Unification News for April 2002

World CARP: A Fresh Start in Europe

by Mark Bramwell

We Europeans have been trying to unite our continent for a long time. Luckily, God is always paving the way. There have been many political and economic developments already this year, such as the preparation of the European Constitution and the introduction of the European common currency. Now it’s time for a deeper and spiritual unity.

From the CARP perspective Europe still is roughly divided into two regions: the West including the four of the world’s major G8 nations, Germany, the UK, France and Italy, and the East, or former communist countries. Although CARP in the East has been growing since the mission was pioneered in the 1990s, in the West there has been some stagnation and even decline due to focus on other activities.

However, a new generation is coming to the rescue in terms of young spirit, manpower and leadership as well. Young leaders grasped the initiative and just held a West European CARP Workshop to get things moving again. The number of CARP students is growing steadily and through the workshop the sense of World CARP identity and international community has been greatly strengthened. Over 50 leaders from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands attended and several European CARP Alumni also showed up. The host nation France, led by US CARP alumni Jago Gavin and his wife Estelle, did a great job preparing, helped by Simon Cooper and Hannah Speller from the UK. Emanuel Bauer brought nine European Task Force members and they energized the workshop with their exciting testimonies.

Participants appreciated the high-spirited atmosphere and the sense of unity. The program provided for hard work, such as studying the World CARP providence and practicing lecturing, with healthy doses of good fun. We had a night challenge game in the forest, soccer, American football with Jago and a very loud Yute game. There were group discussions on future CARP activities, singing, grilling, bonfires and prayer. We watched Hyun Jin Nim’s speeches on video and listened to testimonies, including one specially written for this event by VP Ken Bates.

Other events in the program were a new model introduction lecture by Mark Bramwell, a presentation on Service for Peace by Ajay Rai, a PLA lecture by Jago Gavin, and guidance for successful inter-religious dialogue by Alain Roulot and Hannah Speller. In a lecture competition we discovered amazing new talent for teaching the Principle. Anne Penard from France was the winner ? her introduction lecture could have convinced anyone!

Another fruitful exercise was to divide into teams and propose models for the new CARP houses that will be one of the first steps in rebuilding CARP communities all over Europe. Though some of the proposals were still in the visionary stage, particularly in the realm of finances, the team exercise helped everyone to take more active interest and ownership in building their own communities.

In the context of the 21-year history of European CARP, this workshop was a landmark event in developing the CARP movement in Western Europe. This development is truly gratifying, and is of course the welcome result of many people committing themselves to inheriting the World CARP mission. We look forward to great things this year!

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