Oceania: Regional Summer Workshop
by William Saver, FFWPU Oceania
Every new year welcomes a fresh start, as well as an opportunity for our Blessed Children across Oceania to re-connect at our annual Regional Summer Workshops. The events began from January 3rd- 5th with a leadership workshop for participants interested in taking on more responsibility as team leaders and assistant leaders for the main workshop. With a small but committed group of 12 enthusiastic participants, the 2 days leading up to the main workshop served as a valuable time to develop a mutual sense of purpose and trust amongst the leaders. Our time consisted of leadership guidance and training through talks, bonding activities, time for sharing and reflection, and of course joint creativity to prepare a wonderful workshop banner. This core group was able to substantially direct the workshop in a very healthy way, to give individual attention to each participant and to support the development of unity in their teams, all done through their sincere efforts to be good role models. We are very grateful for each of the leaders and their investment.
The main workshop saw the arrival of over 45 participants from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, & Samoa. The overall theme of the workshop was “Your © Matters” Each day during the workshop participants were involved in various activities such as lectures and talks, team discussions, sports sessions, challenge days, which closely aligned with that day’s particular daily theme (Courage, Clarity, Confidence, Choice etc.)
This year’s main educator was Paul Saver who gave a variety of very practical and relatable lectures to the cohort the title of some of his presentations includes growth v fixed mindset, true love, life of service. This year also saw a greater emphasis on 2nd Gen speakers with the 3 workshop coordinators Akimoto, Cecilia, and David speaking at various times throughout the workshop.
This year there was an entire day devoted to purity education with the three aforementioned 2nd Gen providing very valuable purity education to the participants, essentially describing very clearly what a purity lifestyle entains, explaining its significance, and empowering participants to adopt such a lifestyle in preparation for setting themselves up for the best chance of a successful blessing/marriage in the future. Many participants described this day as the highlight for them as the in-depth and purposeful focus on purity had not been such a feature of previous Oceania 2nd Gen summer workshops. The Purity day helped them break some narrow disempowering concepts they had of what a purity lifestyle was and helped them understand the concept on a deeper level. The team discussions help participants personal the education provided and helped them discover their own reasons they wanted to commit to living a purity lifestyle.
The Purity education component of the workshop culminated with a purity ring ceremony where participants pledged to live a purity lifestyle and received a ring which will serve a reminder to the commitment they made to God, TPs, themselves and their future spouse. Here they are below showing off their new rings.
Overall, the workshop was an incredibly refreshing and rejuvenating experience for all those involved. It was very inspiring to contribute to creating this safe and internally nurturing environment for the participants and staff to experience. We are very grateful for all the support we received from many individuals who banded together to make this workshop a great success!