By FFWPU Germany, Robert Bentele
A Culture of Peace, this was the topic of a seminar held by the Munich branch of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification on Saturday 4 December 2016, and attended by 60 first and second generation members.
One purpose was to help us to clarify how to introduce people to the Blessing; and secondly, this was for the time being, the last seminar in preparation to receive the Holy Items. We were especially happy to welcome our national leader, Dieter Schmidt, as one of the speakers. Annette Bentele was the emcee.
Alfons Wellenhofer gave the first presentation. His topic was: ‘the (eternal) meaning of life on earth ‘. He gave a comprehensive explanation of the three phases of life and about the meaning of spiritual growth here on earth and how it is a preparation for eternal life in the spiritual world. His talk, which was impressively illustrated by power point, stimulated a great deal of discussion.
The second speaker was Alan Ingram, whose talk was eagerly anticipated because of the unusual title he had chosen: ’my life – with one foot in the spiritual world’. His presentation, also accompanied by pictures, was mainly a testimony about his life and early contacts he made with the spiritual world in his childhood and youth. He told us about several experiences with different realms of the spiritual world. He also related how he met our movement and how, eventually, and clearly with God’s guidance, he was ‘matched’ and blessed with Susanne. Albert Einstein’s statement: ‘He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead’, seems to fit Alan’ life very well.
Through these first two presentations, we were made very aware that man ‚does not live from bread alone ‘, as Jesus said, and lives not only in the material world, but also in the spiritual world. It is essential to unite these two worlds.
Before lunch, Thomas Schuhmann and Albert Beck were recognized for 40 years of membership in the Unification Church/ Family Federation. They both gave a short testimony.
The third speaker, also eagerly awaited, was Dieter Schmidt, president of the FFWPU Germany. His topic was: ‘world peace through healthy families – the World Peace Blessing – from utopia to reality’.
He began by recalling the large marriage blessing in Madison Square Garden in New York in 1982, which was held under the motto „World Peace Through Loving Families „and was organized by our movement. This was also the motto of his talk, with the addition of the word ‘healthy’. The world religions must take up the challenge of working for peace (no world peace without religious freedom – Project World Ethics by Hans Küng) as must the United Nations, said Dieter. The UNO is obliged by its charter to invest itself first and foremost for peace.
He then spoke about the closely connected topic of health. The WHO definition of health is: a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely only the absence of illness or infirmity.
Healthy families, loving relationships and love and fidelity in marriage are the essence of a peaceful society. Sexual abuse and infidelity bring misery and chaos. Not only is the nuclear family important, but also the extended family, relatives, home, garden, pets and of course, the presence of God. These are all contained in the Korean expression for family ‚kajong‘.
True Parents teach us a new paradigm: God is parents and the world should grow together as one family under God.
The final part of his lecture was about the marriage blessing and all the steps and ceremonies leading up to it. The world peace blessing offered by True Parents is the key for peace. And we all hope that large blessing movements can be established in Europe and the Western world, as they have been in Asia.
In the breaks as well as after the seminar, there were lively discussions and exchanges about all these topics.
Click blow to watch the to the videos of the presentations: (in German)