Breaking or building: time for honest reflection and forward thinking

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ESGD workshop for 21+ : “Breaking or building: time for honest reflection and forward thinking”

 

By ESGD: Taking place between 6th- 8th May in Luzna, Slovakia, this was the third ‘Breaking or Building’ 21+ workshop that we have organised in the last year. Altogether, we were 40 people including staff and lecturers, representing 12 different nations including America, Australia, New Zealand and various European countries.

The goal for this workshop built on the previous ‘Breaking or Building’ workshops; to offer time for elder 2nd generation to share in honest reflection on issues that challenge us and receive relevant content that can contribute towards a better perspective and understanding on how to move forwards. As the lecturers themselves said in their opening talk, they wanted to create a space where participants felt‘unbounded in any questions they wanted to ask, and where every question would be taken seriously and considered with respect’.

A very strong atmosphere built up over the weekend through the stimulating content, as well as the song and music sessions and the conversations and discussions both within and outside of the schedule. Indeed, many of the discussions were encouraged by Uncle William Haines and Uncle Frank Kaufmann’s insightful and relevant content. Their presentations took a natural question and answer format that allowed for much dialogue and conversation between them and the participants. The main areas covered included: looking at the original ideal for our movement and for the world; understanding the situation of our movement and of true family through studying the Divine Principle and biblical stories; considering the way forward for us as blessed family members in the current circumstances.

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A significant theme that was explored throughout the weekend was that True Father left the world three main things: his family, the Divine Principle and blessed families. This brought a definite sense of hope and clarity of how we as adult Blessed Children can contribute to building something together: firstly, through each of us taking more responsibility to know the Principle well and to live it in our daily lives more and more; secondly, through taking our role very seriously in building beautiful and caring families and communities. Overall, we were made more aware of the significance and intensity of the time, which calls for us all to be clear and reflective in digesting and dealing with the real challenges that we have to overcome on numerous levels.

As staff, we felt very encouraged that this kind of workshop and experience together is invaluable. Creating space to speak about our current challenges in an honest and constructive way is key to gaining hope and direction to move forwards. We are therefore looking forward to the upcoming ‘Breaking or Building’ workshop that will take place in the UK from 13th-15th May.

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Reflections

A participant from Maryland, USA: “The biggest thing I took away from the BoB workshop was that I want to learn how to live a more principled life. I have been so lost and confused about the Church because of all the corruption and splitting I hear about, but the lecturers were able to break down these issues and explain how things went wrong by relating it back to the Divine Principle. To be able to talk about the issues in such a straightforward way was super helpful and brought a lot of clarity to the second-hand rumours I hear about the Church. Now, more than ever, I’m inspired to save what is left in our movement and invest in my community back home. The Principle is the truth, and I want to learn how to abide by it correctly. It feels weird for me to say that, but the clarity that the lecturers gave me has led me to trust the Divine Principle as the truth I want to live by.”

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A participant from Finland: “Even though it was a very short workshop, I could learn many things and think about how I want to live my life. Something that struck me was that if we want to be able to inspire people with the Divine Principle and True Father’s vision we need to look ourselves in the mirror and ask: “How could we better take care of the people in our spiritual communities? Are we dealing with issues in a right way? Do we support and care for people instead of wanting to control them?” I know there’s a lot of work to be done in this area in my own community as well.

I also liked the perspective given on witnessing and how it should never be about striving for certain numbers, but about being a good person and genuinely touching peoples’ hearts. The message of “being generous with our love” is definitely something I will be keeping in mind.

Personally it was also nice just to see how much of a journey I have been on, since being on my DONE programme 7 years ago. I am very fortunate to have had these teachers who have always encouraged us to think for ourselves and be good people. It’s nice to come back to that year after year.”