Articles From the October 1995 Unification News
Digging for the Religious Foundation at Yale
by Revs. David and Kathleen Burton-New Haven, CT
March 19, 1995, we formally opened our new Campus Ministry office and video center. I had to sit down in the large wing-backed chair and take a moment to reflect. I looked around, gazed out the large triple windows looking onto Yale's Sterling Library right across the street, and smiled in gratitude to God. Finally a foothold, a physical foundation of substance where God could begin a new phase in His providence at this Ivy League university.
This is our fifth academic year here and, as we look back, God's handiwork is truly apparent. Many members have memories of witnessing here in the seventies and eighties, and at least five of our members are alumni. What has genuinely endeared this campus to me after these five years? At first, I thought it to be a perfect blending for our couple. David is from England and certainly the external atmosphere is scrupulously reminiscent of the ivy walls of Oxford and Cambridge. I'm from California where the universities reap the blessings of the energy and sunny optimism of West Coast academics. However, on further reflection, I realized that what I have come to love at Yale is not primarily in the present surroundings or in the significance of our ministry couple (UTS Div. '90), but in the past religious history of Yale.
This university was founded by ministers with the original purpose of forming men of heavenly character and virtue spiritually to guide the communities of our budding nation properly. Jonathan Edwards studied, taught and preached here. Of the first 40 graduating classes, over half became ministers. Nearly half of the colleges which comprise Yale are named after ministers. These men of God yearn from the spiritual world to see Yale once again serve God's providence. They know (as we do) that Yale has become the world-renowned institution it is because of their foundation. The external blessing is the result of the internal efforts to serve God first. So goes the university motto: "For God, for country, for Yale." Yale's crest reads "Lux et Veritas," which in Latin means "Light and Truth." (Harvard's crest reads "Veritas", so the standard Yale joke is that Yale students are former Harvard students who have seen the light!) All kidding aside, however, the light is growing dimmer at Yale, and these righteous men who gave their lives to lay the spiritual foundation for this university and this nation, constantly push us in our public mission work to do more, witness more, and serve the campus ministers more! Sometimes it can seem overwhelming!
In November 1993, Kwon Jin Nim gave his first public speech here and laid the foundation for True Mother to come in March 1994. This is the only university to have experienced substantial Mother-Son cooperation in proclaiming "True Parents and the Completed Testament Age." The Yale Daily News gave Kwon Jin Nim a photo and a fairly objective article, and with total unity with church members, over 500 guests were invited for Mother's speech in Levinson Auditorium at Yale Law School-the alma mater of three of the last five presidents (Ford, Bush and Clinton) and the current First Lady. It was filled with guests and students.
At the same time as Mother's speech, a spiritual battle was being waged on campus with one of our graduate students at the forefront. The Gay and Lesbian agenda has been pushed to the maximum here at Yale. Prof. John Boswell, who helped establish a Gay Studies Program here, died of AIDS recently. As a self-proclaimed Gay historian at Yale, known for his book Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe, he left a pernicious legacy here.
You can imagine how many of those ministers are turning in their graves. For the past few years, there has been a week of homosexual programs and propaganda called BGLAD Week organized on campus. In 1994, it fell right at the time of True Mother's speech. This included pornographic chalk drawings on the sidewalks to "heighten awareness." One of the Unificationist graduate students in history at Yale, Nile Gardiner, and a Christian friend, took mops and buckets and proceeded to clean it all off. This of course started allegations concerning free speech, and many articles in the Yale newspapers covered this. They became quiet famous in the Yale conservative circles as "The Moppers." Literally cleaning up Yale!
Since our arrival at Yale, David and I have been associate members of YRM (Yale Religious Ministries). Through this affiliation we have been able to interact with all the mainline ministries at Yale. This past autumn, the Catholic campus minister, Sister Joann Veillette, accepted an invitation from the Japanese Students Club at University of Bridgeport to come and speak to them about her 11 years as a nun in Japan. This year, for the first time, YRM sponsored Religious Awareness Days. At the Interfaith Service they asked us to represent Unificationism, so we set up an offering table with True Parents' picture and Jesus' picture and explained the significance of the tradition.
