The Words of the Tully Family
Guest lecturers and staff, seated in second row are, right to left, Mr. Yoshida, lecturer Joe Tully, Reverend Kwak, Regional I.W. Reverend Yu, Regional Director Christopher Olsen, and Australian leader Carl Redmond.
New Zealand is a young country, with a feeling of being a community in itself, inhabited by Polynesian Maoris since the 12th century and settled by English, Scottish and Irish people in the 1840's. Primarily a British colony, it became completely independent in 1931, but retains a tradition of respect toward the British crown. Other ethnic groups include Chinese and Indians. Auckland, the main city, has the largest Polynesian population in the world. People come from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands and other South Pacific islands for work, but their unemployment rate is still high.
The people are rather gentle. Forty percent live in urban areas, and industry employs the largest number of people, although agriculture is the mainstay of the economy. Its 60 million sheep outnumber people nearly 20 to one. With its mountains, lakes, rivers and ski-slopes, New Zealand attracts a growing tourist industry.
New Zealand is known for its progressive social legislation; it was the first country in the world to grant (in 1893) women over 21 the right to work. A comprehensive social security system which began as early as 1898 provides free medical care for children and subsidized doctors' fees for adults.
New Zealand has great potential, much of it as yet unrealized, but suffers economic problems related to the world-wide recession. Its geographic isolation has contributed to a limited outlook; yet when allied countries went to war, New Zealand sent contingents to aid the British and United States.
New Zealand society is small, with few poor, few rich, and many people in the middle. There has been breakdown of moral standards and the family structure similar to that in the United States. Isolation has also led to a drift of young educated people to the United Kingdom, Europe and America, partly to seek better employment opportunities, partly to connect to spiritual roots.
Coming from Anglo-Saxon countries, immigrants to New Zealand built Anglican, Roman Catholic and Presbyterian churches. Mainstream Christian churches are rarely full, but the Assemblies of God are lively, as well as the charismatic branches of the Catholic church. The Mormons have a strong holding among Maori and Polynesian groups and the Bahais have a steady following. Recently a mosque and a Sikh temple have been built. People from Krishna Consciousness, Children of God and Divine Light Mission are visible and active, but attacked by the news media.
The first missionary to New Zealand was Siegrun Kuhaupt, sent from Germany in January 1973. She began to contact people in the established churches and met the first members, Lindsay Irving and Grant Bracefield, who joined that May. Grant brought several friends with him to the church. That fall, Grant went to Germany and later worked in the United States and on the Global Team.
The early members worked hard, witnessing, holding public rallies, contacting government officials, and setting many conditions of prayer and fasting. There was little communication, however, with the worldwide movement.
In June 1975, Siegrun was unable to re-enter New Zealand, and Grant returned, to become the new national leader. Fundraising efforts were organized and members worked to lay an economic foundation. Membership became fairly large, but there were many conflicts. After Grant went to the United States for 120-day training, we were left for seven months without a leader. Another brother and I tried to take responsibility for the members.
In June 1980 Chris Olson came and began establishing an educational course for the New Zealand family. Prior to that time, we had very little training for members. We began holding seven-day and 12-day workshops; last year members came from the whole Oceania area for a regional 21-day workshop. About 14 New Zealand members have come to New York for 40-day workshops, and now four of u• have attended 120-day training sessions. All this has helped bring much change to our internal standard and level of faith.
We have always had a lot of interchange between the families in Australia and New Zealand. Our teams fundraise there regularly, and Chris Olsen had formerly been the national leader of Australia. New Zealand has been able to send missionaries to Fiji, to the Cook Islands, and now to Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides Islands).
With the Holy Weddings in both America and Korea, about two thirds of our members are now blessed. These are adding much to the overall growth of our family, and our sense of closeness to True Parents.
When I joined the church, fundamental attendance to True Parents at that time was at a level of master -- servant relationship; we even called Father "Master." On God's Day 1977 each member wrote a pledge, and when we read them later, most of us had pledged ourselves to absolute obedience.
But over the years, we began to sense the limitations of this level of understanding. We followed obediently because we believed that was what was required of us; and as we gradually matured spiritually, we discovered other levels of understanding. But this kind of awakening often takes a Cain direction first. We didn't have the conscious knowledge that we were reenacting the Old Testament era; but when I read Father's "Historical Children's Day" speech last year, I recognized the course we had been going through.
From the teachings, we knew that True Parents were on earth, but there was so little communication with the rest of the world movement. We lacked education, not only about our movement and the contents of the Divine Principle, but especially about our True Parents. People often joined not because of the truth itself, but because of the atmosphere; but lacking qualified leaders, we were never able to raise up members adequately. From time to time we had fleeting visits from New Zealanders who had joined the church in America, but they could feel little sense of mission here, compared to the activity level of America.
Since 1980, we have been visited by some of the 36 and 72 couples, and we now have a regional itinerant worker. They all help us to become closer to Father's tradition. Since the international leadership conferences began, communication between the headquarters and New Zealand has been more significant. And now, with this recent 40-day regional workshop in New Zealand, most members will have completed their formula course for education.
Trust of heart has really been the most difficult point to establish in New Zealand. I feel that those members who made it through the difficult times and trials of faith in New Zealand have a special quality. As long as our attendance to True Parents is at the level of servant -- or archangel -- we are unable to inherit the heart of True Parents. Without that heart connection, of course, activities like home church have been extremely difficult to fulfill. I feel that the opportunity to make a willing offering, rather than a forced offering, distinguishes the education of a servant from the education of a child of God.
