Unification News for November 1996


News From Europe

These are excerpts from The European which details the many and varied activities of the Unification community in Europe

Euro-CARP Summer Camp '96

Even though this year's summer camp was not prepared under easy circumstances, it was one of the best. In a questionnaire distributed at the end of the event, 79 out of 84 participants who responded wrote (when asked if their expectations were fulfilled) "yes" or "more than fulfilled." The camp was held at Zlate Hory, Czech Republic, Aug. 31- Sept. 8, 1996.

What do CARP members expect from a summer camp? They expect to find their identity as a European student movement-renewed inspiration and clear direction as CARP members-deepened understanding of the Principle and its application.

This year we chose as theme for summer camp: "Marriage and Family"; and there was a special goal-to educate about true love, strengthen relationships between blessed husbands and wives, and prepare new Blessing candidates. We wanted to enable to 150 participants to become "agents" for the Blessing, introducing it everywhere they go.

There was a real family atmosphere at our summer camp. Most participants were very young; we organizers were somewhat older like elder brothers and sisters; and Mr. Hashimoto, Rev. Lee (Adam-type Messiah from Austria) and Siegfried Klammsteiner added the parental aspect. Professor Wolf, an elder professor from the Czech Republic, also spoke on the anthropological history of the family.

We are grateful for the sincere efforts and wonderful support of all those who helped prepare this inspiring event-such as: the Czech CARP members, who took care of organization; Austrian CARP members, who prepared great lectures and testimony and organized sport; the precious support of our elders; other guest lecturers, including Rev. Jin Sung Eu from Finland and Arnold Kretschmer from Austria; and others too numerous to mention. The closing ceremony was very long because there were so many prizes to award to all who contributed, as well as for the sports champions!

We want to inherit the original spirit of the World Culture and Sports Festival for our summer camp, by focusing on the Blessing as well as sport and art. With the encouragement of Pres. Sa, we will prepare another event in advance of next year's great Blessing, in which sport will feature even more and art and culture will play a role. Join us and bring along your friends: it will change their lives!

Mark Bramwell, European CARP president, & Harald Janisch, CARP Austria

European HARP Summer Workshop

From July 27 till Aug. 11, members of the High School Association for the Research of Principles from all over Europe gathered for the event of the year: the 9th Euro-HARP workshop. This year it was held in Artesina, which is located far up the mountains of northwest Italy. One hundred twenty four HARPies from Portugal, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Croatia, Great Britain, Denmark and Norway were able to spend two fabulous weeks together.

The special thing about the workshop is that it allows all the HARPies, who most of the year live very isolated from each other, to meet, spend time together, make friends, talk about and discuss whatever is on their minds, and see that there are many others who are in the same situation that they themselves are in, experiencing many similar things. It creates a bond among many of the participants which is sure to last lifelong.

The main motto of the workshop for this year was "Let us be proud of True Parents and love True Parents." Three sub-themes were added to this motto: 1) We will always follow with absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience. 2) We will become a fence of protection for True Parents. 3) We will always follow the way of True Parents.

Many of the internal guidance sessions were based on this motto and the sub-themes.

There were Divine Principle lectures almost every day; the Korean National Messiah to Finland, Mr. Jin Sung Eu, went through the first part of the Divine Principle and the national leader of Germany, Mr. Siegfried Klammsteiner, went through the second part. In addition to this, there were some witnessing testimonies and talks on subjects such as "The Blessing," "The Building of Principle-Centered Relationships," "The Spirit World," "The Meaning and Responsibility of the Second Generation," etc.

Time was also set aside for Korean lessons, which gave all the participants a taste of the difficulty of the language that we are all supposed to learn. Daily group discussions allowed everyone to discuss and reflect upon what was taught earlier during the day. A lecture contest then gave the participants the opportunity to prove that they had in fact not only paid attention to the lectures, but that they had also picked something up.

There were many other parts to the program, including a 40-minute prayer on the mountain and the infamous HARP-core (get ready to rumble)-Rock Out. We had a family and cultural evening where each of the nations or teams performed skits, plays or other entertainments.

One Sunday we had a Sports Festival in which the teams competed in blanket-volleyball, rope-pulling, hyper-animal two, running, and tee shirt speed-change. There were trips to surrounding areas. We had the chance to visit the small town of Artesina at least once, as well as caves close to the workshop center. We went to the beach one sunny day and enjoyed each other's company in real Italian summer weather.

Inshunor Joergensen-Norway

Austria & Croatia Sistership

This seminar was possible through the cooperation between the Austrian chapter of WFWP and the International Relief Friendship Foundation (IRFF), represented through both Forum Ost in Vienna and IRFF-Croatia in Zagreb.

