European Blessed Families Department Annual Meeting
Prepared by J.Torese, FFWPU Europe
Around 60 representatives from all of Europe, including Russia, the Middle East and STF, gathered for our Annual BFD meeting. The weather was warm and sunny with breathtaking autumn colours in the surrounding forest.
The overall theme of the meeting was “Creating a community that cares” – to develop caring communities where everyone feels supported in growing and becoming an ideal family.
We organized the meeting into categories of Blessed Family Life:
Individual Responsibility/Personal Growth – High Noon/Sexual Integrity, Health, and Healing,
Family – raising children: Sunday school, purity, matching & Blessing preparation, Community – support for young couples/families creating culture of caring and support, Mission – Tribal messiahship through exemplary families
The atmosphere was one of honesty and openness. We were very aware that we, as BFD members, need to become couples and families who embody the ideal and are striving to radiate God and True Parent’s unconditional and embracing love to those around us. The schedule was very intense and packed with information, energy and experiences shared by members who were joyful and sincere in carrying out a mission they loved.
We started the meeting on Thursday evening with introductions and “getting to know each other” exercises.
On Friday the topic was “Sexual Integrity” and we attended an intensive and informative one day seminar organized by the “High Noon” team from USA (David and Mitsue Wolfenberger and Andrew Love). In the evening we were joined by our European director couple, Dr Michael and Fumiko Balcomb, who gave a short and inspiring speech.
The theme on Saturday was “Blessed Family Lifestyle” with presentations and testimonies on the topics of “Purity education”, Blessed Family and Mission”, “Supporting Young Couples” and “Educatiing Small Children”.
In the evening we split into working groups to plan future activities including webinars, Facebook groups and also the High Noon European Tour.
On Sunday, we began the day by celebrating the 36th Anniversary of the 6000 couples! This was followed by sessions on the topics of “Seunghwa”, and “Healing, Health and Counselling.
The meeting ended with a ceremony, conducted by Dr Michael and Fumiko Balcomb, in which we thanked Dr David and Kyung Ja Hanna for their great contribution as leaders of the European BFD over the past few years and welcomed Orlande Schenk as our new European BFD leader. We also offered our appreciation to Susan Crosthwaite in her mission as leader of the European 1st gen. matching and Blessing department. Susan handed over this mission to Franz and Patrizia
The new BFD regional leaders were also announced: Franz and Patrizia Kerschbaummayr (South Europe), )Jane and Ole Toresen (North Europe, David and Sylvie Perry (West Europe), Heidi and Manfred Mayr (Central Europe), Marilyn Angelucci (Middle East),and Galina Chernomorets (East Europe/Russia).
Finally we all gathered at the Holy Ground where we offered a strong unison prayer expressing our determination to return to our communities and put into practice all that we could experience and learn during the course of this weekend.