Unification News for March 1999

UTS News

Practical Ecumentist Speaks at UTS

by Dr. Kathy Winings

Dr. Arleon Kelley, the former executive director of the New York State Council of Churches, spoke to students at UTS on February 24, 1999. Dr. Kelley was invited to address the issue of modern ecumenism for Dr. Winings’ new class on Practical Ecumenism. In addition, Dr. Kelley spoke with faculty over lunch and then addressed the general student population in a special afternoon session.

Dr. Kelley offered his perspective of the state of modern ecumenism as well as shared with us his own spiritual and ecumenical journey. Having been raised in the "holiness" tradition, Dr. Kelley talked about his calling to God’s ministry at the early age of 15. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to be faithful to that calling. An ordained Methodist minister, Dr. Kelley has worked throughout the United States we well as in the foreign mission field in such locales as Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

In his talk with the students, Dr. Kelley discussed the changes we are witnessing in our society and offered that he believes we live in a "post-industrial, post-modern, post-denominational, and post-Christian world today." For him, this means that families and individuals are no longer interested in denominational and religious labels but are seeking a spiritual home that meets their needs. That is why a major achievement of Dr. Kelley’s tenure at the New York Council was the change from a traditional Council to a "community of churches" in which any church which calls itself "Christian" can join. He is currently working on a special project which traces the history of local and regional ecumenism —a project close to his heart.

Dr . Kelley encouraged students through his testimony and responses to their questions, to become true to their faith and to find hope in the future because we are at a crossroads in history in which God is presenting new possibilities through newer churches and faiths such as the Unification Church. Students and faculty alike enjoyed this refreshing and inspiring ecumenical discussion and we look forward to many more such momentous events.

23rd Oratorical Contest
Responsibility of the Blessed Family

Living for the sake of others was a predominant theme in the speeches presented by the eight finalists of the 23rd David S. C. Kim Oratorical Contest, on the evening of February 24th, 1999. The winner, Akira Ishiyama of Japan, drew vividly upon personal experience, and in a frank, often humorous manner, illustrated that living for the sake of others is the "indispensable responsibility of the Blessed Family."

His story took us to a pre-dawn, cold winter’s morning with Akira delivering newspapers, a job he held in addition to his job at the iron factory so as to raise money for his seminary education. He came across a car stuck on the sidewalk. Not just any car, but a red sports car, with a mini-skirted, red-headed oriental young woman standing next to it. Not your normal damsel in distress.

He was thrown into emotional conflict and revealed the reasons for it in a disarming and self-depreciating way. Laughter from the audience indicated their identification with his struggles. Not only was he extremely tired from working so hard, it was a bitterly cold morning and he wanted to finish as quickly as possible. It would interfere with his schedule to stop and help. There was someone else in the car and Akira assumed the person was the girl’s boyfriend and that they had been at play all night. Did such people deserve his help? The comparison between their sports car and his old, battered car did not help.

Akira’s struggles intensified and he passed by. His sense of guilt increased. That is when he thought of Jesus’ example of helping all kinds of people, the handicapped, the tax collectors, the prostitutes. He realized that saving people in trouble is the responsibility of the Blessed Family. Quickly he turned back and helped the women (her friend was also a young lady) in a relatively short time. The two young women were sincerely appreciative and extremely polite, asking for his name and address. A couple of days later they visited his family with gifts and money.

The lessons Akira learned from this experience were many-fold: not to judge people only by their appearance; not to hesitate in spending time to help others, and the importance of serving others with utmost devotion and sincerity.

Akira’s story has staying power, successfully fulfilling one of the criteria in judging the oratorical contest - that the audience comes away with something memorable. The judges reach their decision based also on the content, organization, delivery and persuasiveness of each presentation. In a way, all the participants were winners as they went through the process of creating and presenting a speech.

The other finalists were: Chris Antal, Yoshihisa Fujino, Maya Hazan (3rd place), Stephen Nomura, Victor Nyaarko (2nd place), Yasunori Ota, & Tom Tanemori

Distance Learning Courses Now Available at UTS.

You can now register for the following distance learning courses at UTS.