The purpose of this seminar, held June 5-9, 1996, was to bring women together from these two nations to give them the opportunity to understand the common destiny of all women through their roles as mothers and educators of children. Through this, we can then learn to be substantial contributors to future world peace. Our support can be of great significance, especially when we are coming together with a nation from the former Yugoslavia, where the people have experienced such extreme emotional and physical alienation.

This seminar was one of many IRFF activities for refugees from the former Yugoslavia. It is a continuation of relief work, youth seminars and other projects-most recently the Religious Youth Service Project in Croatia.

Thirty three women came from the former Yugoslavia to Vienna. Twenty two have been refugees from different regions of Croatia, eight were refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina and three came as staff from the Croatian Unification Church. Most of the women have experienced devastation through the war and in many cases direct physical violence. Our guests were more than happy to use the opportunity to go for walks and relax in the beautiful nature around Seebenstein. In addition, they followed the lecture program with great interest.

On the second day, the members of WFWP-Austria arrived to take part in the sisterhood ceremony. Thirty three couples were matched through lottery. The rest of the day was spent in personal talks between the newly-matched sisters followed by a short outing.

With the help of several very busy translators, a very good exchange of heart was able to occur. This was very helpful for them to be able to forget a little bit of their heavy past.

On the third day was a day trip to Vienna. The visit to our church kindergarten, "Omaya," moved every heart very deeply. The heart expressed by the children during the performance and the selfless dedication of the teachers left a deep impression.

The highlight of the meeting was the sisterhood ceremony on the fourth day. The national anthems were sung, theological professor Josef Frickel gave a short speech, and the sisters walked couple by couple over the bridge of peace. It was a joyful moment which could not be disturbed by the heat of the sunny day. Many guests from Vienna and the surrounding area came to watch and a camera crew stayed the whole afternoon to make a report for Austrian national television.

On the final day, and inter-religious Sunday service marked the closing of the meeting. On this occasion a video about the 1990 Assembly of World Religions in Los Angeles was shown and a very inspiring testimony about his experience there was given by Prof. Frickel. At the prayer meeting around the "Rock of Peace," representatives of all nationalities present offered a prayer.

IRFF gave toys to all participants to take home to their children. All participants expressed their desire to support the ideals of IRFF and WFWP in their nations and pledged to continue to keep in contact with their new-found sisters.

Eckhart Riehl

Czech-German Sistership

It was as if we had been uplifted and transplanted into the last century, into a time of kings and queens, dukes and duchesses and statesmen who shaped the destiny of the European continent- transplanted more specifically to Marianske Laxne in the Czech Republic (formerly Marienbad). For as we bonded our Czech and German hearts in sistership June 22-23, we could feel the luxury and graciousness of this town as it once was.

Most recent history has scarred and maimed the relationship between Germany and the Czech Republic beginning with the end of World War I and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and continuing to this very day. Hitler's annexation of the Sudetenland in 1939, and the forced deportation of Germans from their homeland in Bohemia and Moravia at the end of World War II, have left many virtually unhealable wounds on both sides.

Therefore, there was an urgency and desperation on the part of the German and Czech WFWPs to bring women of these two nationalities together in sistership. For "if the world's women can be sisters, the world's men can't fight wars" (as reads the title of a brochure published last year by WFWP-USA).

Ann Schaffner-German WFWP

Russian-German Sistership

Our Russian hosts made all possible effort to show the treasures of Moscow and St. Petersburg to the delegation of women who visited Russia from May 26 to June 2. We saw the Kremlin, two famous monasteries, Red Square, churches, and the Hermitage-a dream of the art of architecture and art collections. With an old fishing boat we went across the Gulf of Finland to the Summer Residence of the Czars, where we attended the opening ceremony in front of the fountains.

St. Petersburg was once a rich city and is still so very beautiful. On the one hand it is very European, and yet on the other it is not very European at all. Even so, it is still very different from Moscow, which we found to be hazardous, being full of pedestrians. We stayed with families, some Unification Church members and some WFWP members. Through this we were able to have a good insight into Russian lifestyle and cuisine.

Irmi Ingversen-German WFWP

Hungary-Slovakia Sistership

The first sistership ceremony between Hungarian and Slovakian women took place June 29-30 in Budapest, Hungary with 44 couples being matched. At the moment the political situation between Slovakia and Hungary is quite tense, partly due to the situation of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia. This is probably why this event attracted a lot of media attention. One hour before the program began, we organized a press conference to which Hungarian TV, radio, the central Hungarian press agency (MTI) and one daily newspaper came.

