Italy: Becoming the Light of the World in South Europe
By Giuseppe Cali, FFWPU Italy
Our beloved True Mother is leading us toward 2020 and beyond with absolute love and determination. At the last World Leaders Assembly in Korea, she expressed once again her deep Heart and gave us clear directions.
South European brothers and sisters are doing fairly well recently, but we are all aware that we are far from the victorious dimension that Heavenly Parent and True Parents opened for us. We have to find a way to break through on a higher level of unity, commitment, involvement and results. This has been the main issue of this meeting: how to improve in all areas in order to respond properly to the Providential call of these days. The title was “Becoming the Light of the World by a Filial Heart to Heaven”.
Several preparatory documents were prepared before the meeting and shared among leaders in order to prepare well for the discussions and decisions to take. All around 50 participants, including Chairman Mike and Fumiko Balcomb, SE President Giuseppe and Elisabetta Calì, National leaders, pastors, youth leaders, department and Federations leaders came well prepared to joining a real “working group” to establish new standard, organization and goals.
On September 7, 2019, the program started at 6am of Saturday with Hundoquè, listening again True Mother speech given to world leaders at the last Assembly in Korea, followed by comments and reflections by several participants. At the opening ceremony Rev. Balcomb gave the main speech especially mentioning the importance of celebrating True Father’s Centenary next year, so the Spirit started to grow rapidly in the audience, and everybody was pulled up in focusing more and more on the Providential content of this incredible age.
The morning was dedicated to listening all reports from FFWPU, UPF and WFWP, and it was valuable for a proper evaluation of strengths and shortcomings. The afternoon was dedicated to discussing and planning, divided in three groups: FFWPU, Federation for Peace and YOUTH. There were clear guidelines for the discussions and a clear mandate to compile a proper report on conclusions, goals and future commitment.
In the evening, after listening the reports form the discussion groups, we had a deep unison prayer to conclude our day of special effort for a new start.
On Sunday, September 8, 2019, again Hundok reading based on a document on National Restoration and more comments and reflections.
Then a first session, dedicated to Youth and Transition to new generation leadership. Young leader reported their activities and then we opened a session of sharing. Each 2nd gen. chooses a 1st gen. to have personal discussion based on a simple question to each other: “What is your expectation from 1st/2nd gen.?”. It was a very heartfelt sharing that could surely improve communication and unity among generations. There were tears, joy and much heart and it was really touching to see how beautifully everybody invested in this personal relationship between generations. There is a distance in age but not in heart.
The Sunday Service together with the Rome Community followed and 11am. The sermon was given by Chairman Balcomb and Fumiko, based on their own life testimony and Filial Heart.
One last session was organized in the afternoon, to draw all conclusions and make a plan for the near future. Some follow up was requested to all participants, such as : considering to improve the locations of our churches and centers, in order to fit the best quality guests reception and represent properly the dignity and status of our True Parents, forming a team to organize the celebration of the Centenary of True Father, starting from now on, improving the quality of Sunday Services, in cooperation with the 2nd generation, in order to have a more “customer friendly environment” and improve witnessing, to form a team for National Restoration in each country, to start to prepare best guests for participating in Cheon Bo ancestor liberation, forming a team to work on International mobilization to Albania next October and Korea February 2020.
The highlight of this last session was the new appointment of a 2nd. generation Pastor couple for the Milano community, Godwin and Elena Chionna. We established a system for a smooth transition, appointing a Senior Pastor as well, Ignazio Cabras, for mentoring the young pastor, until he will feel confident to go ahead by himself. This system will be implemented soon in all main churches. The previous pastors Renato and Vita Vallone, will pass to the UPF responsibility in Milano. We thank them for their sacrifice in these last four years of mission.
In conclusion, this Assembly was full of content and expectations, but it was just the beginning of a process of growth that will continue in 2020 and beyond. I’m especially grateful to Chairman Balcomb that came to give his precious contribution and to all participants that gave all their hearts session by session. It was very intense and productive, and we have now a new and broader base in South Europe to respond to Heavenly Parent and True Parents, properly. Their Presence was deeply and substantially felt throughout the assembly and, if I had to describe with one sentence the main conclusion of this event, I would say: “The Filial Heart to Heaven is the source of our identity and our commitment, realization, joy and victory”. Thank you, True Mother on earth, thank you True Father in Heaven, thank you True Parents in our hearts!