UK: Evangelism and Raising Leaders
By UK CARP, Michael Schroder: At the beginning of the last academic year Auntie Mieko Davies and her son Oliver Davies pioneered organizing a Divine Principle lecture practice every Monday for Blessed Children interested in practicing giving lectures on various chapters of the Principle. After many weeks, a strong sense of community was formed among the attendees. We were united in our shared conviction to Divine Principle and to True Parents. We all understood clearly the role both of these have played in our lives, so we wanted to teach others.
Uncle David Hanna, Ollie Davies and Auntie Mieko proceeded by organizing a very successful 7 day Divine Principle workshop for CARP aged Blessed Children, which was the first Divine Principle based education for second generation of this age group for many years. This was followed by a day of witnessing and lecturing at our church HQ in Lancaster Gate. This Monday lecture club grew into something bigger, something more special; we soon had a community that really loved the Principle and True Parents. It was moving to see my peers engage with the truth and relate so freely with one another. I was truly moved by what could be created, and that it was accomplished by an individual with no position, simply a clear vision and unshakable faith in True Parents. I wanted to inherit this.
This summer we were invited to experience CARP in Japan for three weeks where we joined a Japanese CARP House in Tokyo with witnessing activities. We could learn a lot from the structure of CARP that Japan employs and we came back with a burning desire to create a CARP house of our own here in the UK. About a week after returning from Japan I had the opportunity to attend the ‘Top Gun’ workshop in Cheong Pyeong organized by True Mother. It was an invaluable experience where I could receive a lot from some of the most inspiring figures in our movement. I returned to the UK with my desire for CARP cemented; I wanted to return something to True Mother, especially after having received the Blessing from her only months prior.
After several attempts to find a suitable CARP house a group of us finally decided to move into the Church HQ in Lancaster Gate, London where we are now occupying the basement rooms. From there, we are organizing witnessing activities on university campuses and events for guests.
CARP in the UK has two Objectives:
- Evangelism: We want to revive witnessing in the UK through CARP. We want to see new people joining our movement as we work towards building CIG.
- Raising Leaders: As well as its evangelical purpose, CARP will raise second generation leaders who will continue what our beloved first generation started. HARP members have been attending our events so we see CARP as a transition for HARP members into later church mission life. We hope to organize a summer program for transitioning from HARP to CARP.
Vision for raising guests:
- Guest attends regular CARP events
- Teach DP one on one and through one day seminar
- Attends two day workshop
- Attends 5 day CARP workshop
- Integrate into church events
- Blessing education
The two day workshop onwards will be organised in association with the Education department and Blessing department.
- CARP Events
The main event CARP organised this academic term was the ‘CARP Talk’: a public speaking event inspired by the American CARP program. The weekly event is held from 6:30pm every Wednesday. It consists of a public speaking exercise followed by an inspiring talk given on a value from Divine Principle e.g. ‘Spirituality’, ‘Purpose’, ‘Genuine Relationships’, ‘Maturity’. We have found these topics very interesting to students, especially as they don’t get many opportunities to discuss these deeper issues during their studies.
Genuine Relationships – Ollie Davies (11/11/2015): Ollie gave an intriguing talk based on the ‘Four Realms of Heart’. He spoke about how essential the parent-child relationship is and how it can affect the success of all the other relationships in our life. His message was that we need to prioritise working on our Parent-Child relationship first. He did a wonderful job of including essentially pure Principle into his talk along with a life experience to make it much more relatable. We had three guests to our first talk and 20 young people attended in total.
Purpose – Samuel Read (18/11/2015): Purpose is something we are all looking for in everything we do. Samuels talk made us reflect on what we are doing in our lives at the moment and if those things are really the best for us. Will they bring us long term happiness or just short term pleasure? Purpose is something that a lot of us may be unclear about in today’s current society as we may feel a sense of purpose through making money or becoming a successful person. Samuel shared his feelings that these things are just tools for us to achieve the real purpose in our life.
Spirituality – Michael Schroder (25/11/2015): I spoke about an experience where I found God in my mid-teens. I spoke about how I understood the painful side of God’s heart for the first time. It was truly a life changing moment in my life in which I hope the audience could gain inspiration. I touched on the nature of responsibility and shared about how I want to relieve God of his/her burden and become someone whom he/she can trust. I encouraged everyone to strive to do the same. We had three guests that week.
Integrity – Dominic Gough (2/12/2015): Integrity is often something people find hard to define; however Dominic made it easy for us to understand what it means to be a person of integrity. The audience felt inspired to become people whose actions matched their words, people who were honest not only with others, but also with themselves. We welcomed a nice audience of 22 students with three guests.
Maturity – Yasuhide Hoshiko (9/12/2015): Yasu was a CARP leader in Japan for 3 years. He was an obvious choice of speaker for this topic. He is one of the most mature individuals I know. He gave a light hearted talk that really gave people hope that they could become mature people. He challenged people’s conception of what a mature person is. Is it someone who is successful? Someone who understands life? Or is it as simple as someone who can love people?