Divine Principle (BS 606), Dr. Andrew Wilson, 3 credits
Unification Philosophy (PH 535), Dr. Keisuke Noda, 3 credits
Unification Worldview (RS 536), Dr. Thomas Ward, 3 credits

The deadline to register for Unification Worldview is April 6th, the other two courses have open registration.

Please contact the Registrar, Mrs. Ute Delaney at utsregis@ulster.net or call 914-752-3012

Dr. Sallyann Goodall

The following is Part 2 of an interview with Dr. Sallyann Goodall, music specialist and educator from S. Africa. Part 1 was featured last month.

Dr. Goodall, coming from S. Africa, you must have a unique perspective on many issues, especially racial ones. How have you dealt with people of different cultural backgrounds in your work in music?

In S. Africa there is an interesting perception that music really changes people. During the apartheid years, musicians are thought to have genuinely brought some change in the country. So music is seen as quite powerful socially. That doesn’t mean that schools value music any more, but in the culture as a whole it is seen as influential.

I consider music to be an incredibly powerful source that awakens a lot of energy in us. I figured that one of the most valuable things I could do in S. Africa was to use music to help people come together. It is not myself actually bringing them together, but using music as a means to show them that they can do it. My university started off as an institution for Indian students, so when I first came to the university in 1986 we had a 100% Indian student body. This has changed now to 75% black African, 20% Indian and 5% mixed cultural background. A lot of the teachers are White, so it’s a very interesting and divergent population.

There are a few things I have found to be tremendously important in helping people negotiate cultural difficulties:

The need to research where people are coming from musically. So I have some background in African and Indian music as an ethnomusicologist . I know the kinds of cultures they are from, and understand my own (European) culture from as objective a point of view as possible. Paradoxically, this has given me a greater appreciation for western art and music.
Acknowledging that an important source of knowledge lies within the students. We began to ask them about their culture. This was quite a breakthrough for faculty, since generally professors think that they know, and that they are going to teach what they know to the students. But we had to realize there really was a lot we didn’t know. Asking the students was very productive. They felt that they were able to represent themselves rather than us just deciding where they were at.
Recognizing that people want the best in life. Usually difficulties in relationships occur from a relatively small misunderstanding or miscommunication. When I am with people having crazy arguments with one another, I sit with them and try to unravel where it all started, what the perceptions were, and how it got off track. It usually turns out to be some cultural misunderstanding, that was very small, some body language or the way a person sniffed or blew their nose, or what they ate or the way they came through the door. Such things are often at the bottom of quite serious misunderstandings, which in my part of the world have the tendency to become violent. Because of my assumption that they want to reach a place that is good, and that they want to come together, I am able to convey that I am serious and I want to listen to them. I try to give them the space to actually speak about what the difficulties are.
I also take people’s work very seriously. People put tremendous effort into their studies, and it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the teacher. Most students are not used to having a teacher who is quite as serious about their work as I am, and they really respond to having a teacher whose main interest in life is to give them a good educational experience. Having such a teacher who takes them, their goals and their pain seriously, enables students to be more serious about their own cultural roots. They can then understand the difficulties in their understanding of other people. Usually they are quite surprised and willing to come together.
Another thing I have discovered is that when people do not belong to a certain cultural group they hold stereotypes which prevent them from getting to know people from those groups. Cultural stereotypes are incredibly strong and rigid, and it’s difficult to change them. So as soon as someone realizes that a group of people, eg Indians, do not all have the same opinion about something, they realize that this rigid view is not a true picture of how people are. I think that a lot of the things that we do in the Unification Church help to break down those stereotypes, especially getting to know people personally. So my experiences from the Church are a tremendous help in my work.

From my work I have developed a different perspective on the work that our Church is trying to do. I feel that, on the part of the Church, far more serious consideration needs to be taken of where people are coming from culturally, what their understandings are, why it is that they think in a certain way, and how they perceive their own thinking. There needs to be so much more discussion about these things. I think the Church has a far greater contribution to make in this regard than it is at present giving to the world.

F.R.E.S.H. S.T.A.R.T. by Stephen Manning

Stephen Manning has just completed his second trimester at UTS. He runs a health and fitness club and will be writing a monthly article about his program.