Coming to America opened a door to a relationship to True Parents. I found that the tradition of True Parents through the 36 couples. Serving Cain children first, demonstrating a sacrificial love, is the theme of almost every speech. We know that our True Parents have actually gone that way, but it's another thing to see Father's tradition being lived. To be able to go this course, we have to translate his tradition into our lives; we must go beyond a business-type relationship with each other. Father, as a parent, has invested his heart into his children and followers; and I, as a parent, must actually invest my heart into my children. If I don't accomplish that, then I have done nothing.
This October I went to New Zealand to help teach a 40-day regional workshop, attended by members from Australia and various South Pacific islands, as well as from New Zealand. In the past, members have had to come to New York if they wanted to go through the 40-day training required by the formula course. Now such training programs are being held in all continents.
I have taught and directed many kinds of workshops in New York, which has been the center of much of our movement's international activities -- sort of a second Korea. Even for Korean members, New York is where Father is, where many of the 36 couples are, and where a lot of the action takes place. Many substantial things can be seen here.
However, the cost of traveling to New York is prohibitive, or almost prohibitive, for most members in far-flung areas, and it is not always easy to enter the United States. Therefore, Rev. Kwak and the Education Department are offering 40-day workshops in other continents, trying to transmit more of the spirit of True Parents and our worldwide movement.
Another drawback to workshops in New York City is the environment; much can be said about the value of drinking in the beauty of nature and absorbing its refreshing and enlivening qualities.
This time the setting was ideal -- a beautiful farm owned by our New Zealand family; surrounding us were rolling hills, hedgerows, sheep, cows, pigs, spring flowers. Occasional farm houses dotted the hills.
In this workshop, Chris Olson, the regional director, taught the first round of Divine Principle and the internal guidance series. Regional directors play an important on-going role in guiding the members and stimulating in them an international consciousness. He did an excellent job directing the workshop and devoting time to discussion.
A vital element of a workshop is the practice and embodiment of what the lectures teach. Time should be allowed for people to practice what they are being told they should do. Members from Australia, New Zealand, and the various South Pacific islands shared in their groups, as well as during alternating afternoons of work and sports.
I was only there for about three weeks, so I did not have an opportunity to understand all the background of the members and the movement in those countries. During these days, we were all members, all working together to achieve deeper levels of faith, understanding, and practice. I could sense a good overall educational program being developed for the members. During our workshop, a number of the elder brothers and sisters were out pioneering new cities, in both New Zealand and Australia. Chris is helping develop in the members a vision of the kind of center life they would like to create.
Rev. Kwak challenged members to develop a more aggressive internal sense. New Zealand is a marvelously pastoral country. Out in the rolling hills, you could take a staff and tend sheep for six months and feel perfectly content. Father sometimes urges us to have a "desperate" mind, in our prayer, in our centers, in our internal life, but I think the English word "desperate" doesn't convey quite the same emphasis as the original Korean word. He seems to be talking about a dynamic tension between having toughness inside and niceness outside.
VOC was emphasized, and I explained the seriousness of the world situation, challenging members with the role that Australia and New Zealand can play in the Pacific region and also in supporting America.
Furthermore, it seemed that members needed to build confidence in the strengths of our movement. The greatest testimony to our movement is the Blessing; the international, interracial, all-embracing heart is promoted in our church, and anybody who examines us closely will find that core attitude. New Zealand is quite a multi-racial society and our membership reflects these varied nationalities and cultures, but in both Australian and New Zealand societies, I understand that some difficulties still exist in relating to aborigines and Maoris (the original Polynesian inhabitants of New Zealand). Many members from this region were blessed in July and October. I encouraged them to go out and witness with confidence about what we stand for.
The night I gave my personal testimony, I talked about my struggles to work out my relationship with my wife (who is Japanese), because many of them are blessed with members of other cultures or races. I shared how I feel about our children and reassured them that our children can fulfill the expectations we hold for them as blessed children, if we as parents work hard.
We also tried to challenge people to think things through and to take responsibility -- to develop a conscientious attitude, learning what is right and then doing it. A mystical approach is not sufficient to deal with practical issues. Members need to focus also on their daily life and align it with God's direction for our lives and the providential purpose. A dove appeared to John the Baptist and a voice spoke to him from heaven; however, he never accomplished what he should have done. Visions provide the initial guidance or stimulus to point us in the right direction, but we need to actually live the true way of life. Some people may think they are special because they see visions, but you should be special because of who you are, because of your level of heart, or because of the fine quality of your character.
When members asked me questions, I often challenged them to think through issues for themselves. In our marriages, for instance, we have to take responsibility to make the relationship work; don't expect to unwrap your mate, as if you were unwrapping a gift box, and find a perfect package inside. You must really invest yourself in order to create a marriage. God's love in the family doesn't come ready-made.
Our goal is to become one with God in heart and love. The way to get there is to exercise love. Just as an athlete will spend long hours, days and months in training to develop strong arms or strong legs, you cannot develop a deep heart just by sitting down. Workshops, meal times, center life, witnessing efforts -- all are opportunities for you to develop your heart and love. Furthermore, why not develop this before you are married, before you start your family? Some couples get wiped out after the Blessing. Through the Blessing Father extends us God's forgiveness, separates us from Satan's side, but the holy water doesn't make us perfect.
Rev. Kwak talked to the members about the children's age and how we as children should take responsibility to follow Father's pattern. To follow his pattern is not just to do what we are told, but also to take initiative. Rev. Kwak stressed that each couple should inherit the mantle of Father; each couple should be one pair of True Parents.
When Father pioneered the path of Blessing in 1960, he and Mother walked it alone. Now there are 10,000 couples starting out. Rev. Kwak expounded on the meaning of our becoming like Father and Mother and how our calling is to give their warmth wherever we are, in home church, in our mission, under whatever circumstance.