Unification News for September 2002

European ‘Culture of Heart’ Workshop

by Sibeal Hill

After the great success of the 1st 21-Day workshop last summer, the European Second Generation Department decided to hold another workshop. This goal became reality on July 8th, when 48 Second Generation participants, ages 16 to 20, and around 12 staff arrived in Camberg, Germany to begin the long awaited 2nd 21-Day European True Culture of Heart Workshop (also known as the Settlement Age Workshop). With 6 teams of 8 members each, it was a smaller gathering than expected, however quite nice because it created more of a familial atmosphere.

The motto for the workshop was: "Building a True Culture of Heart" and the workshop was building up on that. Our workshop was divided into three main parts: the first few days being more of an introduction to the workshop, the next section consisting of CTA lectures, and finally special presentations and testimonies by elders and leaders in our movement.

Every afternoon was filled with a variety of different sports where the team unity built up between the members as they competed with the other teams. Along with field sports, capture the flag, and many others, one special sports day included an incredibly challenging obstacle course around the whole grounds, through the river, up the hill, swinging on ropes, carrying logs, and crawling under barbed wire! The sports really pulled the teams together and also caused everyone to challenge their limitations, both physically and in areas of tolerance and good sportsmanship.

The Completed Testament Age Lectures were really inspiring for the participants, and many felt that they learned more about Divine Principle and the heart of God than they had at any other workshop. Lectures were given by Julius Alexy (Slovakia), Peter Zoumlhrer (Austria), Mark Bramwell (Germany), Inshunor Jorgensen (Norway), and Sibeal Hill (Denmark). After every second day of lectures there was an exam on what they had learned. This was also really good for the participants, especially during the study time before, as they could read over their notes and discuss the questions amongst each other, giving them the chance to really absorb and understand what they had heard. For many, the CTA lectures were the best part of the workshop.

But the workshop wouldn’t have been the same without the three challenge days! Our sports coordinator, Kristian Holdhus (Norway) and assistant, T. Yakuwa (Holland) really did an amazing job organizing these challenge days. The first challenge day consisted of many different posts in the woods that each team had to find with a map, and would there be asked to complete different tasks. The second challenge day was a surprise, as we gathered to close the day the evening before at 23:00 and suddenly all the lights turned out and Kris’s voice could be heard saying "Roll call on the field in 2 minutes!" That was the beginning of a 25 km hike through the night to another church center, where they could sleep for 4 hours after having done an hour of Hoon Dok Hwe, and then were up again to start the 40 km walk back, stopping at different stations along the way!

This was by far the most challenging of the days, but the 3rd challenge day was probably the most creative. It was secretly planned to be a double challenge day, and each team would have to camp out overnight in the forest. So after being woken up at 4:00 am and taken for a jog around the limits of the given area of forest where they would be allowed to camp, they all received instructions on how to play the game entitled "The Hunt"! They would get very limited supplies and would be sent out the whole day in the forest. During the day there would be staff members out wearing red and blue t-shirts, some hunting the teams and the others being hunted by the teams, respectively. If they could catch the blue staff members they could receive food and sleeping bags, but if they were caught by the red staff members they would have to give up one of their valuable pieces of equipment. This challenge really brought the teams together as they had to built shelters, make a fire and cook food, while sticking together and keeping out of the staff’s way. When they arrived back at 10:00 the next morning, they were all cold, some hungry and wet, but in very high spirits! However, the challenge day was not over yet. They were told to get swimsuits and shoes which they didn’t mind getting wet and started a hike through the river to a near by lake, then they continued on by road for another half hour before arriving in front of the downtown swimming pool where everyone had a well-deserved rest!

After the CTA lectures were finished, we had many presentations, testimonies, and talks from elders of our church and a special visit from Rev. Zin Moon Kim (IW for Europe).

The workshop concluded with a very special visit from Tony Devine, Vice President of W-CARP and Head of the Education Department. We were miraculously still able to get him to come, even though his schedule was incredibly tight, especially with Hyun Jin Nim’s rally in Washington being only two days before! However, it was definitely worthwhile! His presentation on Culture and Core Values really touched and inspired all of the participants!

The next day, the last day of the workshop, the Pledge ceremony was held, and although the participants of this workshop were younger than at previous workshops (mostly in-between 16 and 19), each of them really considered seriously whether or not they would be able to sign the pledge. Then there was final team meetings and a closing banquet prepared by families in the local community.

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