End-Of-Year Toronto Youth Workshop
2017 ended with a bang for Canadian young Unificationists. On December 26, 22 youth, teens and young adults from as far as Winnipeg gathered at the Toronto Family Church for the annual Winter Divine Principle Workshop: Toronto Edition.
The only non-Canuck among the crew was Dr. Michael Hentrich, a special guest lecturer from Denver, Colorado who is known for his unconventional style.
At the beginning of the retreat, some of the youth seemed unenthused about the prospect of having four days of lectures. Dr. Hentrich is used to this. “[Soon] they began to realize that this really was going to be different and not the same beginner presentations they were used to,” he says. “By the final presentation, the participants looked markedly brighter and far more engaged.” Staff agreed that the youth were truly excited by the lectures, asking dozens of questions as the days wore on.
Dr. Hentrich’s lectures are designed for people already familiar with the basic teaching of the Divine Principle. His approach, which he explains on his website www.deeperdp.com, is to draw from True Parents’ speeches, the Cheon Seong Gyeong, and other sources to more deeply analyze the messages contained in the text that is so fundamental to the Unification Movement.
“Dr. Hentrich blew all the participants away,” reports Koshin Young, the Toronto Youth Pastor and director of the retreat. “Participants were able to open up and take in information in a way that they were not able to before. Discussions were lively and productive, deep questions were asked, and strong bonds were established. Participants were sad to see Dr. Michael Hentrich leave after the last lecture.”
On the final day, the youth ventured into the great Canadian outdoors in -20 °C (-4 °F) weather to experience God`s creation at Arrowhead Provincial Park. There, they snowshoed alongside a half-frozen lake, surrounded by snow-covered trees. They finished their trek by skating through a frozen ice path in the forest.
Everyone left the workshop tired and exhausted, but with a higher understanding of God, True Parents, and themselves.