Austrian Blessed Families Meeting
By Elisabeth Cook, FFWPU Austria
On 29th July 2017, a beautiful summer day, the annual- national gathering of the Austrian blessed families took place in Seebenstein – a location 60km south of Vienna.
The meeting was part of the action-plan of the 2nd gen leaders’ group ACT (Austrian Committee for Transition), a plan that was made 1½ years ago. For that reason, most of the preparations for the meeting, the planning and the actual realization, were carried out by members of the 2nd generation.
Our last annual-national gathering took place indoors with little room to move around, so this time we wanted to provide better surroundings for blessed families and their children of different ages, as well as the young adults and guests of our movement. Therefore, we chose a conference centre outside the city, a property of a blessed family.
Nearly 300 members and guests gathered that morning in and outside a tent which was put up for the event. Each of the Austrian Unification communities was represented, even those from the most western and southern parts of Austria, some of whom having had to travel 5-6 hours to our meeting place.
The musicians of the Vienna Sunday Service Band, together with our brother Bernard Chellew from Wales led the congregation in singing songs together, before several short speeches were delivered: National Leader Peter Zoehrer read words of True Mother’s speech, which she gave to the European leaders in Korea, thus reminding us that True Mother has great expectations of Europe.
Continental Director Jack Corley also emphasized that True Mother put her trust in Europe, that “we can do so much better”. He then introduced Dr. Michael Balcomb, the new leader of the European-Eurasian region. Dr. Balcomb had just arrived from the United States, so he could tell us some of his first-hand experiences from True Mother’s speech in Madison Square Garden and the following Leaders’ Meeting when his mission was changedFinally, Elisabeth Cook, vice president of the Austrian movement, explained about the purpose of the meeting and how it had been prepared. The date which seemed not to be so favorable because it was right in the middle of the holiday season, turned out to be very good timing, because the European level leaders: Dr. Balcomb, Jack Corley and Jacques Marion (UPF President of Europe), were able to attend and meet Austrian brothers and sisters. Also, the international leadership changes which True Mother initiated, indicate a new beginning worldwide and for Europe as well.
After the speeches, everybody could choose between various programs, such as a selection of sports, attending the “Summer Talks” (discussion groups) or sharing with brothers and sisters whom they had not met for a long time.
In the discussion groups, ideas were presented and exchanged on topics such as:
- Tribal Messiahship – New ways to build a culture of heart (led by Wolfgang Czerny, Kurt Sattlberger and Janine Waldmann)
- Parliamentarians for Peace (led by Jacques Marion and Peter Haider)
- Family Values and Family Policies (led by Josef Gundacker)
- Time for Headwing (led by Bogdan Pammer)
- The Financial Future of our Movement (led by Walter Waldhäusl)
- How to communicate (led by Robert Lindeis)
- How to develop a happy family life (led by Heidi Mayr)
In the afternoon, musical performances were presented by mostly young 2nd gen members, as well as a small play performed by the kindergarten group.
The victory cake – for Heavenly Parents, True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind and the Austrian Movement – was cut by 2nd gen couples, assistant pastors and education department leaders.
After a barbecue dinner people could stay for a rock concert by Bernard Chellew and the Vienna 2nd gen band – whose enthusiasm and musical skills were very much appreciated.
The purpose of the meeting was to strengthen our unity as blessed families, to be moved by Heavenly Parent’s spirit in heart and to be aware of the blessings we have, which we want to share with our surroundings – as our goal for 2020 is to bless 430 couples in Austria.
Therefore, we chose the motto: “Vereint-Bewegt-Gesegnet” (Unified- Moved-Blessed) for the gathering.
As True Mother called the European leaders to Korea recently – where she expressed her concern and her love for Europe – we all are called to see this time as a new spiritual beginning, by uniting with True Mother’s heart, through sharing the blessings we received and working for national restoration.