USA: Simultaneous English and Spanish Seminars Held
We have just concluded a very special 7-Day Divine Principle Seminar, which ran from July 20-26 at the International Peace Education Center. One reason it was special is that several of our Latino brothers and sisters were participating in the first Spanish 7-Day Divine Principle Seminar at the International Peace Education Center at the same time. The Spanish seminar was directed by Richard de Sena, National Director of Latino Ministry Development for Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) USA. Reflections on the Spanish seminar, contributed by Pastor John Arias, follow below.
As for the English seven-day seminar, it was also special because this was tenth seminar we have hosted since the International Peace Education Center opened.
The participants were both second- and first- generation Unificationists. Among the second-generation Unificationists were four brothers and sisters from the Smith family in Colorado, a brother-sister pair from Washington State, two friends from Montana, and one youth from Las Vegas. Among the first-generation Unificationists were one elder from Pennsylvania, another from Northern Virginia, a Universal Peace Federation (UPF) representative from Las Vegas, and one blessed brother from Albania.
The demographic was therefore international, intergenerational, and interracial. In total there were 13 English-speaking guests.
In addition, this seminar was special because Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of FFWPU USA, went out of his way to pay us a visit and share with us some words of wisdom and inspiration. It was great to hear about his recent trip to Korea and his interaction with True Mother there.
The following are reflections from the English seminar participants:
- “During the workshop, I began to understand the critical role that I may be able to play in helping to create a peaceful world. I have been reading Divine Principle and studying on my own for quite some time. I have spent many hours at Camp Mazumdar and reading the Cheon Seong Gyeong. The workshop gave me confidence to speak more firmly about the Divine Principle and in knowing that I can begin to teach. My plan is to prepare people for this workshop in the future. My sincere thanks to Rev. Compton for his heart.” –Katherine Duncan
- “I am grateful for the opportunity this workshop presented to read the Divine Principle and study it in a group setting. It was very helpful to have discussions, lectures, and questions answered. Although I had heard much of the Divine Principle before, there were several points that stood out to me which I came to understand and contemplate in a new way.” –Ruta Smith
- “I’d say I have gained a lot from this workshop. First of all, understanding the Divine Principle on a whole new level that I would not have been able to achieve alone. Most all of the questions that I had growing up have been answered throughout my time here. Of course now that I have the knowledge it is my duty to act upon that in my life. One of my favorite things in the workshop has been reflecting upon what I can do in my life to uphold all the powerful insights that I have been given.” –Orion Smith
- “I gained so much understanding and knowledge! I think the most valuable piece of information I gained was the true value of what it means to be a blessed child and the value of the Marriage Blessing.
- “I’m grateful that I chose to come after declining an invitation once before. Hope for improving the unity of heart within my family is higher than ever due to a closer look at the Human Fall through Rev. Compton’s teaching.” –Susie Davis
From July 20-26 a Spanish 7-Day Divine Principle Seminar was held at the International Peace Education Center in Las Vegas. This was the first seminar given in Spanish at this special site. There were 17 participants, who came from around the United States.
The workshop, which consisted of a complete study of the Divine Principle, was directed by Mr. Richard de Sena with the support Ernesto Gómez, an elder Latino Unificationist born in Colombia and now living in Los Angeles, and myself. The participants had deep experiences with the Divine Principle, which they read in trinities before lectures and discussions.
In addition to studying the Divine Principle, the workshop had a variety of activities such as visits to the Las Vegas Strip, the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, during which many of the participants had deep prayers and could experience the heart of True Parents.
Participants also had the opportunity to visit sites significant in True Parents’ ministry in Las Vegas before heading to the International Peace Education Center.
The workshop ended with very inspiring comments by Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of FFWPU USA, who shared deeply about True Parents’ life course and motivated all participants to take responsibility in joining True Parents to build Cheon Il Guk.
The next Spanish seven-day seminar at the International Peace Education Center is expected to happen in October 2016.
The following are reflections from the Spanish seminar participants:
- “I want to express my deep gratitude to our True Parents, to our True Father in the spirit world who never abandoned us, and to our True Mother who is always thinking about us. Thank you for thinking about those of us who speak Spanish and for giving us the opportunity to have these workshops in Spanish. ¡Omonim, kamsahaminida!” –Rosario Olgado
- “I am very grateful for the opportunity to spend seven days studying the Divine Principle in Spanish here at the International Peace Education Center. I want to thank True Parents so much, especially True Mother, because I learned so much during these seven days. I was very impressed by the lecture about the parallels of history and the enthusiasm of the lecturers. However, what impacted me the most was to realize that True Father is the Messiah because in the past I had difficulties understanding who True Father is. Now, I understand the significance of True Father’s life much more. Thank you very much, True Mother!” –Ricardo C. de Sena
- “I want to thank you, True Mother, from the bottom of my heart for giving us the opportunity to be part of the first Spanish 7-Day Divine Principle Seminar at the International Peace Education Center. It was an opportunity not just to attend a workshop but to deepen our faith and to develop our ability to invite others to have the same experiences we did. If it weren’t for you and our True Father, we would not have the hope for tomorrow to create a world of peace and happiness.
- “I also came to the workshop to prepare myself to attend the Marriage Blessing Ceremony and wow! This workshop was truly an inspiration—I feel now that I can really establish a God-centered family. We deeply love you and we want to thank you, True Mother!” –Karina Acosta
- “I learned so much during these seven days. What I learned and taught for over 40 years as a Sunday School teacher was overshadowed by the revelations I received from the Divine Principle. I want to study it again and again. I now hope to do this seven-day workshop at least three times!” –Julie Moreno
Register for the next 7-Day Divine Principle Seminar to be held at the International Peace Education Center.