Cranes Club Kicks Off in Europe
European Unificationists welcomed True Mother to the continent on her recent visit to Vienna, Austria to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Unification Movement in Europe. After her message on the morning of May 10, 2015, True Mother joined young professionals at the Cranes Club gathering at the Hilton Hotel in Vienna. Over 400 young professionals attended the networking and development event, traveling up to 50 hours to get to Vienna. One participant, Toya Nomura even came from Washington, D.C. “I think it was really beautiful how everything was put together. True Mother really cares for every one of us, and she really sees us as family, as her children,” he said.
Participants were able to meet other professionals, learn from and discuss with others in their respective industries including the arts, humanities, medical and many other fields.
“Today was very impressive, just to see all these people from all around Europe is very unique,” shared Luke from France. “What I got out of this event was the knowledge that I have many great peers in Europe, and I got strength from that.”
Presentations began with the vision of Cranes Club in Europe and the purpose of the event. Participants shared thoughts and ideas a few weeks before the event, which helped coordinators prepare and set the schedule and topics. Their main purpose and topic of this meeting with True Mother was “Making the Crane Club Fly.”
“The mission of the Cranes Club is to create a space for professionals to network within their professional background,” said participant Bogdan Pammer.
Other presentations included a review of special initiatives going on in Europe, including a presentation by Michael Rawlence on a project called “The 3rd Blessing Website.” The participants were enthusiastic about the vision of Cranes Club, and eager to collaborate with their peers on ways to stay connected and work together.
Before True Mother addressed the group, the participants raised their hands as different industries were called out, identifying themselves by profession as a way for the group to get a sense of everyone’s backgrounds. Brief testimonies from young working professionals followed the introductions.
“I have to continually remind myself of my motivation,” said one of the participants. “Is it about making money, or is it about my own worth, or popularity? I think ultimately imagination has to come about with true love, and I want to bring joy through beauty. I think in all of our industries we have to try and be revolutionaries.”
The highlight of the event was this personal connection with True Mother facilitated by the engaging and intimate atmosphere. In her address she emphasized the purpose of the organization as a platform for all young Unificationists, whether they are closely connected or have been distanced from the community for any length of time.
“Cranes Club is a way for young Unificationists to connect using their expertise, to come together and create something beautiful together,” described Benedict Jenson from Germany. “We should work as a team because throughout our life we are all connected.”
“The idea is for professionals with different background to get together and build a culture of heart, for example by doing good through projects,” said one participant from Finland. “I think it’s a really good opportunity for people who have good ideas to move forward and with determination. This Cranes Club meeting was the closest experience I’ve had with True Mother as a young Unificationist. It gave me the feeling that True Mother is thinking about us like, what we are doing, how are we, and how we can develop the world.”
Toward the end of the day, participants broke up into smaller groups related to their industry and brainstormed ideas on how to move forward. Though True Mother established the umbrella organization of Cranes Club, she hopes that the young adults will take it upon themselves to build and develop local networks based on their own needs and vision. Participants discussed and filled out a questionnaire to identify the priorities they found most important for the Cranes Club to focus on in the next two years. A few of the senior participants will form a committee to prepare the legal establishment and the official European launch of Cranes Club. It was inspiring to see the initiative and enthusiasm of all of the participants in creating this organization from the bottom up.
The group also enjoyed musical entertainment with True Mother getting into the spirit by singing a rendition of “Edelweiss,” in which the entire auditorium joined in. This beautiful song about the Austrian flower reflected the sense of a pure, heart connection experienced among the Cranes Club members of Europe and with True Mother, as one family.
True Mother is continuing through Europe and soon to the United States later this month. Stay up-to-date with Springtime with True Parents and let us pray for True Mother’s safe journey.