The Words of the Kirkley Family

Pentecost in Great Britain

John Harris Kirkley
April 1984

The Unification Church in England, under the spiritual direction of Mr. and Mrs. Masatoshi Abe, conducted a forty day witnessing condition from January 21 to February 29, 1984. They had originally set a goal of two hundred new members, met this goal by the end of twenty days, raised the goal to five hundred, and ended up with 733!

Determination Ceremony The condition began with a "Determination Ceremony" at which Mr. Abe set the national goal of two hundred members and each person, region, and department set the goals that would be necessary to attain that result. Mr. Abe explained the internal motivation which members should have: "The spirit of this forty day condition is not only to get new members for the Unification Church in England, but to save this nation and to fulfill our True Parents' ideal -- to create and establish the Fatherland." He expressed his conviction that "six thousand people are already prepared," but "how we find them is our responsibility."

On the fourth day of the condition, Heung Jin Nim appeared to one of the sisters in the London region and later spoke through her to members assembled on January 29, their monthly "National Witnessing Day." Five hundred cities hosted a "National Family Festival" with the Go World Band, songs, speeches and refreshments. There was constant communication between the four different regions in England and each was inspired and stimulated to greater activity as charts and graphs were circulated reporting the progress in new members. Headquarters staff from Lancaster Gate, regional leaders and members, MFT; and home members were dedicating themselves 100% and gaining "incredible results," as their testimonies reveal.

Heung Jin Nim's Message

On February 28, the penultimate day of the condition, Heung Jin Nim appeared to the sister we shall call here "Faith Jones," and expressed his desire "to thank all brothers and sisters for working with him and bringing a victorious foundation for Britain. Because of this, he feels confident to go forward and work with Europe. He wants the National Meeting to be a blessing and gift from him to members because of their unity with him. He wants this to be a day of rejoicing entitled THE DAY OF THANKSGIVING FOR A VICTORIOUS FOUNDATION IN EUROPE and he wants the celebration to be held Sunday, March 4. "

The sister, Faith Jones, reported this to her regional leader, who in turn reported it to Mr. Hamish Robertson, Director of the Unification Church in England. They then invited the British members to attend the celebration at Lancaster Gate.

Tim Miller was master of ceremonies, and the program began with Holy Songs, an opening prayer by Mr. Robertson, and the offering by Mr. Abe of the membership cards from the 733 new members to God and True Parents. Martin Warner, Director of Witnessing for the national church, and the regional leaders gave reports, followed by testimonies from four members who had been most successful in gaining new members. Prizes were given to the winning regions and individuals. Mr. Abe set the goals for the rest of the year. And then everyone rejoiced with a round of picture-taking by members of the Japanese and American churches, invited to report the event. Finally a large cake the size of a desk top appeared, with a map of England in chocolate and candied cherries marking the major cities, and the title of the day's celebration written in rainbow colors with confectioner's sugar.

How Did Success Come About?

But how did they do it? How did this unprecedented success come about? In asking these questions of British members, it seemed there were three important pre-conditions to this national-level success: the spiritual foundation, the structure of HSA in Europe, and a new concept of membership.

"The welcome we received from so many people -- they invited us in, sat us down, and drew out their best china -- was all based on the foundation established in 1978 when True Parents and the seminarians were here," said Ed Stacey, regional director of Northern England. "Rev. Won Pil Kim was appointed by Father to be Home Church Director here for two years," explained David Fraser Harris, head of public relations for the British Church. "The first year, he kept very quiet, but went to every region, visiting and listening. It was only then that he began giving directions."

"We are also very fortunate to have Mr. and Mrs. Masatoshi Abe representing True Parents in England," said Harris. "They understand principled relationships: they are from Japan, an island nation, an Eve nation, and they are serving in England, another island and Eve-type nation. They are strongly united with Reverend Young Whi Kim from the Adam-type nation of Korea who is leading Europe from the Adam- type nation of Germany." He also explained how careful Mr. Abe was to bring back faithful and detailed reports of events and developments in Korea and the United States.

But the historical foundation and spiritual structure of the church in England had not seemed to produce the external results desired by all: the goal set by Father in 1978 of having three thousand members in England by 1985. "We could only bring 57 new members in the last five months of 1983," explains Martin Warner, "and we were, at first, saddened and depressed by the news of Heung Jin Nim's accident and physical death."

