Articles From the July 1994 Unification News
Village Vision: Starting a National Publication for the Hometown Mission
by Ron McLachlan
A Hometown Testimony from Glasgow, Scotland
I was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but left my hometown at the age of two. Several months before my fortieth birthday I came home with my wife and two children.
Glasgow, the commercial capital of Scotland, is a city of well over a million people and, including the conurbation of townships surrounding the city, covers most of Scotland's five million population. Apart from Edinburgh and several other small cities, Scotland is a wild and beautiful nature reserve. The mountains, glens, lochs and rivers offer scenery of unparalleled charm as well as some of the best hunting and fishing in the world. For a small country, Scotland has offered a few major things to the world culture: for example, golf, Scotch whisky (the malt Talisker having no equal) and "Old Lang Syne"-a song by the most famous of bards, Robert Burns, which is used through the world culture to express heartfelt unity, friendship, peace and love at the end of many functions or events.
Glasgow's history is, like most old cities in the world, not always something to be immensely proud of, but the people of this suffering city exhibit a sense of humor, openness and sympathy for their fellow men that is unequaled anywhere in the world. The population, similar in some ways to that of the USA, was influenced greatly by the Irish and this descent is reflected in their down-to-earth humanity and grasp of man's nature as well as an uncanny ability in spiritual matters. The Irish are often called the Koreans of the west, and this could also be said of native Glaswegians.
For as long as I can remember, True Father has talked about the day to come when he will ask us to return to our homeland and work there for God's Providence. When Father announced the advent of this time, I requested permission to go to the hometown mission. In the new pledge, it is mentioned (Number 1) that we will search for our roots, the homeland of our ancestors, and will go there to restore that place as a Tribal Messiah-a family centered on True Love. (Literal translation: "chaja"=search.)
When I was twelve years old, I felt and dreamt that I was living in the time of the Second Coming of the Messiah. On occasions, I even dreamt that I was the Messiah who was to come. All my life I felt as if I was being prepared for a mission that would be revealed to me sometime in the future. When I joined the church in January 1979, I knew that my time had come.
However, many years passed and I worked in many missions, but the feeling that I had still not yet found my mission persisted, like a gnawing, nagging feeling in the center of my soul.
In October 1991, around the time of the ninth anniversary of our Blessing, we returned to the lands of my ancestors. But we didn't know what to do or how to go about making a start. I strongly felt that we needed to make a fresh beginning-a new kind of life. Since the age of twenty seven, my health has been quite poor and this has limited our options to some extent.
The first two years at home were quite difficult, but after prayer and meditation during this time, I felt that my future life and work lay in the field of the media. I was inspired by Hyo Jin Nim's words when he talks about the power of mass communications and, indeed, I myself was often amazed by the raw power that could be engendered at rock festivals and concerts: young people on fire with emotion and passion. I thought how great it would be if we church members could set the hearts of young people alight in such a way, but centered on God and True Parents.
Although not personally, I have some background in the media field in that I have several cousins who work in relatively prominent positions in the press. Also, my maternal grandfather was a fairly well-known journalist.
If I think of the years I have spent working as a church member here in Britain, it is easy to reflect with resentment on how we have been treated by the media. Perhaps I can do something during my lifetime to redress this imbalance and inspire the British media to do something positive for True Parents and for God. Well...I consider this my mission and my life's work. Originally this was not my idea but the result of revelation from prayer; it is an idea which I have made my own over the course of the last two years.
At the beginning of this year, I started researching the media at the University of Stirling. I want to discover what the academics say the media is and what the media does. Also, I will be starting work with an environmental charity which channels its efforts through media outlets such as local radio and the local and national press. They offer free training in the media with many chances of career placements.
I strongly believe that the future Providence will be worked out through our direct involvement with society. I believe that in the time of Tribal Messiahship, we can choose our own field and set up lifetime commitments to that area which, although starting in hometown, can expand through the national level and onwards, if that is necessary.
My first aim is to start a local newspaper or magazine which will give positive and moral views centering on Divine Principle and will thus provide a service to the community.
However, I feel that before I do this I should offer this to the church and this is why I started a national publication for Tribal Messiahs in Hometown. It is called Village. I feel that there is a "gap in the UC media market" here in Britain which could be filled by a publication which offers testimonies, reports, articles, artwork, poetry and free communication between Couples working in this field-a kind of horizontally communicative journal. And this is the idea or vision behind Village.
The world "village" has many connotations: from local township and starting place of Tribal Messiah's mission right up to the "global village." It is a word which suggests also, I think, a sense of family and society working and living together in peace. The Principle surely embraces the idea of family as a central tenet of faith and I believe that our future lies in the family. The Confucianist ideal of all relationships in the world reflecting those fundamental ones in the family-a central promulgation of the Principle-gives us a clue as to what our approach towards society might be. To me, the word "village" represents a reaching out to hometown society with the unifying truth and love of God and True Parents.
At first, Village will be mainly for Tribal Messiahs, but it has the potential to expand onto a level where it could be used as a witnessing and outreach tool for Tribal Messiahs working in their hometowns. Indeed, quite a number of articles and presentations, which will be written by non-members, are lined up for future issues.
The Village project has been in my mind for over a year and the first prototype versions appeared in my office in January. It took until May for the first issue to come out and this was itself a kind of template or possibility for future issues. My hope was that Blessed members working in their hometown would offer suggestions of what they might like to see in such a publication as well as write articles and letters on thoughts or reports of activities which they might like to share with the emerging hometown community.
After the first issue, I received many suggestions, letters, articles and phone calls of encouragement, and now have stock for several issues. However, I am hoping that I can build up a larger collection of articles, letters, photographs, stories, art, poetry, etc., and so I want to appeal to the Church community worldwide: If you have suggestions and would like to communicate with us here in the hometowns of Britain, please write to me at the enclosed address and help me to set up an international network of communication among Tribal Messiahs working in their hometowns!
The vision of Village is to present local news and views from the hometowns to others working in their hometown in order to inspire, encourage and give hope to the extended family of Tribal Messiahs. It is a vehicle for sharing among "families in the field" and what can give hope to us and energize us more than give and take action centered on True Love? The time of "we families centered on True Love" has surely come!
Please write to: Ron McLachlan, 14 Grenville Drive, Cambuslang, Glasgow G72 8DS, Scotland, UK
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