Famicon: We are God’s Winning Team
On April 3, 2017, national leaders of Family Federation (FFWPU) USA convened the inaugural Famicon at the International Peace Education Center (IPEC) in Las Vegas. Famicon is a leadership conference organized to share best practices about our movement’s work to heal and expand God’s family through the Marriage Blessing, the teachings of True Parents, and Tribal Messiahship. The following reflection about the first day of the conference was contributed by Mi Young Eaton, editorial assistant, FFWPU USA.
“Thank you for joining Famicon 2017, our new signature conference for FFWPU USA…We’re rebranding these conferences, moving from mostly informational and instructional to more collaborative and innovative. In other words, this is YOUR conference.” –Miilhan Stephens, Vice President FFWPU USA
Standing in the living room at Cheon Hwa Gung before the evening garden party, I took a moment to listen to the chorus of prayer rising up around me. It’s been a long time since I’ve participated in unison prayer, but I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to just listen and drink it in like that. Usually I try to push out the other voices so that I can articulate my own thoughts and prayer. But this time, listening, a chord was struck. The concentrated sincerity of the prayers around me seemed to generate a tangible energy.
I would sum up my main impression from the day as feeling intrigued. The energy has been a bit sporadic and there seems to be a looser control of factors that traditionally make a conference run smoothly. But I liked that. We are trying something new with Famicon, and it feels like we’ve begun to shift toward a better way of managing ourselves, our activities, our responsibilities. People feel excited and are putting themselves forward openly and honestly. As a young person in this movement, it’s refreshing to see.
Our first day’s program consisted of opening remarks from Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Director of FFWPU North America, Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of FFWPU USA, and the directors of our three strategic ministries of Blessing and Family, Youth and Young Adult, and Evangelism: Crescentia DeGoede and Steve Honey, Naokimi Ushiroda, and Demian Dunkley.
Dr. Kim exhorted everyone to return to the fundamentals of our faith by teaching the Divine Principle, testifying to True Parents, and becoming tribal messiahs and encouraged everyone to attend a 7-day workshop at IPEC in order to strengthen these roots.
“We will address our challenges during the days ahead but we will be careful not to dwell on them. If you only look for problems, you’ll be guaranteed to find them, but if we look for the hopeful and positive things, we will be able cultivate and nourish a higher spirit. The attitude we create in these next few days as ‘God’s winning team’ will set the tone not just for 2017 but for each year until 2020.” –Dr. Balcomb
“Wenguzhixin: ‘review the past if you want to know the future.’ Likewise, without knowing True Parents well, we can’t do anything well today, or tomorrow as we move towards vision 2020. We are talking about all these new ideas but if we don’t connect them back deeply into the root of True Parents then we won’t succeed.” –Dr. Kim
After offering our prayers at Cheon Hwa Gung, we all went outside to close our day at the garden party. The atmosphere was springlike, familial, and as Mari Curry, Vice President of FFWPU USA, mentioned in passing, the environment sacred.
The next three days are going to be quite full: plenary sessions and a multitude of breakouts and activities covering a wide range of topics relevant to the conference theme, “Restore my State, Save our Nation by Testifying to True Parents’ Love.” Be sure to visit famicon.com in the days ahead to access some of the materials and resources we’ll be using throughout the conference.