Australia: “WE CAN DO IT” Heavenly Tribal Messiahship Workshop
by Rick McInerheney, FFWPU Australia
Over 50 Australian members gathered in Melbourne over the weekend 9 August 5th -7th 2017) at the Belgrave Church in Melbourne for a truly ground breaking event: The “Australia WE CAN DO IT” Heavenly Tribal Messiahship Workshop. Present were elders and the youth, couples, families, brothers and sisters, from Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria. We were blessed to have Demian Dunkley, Director of witnessing and education for FFWPU North America, as the facilitator, and his assistant Karlsun Allen.
Honestly I wasn’t expecting such an inspiring, thought provoking experience. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I first heard about it. With only a few weeks to prepare, too costly for many to attend, too soon for many to organize their schedules. In short, I had a lot of reasons to be skeptical.
Our pastor, Reverend Arai was determined to make it a success and very generously subsidized the costs of air travel and other costs from his own pocket. Also thanks to the financial support from National HQ and Brisbane Church. So we were able to charge a very affordable registration fee for those wanting to come.
Reverend Arai worked with our National Leader Rev Lim to coordinate all the details. The church and grounds and cabins were cleaned and prepared. Faithful Melbourne mothers were to lead the kitchen staff with 3 lovely Japanese sisters from Sydney helping out. Several days before the workshop was to begin, we heard that our new Regional Director couple, Rev and Mrs Park, will be attending, so we organized to have a short inauguration ceremony on Saturday morning. Then they joined in as participants for the entire workshop.
I had a chance to spend some time getting to know Demian and Karlsun, taking them to see kangaroos and koalas and other Australian animals, and driving them to the beautiful Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges. They are both young guys, Demian in his 40’s and Karlsun a second generation, very inspired and driven, and very switched on to media and technology. They are very positive in their outlook amidst the challenging environment in our movement post True Father’s passing. And they are part of a young and dynamic group of up-and-coming leaders at USA national headquarters, working towards Tribal Messiahship development. They have conducted, by invitation, workshops in many US states, UTS, as well as Canada, Germany, and now have been able to find time in their busy schedule to bring the We Can Do It workshop to Australia. Even before the workshop started I could sense we were in for a great experience.
The workshop is very well structured to guide participants on a journey of personal growth, and connecting oneself to the vision that True Father has been talking about for many years, that we are the Tribal Messiahs to carry forth the foundation set by True Father and True Mother. And it wasn’t, as workshops often are, just a speaker telling you what you have to do and how to do it. As the handbook says, “we are seeking to apply a process that can unlock some of the things holding us back from successful tribal messiahship, and unleash more of our creative potential.”
In Part 1 “You Are God’s Hope” we reflected on the value of ourselves as” the most important people in Australia”, as the ones who know the messiah. We reflected on our uniqueness, our personal style, how we joined and who were the significant people in that period, and on our most important experiences with God and True Parents, our Blessing, our passions and what we’d like to do in our ideal life.
In Part 2 “Building The Kingdom” we assessed our life currently, and what we could do to improve things for God in our community, our church, our family, and myself as an individual. I found this systematic process, like a reality check, to be very inspiring, almost like cleaning house, tidying up and getting a clean slate to go forward in my life. The exercises prompt you to write down goals in each of the above areas.
The next section “The Anatomy Of A Tribe” centered on True Father’s words in CSG p388 that “the ideal world of the future will be maintained through trinities of families”. These tribes will be the foundation for the nation. I realized that forming a small group and CONTINUOUSLY WORKING TOGETHER is a priority. We looked at global standards, tribe culture, structure, purpose, benefits etc.
The main sessions on Sunday had to do with action planning – what we can accomplish in 3 months, with handbooks and online materials, DP videos, Blessing guidance etc. available to guide and reference. Again, extremely well researched and clear materials to support the growth of tribal messiah groups.
Monday morning was for leaders to gather and talk about such things as what challenges we face in the community, and also our church. A big one that came up was how we can support more youth involvement and leadership, and also how can we impact society, communicating more effectively on social issues that effect family breakdown. We realized that family breakdown was by far the biggest problem in our society according to our survey, and the area that FFWPU is clearly positioned to help and make a difference, in our own programs as well as partnering with like-minded organizations. The dynamic of having the leaders there and listening to the grass roots members who are already active in this area was very important.
In conclusion, the event was very timely, and a life changing experience for me. Demian Dunkley is a brilliant presenter and facilitator, truly unique in our movement. I recommend such organized, systematic training for UC members to be successful in their missions be incorporated in CIG assemblies and other such gatherings in the future.
Rev Lim needs to be congratulated for keeping in touch with Demian and finally making it happen. Also thanks to the leaders in the US who allowed time for this workshop to take place in Australia.