The Pursuit: Easter UK HARP Divine Principle Workshop

Staff Reflections

Ruth Johnson – Director: When preparing for a Divine Principle workshop, getting the right balance is key. In my opinion, all parts of the schedule should be in place to ‘carry’ the lecture content so that every participant is in the best position possible to receive it. Therefore atmosphere is absolutely essential, with all staff members taking the prayer and condition aspect seriously, and at the same time lovingly taking care of all the participants. I could observe so clearly how having a strong spiritual backbone is so essential for everything to fit nicely into place, and for things to run smoothly.

We were blessed to have had four 1st generation as part of our staff team, including Uncle David Hanna – our lecturer, and Uncle Jeff, Aunty Mitty and Uncle Andy serving as mentors and parents. This no doubt leant a wonderfully deep tone and feeling to the workshop, with an overall sense of a family atmosphere, assurance, protection and warmth.

Every staff member worked tirelessly and wholeheartedly during this workshop, working well as a group, which created this wonderful feeling of togetherness and team spirit.

Staff – what can I say? ‘THANK YOU!’

To Uncle Jack for your testimony, & to Soogun, David, Soonhee, Uncle David, Uncle Andy, Aunty Mitty, Uncle Jeff, Ollie, Danny, Fran, Amelia, Dominic, David, Samuel, Theana, Joe, Hannah & James – you all went above and beyond all assigned roles, helping whenever you could, and so freely and lovingly. Thank you for being so motivated, energetic, serious, prayerful and engaged.

And of course an extra special ‘THANK YOU’ to Uncle David Hanna, who’s calm aura, and beautiful piano playing created such a wonderful atmosphere that leant so well to an environment of learning and study.

Thank you for offering your time so freely to teach us all the Divine Principle in such a clear and concise way, we are all incredibly grateful! This workshop would not have been possible with you, so the deepest of thanks to you!

I was so impressed by the level of maturity and attentiveness of all the participants – WELL DONE! I hope you realize what an accomplishment it is to have listened to the Divine Principle in its entirety. Come back and hear it again. We always learn new things. The Divine Principle is such a gift. Learn it. Use it. Love it.

I believe it is so essentially important that as young people we attend Divine Principle workshops, as learning the Divine Principle in depth is so vital to our growth and understanding. I feel a healthy combination of HARP and Divine Principle workshops attended regularly, combined with our own personal study and a good spiritual lifestyle is a surefire way of setting ourselves up for a healthy & happy life.

We were lucky enough to have had this workshop during Easter, with lots of budding blossoms, flowers bursting into colourful bloom, and new life sprouting everywhere. What a perfect time to start afresh, be reborn and begin with a new determination!

‘When fruits start to be borne, flowers and leaves drop off. Similarly, when divinity grows in your heart, all your shortcomings will fall away.’ – True Father, The Way of God’s Will.

Thank you all, & see you next time! xoxo

P.S Don’t forget to get yourself your own Divine Principle! Study it & cherish it.

Take a photo: #ilovethedivineprinciple

 

Amelia Warren – Kitchen Staff: ‘It was really amazing supporting the workshop as kitchen staff, which was a new experience for me. I felt that although we had our own schedule away from the rest of the workshop, still many times I could see God’s love and guidance. Divine Principle workshops have a precious atmosphere and focus, which is something very unique.

As kitchen staff, we still felt part of the workshop, and that our presence mattered. In many ways I am so grateful for this time. Although it is tiring, I felt I was on a break, and my heart could receive so much love. As staff, we happily give up hours of sleep and invest all our energy every day for the HARPies not out of duty, but because they are worth it, and it is truly one of our greatest joys.’

 

‘God has sought for people thirsting for faith and hope and burning with love …’ __True Father

 

Uncle Andy Johnson – Workshop Father: ‘To see young participants sitting through lectures every day without any complaint was really surprising, and the discussion times were alive right from the beginning with them asking questions far beyond their years.

I always find it very moving to see older second generation giving up their holidays to take care of their younger brothers and sisters, even some with exams looming. I feel deeply privileged to spend time with such inspirational and talented young people that includes the staff and participants. These precious few will I am sure have a deep impact on the direction of our world for the better.’

 

Samuel Shongwe – Sports Coordinator: ‘My experiences on the workshop were nothing but positive after positive. Since the very second the staff arrived in Cleeve House I felt there was a good atmosphere and a strong spirit between us all. When all of the participants arrived and we’re settled, I had a feeling that it was going to be one of if not the best workshops I have ever been on.

I was already blessed by even having the chance to be sports coordinator, but it was even more of a blessing to be able to do it with such a united staff, it was clear that we had all done the right conditions in preparing for the workshop. I hope everyone will keep carrying the same spirit they carried on the workshop.’

 

Aunty Mitty – Workshop Mother: ‘This workshop was very deep and insightful, I thoroughly enjoyed it and was very impressed with our young people and their capacity to grasp the principle, their insight and understanding. It is quite astonishing at such a tender age, and their level of concentration was very good. I was so touched by their discipline and attentive minds.