In this issue I will deal with "H" for HYDRATION. In simple terms, WATER. We are surrounded by it, supported by it and kept alive by it. But most of us have little understanding of how important it really is. Lets look at some statistics:

Over 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water.
All life on the planet depends on the circulation of water in the ecosystem.
Your own blood is comprised of about 90% water, - lose 10% and you will become seriously ill with dehydration, - lose 20% or more, and it could be fatal!
All of the body’s internal organs and their functions depend on the presence of enough water in the system, - from the heart and lungs, to the stomach and the bowels. A lack of water stresses the vital systems.
Water speeds up your metabolism, that is, the rate at which your body burns energy (usually fat).
Almost everybody does not consume enough water, thereby stressing their bodies unknowingly and unnecessarily. Headaches, constipation, fat and fluid retention, poor skin quality, - all can be symptoms of insufficient water consumption.

So, we can conclude that it is essential to consume enough water on a daily basis. The question is: how much? How often? ..and when!

Water in the diet.

The first thing we need to grasp is that water is the most important part of a healthy diet. BUT, - it is not food! Water is a cleanser and purifier. It flushes out the system. The kidneys, which purify the internal systems, for example, rely almost totally on water in order to function. Water is essential for all the digestive functions, but taken at the wrong time, it can interfere with the process

When water is consumed alone, it does not trigger the digestive systems. However, every time I put ‘food’ into my mouth, enzymes (digestive juices) are released into the oral cavity, mixing with the food before it travels to the stomach. In the stomach, strong acids are released to mix with the enzymes, and advance the digestive process further. Now, what do you think happens if we pour pure water into this mix? It dilutes the acids, - often causing in-digestion! The body then reacts by over-producing acid, which in turn can cause other problems such as ‘acid reflux’ or even stomach ulcers if these habits are prolonged.

Tthe solution is simple. Drink lots of water daily, about 4 pints (8 glasses) for an average adult, but not at meal times. Start every day with a glass. "Get the pluming humming." Remember, anything that stimulates the digestive juices (tea, coffee, fruit juices, milk) although officially a liquid, - is also food, and therefore does not function as pure water does. ( More about these when we deal with "F" for ‘FOOD’)

If you live in an area where you suspect the water isn’t pure, it would be wise to install a water purifier.
Drink water lukewarm rather than ice-cold or piping-hot. It synthesizes more efficiently without making demands of the body to adjust the temperature of the liquid.
Fluid retention is usually a symptom of insufficient water consumption. The body goes into ‘starvation’ mode, and stores what fluids it has. To solve the problem, drink more water, and get the system functioning properly again.

Water on the outside

As Unificationists, it is appropriate that we consider the global perspective in our personal habits. As much as possible, we should try to set examples of considerate behavior both towards our fellow man and mother earth. Isn’t that what "taking dominion" means. So, in relation to our use of water, and in the realization that our collective habits since the industrial revolution have been poisoning the earth, we should be more attuned to the repercussions of our actions. In some underdeveloped countries people are dying for lack of water, while we squander ours. Every act of reserve on our part contributes to the global good, so with this in mind, here are some tips on water use in our daily lives.

Shower rather than bathe. It uses less water, especially if you turn it off while soaping. Use hot water to open the pores and cleanse the skin, and finish of with cold. Use biodegradable soap.
Think before watering the garden. Is it really necessary? The same with washing the car. Car washes use a lot of water, and unfriendly chemicals. It is better for both you and the environment if you do it by hand, - better still, get the kids to do it, and encourage principled give-and-take action at the same time!

When we deal with the topic of FOOD, we will explore production methods of popular foodstuffs that severely abuse the water-based ecosystem. With this knowledge, we can then become better informed consumers, and through our choices, reduce our give-and-take with unprincipled organizations and businesses.

Question of the month: How exactly does drinking more water cause weight loss?

Answer: The kidneys can’t function properly without enough water. When they don’t work to capacity, some of their load is transferred to the liver. One of the liver’s primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body, but with the increased workload from the kidneys, it can’t operate at full efficiency. As a result, more fat remains stored in the body, causing all sorts of problems, including weight gain. Drinking more water helps solve this problem.

Next month, we’ll look at "E" for EXERCISE.

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