We are grateful to be so close to God's providence at University of Bridgeport. I suppose you could say we are Cain and UB is Abel. It seems True Parents would like a strong working relationship to develop among Barrytown, UB, and Yale. To get this triangle going, in August 1994 we hosted an Introductory Unification Seminar for UB faculty, administration and staff here at Yale. Dr. Baughman taught, as well as faculty from UTS. There were 48 in attendance. In the same month, 67 Asian university presidents from Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines visited Yale and UB during their 10-day tour (see photos). I had the pleasure of working on the tour and meeting the extraordinary couple, Rev. Byung Wooh Kim and his wife Mrs. Chung Hae Kim. Each of the participants represented thousands of students, potential CARP chapters, faculty exchanges, etc.
This academic year marked some firsts for us. The first second generation student, Miss Jin Hee Kim, daughter of the regional director for Latin America, Rev. Kim, entered as a freshman. We also have two graduate students in history, one graduating this year.
Also for the first time, we were able to invite the STF (special task force) from Boston to come and witness on a regular basis for our weekly Divine Principle study and Bible study. The Bible study curriculum is centered around Joymakers by Rev. Joong Hyun Pak. We also did a two-part program on sexuality in November. On two consecutive days we advertised the showing of "Lethal Risk" followed by Richard Panzer's "After the Sexual Revolution." We had free sushi afterwards. Forty two students came, and we had an article in the Yale Daily News. Next year we hope to repeat the program, with better advertising and a follow-up plan for a monthly abstinence support group.
The final "first" is my appointment as adjunct faculty at Yale in the French department. This was really God's gift to me, because I was praying to get on campus every day, but I was still doing quite a few hours waitressing at the church restaurant to make ends meet. I applied for a position on the advice of a home church friend, thinking that perhaps in the autumn I might have a chance. I could not believe that a spot opened up unexpectedly in January. It has been challenging to teach every day, but it has taken me back to my French roots again, since I joined the church in Paris. I pray I can continue in this position.
It was in November that we began to look for an office/video center. There seemed to be no place close enough to campus other than one empty shop with a $1000 monthly price tag. I kept praying, until the realtor told me of another available space. It was perfect! The red tape (and the skeptical Yale financial office-Yale is our landlord) took nearly three months and lots of prayer before we finally could sign our lease. We received permission from our regional director, Rev. Jae Suk Kim, to use our tithing money toward the rent. University of Bridgeport and a few private donations helped us get by. We redesigned the interior, and the atmosphere is "Yale cum library cum living room"-just as we wanted it! We decided to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dinner with our regional director, UCMA directors, UB campus ministers, and some of our local church members who helped so much-and of course our students and visiting scholars-on March 19, celebrating our opening and the one-year anniversary since True Mother's speech (see photo). We will invite the Yale campus ministers to a sushi luncheon reception on May 4 at 11am, just before the YRM end-of-year picnic at noon.
Since our opening, we have had a number of visitors. Two Chinese scholars, accompanied by Dr. Ang, visited the campus and our office. One graduate student, two undergraduates and a visiting Fulbright scholar from China have come to hear about Divine Principle and our ministry. Dr. Yuing Chang, the Fulbright scholar, was met during our autumn witnessing efforts. She has been studying with us ever since and is now involved with consulting work with the new Chinese curriculum project.
I have tried to tie in my community service work in girl scouting with my ministry work at Yale. For the second year, my troop has sponsored an Interfaith Service and Mother-Daughter Tea at Dwight Hall Chapel at Yale. We worked with the director of community relations at Yale, Mrs. Daisy Rodriguez. A very good person to know! The girls chose "Making God Smile" as their theme and gave readings from the World Scriptures. I gave a short sermon to the 72 mothers and daughters attending. Again we received excellent press coverage.
David is currently adjunct faculty at Southern Connecticut State University in the chemistry department. He hopes for a professorship at UB for which he has recently applied. He is also teaching Tongil Moo Do at UB and has performed in their International Festival. It was very impressive, with more than 25 nationalities represented. I told their dean of students that Yale would have a hard time organizing something like that because only 7.3% of the student body is from foreign countries. At UB it's 25%! They can really be proud of that.
So you can see-we spread across three campuses! This summer I hope to learn video production skills at a workshop at a cable network not far from us. I would like to develop a multimedia lecture on spiritual principles, i.e., the relationship between spirit world and physical world, using excerpts from popular movies, slides and passages from Wanderer in the Spirit Lands. This could have good results in student turnout, since it teaches and entertains as well. Anyone interested in doing this together with me?
The World CARP Academy sounds very exciting! Jin Hun Nim is working so hard to challenge us to rise to a new level. May we get there soon and build a new college atmosphere for American students. Amen!
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