On Friday, September 19th, the community celebrated the 22nd anniversary of UTS. The day began with an address by President Shimmyo and continued with a celebration breakfast featuring entertainment by Korean and Japanese choirs.
President Shimmyo spoke about The Real Value of UTS. He said that Father has repeatedly shown his commitment to UTS, most recently by calling Japan to tell the church leaders to send many more applicants to UTS. He also noted that Father wants many church leaders to come to UTS and it is likely that members of his own family will come here. Nevertheless, said Dr. Shimmyo, we should avoid any sense of complacency.
"Although Father always emphasizes UTS education," he said, "the real value of UTS will only be realized if we all feel we have a long way to go to reach the perfection level. We cant feel as if Fathers endorsement means that we have already reached that level. In actuality we are far from great. There is a huge distance between fallen mankind and God. You may say that this is the Completed Testament Age but there is still nobody who is perfect and this is why there is still some kind of anxiety and fear. We are not constantly one with God. We tend to try to erase that kind of anxiety and fear by having recourse to things other than God. For instance, we may focus on what we perceive to be the greatness of UTS instead of on God and in that case, God may be forgotten. Today we should realize that we have a long way to go. We have to be humble and create the room in which God may abide."
Dr. Shimmyo continued to emphasize the need for humility among the UTS community in order to create room for Gods presence. "When we are told by Father to bring many people here," he said, "we should still remain humble. We are not the governors of UTS. God is the governor of UTS. Today, I am really talking about the problem of idolatry, of idol worship." Dr. Shimmyo referred to the Founder as an exemplar of such humility. "When I look at Father, I am really impressed. When people praise him, he smiles out of happiness but he immediately removes that smile within a few seconds and becomes very serious. I like that moment very much because I know that he immediately goes beyond that moment because he loves the will of God. He immediately determines to go beyond that level of accomplishment and to do more for God. By showing that kind of humility, the real value of UTS will emerge."
In conclusion, Dr. Shimmyo warned of the dyer consequences of forgetting God as we pursue our goals. "We speak about God, commitment and faith but many times we have a tendency to be atheistic because of the problem I have described - the problem of sticking to something other than God. We speak about faith but we do not know what faith is and I do not want that problem to happen here. On the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of UTS let us be aware of this danger and make God our focal point otherwise UTS as an institution will collapse and we will have no other way but perishing. This is what I wanted to say to you today on this wonderful day of the celebration of the founding of UTS."
Dr. Wilson Remembers
At the celebration breakfast, Dr. Andrew Wilson reflected on his days as a student in the early years of the Seminary. He compared the vitality of those days to the experience of first love. "When you first fall in love," he said, "everything is wonderful and then later you realize how difficult marriage can sometimes be. God gives the first start a great deal of grace. Today were a mature institution and we shouldnt need Gods grace, we should inspire God, but in those early years, theologians came here from all over America by the grace of God." Dr. Wilson remembered too how the students loved and served the faculty only one of whom, Dr. Yong Oon Kim, was a Unificationist. "The students," he said, "had the attitude of creating a new seminary with a proud heritage" and, by discussing the Unification Church with these theologians, "we were the face of Father to the Western Christian world."
Dr. Wilson expressed the hope that the years ahead will be filled with the same excitement. "Lets go forward and make the future just as ecumenically spirit-filled as the first years," he said in conclusion.