Family Values Seminars for Alumni

On October 12, about 40 UTS graduates and 20 others attended the first in a series of seminars on True Family Values at the Unification Church headquarters in New York City. Following Dr. Shimmyo’s report on the Alaska workshop (see previous issue), Dr. Tyler Hendricks, President of the UC of America, described the purpose and background of the seminar.

Dr. Hendricks reported that in 1995, the headquarters staff were discussing the most effective way of presenting the Blessing to those who are not members of the UC. “There was the question of how to educate people in a short time, given that they only need to understand the authority of True Parents,” he said. At that time, Continental Director Reverend Joong Hyun Park offered the outcome of his study of the Family Pledge which had been completed in cooperation with Dr. Andrew Wilson. Based on this document, Dr. Hendricks then developed a document titled “Seven Principles for the Growth of Love.”

Dr. Hendricks next attended a seminar in New Jersey in which a very successful pastor from California used videotaped dramatizations, overhead projections and fill-in-the blanks workbooks to fully engage his audience. Dr. Hendricks tried some of the elements of this pastor’s approach in a subsequent seminar which he conducted in Queens, New York, with encouraging results. “After one or two presentations,” he said, “one minister asked, ‘Can you come to my church? How much do you charge?’”

“I thought it would grow organically and gradually,” said Dr. Hendricks, “but Father had another view! He told us to start seminars in Washington D.C. right away.” The response has continued to be good at these gatherings titled “Empowering Christianity Through True Family Values,” and several ministers have asked for seminars to be organized in their churches. Following his explanation of the background, Dr. Hendricks made a presentation on “The Holy Communion of Marriage” in just the same way as he would present it to Christian ministers, using overhead projections of the content while the participants followed along in their workbooks. In the introduction to the workbook, the purpose of the seminar is explained. “It is designed to help you and your congregants get to the bottom of the social and family problems of today. It provides insights you can apply in your own life and positive, meaningful assistance you can give to others working through these problems.”

After lunch, Mr. Michael Inglis outlined the plan by which the expectations for next year’s Blessing can be realized. He equated the present time with 1975 when, just as happened recently, hundreds of missionaries were sent out to the world. In the following year, the Washington Monument rally drew 300,000 people and now once again the church is preparing for a huge event next year in Washington D.C..

During the afternoon, the participants practiced teaching in pairs and at the concluding meeting, Dr. Hendricks offered an overview of recent developments and issues in Christianity. A similar seminar was later held in Washington D.C. and the series will continue in major cities across America to encourage UTS graduates to reach out to Christian ministers and their congregations. G.D.