Germany: HARP Winter Workshop
By Josephine Jensen, FFWPU Germany
This year‘s winter workshop which was held from December 28 2017 to January 4 2018, attracted 86 participants from all over Germany, and along with the staff, about 120 people filled the Seminarhaus Neumühle, in Bad Camberg.
In this intense time, we had morning lectures on the topics of: „original value “, „what prevents me from being great?“, „the victorious path of True Parents‘‘, and „the development of our movement“ from Dominik Schmitt, Hyo Man Noguchi, Karl-Christian Hausmann and Dieter Schmidt, as well as a short presentation about the newly founded European and Middle East Hyo Jeong Arts & Culture Department by Kazuha Canak.
Each afternoon, various activities such as team-building, working groups (theatre, singing, poetry slam, dance etc.) or the traditional New Year’s Yute competition, were offered. Of special note this year was the „internal challenge day “, when each of the participants could choose one of three different paths: easy, challenge or unknown. Thus, each one could decide how much he/she wished to challenge him/herself, and had to then motivate him/herself to see it through to the end. A few days later came the classic challenge day when each team had to carry a heavy box around the whole day. When evening came, the box was opened, and each person found a beautiful new HARP sweater embossed with the symbol of the Unification movement – symbolizing that our burdens often block us from seeing what a blessing it is to be a part of this movement.
On the first evening, the teams shared about an activity that had been introduced: „cross the line “. In this exercise, the whole workshop stood in two rows in front of marked lines, and were then challenged to: „cross the line when you “. This sounds simple, but it is usually anything but, when for example the sentence is „…if you have a problem with your appearance “or „…when you have ever had a problem with alcohol or drugs “. Here, and in the subsequent team sharing’s, the participants showed amazing honesty.
Additionally, there was a purity talk, testimonies, a relaxed family evening when each of the regions had the opportunity to present their contributions – amusing and exciting videos that the regions had prepared before the workshop – and of course, the long New Year’s Eve. The young people took the time this evening to deeply reflect and pray and those who
were to participate the following day in the purity ring ceremony, burnt their letters of confession. The New Year was welcomed joyfully with a prayer, unison ‘OK manses!’, and a firework display that for a long time brightly lit up the night sky.
After a short sleep, the first day of the year was celebrated with the traditional New Year worship service, Dieter Schmidt giving the sermon. And as in previous years, a moving purity ring ceremony was a part of the service.
This extraordinary week was brought ceremonially to an end: after an elegant gala-feast – for which the kitchen staff had once more conjured up numerous tasty dishes – came a long evening festival full of amusing sketches, impressive musical contributions, dance, poem and much more. And the very last ounces of energy were expended at the rock-out which continued into the early hours of the following day.
And thus, the HARP-year „I’m telling the world: this is me” came to an end, with a week in which the participants could show and express themselves in all their glory!