German HARP Autumn Workshop Report
German HARP, Neumühle Training Centre, Germany, 25. – 30. October 2014: The two German HARP autumn workshops took place this year under the motto “PULL our environment- PUre Love Lifestyle”.
In Germany, the school holidays are staggered, and so we could not have a national workshop, but the workshop in Bad Camberg, Neuemühle, from the 25th to 30th October, was the one that most of the German BC’s were able to attend. The students from North-Rhein Westphalia and Hamburg had a workshop in the Düsseldorf church center from 12th to 19th October.
As they were organized by two different staff teams, the workshops ended up being quite different from each other. In each case, effort was made to adapt the motto to the needs of the participants. We, the HARP committee were only able to attend parts of both workshops. I had the honor to experience both of them to some extent.
As to the motto: as a preparation for the annual purity ring ceremony at the beginning of the year, it is customary to center the content of the autumn workshop on an aspect of our lives as 2nd generation that is sometimes a bit difficult to handle, sometimes misunderstood or even restrictive but most of all really important- purity.
It is important to convey that it is not about our parents wanting to limit us, but about a personal decision that makes it a whole lifestyle. Thus- ‘pure love lifestyle’ and not just ‘purity’.
Purity is more than just not dating, getting matched and going to the Blessing. If we live with a pure heart, then we behave differently. We treat each person as our brother or and sister and we concentrate on growing our character in our teenage years to prepare ourselves to realize an eternal love with only one spouse.
If we lead our lives in this way, we can be confident that we can influence our environment, our friends and people around us rather than being influenced by them. And as this is not so easy to do on our own, we want to stand together as HARP. So-big goals! But how did we realize them in the workshops?
In both workshops we held a purity seminar. Second generation couples spoke about the importance and the realization of purity in our daily life. Afterwards we broke into smaller groups where those of the same sex and age could discuss personal questions, problems and worries. Otherwise the workshops were really different from each other.
Firstly, the Düsseldorf workshop. This was a really small workshop with 9 workshop participants and 11 staff members. Each morning, lectures were given about DP, goals, Blessing preparation, and there was time for personal DP study. In the afternoon we had sports, a rally in Düsseldorf city center, went ice-skating, and, to show our care for the environment, collected trash in a nearby park.
One day our HARP parents, Sunny and Gerhard Mehlis, organized a pilgrimage to the Holy Ground in Essen. Nowadays it is little visited, but has much to teach about the roots of our movement. In the evening we met to watch movies, hear testimonies round the cozy bonfire, play games and also had time to think and reflect.
An atmosphere was created where everyone felt included and free to connect as brothers and sisters. So often we notice how difficult it is to swim against the current on our own. But together, even though we are few, we feel empowered to follow our own heart and will, rather than ‘flowing with the flow’.
The workshop in Camberg was a little shorter and the schedule correspondingly more intensive. We started off with the purity seminar, where brothers and sisters followed separate schedules. On the second day, the ‘challenge day’, the 30 participants were divided into teams, so that right away they had to cooperate.
Subsequent days followed a morning schedule of lectures about the practical relationship to our Heavenly Parents and about fulfilling the third Blessing as owners of the environment and an afternoon program of sports and service projects for Camberg. In the evenings we had testimonies, a healing session and a prayer and family evening, as well as time to sing and reflect.
Every day, a motto such as purity, unity, vertical alignment or ownership gave clear direction. And also during this workshop, a special atmosphere was created, where everyone felt really connected to each other. But the personal experiences of the participants speak more for a workshop than any report. Please ask the participants for their testimonies!
And I want to thank all those that helped us with the organization and realization of these workshops, especially the regional HARP leaders, whose efforts are sometimes overlooked. Thanks also, to all those parents who cooked for us and gave us spiritual guidance.
These autumn workshops were so inspiring, that despite all the stress involved, we are motivated and inspired to organize and plan the upcoming winter workshops!