GPA Begins a New Year in Barrytown



By Generation Peace Academy, Robert Cunningham

On Sunday, September 11, 2016, Generation Peace Academy was blessed to spend time with the Continental Director of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) in North America, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim. Dr. Kim gave all the new participants a warm welcome and assured them that their choice to come to GPA was a very crucial decision that could bring benefit to their lives.

“Don’t think that you are here just by your own will,” he said in his remarks to all of us GPA participants and staff. “No, you are here because you answered God’s call.”

Dr. Kim’s message was an uplifting one, as he shared his personal account of how he joined the Unification movement at the age of 12 thanks to the love and strength of his aunt. He encouraged us to really learn from our elder brothers and sisters during this time, and to discover what it is God wants us to experience this year.

Later, Dr. Kim met with the staff separately and even took the time to listen to all seven of the third-year participants as they shared about their intentions for the year. Dr. Kim, through this personal care, allowed us to feel the love of our True Parents for each one of us.


Prior to Dr. Kim’s visit, we had a very exciting and meaningful couple of days for the 50 new first-year participants. What has become a tradition on GPA is to start the year with a two-day workshop with the theme “Raw and Honest.” The purpose of this workshop is to guide the new participants to a place of commitment and to help them open their hearts in order to receive all the experiences that will come their way in the year. Through intense team and individual activities, we helped the participants to experience the power that lies within us when we are striving for a clear purpose, and also to feel the supportive culture that they can be a part of creating on GPA.

To start off this week, we began a three-day “Intention” workshop organized by Tasnah Moyer and Rosia Schmidt. We have already heard many notable presentations to help us make the upcoming year an opportunity to grow and, ultimately, to help us graduate GPA feeling fulfilled and enlightened. There are a few more presentations to come in the next couple days.

Then on the September 17, we will all be going to Washington, D.C. for the 40th Anniversary of the Washington Monument Rally. We are excited to start our year celebrating our True Parents’ incredible victory with the rest of the nation. We hope to offer a helping hand, to participate in the Peace Road event, and to bring a strong youthful spirit!

There’s still time to register for this weekend’s rally! See our official rally homepage at for more details and to sign up. We look forward to seeing you at the monument!