Netherlands: UPF EUME Seminar
By Hans Campman, UPF Netherland
It was the third seminar of this kind since the summer of last year which was held on September 6 to 8, 2019 in Glory Haus, Bergen am Zee, The Netherlands. There were 25 guests this time, 13 came from Netherlands, 12 were from all over Europe and the Middle East. Ten nationalities altogether were represented, as follows: From Middle East: Egypt and Lebanon, From South East Europe: Hungary, Bulgaria, Kosovo, From Eurasia: Moldova, From Western Europe: United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands.
Our guests were from a variety of backgrounds, some are involved in (high level) politics, such as Dr. and Mrs. Van Eekelen (Neth.), Prof. van de Meulenbroecke (Belgium) and Mrs Nafye Gas (Kosovo) Others are academics and writers, such as Dr Naaman (Lebanon), Mr Hutter (Germany) and Mrs Ekklesia (Bulgaria). Some are passionately engaging in social activity. Concerning religion, the majority of attendants were of Christian background; besides there were three Muslims and one young Jewish person from Hungary, who is studying to become a rabbi. There was a large presentation of Christian pastors; there were eight of them (of whom two pastor couples). Seven are from Netherlands and one (pastor Aleen Alarice) from the UK.
All our participants, Muslim, Jewish and Christian, had a broad-minded outlook on the world, putting greater value on intercultural cooperation than on the interests of their own religious background. Surrounded by such wonderful guests it was our responsibility as UPF to give them the very best. Dr. Otsuka’s team of lecturers (Jacques Marion, David Hanna, David Fraser Harris) has succeeded again to move the hearts and minds of the people in a very deep way. Our guests, even when they cannot yet understand or accept the teaching in full, were able to feel the integrity and authority behind the words of the lecturers. Some expressed that they really want to dig into the teaching and study it in depth. Several of our own members as well, felt revived by the lectures and eagerly wish to study the PowerPoint slides, which have been made available. Dieter Schmid did a great job as the MC. He made sure the schedule was kept, so that no time was lost. He led the audience through the program in a clear, sensitive and entertaining way, referring to the lectures that were being presented and connecting them skilfully to one another. He also led the other parts of the program, such as a ceremonial part, in which six persons (of whom 5 Christian pastors) received an Ambassador for Peace award.
The Glory House staff had made sure that the external circumstances were as good as they could be. Mr & Mrs Derk and Gerdien van Dorsten carefully prepared the arrangement of the rooms. In this way almost 40 seminar participants could have a comfortable stay. This is more people than last time, even though it was still the high season and there was a number of tourist guests in the house. Besides, Derk and Gerdien and their staff took care of the cooking and serving of the meals. On Friday evening one 2nd gen couple, Eiki and Sharon Mori, prepared an exclusive, high quality 7 course Japanese dinner. This special treat was greatly appreciated by all participants. The other meals, also, were prepared with care, in buffet style. Every meal included an option for vegetarians.
During the entertainment on Saturday evening in the main hall we had a few feature stars, who through their singing and playing gave joy to the participants; I will mention them this time. Mr. Carlos Figueroa played a Santana medley on guitar, Ms Welmoed Alkenaar, a young violinist, treated us to three classical pieces (by a.o. Saint Saens and Dvorak), Mrs Kyung Ja Hanna conveyed to us True Mother’s heart and spirit by singing two of Mother’s favourite Korean songs, the Ten Bokkel family (father, mother and daughter Junai) led us in 3 sing- alongs and, as a grand finale, Daniel Szurasenko, Jewish cantor from Hungary, presented 3 famous Jewish songs to us. He succeeded in getting the audience involved. For me it was a great joy to accompany the performers on piano on some of their songs. The entertainment evening underlined the feeling of being united as brothers and sisters in One Family under God.
Our special thanks go to Mr Yvo Bruffaerts from Belgium, who did the important job of taking pictures. We also wish to recognize our team of sisters, who took care of the coffee, tea and snacks between the lectures (and who organized the transport) as well as all brothers and sisters who supported the seminar and the guests by their presence. We thank the pick-up team at Schiphol airport on Friday morning and, last but not least, the drivers, who brought our guests from Amsterdam airport to Glory house and back.
The success of the UPF seminar is the fact that we have been able to create new bonds with people and could strengthen the already existing bonds. The same had happened in the previous UPF-seminar in May this year. As a result of that seminar we were able to do follow up with some of our participants and hold 2 small seminars with them. Some day- guests of the May UPF Glory house seminar had come again to the present one and stayed longer this time.
It is my hope that many of our contacts may have the opportunity to receive this education seminar from Dr Otsuka’s lecturers’ team. The presentations are of very high quality in both content and form and are able to give our audience a direct experience with the Heavenly Parent. It would be good for Europe and Middle East if this seminar could be given more frequently, not only in Glory House but also in other places of our EUME-region.
We are looking forward to the next occasion here, possibly in the end of November this year.