USA: First 7-Day Seminar of 2017 at IPEC
Winter may still be going strong, but that hasn’t stopped the activities at the International Peace Education Center (IPEC) in Las Vegas. During the last week of January, nine participants gathered at IPEC to be a part of its very first Divine Principle seminar of the new year. Among the attendees were Dr. Michael Balcomb, president of Family Federation for World Peace USA, and Rev. Ernest Patton, district pastor of District 1 (Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C.).
For one week, Rev. Andrew Compton gave a series of presentations on the Divine Principle, the main holy book of the Unification movement. Through lectures combined with group discussions, participants explored the history of humanity and the causes of suffering.
Branch Gaarder, an up-and-coming Ocean Providence leader who attended the seven-day retreat, reflects on this experience: “Mr. Compton has been a top-tier lecturer, as well as a brother for me. Not only is he able to clearly convey God’s heart for humanity but he is able to teach … with confidence and enthusiasm.” Gaarder, who grew up with Unificationist parents, went on to say that he now understands why so many in his parents’ generation were first inspired to join the movement. He plans to return to his New Jersey home and work for the mission of Ocean Providence even more enthusiastically than before.
Lashonda Wilson, who came to hear Divine Principle for the first time, was touched to learn of True Father’s lifetime devotion to his cause. “It is amazing that one man can focus his whole life on uniting the world into one peaceful and happy family.” She recommends the workshop to people who want to understand the Bible more deeply. “The lessons in Divine Principle are very explanatory, if you have a humble and open mind,” she said.
During the workshop participants got a chance to sightsee and stargaze at the Grand Canyon. Said one participant: “The weather was perfect—and snow was everywhere—creating the colors of red (the canyon), white (the snow), and blue (the sky). I felt it was a sign of God’s blessing on America and belief in us.”