On the same day (June 29) there was a five-minute report on the evening TV news. The journalist informed the viewers very well about the history and activities of the WFWP as well as this latest sistership ceremony. The report was so positive that it was as if we ourselves had edited it! A short film was also shown which had been taken at the official opening of the program. It particularly focused on the VIPs who were present. Next day an interview taken at the press conference was broadcast on the second channel of Hungarian radio, which is a very popular station. There was also a short report and picture about the sistership ceremony in two newspapers. Many VIPs attended.

Elisabeth Cook-president, WFWP-Hungary

Italian-Slovenian Sistership

I would like to report about the ceremony held July 6-7.

Slovenia itself is quite a young country, and that's why the WFWP has a smaller foundation. Even though we have about 400 members, almost no core member could really work with us, only a very few, so we had to start to look outside.

Through this ceremony our church members and elders could also be revived and deeply moved.

I felt that it was not so good that all of the organization was made on the Bergamo side and that it would have been better if we could have first met to talk and discuss our ideas concerning the practical details of the meeting from both sides. Next time, we would like to hold the ceremony on the national level.

I am very grateful from the bottom of my heart to Mrs. Luciana

Ferrario and the Italian brothers and sisters who helped us so much. I would also like to express my appreciation to our sisters in Slovenia.

May God's blessing be bestowed upon all of the newly matched sisters who participated in the ceremony.

Hiroko Kinoshita-WFWP Slovenia

The Goal is the Family

June 1-26 the Czech Family held a large exhibition throughout the Czech Republic.

The family is God's first and last goal, and we used this fact as the motto for the exhibition: "The Goal is the Family." The goal of the exhibition was to introduce the victorious foundation of True Parents in the world and to invite people to the Blessing in 1997.

The exhibition was presented by a series of panels, covering several topics. Four panels covered: the Principle of Creation, the Fall of Man, the History of Restoration, and the need for a new explanation of truth.

Eleven panels covered Father's worldwide activities: academic and scientific fields, religion, politics, education, art, mass media, industry, charity, fishing, International Highway Project, and the Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP).

Four panels covered the history of the Czech and Slovak Unification Communities and their activities.

Seven panels covered an introduction to the World Culture and Sports Federation, the history of the Blessing, the Nov. 29, 1997 Blessing, Church ceremonies and the Family Pledge.

The final panel was an invitation to the Blessing.

The internal preparation was made through establishing a mobile 13- member team as well as having a national spiritual condition.

Anton Uhnak-Czech Republic

Victory in Gaining 1,000 Family Members in Croatia

A Victory Celebration was held June 22, 1996 to celebrate our membership explosion.

When many brothers and sisters in Europe heard of our result in gaining more than 1,000 family members, everybody asked what our secret was.

Our response was that there was no secret-just a strong desire to bring victory and break through. Our goal for this year was 1,000 members. Even though it looked almost impossible, we wanted to fulfill it but we didn't know how. Then our national leader Mr. Lim suggested trying door-to-door witnessing. He gave us very clear guidance on the meaning and purpose of this witnessing, as well as how to do it. We have to change our concepts about witnessing and membership. Croatia is known as a very strong Catholic country for more than 1,300 years and brothers and sisters didn't always have the confidence to speak openly about the Unification Church and True Parents.

We started our first campaign in Zagreb and then moved on to other cities. Brothers and sisters went in pairs together with the Korean and Japanese missionaries. We visited people in their homes and directly introduced ourselves as members of the Unification Church or Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. Most brothers and sisters were experienced giving Divine Principle lectures as they had practiced every morning for six months. So it wasn't so difficult for them to explain the main points of Principle, clearly showing why all humankind needs True Parents. We always took a camera with us so that we could make photos of those who didn't have pictures for the membership form.

We couldn't imagine how people would respond, but through sharing our daily experiences through evening service we found out that wherever we went people were very positive and inspired. Stories continued late and none felt tired. Many funny things happened. Our two sisters were talking with an elderly man in front of his flat, but his wife tried to stop us. Suddenly the wind shut the door and both of them were left outside in their slippers without their keys! They had no choice but to listen to us, and after listening they signed family membership.

An old lady called the police to check upon some strange young people knocking door-to-door. When the policeman stopped our sister, asking what she was doing, she explained about the Divine Principle and True Parents. He became angry with the old lady and immediately signed family membership!

There was incredible support and protection from spirit world based on our unity. Every day our spirit became stronger and even younger brothers and sisters joined us. Finally parents joined us by witnessing to relatives, friends and colleagues at work. A very joyful spirit of competition was created.

Martin Herbst-Slovenia


Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents
Copyright Information