The Words of the Hyun Jin Moon
CARP Meeting With Hyun Jin Moon
March 31, 2000
The following is an account of Hyun Jin Moon's meeting with CARP leaders and alumni which took place on Friday, March 31, at the Columbia road church in Washington, DC. I am posting it to the list for all the CARP ghosts on this list. Since my account is pretty long, I split it into tow parts. The first part describes the meeting, and the second one contains some of my thoughts about it.
At 1:15 pm the meeting with Hyun Jin Moon (Hyun Jin Moon) started in the main hall of the Columbia church. Hyun Jin Moon had a microphone attached to his tie, and he was seated on a chair on the floor level of the church, facing a group of about 70-90 CARP leaders and CARP alumni (AKA CARP ghosts). Next to HJN, behind another microphone, stood Howard Self, the moderator of the discussion. Two more microphones were set up in the aisles of the church to amplify the comments of the participants.
Howard Self opened the session and explained that Hyun Jin Moon would like to first listen to comments from CARP members about their experiences from the past. Howard asked the participants to "please share what you felt worked, and what you think will work in the area of witnessing" and he explained that those who had a comment should form a line behind the two microphones located in the aisles.
Before the first speaker could make his comment, Hyun Jin Moon got up and explained that he wanted CARP to return to a more evangelical focus. He asked people to not just give personal testimonies from the past, but structure their comments in a way that they could be applied to the organization of World CARP. The purpose of this meeting was to find out what kind of witnessing strategies worked in the past, and what could work in the future.
The first person to offer a comment was David Harvey, who talked about the importance of energizing campus activities with the help of a traveling troupe, inviting guest speakers for campus events, having a campus newspaper and serving the campus community. Hyun Jin Moon interrupted him several times to ask questions and make comments, something that he kept doing throughout the rest of the meeting.
Dan Fefferman, national CARP president under Tiger Park from 1980-82, talked about the World Student Times newspaper, which at one point had a weekly print run of 50,000 copies and was distributed on 50 campuses. He reminded us that universities, as other institutions, have a long memory and remember mistakes we made in the past. If as a result of our witnessing efforts on campus students drop their studies, universities will hold that against us for a long time. A short term witnessing success comes at the price of having greater difficulties to create a successful student movement in the long term. Dan described the ideal situation of a center where most of the members were students enrolled in their studies, which naturally attracted other students to come over to the center. He expressed his hope that CARP can be a real student movement that serves the community and encourages students to finish their studies.
George Kazakis emphasized the importance of consistency in campus witnessing. He pointed out that campaign style witnessing brings short-term results while service projects bring long term results. He regretted that many times we returned to street witnessing when results did not come right away instead of persevering on campus. He compared the differences between the two strategies to the differences between hunting and farming.
The description of the commentaries of these first three speakers will give you an idea of the type of comments that were made at this meeting. About 20 speakers got a chance to make their points, and it would be too much to list all of them. (I couldn't do it even if I wanted to, since I missed some when I had to leave the meeting twice to move my car to avoid getting a ticket in the 2-hours parking zone.) Instead I want to focus now more on Hyun Jin Moon's comments.
Over the period of the 4-hour meeting HJN reminded us at least half a dozen times that the purpose of this meeting was to focus on witnessing strategies. He explained that CARP had a public mission, that we can never forget. "CARP will return to its evangelical roots and bring new members. CARP should be the evangelical component of the Unification movement." Hyun Jin Moon made it clear that he didn't think that CARP was responsible for the education of the 2nd generation. He said, this should happen in local congregations. "CARP cannot have too many different goals to focus on, and it cannot do everything."
When Kitty Wojcik suggested that we hire a marketing firm to do the witnessing for us, and instead use our manpower to staff workshops for the new recruits, Hyun Jin Moon seemed to get excited. He got on his feet and walked over to the microphone where Kitty was standing and asked her: "Do you want to initiate this program?" He went on to explain that he didn't have the resources to finance such strategies, and that the CARP alumni should take ownership of such programs. "Put your money where your mouth is" Hyun Jin Moon said, and he used this phrase many times more throughout the meeting.
The first comment that seemed to meet Hyun Jin Moon's expectations was Tony's description of the street witnessing campaign that took place in San Francisco in the 80ies. Tony provided lots of factual details, down to the number of witnessers involved and witnessing tools used. Hyun Jin Moon liked the this style of reporting, but he seemed somewhat disappointed when he heard that the number of people that joined through this campaign was about 200-300 over a period of about 5 years.
