USA: We Can Do It – East Coast
Prepared by FFWPU USA
The East Coast Can Do It workshop was the 11th in the We Can Do It Tribal Messiahship workshop series and the first regional version held in North America. This regional workshop was designed in a way that all presentations and materials were applicable anywhere in North America. People came from all over the country; five sisters even drove 20 hours from Georgia to attend the workshop.
There were a total of 61 participants and four staff, including FFWPU USA Director of Evangelism, Demian Dunkley. Participants came from states in 7 different FFWPU USA Districts, including New York, Alabama, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Missouri, Georgia, Ohio, Nebraska, and Texas.
The workshop was held at the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) in Barrytown, NY and was organized into two equal parts from Friday night (March, 24) to Tuesday morning (March, 28), including a Family Workshop to kickstart the Tribal Messiahship culture and activities at the family and trinity level, and a Leaders Workshop to guide and discuss the most effective ways to lead a community of Tribal Messiahs.
“Our members are so precious, and we all stand on the incredible and victorious foundation of True Parents,” says Demian Dunkley, “but despite this, many families feel internally blocked and externally incapable of fulfilling the goal of Tribal Messiahship. The We Can Do It workshop is being developed to solve those problems and free people up to take action willingly. It is similar to acupuncture for a tired body. We don’t have to focus so much on telling people what to do, we just need to touch the points that are blocked and release the energy and inspiration that God and True Parents have already given us!”
The We Can Do It workshop is not just a paradigm shift, it is a totally new form of education as well. Participants are guided to come to their own understanding of how Tribal Messiahship is a blessing and is the most natural development for their lives. They walk away feeling free to pursue Tribal Messiahship and excited to make it a part of their everyday culture.
Many leaders and elders of our movement participated, including former FFWPU USA President Rev. Tyler Hendricks, I.W. Richard Buessing, Universal Peace Federation (UPF) UN leader Taj Hamad, District Pastor Rev. Edner Pierre-Louis, Dr. Theodore Shimiyo of UTS, Kensaku Takahashi of Ocean Church, and Masahisa Kobayashi. Several local pastors and ministry leaders also participated, including Rev. Kone Drissa, Abdou Gaye, Thomas Corely, Gavin Hamnett, Sebastian Huemer, Lowell Mitchem, Monica Vallejo, Atsushi Takino and more. A second-generation Unificationist trinity also participated–Alban Gaval, Leehee Wolf, and Mi Young Eaton, who have actively been pursuing Tribal Messiahship and were inspired to attend after Alban experienced the workshop as staff in Germany.
Maria P Kiely: “I see now what I need to restore within myself in order to start Tribal Messiahship and become successful at it. This workshop helped me and showed me how to go about it. It will take time, but my husband and I together will be successful. My heart will lead the way.”
Thomas Baldwin: “I thank the ‘We Can Do It’ workshop for unpacking and helping us to understand the tremendous grace and blessing Heavenly Parent and True Patents have given, which is Tribal Messiahship. Accomplishing Tribal Messiahship is not a way to coerce couples into participating in a ceremony they do not understand… instead it is sharing relational gifts with those that we meet and helping them accomplish the Three Blessings.”
Marra Gaye: “I am very grateful that I attended this workshop. I could see how True Parents’ ideas and teachings can be put into practice. The idea that I am God’s hope reminded me of when I joined the church and felt that God had picked me to be part of his Kingdom building. It makes me take my journey very seriously.”
Dorothy Hill: “I loved this We Can Do It Tribal Messiahship workshop; it was chock full of great material that I can use to finally really begin doing Tribal Messiahship. I loved that it included out-of-the box thinking that told me ‘This can work!’ I have felt such a heavy burden about not being able to witness. Now I see a way, a concrete doable pattern of how to begin and go step by step to achieve the worthiest goal of all goals: be an effective Tribal Messiah.”
Jessica Sattinger: “Excellent presentation that addressed the exact concerns that I had as a young adult in this movement. I feel more hopeful than I expected, and will feel even more hopeful as more and more people experience this workshop. I loved the emphasis that young adults want to be a part of the building process.”
Mi Young Eaton: “I kind of came to this workshop on a whim. A few friends and I are working on a project and wondering how or if Tribal Messiahship could relate to what we’re doing. For me the workshop turned out to be a ‘perfect storm’: I had a clear goal for my time here and was able to gain practical insights for my life, my family and our budding trinity(ies). There was a really natural and vibrant energy that just needed the space and ground to take root in. I hope many more people will be able to experience this and that we can find ways to share this spirit, hope, and opportunity beyond this workshop.”
Theodore Shimmyo: “Demian’s approach heavily relied on guided reflections in the workbooks he made. I feel this approach is effective because it helped us destroy our own self-limiting habits and concepts. It is not an approach from above, but from below. We were able to empty ourselves to be ready to open our minds and hearts to accept new ideas and new approaches. This was a conversion experience. I am now strongly encouraged to a new level of Tribal Messiahship.”
Linda Shapiro-Zochol: “I was inspired by the We Can Do It workshop! I came on faith, not sure what to expect. I am grateful that the second generation Unificationists are taking over more in leading, and also young married couples. God bless you! I now feel I am empowered to begin being a Tribal Messiah. I will begin my action goals this week on a personal, family, professional creatorship, and Tribal Messiahship level. I really appreciated Demian’s ability to gently introduce the first generation to more and broader and better ideas of how to bring the Divine Principle and offer the Blessing to people of all walks of life. I also appreciate the Tribe Kit that was given to us, plus the flash drive of so many resources! Thanks for second-generation Unificationists who are so well-trained in developing these programs online. Now I must return home to introduce these ideas to my husband and family.”
