Generation Peace Academy 2017-18 Launch
Generation Peace Academy (GPA) kicked off its new year on September 10, as young Unificationists from all around the nation gathered at the Unification Theological Seminary. 39 first year participants, and 26 participants who are dedicating a second or third year to creating peace worldwide.
After the launch, the participants were challenged to face themselves and let go of whatever is holding them back, starting the next day by meeting their teammates for the next three weeks. They then went through a set of activities that were designed to be extremely difficult without strong teamwork.
The second day had the theme of self-acceptance and seeing oneself from God’s perspective. The activities and guidance were designed according to this theme, as the participants bonded with and learned about one another through them.
The young Unificationists then participated in a 3-day workshop led by Tasnah Moyer, Program Coordinator for National Young Adult Ministry, which focused on each individual participant’s intention and motivation before moving further into the year. Knowing that there are many challenges to be faced throughout the year, Tasnah provided tips for looking at the situations of the participants through positive lens. She helped to expand their terror lines, in other words, working past any fears and insecurities the participants have within themselves.
The last day of the intention workshop was focused on reflection, goal setting and prayer. Tasnah taught the participants to view challenges as a way to grow and to constantly go back to God, knowing that their center and strength has to come from an unchanging source.
After coming back from a week of fundraising, the next three days were dedicated to Divine Principle lectures. participants were even given the opportunity to give 7 minute lectures to their teams. They realized that even though they have heard Divine Principle lectures their whole lives, when it came to lecturing, they did not know as much as they thought they did. They were able to see how much investment is needed to fully grasp the depth of the Principle.
In the final days of the workshop, FFWPU USA President Rev. Richard Buessing and Mrs. Marjorie Buessing surprised GPA with a visit. Even on short notice, Rev. Buessing arrived and delivered a Divine Principle lecture on the three families. He emphasized how the lives and stories of the providential families are real and relate to us.
“We saw the face of God,” said Mrs. Buessing, inspired by the GPA participants’ dedication and energy.
Naokimi Ushiroda shared through testimonies about how his years on Special Task Force, GPA’s predecessor, developed his relationship with God.
On the final day of the workshop, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chairman of FFWPU North America, also visited GPA. He was greeted with a performance of “Mujogeon (Unconditionally).” He commended them for their choice to walk a public course and dedicate their year to growing closer to God and True Parents. He referred to his own early years, spending two years as a pioneer. It is those challenging experiences that allowed him to have the relationship with God he has over 30 years later.
After completing the workshops, 13 Cheon Il Guk Missionaries headed to Florida to support the disaster relief efforts of the International Relief Friendship Foundation (IRFF), while the rest of GPA began their journey with fundraising.
Go to http://irff.us to learn more about disaster relief support!