‘Our Journey Home’ Divine Principle Retreat
A weekend Divine Principle workshop was held from April 14-17 at the Pecometh Riverview Retreat Center in Centreville, Maryland. The workshop was presented by lecturer Gerry Servito and attended by 36 high school youth from New York, New Jersey, Virginia, D.C., Pennsylvania, Delaware, and even Florida. Eight college-aged young adults and two working professionals staffed the workshop as well.
The local youth had specifically requested the workshop, seeking “an overview of the entire Divine Principle to understand what the concepts mean and to connect to it better and apply it in their own lives,” according to Gerry Servito.
Lectures covered the introduction of the Divine Principle, Principle of Creation, the Fall, the Messiah, Principle of Restoration, Parallels of History and Last Days, and Age of Settlement. Each day began with Hoon Dok Hwe (scripture reading), and each presentation ended with a Q&A and group discussion.
The youth were embracing and hungry to learn, even requesting additional lectures beyond those scheduled in the day. “The experience reminded me that the youth ministers and youth ministry are very crucial for the future of the US movement,” said Gerry.
Here are some of the reflections from participants:
“I learned how to practically approach people I especially don’t like. I first contact God and ask Him why He likes this person. I approach it with a better mindset and with sincerity towards that person.”
“I learned that God has amazing plans for me and all I have to do is to connect with Him and fulfill the dream He has for me. I began to understand God’s irrational heart as a parent: so full of love and hope for all humans that He ignores the possibility of us making the wrong choices. I never considered the emotions that God felt. I’ve only studied the heart of God like I do with school, just learning what happened, but never actually putting myself in His shoes. It made me realize that I need True Parents to fulfill my portion of responsibility. It made me understand how valuable and enlightening the Divine Principle is, even if it was written decades ago. I’ve never connected so much to the ideas in the Divine Principle as I did here. I feel like now I can be more confident and happy and even pursue studies of the Divine Principle outside of this workshop.”
“I learned that God shouldn’t be separate from your everyday actions and passions; He should be integrated into your lifestyle.”
“I’ve never been to a lecture type workshop but honestly it was inspiring. It taught me so much in just four days! And there’s obviously so much more to learn and so many questions that I’ll have and do have but this was a great start to that. It’s set a foundation for me. Now I really do want to learn and explore the Divine Principle in further depth and even other religions.”
“I think I gained a better understanding of one big idea: that God is all around us. In the same way that a team leader or a parent wants to create an environment of love where their children never experienced a lack of love, God is the same.”