Articles From the December 1994 Unification News


Original Blessings Workshop Opens New Witnessing Way

by Dan Fefferman-NYC

The first Original Blessings Workshop brought together 117 participants--including 23 guests--in an experimental day-long spiritual growth opportunity at the New Yorker Hotel Grand Ballroom November 26.

Using an experiential approach to learning basic Divine Principle concepts, the workshop featured guided meditations, reflective exercises, energy work and dance. Teaching was limited to the Three Blessings, the Beatitudes and a testimony to the work of Rev. and Mrs. Moon as the enactors of the "Cosmic Myth" of the True Parents.

"This workshop is designed to allow members and guests together to experience the ultimate joy of God," said Rev. Joong Hyun Pak, who commissioned the project.

The idea is that members and guests can work together on spiritual growth, while new guests learn basic concepts from the Divine Principle and whet their appetites for future study.

Reflections from participants indicate that the workshop met with substantial success.

"This was the most moving day of my life," said one guest. "I cried so many tears and learned so much about myself."

Said another, "I feel completely reborn as a true daughter of God. I never knew how brave I was. Thank you."

The workshop format is designed around the Three Blessings--1) personal growth, 2) expansion to the collective levels, and 3) harmony with creation. In addition, the Beatitudes were interpreted as a reiteration of the Original Blessings through the ministry of Jesus. Finally, the work of Rev. and Mrs. Moon was introduced as a opportunity to realize God's Blessings in today's world.

The evening concluded with a joyous "ritual dance" in the New Yorker Grand Ballroom, with contemporary music chosen to manifest the spirit of the Beatitudes. Participants enacted the Blessings to the music of such artists as Eric Clapton, Sting, Amy Grant, Michael Jackson, Stevie Winwood and Sister Sledge.

"I see a whole new future for the Grand Ballroom!" exclaimed one long- time member. "I would be happy to bring guests to this kind of workshop."

Another unique feature of the workshop was the opportunity for participants to choose among activities through "breakout" sessions. In addition to providing a choice of what to do, this feature enables people to return to the workshop several times with new guests and still have a fresh experience.

Workshop elements included:
* goal setting (Michael Inglis)
* marriage and parenting skills (Nora Spurgin)
* inner child meditations (Richard Cohen)
* lifeboat exercise (Dan Fefferman)
* "Tree of Life" meditation (Myra Stanecki)
* Healing Circle (William Lay)
* Chi exercise (Barry Geller)

Rev. Pak has initiated three more Original Blessing Workshops on the East Coast, as of this writing. The tentative dates and places are:

January 14--Washington, D.C.
January 28--New York
February 11--Boston

Details will be available from your regional Church offices as plans evolve.

Personally, I feel very excited to be working on the development and implementation of these workshops. It's my hope that this work can grow into a significant new way of sharing our life and ideals with the public while we work on our own spiritual growth and healing at the same time.

If we can hold the balance between internal personal growth and external outreach, we may discover a creative key, which can both renew our own community and restore the world.


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