However, when Mr. Abe reported to the British family the nature of Heung Jin Nim's conscious, willing sacrifice for the sake of True Parents, and the attitude that True Parents displayed on God's Day, the meaning of the Day of the Victory of Love on January 3, 1984, and the deep significance of the Seunghwa Ceremony for Heung Jin Nim on January 8, the church members began to rally their spirits.

Mr. Abe explained that, after the three day period of January 8, 9 and 10, the forty day resurrection period and witnessing condition should actually have begun on January 11, rather than January 21. He told the members that no sacrifice freely offered to God was lost and that they should build on the previous foundation established by True Parents, Rev. Kim and the seminarians in 1978-80.

The British church developed a strong internal motivation to inherit the heart and spirit of Heung Jin Nim during the forty day witnessing condition, but they also developed the external technique of re-contacting former members and friends of the church, those who had attended lectures, banquets or campaigns, and people who lived in home church areas years before.

"Instead of neglecting the foundation of the past," said Martin Warner, "we decided to build upon it."

A New Concept of Witnessing

But the final key to success, as David Harris and Martin Warner readily agreed, was a new concept of witnessing and membership developed towards the end of 1983.

"When we first held a National Day of Witnessing last September," said Harris, "we had seventy guests!" It has now become a tradition in England that one day each month -- usually the third or fourth Sunday -- will be set aside for all members to witness: even those usually on MET, or in business missions, or office staff will witness. This develops a witnessing consciousness which reverberates throughout the entire next month as members remember those they have met by staying in contact with them and look forward to making new friends and contacts in the future. It also makes each member conscious that other members, too, are active in witnessing, that each is part of the "body of Christ" working for the same national and international ideal: the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

"We also realized that membership should not be an 'all or nothing' affair," said Harris. "As we began to develop our new concept of Associate Membership, we had a dozen former members come back as Associates, and 45 parents of members have joined the Parents Association."

Three Levels of Membership

According to Warner, three levels of membership now allow many persons to become actively associated with the church and to set about a course of deepening their under- standing of the Principle and expanding their participation.

Those who have had significant con- tact with the church and agree with our basic tenets can become "Associate Members" by signing a yellow member- ship form complete with name, address, phone number, photograph and their sig- nature following a succinct statement of beliefs. As Associate Members, they would be expected to attend monthly meetings and pay a membership fee of about $5.00 per month.

To become "Practicing Members," Associates would have to attend at least a two day workshop and a special church seminar which details church lifestyle and practice, indicate a deeper under- standing of the Principle, and express a desire to become more active in church life, including witnessing and fundraising. Most Practicing Members have also attended a seven day workshop and a second level church seminar. The blue form has a more detailed statement of beliefs.

To become a "Full Member," one must attend 21 day workshop and have a sincere desire to become an internally dedicated member, whether a center member or a home member.

It was upon this historical foundation in England, this internal organization of the national church, and these new understandings of witnessing and membership that the phenomenal success of the forty day condition was based.

What, then, were the experiences of the members during this time?

"For these forty days," said one member, "we had the spirit of Exodus: this was the time to march into Canaan. We had the attitude with each person we met that we could say to them, 'Come! Go with us! No matter what has happened in the past, come with us now. We have great things to do.' "

Mike and Penny Moore, who led a fundraising team, told their story this way: "We used the old home church rosters to witness. We also invited those who had purchased many pictures from our team, for we felt that they were very good people with an excellent spiritual base to understand what we were doing on a deeper level. We even felt we could tell them directly that the Messiah is on earth. We set a goal of ten new members for our team, but the two of us gotten members, and the team had a total of 35! We even met people who told us they would pray, 'Heavenly Father, how can I know you more?' and their spiritual parent would meet them that day or the next. Or they would pray, 'What more can I do?' and a member would arrive with an Associate Membership form. We feel great hope for this country now."

With Heung Jin Nim's Help

Faith Jones reported that, on the fourth day of the Condition, "a strong, manly voice spoke to me about witnessing and told me how the world looks to God: people are constantly being attacked by the evil spirit world. It was Heung Jin Nim." He told her that "we are really in the middle of a violent war, but because it is spiritual and not physical, we cannot understand the severity or reality of it. If we could, we would really be prepared to go to war." She asked him about the forty day condition, and "he said Momoko and I must meticulously go through all the lists of home church areas. When we find the name of someone who has heard Divine Principle, we must give thanks and claim the person for God. Before going out to visit, we must pray for one day -- even three times three hours -- for the people and make complete lists so that the spirit world can work with us to prepare ahead."