Jennifer Yashiro: “I didn’t really plan to come and was nervous about it, but Friday night and Saturday morning, I got spiritual confirmation from my ancestors that this was a very important and exciting event. It was a great privilege to share this time with veteran saints and sincere, capable young people who will inherit and carry forward, improve on our foundation. There was so much challenging, enlightening and empowering content it’s hard to pick out the highlights. That True Mother is trusting America to lead the world, other countries need us to break through in Tribal Messiahship, that my commitment and ACTION can really impact the world…this was a powerful realization. Dr. Kim’s comments were so encouraging―that we have wondrous power to be miracle makers. He expressed beautifully how educating our tribe with Mother’s heart, so they can multiply, can lead to restoration of countries and ultimately salvation of humankind with true love. Now…share this with my husband, find our trinity and ACTION!”
Marina Falconi: “I believe the most important thing about this workshop for me is that I have to start from somewhere; is to believe that I can do a small step first by making a weekly goal towards the outcome I want to see one year from now. This time helped me to look into different things about myself, my family, my work, my mission and what can be improved, what can be done. I still don’t see clearly what has been blocking me all these years from growing more spiritually, from witnessing, from having a happier family. But I trust that God will show me what I need to do, what I need to learn and change. I like very much what I heard in this workshop and I find it very useful. I hope that all leaders and brothers and sisters will take part in this workshop.”
Robert Standard: “As I reflect on the past two days, I recall the saying, ‘I can give you fish for one day, or teach you how to fish for the rest of your life.’ You did the latter, for which I am very grateful.”
Barbara Stupple: “I could see and understand the limits in myself that prevented me to become successful in witnessing. I have off and on had many attempts in Tribal Messiahship but could not bring it to fruition―it was only piecework. This workshop helped me to dig deep down, to understand it on a personal, family, tribal, and universal level. I could identify the points of obstruction on each level, identify possible step-by-step solutions for each level and then make a realistic one-year, month, and weekly plan. The key in all of this is to work together in in a trinity―create family relationship on a small and then growing level. The other key point is to tap into real love―love that involves passion and joy while doing it.”
Richard Buessing: “The We Can Do It workshop provided the information, tools, the reasons, True Father’s words and the paradigm to shift our thinking into becoming a Tribal Messiah. The workshop brought down to earth the lofty ideas of Divine Principle by explaining our fundamental responsibility is Tribal Messiahship. It reminded us who we are, where we come from, and where we are going as Blessed Central Families. The presentations were done well, the topics covered a lot of material, and the many discussions of small group trinities gave everyone a chance to share. I would recommend this workshop to anyone who is interested, contemplating or serious about doing Tribal Messiah work. It is a mandatory course to re-engage, re-align and re-commit to True Parents’ directions to us. Tribal Messiahship is our future joy, happiness, and key to the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Irene Olivier: “I am extremely grateful that I could attend this workshop. For the first time I am aware that Tribal Messiahship is indeed possible, even in my circumstances. The presentations were clear and gave me many tools and ideas on how to achieve goals. I am very grateful for that. I understand how valuable social media can be to facilitate communication and I want to make use of it as much as I can. This workshop exceeded my expectations.”
Julia Okamoto: “I came to the seminar thinking I would just be given tools and methods of how to do Tribal Messiahship but this approach was better because it allowed for a deeper understanding to be realized. It was good the way each exercise built on each other throughout the two days so we could come to our own conclusions and goals for the final outcome of showing us or inspiring in us the idea that Tribal Messiahship is possible and that in fact ‘we can do it.’”
Paul Stupple: “I am grateful to all involved for holding this here and now. It coincides with my own change from one seasonal devotion to another. It has helped me clarify things related to our hurdles that have kept us from tackling the public job of reaching out to our tribe. I can see how to chop those up into more manageable pieces and to get started. The time of reflection and the accent of the workshop time on defining goals, tasks and action steps is refreshing, unusual and welcome. The materials and resources will be very helpful. Now on to the task, pick some partners and start action! Thanks again.”
Lynda McKenzie: “Dr. Kim spoke in Atlanta on March 19―the week before this seminar. He made the statement―“I am a miracle maker.” It was this statement that inspired my final decision to attend this “We Can Do It” workshop. Four other older sisters came together. The five women aged 60 to 68 years. But you would never have known it―we were all so excited and filled with joyful anticipation about this workshop. I felt before this workshop, I had been sitting in a spiritual fog about how to accomplish Tribal Messiahship. So many self-doubts, confusion and questions about ‘how?’ So this workshop was the answer to a prayer. Tribal Messiahship is more than witnessing―Demian and his staff gave clear answers to what tribes mean, what is expected, in what ways tribal messiahs can save America and inspire brothers and sisters in other nations. It was this feeling of new purpose to break through in this gift from True Parents. The books containing step-by-step directions on how to begin, and to continue to not be afraid to fail during our attempts to reach the hearts of family, friends and community are precious indeed. Then the resources that are provided help me feel tremendous support. The heart and humor of Demian used during his lectures quietly and persistently transformed 60 of us from trepid participants to confident, hopeful, and determined to take the steps (hearts filled with love) to family and community. I came not for myself but for brothers and sisters in Atlanta who might be waiting to hear what I and what we learned. We feel that ‘We Can Do It’ and will do it! For the love of Heavenly Parent and True Parents, and the heart of True Mother has for America.”