At the end of the sharing HJN again explained that the purpose of this meeting was to discuss witnessing models and learn about the pros and cons of different strategies. He told the alumni to take ownership for social programs. "Do it yourself and then offer it." He said that "my efforts will not be spent in America, but Korea and Japan where there is a strong CARP foundation. The sad reality is that CARP in America needs to be supported by other countries."
"Our biggest problem is our small size and our welfare-mentality. We don't have ownership anymore. You might believe in TP, but not in what they created. (...) If anything is going to happen, it's going to happen in CARP. I need committed people to make it happen. If American members don't want to take responsibility, we will find somebody else. (...) If you are willing to make that kind of commitment today, I have hope for the future."
Here are some of my thoughts on the meeting with Hyun Jin Moon:
Toward the end of the meeting Rev. Schauffler commented that CARP has been in search of an identity for many years, and I saw lots of heads nodding in agreement. Rev. Schauffler pointed out that if CARP wants to be a student movement, it needs to be on campus only. Other people offered similar comments, and pointed out the problems with switching back and forth from campus witnessing to street witnessing. Several people mentioned that it is difficult for members to witness to students if they are not students themselves.
I could not tell from Hyun Jin Moon's comments if he really understood the concerns many people expressed about campaign style witnessing on campus. If Hyun Jin Moon wants CARP to be the witnessing arm of the Unification movement first and foremost, maybe CARP should abandon campus witnessing altogether for the time being. But then the "C" for "collegiate" in the name CARP would no longer be appropriate.
Hyun Jin Moon wants CARP to become the "evangelical component" of the Unification movement. Let's assume that HJN will find an effective witnessing strategy that brings many people to workshops where they are inspired by Divine Principle and decide to become full-time members. But what will happen to such workshop graduates? Will they join a group of young people whose main goal it is to witness to other young people? Would anybody really want to join such a group? How would new members keep their inspiration?
Maybe this is not really what Hyun Jin Moon has in mind, anyway. He did mention that his next task was to come up with a mission statement for CARP. I hope that this will clarify things a bit more.
I got the feeling that the days when CARP members serve as staff in the PLA organization are numbered. I didn't hear Hyun Jin Moon comment directly on PLA, but I got the impression that he doesn't regard PLA as an activity that will help CARP in its evangelical outreach. Hyun Jin Moon seemed to say that any kind of social programs or service projects should be organized by church communities on local levels. I hope that this doesn't mean that PLA will suddenly find itself without manpower and support.
Hyun Jin Moon sees that the core membership of our movement is getting older, and that no young people are joining. He said that without new membership our movement will eventually dwindle. And since effective witnessing does not take place in any part of our movement right now, he feels that CARP is the only hope to rekindle the spirit of witnessing. This meeting didn't allow for a discussion of the question why no successful witnessing is taking place anywhere in our church anymore. I got the impression that Hyun Jin Moon did not want to get into any analysis of this kind. During his inauguration speech he stated that "the more our movement looks inward, the more it will fail."
I am still trying to digest this. I question whether it is really helpful for members to be told to "take ownership" and to "put your money where your mouth is" by someone who is not willing to discuss the reasons that prevented these members from doing so until now. At the same time I can see that Hyun Jin Moon is in an extremely difficult position, and that he cannot take on all the problems of our movement. I wish for him that he will find many people ready and able to take ownership.
Hyun Jin Moon has a lot going for him that will increase his chances for success. He has a winning personality, and one cannot help being impressed by his eloquence, intelligence, self-confidence and charisma. Hyun Jin Moon knows how to relate to Americans. He received all of his education (including a masters degree in business administration from Harvard University) in America., yet at the same time he says that "inside I am really Korean." This will help him to be a bridge or a mediator between True Parents and members.
I am glad that I attended this meeting and I am grateful to Hyun Jin Moon that he took the time to listen to all of our comments. Much of what was said wasn't what Hyun Jin Moon wanted to hear, but I am glad that people had a chance to say it anyway.
What I didn't like about this meeting was the fact that absolutely no reference was made to Jin Hun Park Moon during the afternoon session, and even during the inauguration ceremony of Hyun Jin Moon as World CARP president in the evening Jin Hun Park Moon's name was only mentioned once by Mike Balcomb, president of American CARP. At no time did anyone thank Jin Hun Park Moon -- who was not present at either event -- for his investment, and at no time did anybody say anything good about the achievements of CARP in the six years under his leadership. I thought this was very sad.
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