Unification News for July 2005

The Second Generation Blessing Workshop Testimony

Jennifer Barry
June 10 – June 12, 2005

It was a hot and oppressive evening as we began the Blessing Workshop at UTS. A heavy heat hung about the air that was about as daunting as the issues we were set to tackle during the course of the weekend. As the banner at the front of the lecture hall stated, the theme of the workshop was "Finding My True Self." I found myself glancing at it more than once as staff members briefly tried to coach me on how to go about emceeing the opening evening. "How in the world are we going to accomplish that?" I found myself wondering more than once through the advice session.

Essentially the goals of the workshop were broken down into three parts, no less massive however.

1. Allow participants to find their identity as 2nd Generation

2. Have participants understand the value of the Blessing

3. Give participants the chance to confess sincerely

These objectives were printed neatly across my schedule, where I had been attempting to take notes as to what exactly my job was. I realized that I wouldn’t even be able to glance down to sneak a peak at the time for lunch without being reminded of what our purpose was . It was like a clear beacon saying that, more than emcee; my job was to help the staff accomplish these goals. But how?

Workshop though it was, this gathering was, by and large, obligatory for a majority of participants. It was an assembly of the pious, the naïve, the prodigal, and everything in-between. Some had plans for the Blessing somewhere in the very near future, others were curious about what the workshop had to offer, while others were only there at the request of their parents In all it felt like a very broad audience to try to instill such objectives into in such a limited amount of time.

George Bernard Shaw famously said "Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." Through the course of the few days we were in Barrytown I realized how much truth there is in that statement. Rev Schanker poured his heart and spirit out to those of us assembled through the course of the lectures, laying the tools we needed for a successful Blessing at our feet. Most importantly he said, more than once, that the Blessing is not about having the right person, but being the right person. Question was did we have the courage to take up these tools and implement them into our lives?

Two days is hardly sufficient to prepare one for the Blessing, much less guide someone to find or create their "True Self". However there was a powerful message given to us there, as well deep guidance, if we chose to take it in. In the end it was clear to me that my role mattered very little in accomplishment of those greater goals. In reality it is one’s personal domain to share with God. It’s our own thoughts, choices, and actions that determine whether or not our lives produce people who are secure in their own true selves. More than anything this workshop was a start down the road to just that, a beginning point to find the true essence of who we are.

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