National Leaders’ Conference Begins in Las Vegas
Over 65 leaders of the Family Federation community in America came together at the International Peace Education Center (IPEC) for the National Leaders’ Conference on Monday, September 21, 2015. The purpose of the conference is to unite with True Parents as one family and to clarify the 2020 Vision and mission for FFWPU-USA.
“The education center is really beautiful,” said Yoshie Manaka, who works at FFWPU USA Evangelism department. “It feels like home; much nicer than any of the hotels I’ve stayed at on the strip.”
Participants arrived around noon and enjoyed lunch together before beginning their program. The conference kicked off with a couple of songs, and the group heard True Mother’s words through the Peace TV weekly update. Each person then introduced themselves and their responsibility and/or organization.
In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chair of FFWPU North America, reflected that the spirit he sees in the movement and in True Mother is unprecedentedly high and full of confidence right now. He also shared about the importance of kindness in everyday life.
“True Mother said, ‘How can we bring about church growth?’ First let us have spirit. Then, let us study the truth, and let us love one another,” he said. “Even though we called so many times, ‘One Family under God,’ how many times did we put that slogan into our hearts? I really want to bring that spirit back into our community, and I really want to build this community, a very precious community, I really want to join this community. This is the reason that inheriting the spirit of God and True Parents’ heart is our priority.”
Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of FFWPU USA, closed the opening remarks. “This is not really a leader’s meeting,” he said. “It’s a family meeting. We’re here to be one family and to leave here with a clear purpose and vision for 2020.”
The group was then assigned to “families,” or teams, much like the recent Top Gun workshop in Korea. They mixed people who work at FFWPU USA National Ministry Team with people who represent local districts and affiliate groups (CARP, WFWP, etc), and took some time to get to know each other.
That evening, they went to the Cheon Hwa Gung where all participants filed inside to pray. Many had been there before to hear True Parents speak, and reflected on these memories, re-determining themselves to move forward toward the goals for 2020.
After the prayer, they enjoyed a lovely garden party outside, with lights strung up against the backdrop of the most dramatic sunset. They were served delicious Korean food, and intimately, like a family, shared testimonies, dreams, goals and songs.
After closing the day together in prayer, some chose to walk back to the Peace Center rather than drive. This was a forty five minute walk along the road that Mr. Machida took when he first began his walk across America. This walk was also a chance for people to share in pairs about their experience of the day.
The National Leaders’ Conference will continue this week in Las Vegas. Stay tuned for more stories, photos and updates from your American family!