Momoko Kikuchi, who joined as a home member in 1978, but seems to have the heart and spirit of much older Japanese members, testified on March 4, "I was able to follow Heung Jin Nim's direction to pray for nine hours -- and had no problems with my feet, no problems getting tired. I determined to become one with God and True Parents during the forty days and to feel that Heung Jin Nim was with me. He brought unity between Japanese and Western members. Faith and I were praying together and witnessing together. I had the most difficulty talking to communist people, but came to have the confidence that, 'If I can witness to them, it is like witnessing in Moscow.' I believed that people in communist countries around the world would have some internal experience because of my external witness here." She brought nineteen new members during the forty days.

Members' Experiences

Tony Wood brought 28 new members in Aberdeen, Scotland -- "the furthest outpost of the Unification Church in the British Isles." He said that "each person we met felt that the member who met him was the most special member." His twelve-year-old car expired in the middle of the condition, but somehow revived to make it through. Even though he was number one in gaining new members, he confessed, "If I had known our names would be on a list on the wall, I would have worked much harder!"

Andre Haring, the Regional Director of Scotland, testified to the help Mr. Shibanuma had given them: "He speaks in short sentences with great impact." Said Mr. Shibanuma, "This is a time of heavenly fortune." At first, Scotland set a goal of 21, but this was reduced to fifteen on the list of goals they received from the headquarters in England. "Someone lacked confidence in Scotland," said Andre, "but then Mr. Shibanuma told us we should get thirty, then fifty, then 72 new members, I felt he had confidence in us. I liked that!" Scotland went on to lead all the regions of the British Isles and take first prize: three television sets with video machines for teaching by tapes.

Ed Stacey, Director of the North of England, said, "A lad in Leeds named Jim heard Divine Principle two years ago when he was a Communist and wasn't interested -- at least, we didn't think so. But during the forty days, he rang up, came over, said he had left the Communist party six weeks ago and wanted to hear more lectures. Now he's an Associate Member!" He went on to testify, "Spirit world did not want anyone not to fulfill the goal. They were working like mad! It was not us, but God, spirit world, and Heung Jin Nim. The very last day of the condition, I was sick and just sitting at home when someone I had been trying to find for a month came by and signed membership!"

Johann and Mary Hinterleitner of the South London region were also grateful to Mr. Shibanuma: "He pulled and pushed, called and sent graphs. We saw that Scotland was shooting ahead. It was inspiring!" He said that when they started visiting homes in his region and told people they were with the Unification Church, people said, "Come in!" and were delighted to see them. "We had such a good base in England, but we never developed it. Many have gained hope by seeing us again, so now I am concerned about how to raise them up. We cannot forget them this time."

Peter Zoehrer of the London region began the forty day condition with both a new son, thanks to his wife, and a new mission, thanks to Mr. Abe and Hamish Robertson. He said that he first "understood the meaning of the forty day time period when Heung Jin Nim spoke through Faith Jones and gave us directions on how to work. The five festivals helped. At one, a hotel staff member stood in the back reading an Associate Membership card. At another, a very distinguished man, who just happened to be at the hotel where we were performing, asked, 'What's going on?' and a Japanese sister in a brilliantly colored kimono told him, 'It's a rally for God,' and he asked if he could come."

Others reported how inspired they were, knowing that everyone in the British Isles was working together with the same heart and effort and goals.

An African diplomat came to Lancaster Gate one evening and proudly displayed his Associate Membership card. "When I come to England," he said, "this building is my home. I will come here first, and then I'll go to the government building."

