Articles from the October 1997 Unification News


Workshop for Matching Candidates

by Dr. David Carlson-Barrytown, NY

On Saturday, September 20, 1997 a workshop was held for matching candidates from Region 2. The Garden Room in HSA headquarters served as the venue for some spirited and insightful presentations. In attendance were about 80 participants, a mix of first and second generation candidates. Centering on the theme of "Developing a Heart of Acceptance," the workshop offered a veritable goldmine of information, inspiration, humor, and internal guidance. Dr. and Mrs. Dietrich Seidel, the primary organizers of the workshop, had their hands full as they attended to the needs and concerns of the participants.

Dr. Seidel, serving as master of ceremonies and presenter, led off with a thoughtful and well-organized presentation on "The Meaning of the Blessing." He spoke on such topics as the purpose of life, rebirth, and change of lineage. Everyone was attentive, some perhaps hearing such content for the first time.

Following Dr. Seidel, Mr. Masahisa Kobayashi spoke on "Faith and Commitment." Sharing some of his own testimony, he gave a heart-felt sense of the deep conviction and faith necessary to fully appreciate the Blessing, even when experiencing difficulties in one's external situation.

The next presentation was a very lively one for everyone. Mr. In Ho Pak, himself a member of the second generation, and the son of Rev. and Mrs. Joon Hyung Pak, spoke about "How to Make Your Blessing Romantic." Wandering between serious and very funny, he related the ways in which he and his wife slowly came to get to know each other, and shared the many ways in which they were able to bring romance into their relationship. His honesty and purity touched everyone. Towards the end of his presentation, his wife joined him and shared a bit of her own experience.

The following session, "Blessing and Family: Strategies for Success," found Rev. and Mrs. Farley Jones, the national President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, sharing some of the techniques they had discovered as useful for working out conflicts. As a successful elder blessed couple in the American movement, their experience was valuable. They gave concrete examples of how common everyday conflicts can be approached with a better possibility of being worked out. Conflict among couples can often not be avoided, yet how we approach those conflicts and our way of dealing with them can make a tremendous difference.

After a delicious pizza lunch, everyone gathered for a brief but stimulating question and answer session with the presenters of the morning sessions. When Mr. John Gehring arrived, he effectively caught everyone's attention as he shared some of the joys and pitfalls, expectations and real-life experiences of an international marriage. Everyone was riveted to Mr. Gehring's animated presentation, since it will be indeed possible that some of those present might be finding themselves in an international marriage.

The workshop ended with a presentation by Dr. Tyler Hendricks, the American Vice President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, on "Developing a Heart of Acceptance." Dr. Hendricks shared quite honestly and openly about his relationship with his wife, and some of their trials and victories. Participants listened carefully, because his presentation was so honest and filled with practical advice. He was able to bring the reality of blessed marriage life into clear perspective.

To give the Blessing candidates a better sense of what to expect in the matching process by True Father, Lynn Mathers, the national director of the Blessed Family Department, gave a heartwarming presentation that included a report about the matching for the 360,000 couple Blessing in 1995. In several ways, she assured the workshop participants that their heart of acceptance is matched with Father's total investment to find the right spouse for them.

This workshop has been successful in raising the consciousness of those present to the point where they could have a more real sense of what to expect as they approach their blessing, how they should prepare themselves, how they could make their blessing into something very meaningful for themselves, personally, and a sense that there were many people, older brothers and sisters, who were ready and willing to support them and help them work through any potential problem they might face. Everyone surely felt their confidence level go up.

After the official closing of the workshop, opportunities for counseling and other forms of guidance were made available to those who requested such support. It is hoped that other forums, similar to this, will be forthcoming in the future.

Video tapes of this Blessing Candidate Workshop are available from the Blessed Family Department for $15.00 for a set of 2 tapes, plus $5.00 for shipping where needed. You can order them by phone (212) 997-0050, ext. 711. Send checks payable to HSA-UWC to: Blessed Family Department, 4 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.

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