Ocean Picnic Reinforces Family and Community Ties
An ocean picnic was held on Sunday, April 30, 2017, at Fort Macon State Park on the Atlantic coast of North Carolina. Around 27 people (nine families) attended. Following are brief testimonies from three members of the Ocean Community of North Carolina who attended the picnic.
“With the beautiful view of the ocean, spring breeze, and words of True Father surrounding us, it was tranquility at its finest. As a community, we hadn’t visited the beach together, so it was a wonderful opportunity for us to gather and connect with one another and with nature. This being our first time planning a beach picnic, the council checked out different locations before settling on Fort Macon State Park. With its vast history, this felt like a significant place for us to hold our first picnic. It was such a beautiful Sunday morning, with the bright sun beaming as though God was enjoying this sermon as much as we were! There was even a nice wind, which made it possible for several of our young Unificationists to fly a kite. After 2016, which was a difficult year for our community with the loss of Reiko Watanabe, a beloved second-generation Unificationist, and Takeru Kamiyama, who was our community’s father figure, we hope this picnic will be the first of many more events to connect us more closely with God, True Parents, and each other.” –Asuka Tsurusaki
“Members of the Ocean Community gathered at Lookout Point (a viewing station) for worship. Once everyone arrived, we started our event. We sang the song “Sailing with Our Father,” with Bob Huneycutt on the guitar, and then read True Father’s words from the book God’s Will and the Ocean as our sermon. Ten children volunteered to read True Father’s words out loud. We finished off with a closing prayer and then headed to the Fort Macon Education Center. There we dismissed the group for one hour of free roaming around the Education Center and the rest of the park. The staff at the Education Center informed us about the damage from pollution to both the wildlife and environment. The fort itself let us peer into America’s history which symbolized the foundation of the colonies. After the hour of free roaming finished, most families met at the beach to have lunch. At that point, families could relax on the sand, socialize, eat delicious food, and even fly kites! We also organized a watermelon splitting game in which participants whacked a watermelon with a stick. It was very exciting! Finally, we ended the event with a group photo of the community and a second group photo showing the young people jumping.” –Syun Hasebe
“Asuka is one of our community’s elder children. This idea for a Sunday picnic was born from her pure heart, since we are a small community that has always been managed by the parents’ generation. Asuka introduced a breath of new life into the community. All the participants felt how much she had dedicated herself to this plan. Everyone became much happier than they had expected. Through the success of this event, I thought that God and True Parents work joyfully when they are with young people who have a pure heart. We appreciate that God has awesome children like Asuka and all the other children.” –Junko Hasebe
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