One man who had never signed anything before wrote a brief note, "Urgent. Call immediately." He came by on the last day of the condition and asked Peter Zoehrer, "Are you doing this only to win some personal goal or prize?" When the purpose and motivation behind the forty day condition was explained in more detail, he asked, "If we sign membership now, during these forty days, does it mean we belong to the special tribe of Heung Jin Nim?" He then prayed for two minutes, opened his Bible, and then signed the yellow Associate Membership form. His Bible said, "I have called you into my assembly." Perhaps the most moving testimony was given by a blonde, blue-eyed Scottish home church member in her dialect. Pauline Cheong admonished the British, "Glasgow didn't get the news of the forty day condition at first. We've been mollycoddled and not given responsibility, so we never fulfilled responsibility. Before this condition started, we only gave ourselves when we wanted to, but now we determined to give ourselves 100%. It's only then that God can really work through us." She then tells how she and her friend Jenny "both passed the driver's test. Then we had transport, divided up the area, organized and made appointments." The more they worked, the better things got. "The first chart showed Scotland was shooting ahead. We were inspired and asked Andre (our regional leader) for more forms -- he must have thought we were eating them!"

She went on to explain that her husband "understands Divine Principle about 90%. At first, he had influenced me because I wasn't standing up strong. But I was pushing 100% and he could feel this condition was important -- so I could influence him. He even let me use his big, fancy car! But laundry was piling up at home to the point where we hardly had anything to wear!"

One day she "was in the underground (subway) and felt there was someone there I know. I looked back to the end of the queue and saw a man I had seen once before. I ran up and asked, "Wot are ya doin' ere?' And he said, 'I woke up this morning and felt I had to go to the West End -- and I've been here all day wondering why I was here!' I gave him a membership card and he came to the rally the next day and signed!"

Another student she met was doing a research paper on marriage and had wanted to include a page on marriage in the Unification Church. "I started talking to her at 8:00 p.m.," says Pauline, "and at 1:00 a.m. she asked how she could become a member. She's now an Associate, is writing her entire paper on the Blessing, and goes out witnessing with me. Later, our regional leader said, `You must tell her who Father is.' I was frightened at first to take this responsibility, but prayed, united and told her five minutes later. Then she said, 'Oh, it might be true!' "

"On the last day," she continues, "I was out with MFT. We had achieved our goals for the forty days and were trying to help them reach their goals. It was nine o'clock in the evening, and I had to be home at ten, but there was one young person we had been trying to see for many days who lived just a few doors away. I knocked, and he was home! I told him my whole heart, explained about Heung Jin Nim's sacrifice, and said this was the last day."

In conclusion, she said, "Don't mollycoddle them. We were mollycoddled, and it didn't do us any good. We must be strong and discipline them as Father's representatives." Now there's a good Scottish mother for you!

Joyous Day of Thanksgiving

Towards the end of this joyous Day of Thanksgiving, Mr. Abe gave his "Vision and Determination for 1984," setting goals for the rest of the year. He said the 733 new members were their offering to God and True Parents. He explained about the Blessing of Heung Jin Nim to Col. Pak's daughter and the deep meaning of this in establishing a reciprocal base between the spiritual and the physical worlds. He testified to her sacrificial spirit during her stay in England -- "She was here dieting, training, doing ballet, always very thin, always reading and studying a book."

He then reminded the members assembled there of Father's two basic goals: to unify all religions and to overcome communism. He elaborated upon the historical mission of England to bring unity among the European nations and the nations which were former colonies. He said that Britain had given birth to the United States of America, but now America was decaying morally and spiritually; and Mother England must take responsibility for her "big son."

Britain's Role

Mr. Abe said that Britain, as an island, is somewhat isolated, and so would be easier to restore as a nation. It has an important geographical location, a high intellectual level, a high standard of Christianity, a special influence on America and many leading professors. "If we win victory here, this island can become a fortress against communism -- even if the whole of mainland Europe falls."

He said that the first two months of 1984 had been devoted to developing a new base for the providence and the forty day witnessing condition. The next two months should be devoted to developing many new leaders from among members in England so they could be capable lecturers and spiritual parents to educate and raise up the 733 new members.

Then he said that if each British member, together with the new members, would get only three new members during the rest of the year, they would exceed the goal given by Father in 1978 to attain three thousand members in England.

"We have to educate ourselves so that we can educate and lead others," he said. "We must become better persons. We need members of all ages -- senior citizens and middle-aged persons must become members as a foundation for new, young members. I am so grateful for the testimony of our home church member from Glasgow -- they are doing even more than our full-time members here!"

It was an amazing day of thanksgiving, celebration and victory. It is hoped that this victorious foundation in England and in Europe can also be inherited in America and Japan and by our members around the world. 

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