At our CARP Talk events we either have public speaking exercises, where we develop our eloquence when speaking publicly or we have the opportunity to give our own CARP Talk on the topic for that event. It’s an opportunity for us to practice public speaking but also for us to lay down the barriers that we often protect ourselves with and open up to our friends about experiences in our lives.
Value – Victoria Ormond (16/12/2015): Victoria moved many of the guests, some even to tears as she shared a very honest testimony about how she has found value in her life through several key experiences she’s had. She spoke about her father and the immense influence his life and death played in her seeing the value of her own life. We welcomed 6 guests in total and 15 second gen for our final CARP Talk of the year. We finished with a bang for sure as we sang songs together and chatted the night away over food and drink.
Note: A constant thought regarding care for guests during our time organizing these events, week after week, was ‘What is the next step?’, ‘Where do we go from here?’. This event is very much a gateway event for students to experience the Principle. But how exactly we bridge the gap between the CARP talk and DP lecturing is another question. The CARP Talk is an event that builds relationships with people; it also makes people think more deeply while developing public speaking skills. We’ve concluded that a 1-on1 character education mentoring scheme may very well be a good link to the DP lectures. We will implement this in 2016.
Share Your Passion
The ‘Share your passion’ event is designed to broaden our knowledge on the subjects our friends are studying at university and to understand the new and exciting advances those respective fields are making. Students can share about what makes them passionate about their subject and how it relates to living a principled life.
Agents of Change – Elisa Brann (8/12/2015): Elisa Brann was the first to share about her studies. She spoke about her field of Cognitive Neuroscience and how it relates to the Principle. She gave a passionate talk about the human experience of mind-body control. She gave us some perspective into how scientists are carrying out experiments to deepen our understanding of the nature of control. We had a full room of 18 young people.
- Teaching Divine Principle
Divine Principle Lecture Practice for CARP members
We wanted to raise members in our community who could deepen their understanding of Divine Principle while learning how to teach it. We organised weekly lecture practice every Monday evening, where we heard a lecture from a CARP member. Every week a different CARP member gave the lecture on the next topic. The audience then had the opportunity to give the lecturer feedback. In this way we are hoping to establish a group of us competent in teaching the Principle so as to have a large variety of young lecturers to choose from in the future. This will allow us to tailor our lectures to individual guests. On occasions we were lucky enough to receive model lectures from William Haines. These allowed members to consolidate their thoughts on the Principle.
CARP members’ experiences
“On the whole this has been an uplifting experience for me being with CARP for the past few weeks. Admittedly, very often it was challenging to keep faith in this project. There are only a small handful of people on board, about half are full time students, for some English isn’t a first language, and externally there was no developed system of witnessing in the UK which we could work from. CARP UK was pretty much starting from scratch, with very little funding, no solid foundation, not a whole lot of people, in fact none who are experienced lecturers or organisation directors. We didn’t even have a clear plan of how we would go about achieving our goals. Looking at CARP from an external standpoint, actually we seemed pretty darn hopeless.
But somehow, CARP has managed to form a team who are living together in headquarters, stick to a regular schedule, set goals, hold multiple weekly events for both members and non-members, and bring regular guests, some of whom are now learning about the Principle. Wow, what a feat for the UK. Surely we haven’t seen anything like it in Britain since those timely HSA UWC glory days, well certainly not in my lifetime anyway.
Of course, our events certainly need a lot of improvement. We lack a lot of professionalism, our advertising sucks, we never start or finish on time, and the drinks at every CARP talk tastes like liquid plastic. But the people here are genuine. That’s why guests come back.
Professionalism can be developed, with the right training, skill development, people, funding, time etc. We can always work on that. But finding people with the right heart, determination and willingness to sacrifice their time and efforts for True Parents and the Providence, now that’s something you can’t find every day. That’s what sets a foundation for this outreach project to work. It’s been quite an honour to work with these ‘CARPies’. They inspire me a lot. Because of them I can have hope in this. And it’s not only these guys, but we’ve received a lot of support from other members outside of CARP, second and first gen alike. Also without that community support we would be pretty screwed.
So right now we’re still in the baby stages, we’re learning from our mistakes and growing and developing, but there’s certainly a lot of potential here for CARP and for the UK movement.” ~ Amy Brown, Kings College London
“At the beginning of the first term of CARP, I was very nervous and anxious about what CARP was and about my responsibility especially because it wasn’t clear. I didn’t know what the schedule was and I wasn’t clear about my faith in many respects.
I didn’t know if I’d have enough energy to carry out CARP activities because of recent personal events. I felt like a deep center has been lost from myself, so I doubted how much I could do for CARP.
We were so lucky to inherit the foundation that True Parents and 1st generation laid in England and thus allowed us to live in Lancaster Gate. We now have 9 core CARP members.
Some of our members were willing to go fundraising and raise money for CARP. That was so amazing. There is still a lot to learn in terms of being a tight knit family, working together, having clear roles, learning how to witness effectively and making clear goals and a purpose for UK CARP.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be public, because it’s the best way to create a pure heart in this extremely climatic time in our movement.
I believe we can make the aim of CARP a success, if only we be more sincere and dedicated.” ~ Jeungsun Shongwe, Queen Mary University of London