WFWP Holds Annual Leadership Retreat in Tampa
Contributed by Women’s Federation for World Peace USA
We were joined by 40 Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) participants of all ages at the Franciscan Retreat Center in Tampa, Florida, from July 14-17, 2016 for our annual leadership retreat. We joined together as several generations of women, including a number of mothers-to-be.
This year we chose the theme “Compassionate, Sustainable Leadership” for our leadership retreat, where we discussed and deliberated on the words compassionate and sustainable as characteristics for a new, feminine style of leadership conducive to making peace a reality.
In addition, the retreat created space for participants to meditate and refresh ones’ personal connection with God in the beautiful environment; to empower our chairwomen and women leaders with confidence and passion; to reflect, set goals, and gain spiritual and practical tools for the field; to connect more deeply in heart with our Co-Founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon; and to bond together as women and sisters and create new friendships.
All educational presentations were designed to be short, with an interactive practical component afterwards to stimulate discussion, learning, and to “discover the leader within.” The following is an overview of the presentations given during the course of the workshop:
- Appreciating my Unique Journey (drawing activity)
- Reconnection to the Vision and Mission of WFWP (finding my passion activity)
- Qualities of a Leader of the Heart (turning failures into lessons activity)
- Engaging with Others and Building a Team (a communication and conflict resolution activity)
- Promotion and Public Relations (elevator pitch activity)
- Educational Programs: Leadership of the Heart, Abstinence Education, Blessing
- Schools of Africa and National Assembly updates
- Strategic Planning (goal setting activity)
Bridge of Peace Spiritual Activity
In addition to the above, we held a unique Bridge of Peace Ceremony for all participants, focusing on the future to create new friendships among women and sisters, rather than focusing on the past of restoring hurts and wrongdoings. A rendition of the song “You are Loved” by Josh Groban, sung by a man and woman, accompanied the ceremony.
Half of the ladies lined up outside the door and the other half inside, and received a “surprise” sisterhood match orchestrated by a higher power. All women received a “new” sister and felt the joy, healing, and most of all love from our Heavenly Parent.
Understanding WFWP’s Foundation and Founders
WFWP USA Vice President Katarina Connery, who emceed for the entire three-day program, shared about the growing connection and respect she experienced with True Mother during her pregnancy.
July 16 marked the fourth anniversary of the inauguration of the Abel Women UN. After viewing an excerpt of the video from Peace TV about the Abel Women UN, WFWP USA President Angelika Selle shared about her experiences at the inauguration of the Global Women’s Peace Network, which was the last public speech that True Father gave before his passing. Angelika highlighted True Father’s plea for women to support True Mother and to complete the work they had begun.
Deputy Director of the WFWP International UN office, Alexa Ward, president of WFWP USA President from 2000-2009, also shared her profound experiences with True Father as the incoming president 16 years ago.
Outreach and Education
Nancy Jubb, a member of the WFWP USA board and one of the education committee co-leaders, has been developing a curriculum on abstinence with Pam Stein for WFWP USA. Nancy also presented helpful key points on public relations and promotion to the retreat participants, as this is her field of expertise.
President Angelika Selle then presented the first of three leadership sessions that she is currently developing with Board Member Teresa Rischl, as part of the education committee. The program is called “Leadership of the Heart: Discover the Leader Within.”
Katherine Cromwell, newsletter editor of the Logic of Love News, poured out her heart to explain about the vision and mission of the WFWP newsletter, giving pointers and explaining the difference between reports and articles or stories.
Crescentia DeGoede, Director of the Blessing and Family Ministry, explained about the collaboration between her ministry and WFWP USA, and answered many questions from the participants.
Jizly Dohou presented her work with blessing 430 couples in the Philippines, explaining that the Marriage Blessing Ceremony is an expression of grace and forgiveness.
Comments from Participants
“This was the best retreat I have attended.”
“There was a powerful spirit throughout the conference. Thank you for the incredible workshop experience.”
“Excellent and very well thought through, inspirational sessions.”
“All sessions were thought-provoking and helpful for growth and development.”
“Thank your giving the opportunity to share deeply excellent spiritual and physical/practical food.”
“The interconnectedness among all these beautiful women was great! And even though I am not working in WFWP, I felt empowered and supported for the work I do. I felt that God spoke to me in special conversations I had during that time. I realized that in fact every woman should be in Women’s Federation to learn to become a true wife, true sister, and true mother and to feel empowered in whatever you do.”
“It was so refreshing to be with these beautiful women who care about the world!”