German Culture and Sports Festival 2017
By Hildegard Piepenburg, FFWPU Germany
On the weekend of Pentecost (May 3rd to 4th , 2017), over 500 members and guests of the Family Federation, UPF and CARP joined together for a marvelous 2-day event at the Neumuehle Training Center in Germany. Saturday, June 3rd, was dedicated to various sports competitions, like soccer, volley ball and frisbee. While the youth excitedly participated in these sports and smaller children enjoyed a jumping castle and a special program for kids, elderly ones could choose to join in a hike to a nearby monastery, ballroom dancing and lecture presentations on a new UPF family curriculum project and the video Divine Principle lecture project.
An extraordinary treat was the first art exhibition ever held at our training centre. All public rooms – including stair cases and the prayer room – were decorated with 96 fine paintings, drawings and sculptures created by 26 artists! Out in the open, everyone could learn about and become a member of UPF, IRFF and HARP at well- equipped information stands, or buy tickets for the tombola and enjoy ice cream, cookies and McCol & Co. In the evening, a “spirit festival” highlighted emotive musical performances, personal testimonies and a slide show with historic photos of the unification movement in Germany, ending with in a candle light prayer. Fruit cocktails and a hot “rock out” session rounded up this first day.
On Sunday, June 4th, the main service had to take place indoors due to the heavy rain and thunderstorm that had drenched the grass during the night.
Several 2nd generations received Wonmo Pyeongae Scholarships by special emissary Rev. Jun Seok An, and a choir performed a hymn composed by Hans Campman which will be the European contribution for True Father’s Seonghwa Memorial in Korea this year. In his sermon, German FFWPU president Dieter Schmidt spoke about the festival theme “Create a life you love”, inspiring everyone to live up to his or her full potential as a son or daughter of God and become a tribal messiah for others. “We now experience the actual Pentecost, because finally the time has come when the Holy Spirit has incarnated in our beloved True Mother!” he proclaimed.
A special “open house” program, emceed by UPF president Karl- Christian Hausmann, attracted an additional number of interested guests from neighboring towns in the afternoon and featured exquisite music performances and presentations of FFWPU, UPF and IRFF projects.
After a coffee & cake break, the splendid finale of this weekend was an enthusiastic rock & pop concert with evergreens from the 1960s and 1970s, performed by professional former Go World Brass Band musicians and accompanied by excited dancing of older and younger generations.
This annual festival is extraordinary because it is liked by old and young and brings together generations as well as members and friends from near and far. It features all the good elements we enjoy as an expression of our CIG culture of heart. Many participants rounded up their experience in words like: “We feel spiritual revival and new strength by meeting our beloved Heavenly Parent here: in the conversations with people, the beautiful things we enjoy together – and in the splendid environment of this historic place we all love so much!”