The Words of the Morris Family

The Ocean Is Our Classroom and Our Cathedral

Marilyn Morris
April 1985

With but one exception since 1973, Father has gone fishing every summer in the Gloucester area, and on occasion has taken the time to explore the fisheries in Alaska. A large part of our movement is intimately tied to the ocean; boat building, fish processing, fish distribution (wholesale and retail) and the Ocean Challenge spiritual training program are just a few examples.

These ties span across seas and link American members to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Europe, and South America. Indeed, the future of the entire world will be greatly affected by how well the peoples of the earth can unite with one another and utilize the precious resources of the ocean.

Although Ocean Church is concerned with all the various aspect, of fishing itself, it is also definitely a church. As such, we share Father's dream and vision for America's future and its role in the restoration and healing of the relationships between races, cultures, and nations. Just as HSA-UWC was founded to take care of the Christian community, to heal the wounds of 2,000 years of infighting and separation, so too Ocean Church was created by Father to reach out to all people concerned about the ocean and how to properly use it for the betterment of humankind.

In a sense, the summer "Ocean Challenge" program in Gloucester has been the womb of the "ocean movement" that is now preparing to emerge as a core of responsible men and women who can share Father's vision and give clear direction on how to solve many problems -- hunger, food distribution, immorality, lack of motivation among the youth, and the disunity between fishermen, businessmen, scientists, politicians, and sport lovers of the ocean.

The Gloucester experience has been special because it is where almost every member now connected with this ocean "providence" has received his or her first taste of the ocean under Father's tutelage and personal care. Now Ocean Church brothers and sisters are taking on larger responsibilities and training intensively for the future, which is already challenging us in our daily encounters with practical life. From Alabama, where four brothers are training on large shrimp trawlers owned by Master Marine, one brother in particular has put into words what so many would like to say to our movement at large. His name is Mitch Hull and he began like so many others, fishing with Father in Gloucester for tuna. He says,

Since being in Ocean Church, I've had a strong sense that we must fish, and in fishing our often cloudy mission would become clear. At least for me, this is becoming the case. I used to think this whole ocean providence was already laid out and God and Father were just waiting for us to discover "the plan." Frustration inevitably comes from such an attitude when answers and results don't come easily or instantly. But now, from a new perspective I am seeing the ocean as a vast, relatively untapped resource; a precious gem that God has hidden for this time in history. Just as America was for our Christian forefathers, so the ocean is for us today. We must have the same pioneering spirit.

I'm beginning to see that it will take a united effort from our entire movement to effect a real change. And I truly see that Ocean Church must play a significant role in all of this. It is up to us to find the principled method and approach, to use this resource with initiative and creativity, and to develop the characteristics of a fisherman -- patience and perseverance. From my boat, I am praying for all by brothers and sisters. Even though our daily activities may be different, I pray that we can all "catch" the spirit of our Father and successfully bring in the harvest, from the ocean, from the field, from the ministers and community leaders, from the young people of America, from the state and city centers, from each and every member. 

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