Immense thank you to all the staff who played their role, they did a brilliant job in front and behind the scenes, and to the team leaders Theana, Hannah, Joe and James.

Uncle David Hanna devoted his 100% effort to teach and share the Divine Principle and his wisdom. We all felt very grateful to him and could learn so much by studying God’s truth together, and through the deep questions and discussions that followed.

There was a super great atmosphere through the joyful singing, during the deep and sincere prayer night, and the excellent performances at family evening. We knew that our Heavenly Parents were with us, and guiding us to a new level of understanding and purpose.’

 

Frances Redihough – Kitchen Staff: ‘When I was younger, participating in workshops, I would look up to the team leaders and staff members like they were super heroes. This time, my first time being a member of staff, observing from the inside, I still think they’re super heroes. I think everyone had the heart of wanting to give back all they had received from HARP and from the Principle, and had the hope that our younger brothers and sisters can receive something substantial from this workshop.

A while ago, I had decided that I wanted to help out on the Divine Principle workshop. Even though it was during Easter, when I wanted to prepare for exams, I stuck to what I had decided and attended this workshop.

I came to serve on this workshop but I was surprised and even overwhelmed at the surge of love that was reciprocated so soon and so purely because it’s been a while since I’ve experienced that. It was good for me to experience the Principle in action because it is tempting to doubt it when I don’t see it or feel it in my usual environment. Workshops are so important for creating meaningful experiences in our lives. If I continue pursuing unity, maturity and happiness, I think I will notice more and experience more Principle occurring in my life.’

 

Uncle Jeff Bateman – Workshop Mentor: ‘I was impressed by the attention to detail in the organization of everything on the workshop. One example of this was the Hoon Dok Hae material, which worked very well as it was well selected, also the prayer night was very well organized. I was also impressed by the standard of the staff including the sports, which seemed to run very well for everyone. Both staff and participants were very engaged with the material, and I was very uplifted and encouraged by everyone’s level of maturity. I mustn’t forget the kitchen staff who did a very good job. Overall there was a high level of unity and sense of common purpose which made for a good experience for all involved. It was a real privilege to be part of such an event.’

Leaders Reflections

Theana O’Hanlon – Team 1: ‘My team was really wonderful, I think when you have a group of likeminded people who are also deep thinkers it really creates something beautiful. It’s amazing how unified a group of people can be when we have a common purpose and intent to search for deeper meaning in life. The fact that we are in this place learning God’s original truth just shows how much we’re loved.’

Hannah Gough – Team 2: ‘I had been praying to God to give me more opportunities to support the community and develop my character. Taking care of younger second generation makes me feel value and gives me true confidence. I had a lovely team! There was good unity and everyone tried to support each other.’

Joe Gough – Team 3: ‘This workshop has been amazing. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. I’ve felt everyone’s heart and devotion behind everything and that for me is what made this workshop extra special. I am so grateful for my team because they really are an amazing group of individuals. Each one of them put so much effort into each lecture and discussion, and I could really see how each of them were growing day by day.’

James Claxton – Team 4:  ‘Throughout the entire workshop I felt I was constantly piecing together new things from the principle that I had never heard before. The happiest people in life are the ones who understand God and themselves the most. Therefore the Divine Principle can take us to some amazing places.’

Participants Reflections

  • ‘This is the first workshop in a while that has really stood out to me. It’s had a different effect than the last few I’ve been on so I’m really glad I decided to come …’
  • ‘I liken the Divine Principle to a paraffin lamp, guiding our way through the blackness and leading us safely with direction … but just like our faith, a lamp needs fuel to keep it burning.’
  • ‘The Divine Principle is our history and our story.’
  • ‘I think my spiritual self has grown throughout the workshop, and I feel lighter, like a weight has been taken off my shoulders.’
  • ‘God’s mission is my mission.’
  • ‘It’s been such an amazing and touching time that I won’t forget.’
  • ‘I feel inspired to really be determined in school and never forget my values and my faith.’
  • ‘This workshop is just the end of the beginning of this small part of our journey.’
  • ‘I have had many great experiences, and I feel like God has answered my prayers and come into my life through other people. I will continue to look for him inside myself.’
  • ‘The prayer night was the most special night for me because I felt God’s presence with me and I could just let everything out. I feel like I can really connect with God and I know that he’s listening.’
  • ‘The first thing I am going to do when I arrive home is to buy a Divine Principle and read it from beginning to end.’
  • ‘I just want to be able to take the feeling of love back home with me. True Love is surprising no?’

 

‘When the sailor, who has completed his voyage in search of external truth under the sail of science, adds another sail, the sail of religion, and embarks on a new voyage in search of internal truth, he finally will be headed toward the destination for which his original mind yearns.’  __True Father – Exposition of the Divine Principle

‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one  that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ __Matthew 7:7-8

‘If you live a life of love, then happiness and peace will arise; and through endurance, mercy and goodness will arise; and through a life of loyalty, gentleness and humility will arise.’__True Father – Cheon Seong Gyeong