Participants Dig Deep at 7-Day Divine Principle Workshop
Several people at the 7-Day Divine Principle Workshop in Las Vegas are new to the teachings of the Divine Principle, some having been introduced to it just weeks ago, but everyone has something to discover, and is fully present, fully engaged and curious to understand how the Divine Principle unfolds in their own everyday life. As the workshop continues this week, countless highlights have already been experienced by all:
Day 2: Transformation through Self-reflection
Participants of the 7-Day Divine Principle Workshop worked off the morning chill with an invigorating exercise routine, before diving into lectures focused on the Fall and the Purpose of the Messiah. It was an intense, serious day of reflection.
“The motivation levels are high and the commitment levels are 100%, which is refreshing for a lecturer” shared Rev. Thompson. “People are already engaged. They want to be here.”
Rev. Kevin Thompson, Pastor of the Bay Area Family Church, presented on both topics, that had participants talking. The morning lecture session on the Fall stimulated a variety of questions. The variety of experience and understanding in participants allowed the opportunity to learn from each other and gain a greater understanding of the history of restoration and how we, today, fit into that journey.
Later that day, Rev. Thompson gave an impassioned lecture about the purpose of Jesus’s life and the immeasurable tragedy of his death. It was a day of deep self reflection on how we view Jesus as Unificationists and how much we still do not understand the heart of this great son of God. So often overlooked, Rev. Thompson reminded us that Jesus is the root and foundation of Unificationism, and it was through his life, that True Father learned the lesson of God’s desperate desire to bring His and Her children back home.
Rev. Thompson also touched on True Father’s relationship with Jesus, as it was from him that True Father received his mission. Rev. Thompson shared that True Father said in the early years of his ministry that as he studied the Bible as a youth, he felt he was being taught directly by Jesus and because of this loving attention, True Father was able to see the Bible from new eyes.
True Father spoke a great deal on Jesus during his early years of ministry. His sermons are almost all about Jesus. True Father came on the foundation of Jesus, with Jesus’ guidance. “Read your Bible” Rev. Thompson implored.
He also spoke about the spirit of Christianity and how it may well have been this spirit that True Father wanted us to inherit as Unificationists. “We need the spirit as much as we need the truth, every bit as much. The spirit of God as well as the truth. ” He said.
Rev. Thompson also reminded Unificationists that we are Christian in that we also believe that Jesus came to complete the process of restoration, and though it did not have to happen, Jesus did die for our sins and because he did that, the providence of salvation continued. True Father taught us in the end that Jesus’ victory is that he still loved God even at the worst moment in history and offered up his spirit to God. “So let’s love Jesus,” Rev. Thompson said with all sincerity of heart. “Let’s be the best Christians.”
Many of the participants remarked that they were grateful to have a new love for Jesus and even had the inspiration to start a Bible study group.
Day two ended with a high-spirited session of singing and a public speaking lesson. The evening social programs are meant to compliment the day’s period of deep study with a more light-hearted but engaging activity. Participants watched four Youtube videos on public speaking then chose between two slam poetry readings, a speech by, Hyo Jin Moon, and a speech by Gandhi. The participants practiced their chosen speech, and gathered back to deliver it for the group, followed by a reflection on the experience. .
Day 3: Transformation Through Value
Rev. Kevin Thompson’s witty personality coupled with his deep understanding of the text, kept the high energy levels going strong on day three. For his final day of lectures, Rev. Thompson presented on the chapters of Eschatology, Resurrection and Predestination in the Divine Principle. Every session, participants are ask for longer lectures, more content, and longer Q&A sessions. Discussion questions are designed to apply what was just presented. So, on day three, participants discussed what they felt they were predestined to be, what it was they were born to do.
In the late afternoon, Teresa Ferrete followed up on this same theme and gave the lecture on Christology. She shared a great deal of her personal struggles and challenges about self-discovery and self-value. The discussion question was: If you knew your value how would life be different for you? For some, this was a very hard question to tackle but for most, they appreciated going deeper into self-discovery.
The group ended the day’s study hand-in-hand, offering a prayer of gratitude to Jesus and our Heavenly Parent and True Parents for bringing us all together.
In the evening, participants gathered to the beckoning and fellowship of the song team, singing “Lean on Me.” After the music brought everyone together, Josh Hardman, Evening Program Coordinator, introduced the distinction of tolerance versus truly loving each other as God’s children. He played three clips of religious praise music from different genres including a Jewish prayer, a Catholic chant, and a Pacific Island song. Participants took time to appreciate the way God can be expressed through different music, cultures, and locations. Teams discussed what aspects of a different religion they appreciated or loved. Everyone then went outside to the brisk mountain evening air and took time to appreciate the gift of creation with the majestic mountains and starry night. Participants prayed individually and came back together with the song “Amazing Grace.” The experience has already been enlightening and transformative, and the spirit is high as teams bond closer and closer each day.