Francophone Sub-Regional Meeting
By FFWPU France: On March 12-13, 2016, a regional meeting was held for the West-Europe sub- region with France, Belgium and Luxembourg represented.
Representing Belgium were Philippe and Yoko Jacques and Yvo Bruffaerts and Luxembourg was represented by Alan and Brigitte Sillitoe. Many leaders from the French movement were present and altogether there were about 30 members present.
We began on Saturday morning with a presentation by the French national leader, Jean-François Moulinet, on some of the conferences presented during the recent events in Korea, such as those by Andrew Wilson, Tyler Hendricks, Dr Jin Choon Kim and by the FFWPU- International HQ about True Mother’s life and course.
After lunch a series of reports were given:
- Philippe Jacques explained the making of the documentary that appeared on Belgian and Dutch TV, in which several couples were followed as they prepared and then went to the Blessing. One of the couples involved was a 2nd gen from Belgium. The reporter who prepared this documentary was very fair and balanced and Belgian Peace Ambassadors were very impressed that such a good documentary had been done about the Blessing.
- Brigitte Sillitoe then spoke about the efforts that had been used to bring healing to the community in Luxembourg. After connecting with European Blessed Family Department several healing techniques were proposed to brothers and sisters; Lubelia Palfi with Family Constellation, Susan Crosthwaite with Emotion Code and Kurt and Bernadette Sattlberger. Brigitte encouraged others to propose such healing techniques as they can be helpful.
- Michel Brédard, from the Lyon region in France, then told everyone about the new witnessing centre that the Lyon community has rented. During a recent visit from our special emissaries, Dr. Noh Hi Pak and Dr. Lan Young Moon, encouraged them to open a small witnessing centre and very soon after they found a small store front and rented it. Work is being done to get the centre ready and it will soon open to the public.
- Patrick Jouan, vice-president of UPF France, gave a report on a recent interreligious conference that took place in the south of France. The Lyon pastor, Jean-Paul Chaudy made contact with Father Patrice Chocholski, rector of the Sanctuary of Ars, a famous religious site based on the work of the Curé d’Ars, Jean- Marie Vianney in the 19th century. Jean- Paul contacted Father Patrice proposing an interreligious conference during the UN week of Interconfessional Harmony and Father Patrice responded positively. The conference was on the theme of mercy and Heiner and Carolyn Handschin had a contact the Protestant Pastor William McComish of Geneva, who was interest in this theme, so they were present as well.
- Stephanie Gravrand, responsible for the east of France, then shared about the frustration of being responsible for a region far from Paris with few members. She has more contact with the German community not far from where she lives and a member in Switzerland, where she works. It was a reminder for those of us who have many brothers and sisters nearby to be grateful to be part of a community.
We took a half hour break for coffee and to step outside to appreciate a sunny afternoon and then a new session began with Jacques Marion, UPF president, giving some details of the conference given in Korea by the International HQ on “The Strategies of World Mission and Peace for the firm establishment of CIG”. The key expression in this presentation was “national restoration” and after Jacques’ presentation we broke into four groups to discuss how to advance in national restoration in our nations centred upon the Family Federation on one side and the other providential organisations on the other side.
We came back together and each group had a spokesperson who shared the key ideas raised in their group. Some groups focused on the Family Federation while others focused on the other providential organisations. The ideas were noted and we will take time to examine them.
After dinner we had a testimony from Patrice and Nelly Huard, the first European couple to bless 430 couples. Patrice and Nelly went to the Philippines and blessed 430 couples in four months. But in their testimony it was clear that this was not as easy as it sounds. A great effort was made externally and financially. They left the Philippines with no money because they had given all they had to meet their goal.
On Sunday morning our first session with centred on our young people.
Franz-Pol Ladouce and Guillaume Marion explained the results of a survey that was sent out to all of our young members. This survey clearly showed on which points they are satisfied and on which points they are dissatisfied.
For example, they seem satisfied with the local Sunday services but they would like to see more pastoral care.
Dianne Chaillié then spoke on the recent Global Top Gun workshop in Korea. She greatly appreciated the family atmosphere during the workshop with the organisation made up of families, clans and tribes. She wants to communicate the Top Gun spirit to France and is planning a 4-day workshop for early May.
Alexandre Huard gave a report on last year’s UPF Youth activities, planned activities for this year and the results of a recent brainstorming session on events for the new witnessing centre that will open in Paris later this year.
After a 30 minutes break we took 45 minutes to have a question/answer session with our young members about the results of the survey they did.
Hanna Lotterie, HQ secretary, then spoke on reinforcing our communities: pastoral care. Using Bible verses and True Father’s words she shared encouraged our leaders to develop a parental heart as leaders. She also insisted on the importance of the reporting system as a means to have a clear vision of the state of a community.
Patrick Martin-Prevel finished the program with a presentation on the new centre which should open later this year.
After having lunch together everyone began returning home with a lot of food for thought.