norm Presley
Louisville, Kentucky

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