United Kingdom: Companions of Faith Young Adults Weekend
Over twenty-five 2nd generation gather for a weekend retreat to spend quality time with one another, develop new friendships and make plans for the new academic year ahead.
“We need companions in our life of faith. People without companions are lonely people. Those who have companions can support and protect each other. They can find ways to overcome the challenges that arise in their life. Those with no companions have to resolve by themselves any problems that crop up. But this is a truly challenging task; problems assail us from every direction and we become unable to make it on our own.” – Sun Myung Moon
The above passage from the Cheon Seong Gyeong served as the inspiration for this Young Adults Weekend organised by Carmel Mould, Kieran Hoyte and Soon-Hee Lall. Positioned before the beginning of the academic year, the workshop aimed to serve as inspiration before attendees to go into the new year of studies/work and to encourage a sense of community among the younger members of our UK movement. The retreat even welcomed a handful of 2nd Generation from abroad, most of which are studying in the UK.
Testimonies were given by attendees who shared meaning life experiences and advice on how to succeed in university and daily life. Kenneth Read and In-Sun Tribe gave talks on how to maintain and develop a life of faith while Simon Cooper spoke on the importance of goal setting. The thought-provoking yet easy-going nature of the content allowed for the open and relaxed workshop atmosphere. Other activities included group discussions, ultimate frisbee and creative sessions.
“It was very refreshing. A new experience to just be with older BCs who are a similar age to me. I appreciated the time to simply catch up and see people who I hadn’t for a long time. I hope this happens again and more often.” – Stephen Baylis, Birmingham, 20.
“The Companions of Faith retreat was a meaningful experience for me. What I’ve felt lacking most of all in my life recently is a sense of community. To spend a weekend in the serene surroundings of Livingstone House with Blessed Children in age group was very uplifting.” – Beni Vitai, London, 20.
“A lot of my friends were returning from gap-year programs or starting a new year of university/work, and we wanted a way to bring everyone together when September came again. Initially, we hoped to organise a retreat in the countryside, but this weekend workshop turned out to be a good starting point for many renewed friendships and activity ideas, so it all worked out in the end.” – Carmel Mould, London, 21.
“On the Companions of Faith retreat, we had the privilege of hearing inspiring and insightful content which encouraged me to reflect more deeply about my relationships and life of faith as I begin my life at university. This precious opportunity to spend time together through discussion, conversation and laughter has strengthened my desire to invest into relationships in which God can be a big part of. This weekend was a very special one so a big thanks to all who were involved in making it a success!” – Mia Gardiner, London, 19.
Thank you to the workshop organisers, who worked hard behind-the-scenes to make this workshop possible and to CARP-UK, who partly sponsored the workshop.
However, the most important thank you goes out to the workshop’s attendees, whose support and cooperation led to a successful workshop.
Look forward to future Young Adult Retreats!