Articles From the October 1994 Unification News


World CARP Activities Launched

by Michael Balcomb-NYC

Students from the CIS have arrived in the United States to begin work as representatives of the Unification Church in a joint project with World CARP. This new program is designed to expand outreach activities to young people and particularly students throughout the country. These students from the CIS are the first of successive groups to come to America to share their religious experiences and to demonstrate their commitment to join with other young people around the world in making a meaningful contribution to their respective societies and then world community.

A long time ago, Rev. Moon predicted that one day young people from former communist countries would come here to Christian America to engage in activities like this. But who would have thought it could be so soon?

A New Beginning:

Over 150 CARP and Unification Church members gathered September 2 - 4 for a "Kick-off" seminar at Camp Sunrise in upstate New York hoping to generate the momentum for this endeavor. A distinct feature of the seminar was the presence of adult children of elder Unification Church members.

The participants seemed inspired enough as they listened to speeches by World CARP Vice Presidents Jin Hun Park Moon and Sung Am Moon, danced to the sound of the Ancestors, hiked on the Appalachian trail, played volleyball, chatted with old and new friends, or simply took some quiet time with God.

By the end of the weekend, six teams of enthusiastic volunteers had been formed and they set out for Boston, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco-the first cities chosen for the new project.

Arriving in those cities the following day, they found the local church community in a state of keen anticipation to support their efforts to renew the spirit and social commitment of young people to take responsibility in the face of increasing challenges. In Boston, many families had gathered together to sponsor the new arrivals; in Washington D.C. a large stock of bunk beds and mattresses was on hand (practical people, those Washingtonians) In Los Angeles and San Francisco, mini-workshops were held to brief those who had been unable to make the long journey to New York. And so, the activities began.

A New Campaign for the CTA

We have all heard many times that this is the Completed Testament Age. But what does that really mean? It means we are on the verge of the greatest transformation the world has even seen! And this new project can help that great change to happen.

Think about it. All the old models of life, all the old ideologies, are dead or dying. Communism has expired. Apartheid is over. Israel and the PLO have made peace. Only this month the IRA pledged to stop the killing in Northern Ireland.

Yet despite all this good news, our world is still in big trouble. Wars, famine and disease still kill millions every year. Regional and tribal conflicts have broken out all over the place, with horrifying consequences. And the wealthy nations are tired of trying in vain to solve the problems of the world with a checkbook. In a recent interview in Time the Secretary General of the UN admitted that he had "no solution" to the rising tide of violence.

Sometimes, looking at the big picture like this, it's easy to get depressed and feel that nothing any of us can do can make any lasting difference. But that is not true! In the midst of all this chaos and confusion, a new age has begun. As True Parents, Rev. and Mrs. Moon have proclaimed the historical opportunity for world peace that now exists and have announced a time of great blessing for all humanity. They desire to bestow the Blessing, the central sacrament of the Unification Church, to everyone in the belief that through the establishment of dedicated God-centered families, true peace can be realized. In this regard, they plan to invite more than 360,000 couples to receive the Blessing in August of 1995.

According to Vice President Jin Hun Park Moon, the "all or nothing" approach so typical of religious proselytization, including that of the Unification Church, is no longer realistic today. "Times have changed." he says. "The most important change is the fact that in the Completed Testament Age, God is ready and willing, even anxious, to give His blessings to everyone, whether they are a member of our church or not. The only qualifications are that they appreciate True Parents and promise to be faithful in their marriage."

Yet, he points out, this is not a mandate to be weak or wishy-washy in one's faith or in one's witness. On the contrary, we should be robust advocates of the Divine Principle and fearless and outspoken spokesmen and spokeswomen for our True Parents.

World CARP's Outreach Strategy

But we do need a new strategy for our outreach to young people. Nowadays young people demand an attractive alternative to the excessively materialistic culture of the 1990s; but one that invites them to transform that society, not to abandon it. Students and all young people desire a tradition that can guide human relationships and that will endure for decades, centuries and even millennia.

It will always be especially important for young people to learn how to make God's way of life their own. For most, college or the first job is the first opportunity for them to stand on their own two feet and to assert themselves. A time, when they are challenged to apply whatever moral and ethical education they have received and to follow their own conscience in how they choose to live their lives. Consciences always need training and exercise just as our physical bodies always need to be maintained through a regular fitness program.

For that to happen, there must be a training ground. Young adults are hungry for that important character training that will serve them in good stead for their entire life. The programs sponsored by World CARP are designed to meet this need,

Says Sung Am Moon, "We want to present a tradition that is worthwhile, yet easy to follow. Wouldn't it be beautiful if every young adult, as a matter of course, were to dedicate even one year of their life to serving the world? How different everything would be!"

World CARP seminars will provide for a working knowledge of Divine Principle as fundamental to such training. No one can really know themselves, far less know God, without really understanding the contents of Divine Principle. It is worth remembering that Rev. Moon himself was a student when he first discovered the Principle.

However, far more important than any theoretical knowledge is the ability to put it into practice. Most of us find it much easier to put difficult or challenging ideas into practice, particularly if they involve self change, if we know that we are not solitary travelers down the road.

Projects of World CARP

One of the first projects of World CARP has been the production of a new audiovisual presentation entitled "Higher Love." This fifteen minute program is an illustrated paraphrase of the proclamation speech by Rev. and Mrs. Moon "True Parents and the Completed Testament Age." The theology is simplified, and lively music and pictures help keep the show moving, but the message is essentially the same. A New Age is here; and we are all called to be a part of it. Early reports are that people are excited and curious.

The teams are also using a new generation of literature and tracts, with the emphasis very much on education and personal decision. From a contemplation of the existence of angels and the afterlife to an analysis of the true nature of freedom and spiritual growth, the reader is invited to make up his or her own mind.

In the various cities where World CARP representatives have begun working open house meetings are being promoted every weekday evening. Many of these programs address "Hot Topics" on campuses today, ranging from issues such as homosexuality, free sex and AIDS, religious topics such as the existence of the Spiritual World, and social issues such as family breakdown. Of course, presentations on the Divine Principle, represent an important contribution, one which stands on its own merits.

We want people to study the Principle more than anything else. But the desire to do so has to come from within as young people contend with developing a comprehensive understanding of themselves, human relations, history, the future, and of course, God. And if they see others happy and successful by living according to the Principle, they're going to want to pursue it too. In the past, the urgency of God's providence meant that individuals may have felt compelled to set-aside their education or their immediate career prospects to follow a religious vocation. But thanks to the benefits of the age, people today can serve God much more broadly.

That's why those encountering the activities of World CARP are advised to stay in school or remain in their current career. The hope however is that with a new-found sense of responsibility for the world around them they can be effective in living for others and exemplifying a new and healthy lifestyle.

Thus the goal of World CARP is just as much about education as providing the opportunity for genuine religious conversion. We want to provide the practical means by which young people from every background can be encouraged to work together to influence and to change their society. Everything we do may have one of two valid purposes. Education. Example.

That is why members of World CARP are setting aside time every week to participate in voluntary community service of various kinds, from charitable collections to tutoring, food banks to ocean training. And the students and young people the team meets are being encouraged to do the same, whether or not they decide to pursue the religious tenets of the Unification Church.

"This is a great experiment," says Jin Hun Park Moon. "Together, we will make it work!"


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