Unification News for September 1998

Summer Programs at Camp Sunrise, NY, Hit the Spot

by Dr. Kathy Winings-NYC

Camp Sunrise was the scene of cheers and tears, challenging activities, fun and sun and, of course, God. The summer of 1998 may be over, but the memories linger on from this summerís three youth ministry programs that were held at Camp Sunrise. Directed by the Second Generation Committee, Rev. Brian Sabourin, and Dr. Kathy Winings, all of the programs focused on encouraging the young men and women of the second generation to "Set the Standard."

The first program, a two-week workshop from July 11 to July 25, gathered 95 teenagers together from around the globe. Our program began with a profound and heartfelt welcoming address by Hyun-Jin Nim Moon in which he set the tone for the workshop. Hyun-Jin Nim challenged the participants to understand clearly what the standard means-the establishment of an ideal family-and what it takes to create that standard through the practice of true love and living for the sake of others.

Starting then on Sunday morning, Rev. Ken Sudo began the first cycle of Divine Principle teaching sessions. Rev. Sudo emphasized the basics of Godís existence and nature, establishing a deep relationship with our Heavenly Father, the Fall of Humankind and its modern implications for the four realms of heart and love, and what is required today by God and True Parents to be a true son and daughter of God. The second cycle of Principle was taught by Rev. John Williams of IEF with support from Mr. Rollain Muanda of UTS. Rev. Williams focused on the second part of Principle with a deeper look at the need to develop a profound sense of faith and living that faith substantially as the next generation.

Of course, the workshop also included a wide variety of activities which were designed to support what was being taught in the mornings. Group discussions allowed the teens to talk about the Principle and their own questions and concerns of how to live it. A one-day service project allowed the participants to emphasize living for the sake of others through serving Harriman State Park. Teens were also able to hear inspiring testimonies from older second generation.

During the second week, the teens were led through the woods and hills of Harriman by Mr. Keith McMurty-a specialist in outdoor activities for youth. The group was also blessed to be able to spend two days in Gloucester, absorbing True Parentsí foundation of fishing and the ocean providence. Testimonies were shared by the Gloucester members and of course, everyone got to experience a one-day fishing expedition.

The program ended with two special events: an inspirational talk from Jin Hun Nim and a candlelight prayer walk and rededication/reflection time. Through the hard work of Matthew Jones, Jonathan Kirst and Dohi Ang, the workshop provided a good experience for these young men and women.

Second program

The second program, for younger teens, began right on the heels of the first program. This program was slightly larger in number with 145 participants in the camp. While the focus was the same, the content was very specific. We chose to create a program that taught both the character education material from IEF and some of the absolute sex material from PLA. Utilizing interactive learning and games, each lesson challenged the young teens to re-examine their own lives and standard and to remain pure and righteous for the sake of the future. Again, the standard of true family and true love was strongly emphasized.

Though the program was only one week long, it was varied and active with a full day service project, a challenge hike, special testimonies, and lots of fellowship. From Human Bingo, to Race for Life, to life in the Republic of Congo each teen had the opportunity to consider their lives, their goals, and their purpose.

The ending project for these participants was for each team to create an advertising campaign and strategy that could be used in their schools to encourage their own peers and friends to remain pure and to value God-centered families. The Thursday evening fellowship, purity pledge signing, and candlelight prayer walk was a high point in the program.

If that wasnít enough, as soon as Program Two finished, the third and final program began on Saturday, August 1st with 180 children ages 9-11. This was by far one of our most challenging years because of the sheer size of the camp. Added to that was the fact that we were low on staff. However, because of Godís deep desire to guide and educate our young children, He motivated and encouraged many people to respond to our call for help and we ended up with an awesome staff of dedicated and caring counselors.

The vehicle for teaching about Godís standard in this camp was the Old Testament central figures along with Jesus and True Family. The theme of setting the standard was carried through each lesson with a clear emphasis on how we can learn to set the standard in our families and community. Teaching sessions were creative and interactive and really allowed the children to get into the concepts and look at them with fresh eyes.

The children also had the opportunity to do many exciting activities such as experience Godís creation through a nature hike, go on a service scavenger hunt, swim, learn new games and sports, and see how many new friends they could make in a week. The campers also had the blessing of participating in the Park's annual Regatta. Everyone who raced received a medal and Camp Sunrise received a trophy. Arts and crafts was also a highlight of this program with Mrs. Cynthia Toffey leading the children in their projects. Through an inspiration of the Holy Spirit, our concluding activity was to form an unbroken chain of second generation and parents around the lecture hall, which started with God and True Parents, and visually emphasized Godís hope that this chain remain unbroken and to recognize how precious each person in the chain is to God. The program ended with plays written by the children showing their newfound understanding of Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and a Completed Testament family. After a family worship service on Sunday, the Camp ended with tearful good-byes and a new set of memories and friends.

Each of the programs would not have been possible without the guidance, support and hard work of the Second Generation Committee, Brian Sabourin, the older second generation men and women, parents, and the Camp Sunrise staff led by Bruce and Debbie Grodner. This year we had the added blessing of guidance and support from Hyun-Jin Nim Moon in his capacity as the new international Vice President of FFWPU and leadership for the Second Generation.

The summer of 1998 certainly provided us with a great catalyst for the coming school year and all of our youth and family ministry events. We look forward to continuing our faith development activities through our childrenís ministries and youth ministries around the country throughout this year.

Youth Ministry, in cooperation with IRFF, will conduct a service project during the Christmas break this year for teenagers. The location is in the process of being decided, however, we are looking at sites in Guatemala and Haiti. The project will involve painting and restoring either a school or orphanage. For further information, please contact Dr. Kathy Winings at: (914) 366-0558 or e-mail: IRFFint@aol.com.

Dr. Winings coordinates the Youth Ministry program nationwide and is the founder of Educare, an educational consulting firm..

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