New Zealand: Youth Workshop
By FFWPU New Zealand, Amon Watanabe: A Divine Principle Youth Workshop was held from Saturday the 4th to Monday the 6th of June over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend at the Parnell Peace Embassy in Auckland, New Zealand. Under the theme of ‘Creating Divine Personalitles’, 17 workshop participants aged 15 years and older learned both the core principles and values of the Divine Principle, and how to relate it to their daily lives; as well as testimony lectures from older Second Generation who were open to share their experiences and the lessons they had learned from them. The workshop had a focus of creating a more trusting atmosphere compared to previous workshops and this was achieved through honest testimonies and the pure heart with which the staff and organizers carried every activity out with.
We are grateful to have received the support of First Generation Parents: Mrs. Younmin Yoo, Mrs. Setsuko Markwick and Mrs. Susan Hosokawa who dedicated themselves to help with physical nourishments; Mr. Leon Pogoni and Mr. Peter Holdem who helped with transport for the Sunday outings; along with all the other members who came and showed their hearts for the Holy Day service on the 5th of June.
The workshop as a whole was more internally focused, with seven lectures and testimonies packed into the first day. The introductory lecture was given by Takashi Sawada, followed by the lectures were given by national leader Rev. Adel Jamati and full-time staff Andrew Halim, and featured more direct Divine Principle content. Rev. Jamati’s lectures talked about the potential that everyone has and the fact that God believes in and has faith in everyone no matter how hard the circumstances. Mr. Halim’s lectures explored the Spiritual Fall through the Bible and the Divine Principle, emphasizing the need to humbly obey rather than proudly rebel against verticality in our daily lives. The evening lectures were testimony lectures given by Mika Sawada and Amon Watanabe. Mika’s lecture talked about the ‘fork in the road’ where many second gen find themselves in, and how it is important to make the right decision in order to stay connected to God. Amon’s lecture talked about the dangers of staying within a negative mindset, and how it can start to affect your daily life and even the lives of others.
The second day coincided with The Day of All True Things, so the morning program was combined with the Holy Day morning service. Much of the rest of the day was equally relaxed and the afternoon was spent relaxing and playing sports at Cornwall Park in One Tree Hill, a 20-minute drive from the Embassy. The one testimony lecture of the day was given by Akimoto Hosokawa, talking about the ‘spiritual journey’, and how our ‘Divine Personality’ is our own unique way of expressing God’s heart. This was followed by dinner which was prepared by participant and staff volunteers. The evening program consisted of a 1-on-1 sharing activity where people were able to share on a deeper level about their faith and some other questions based around their ‘Divine Personalities’. This was followed by a movie: How to Train Your Dragon.
The third day was a half day, with two lectures in the morning followed by a closing ceremony. The first lecture was given by Eli Iverson, in which she talked about the 16 different personality types, and how everyone has a different way of expressing their personality. The last lecture given by Workshop Coordinator Simon Markwick was a testimony lecture which also summed up and connected the overarching theme and all the previous lectures.
Overall the workshop was a success, and many participants felt moved and closer together afterwards. Many expressed a desire to strengthen that bond and to keep working to create their Divine Personalities.