Prepared by FFWPU UK (London, UK, May 27, 2018)
My name is Aryan Rai and I am 16 years old, currently studying History, Maths, Chemistry and Divinity at high school. I participated in the Blessing Information Day hosted by Central London Community Church that took place in Lancaster Gate on the 27th of May. The event followed on from the normal Harp service, and this, in addition to the food that was prepared for us to eat, made it easy to attend.
Once a sizeable audience had been mustered together, the event started with an overview of what we would be experiencing over the next few hours. We started off with a presentation from Susan Crosthwaite. She gave us an insight into her own blessing, and the general blessing process as a whole.
One important detail that I took away from her talk was the 13 things that are required in a blessing in order to make it successful. We are often told about how we need to prepare for the blessing, with the essential aspect of maintaining our purity, but we are rarely given guidance on how we can successfully fulfil the Blessing once we do get blessed – the exception being testimonies that we may happen to attend. I was also grateful to meet members of the Blessed Family Department who would be able to help with any issues that I may have in the future, as I was unaware that such an organization even existed.
Additionally, it was useful to hear of the new European website that had been set up to help those find out more about the blessing, how to prepare for it, and how to actually start the process.
After a short break, we returned to watch a video on “Growing up in a Pornified World” from Pure Mind Online presented by Debby Gullery. She highlighted how exposed we are to pornography, and how we may unwittingly suffer from it. An interesting fact that she mentioned was that the content that we now see in music videos would have been considered soft porn just 15 years ago; this illustrated how attitudes to pornographic material has changed as a consequence of the normalization of it. Gullery raised another major issue that porn was having on society, and this was that it was putting unrealistic standards on what people should expect to get out of a sexual relationship, in some cases even leading to violence and divorce.
Furthermore, Gullery noted that we, as members of the Unification Church, were not exempt from suffering from an addiction to pornography, and that in some cases it had led to the breakdown of a number of blessings. In order to deal with this toxic culture, Gullery declared that we need to break the stigma around porn addiction, and we need to help each other to overcome it if we, or people we know, are suffering from it.
I, personally, have already attempted to help my friends from school who I know suffer from porn addiction. I will use this video to help motivate me to continue to tell them the downside of watching porn and will recommend them to watch the video themselves. I am hoping that one alarming fact, that the increase of cases of men suffering from erectile dysfunction has increased up to 3000%, will be particularly effective. I think that it is important for me to mention the website that has been set up and sponsored by the Church, www.puremind.online , so if any of you are suffering from the constant bombardment of a pornified culture, or if you know anyone that is, then they can receive help from there.
This video was followed by a talk from Keiko Brouard. She spoke of the work that she does as a Matching Supporter for the Blessed Family Department, as well telling us about her own experience of the blessing in her family, and how her actions affected her family. Auntie Keiko commended Soon Hee Lall on her sermon that she gave that preceded the Blessing Information Day, in particular praising her for raising the importance of unity between the parents and child, and how this must be attained before the blessing takes place. A recurring them in the blessing information day was the need for this parent-child unity, as the blessing is not just between the two people that are getting blessed, it is the unification of two families, or the “engrafting” of one person into another family root, as Auntie Susan eloquently put it. Auntie Keiko encouraged us to purchase the hand books that she had brought with her, one about the Matching process which would help us and our parents to learn how to go through the blessing, and the other, gained at 24 years plus, that included people’s experiences of their own blessings which we could learn from. Those who attended will receive an electronic copy of both (based on a community license fee for the materials) which I am sure we will appreciate and use whenever we feel it necessary to do so.
Lastly, we had a humorous lecture from Uncle William Haines. Uncle William used his familiar PowerPoint and his colorful diagrams to show us how our sexual integrity was originally meant to celebrated through the fulfilment of the 3 great blessings, one of which is our blessing to be able to multiply. Uncle William then spoke of the issue of masturbation, demonstrating how harmful it can be as it increases our expectations of any sexual partner that we may have, much in the same way that pornography does; he used a well-written piece from C.S Lewis to get this message across. Uncle William concluded his talk with some well received memes, as well as a video from Mark Gungor on “A Tale of Two Brains” who wittily told us of the differences between a man’s and a woman’s brain, which will hopefully help us to resolve and explain why we may have disputes with our spouse in the future.
To conclude this report, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who was involved in the Blessing Information Day, both to the organizers and speakers, as well as the people who took the time to attend. I would like to assure the speakers that although the audience was generally quite young, we were able to take much on board and it will be very useful for us, both now while we are striving to maintain our own purity and our peer’s purity, as well as in the future when we will decide that we are ready to start our own journey as a blessed partner.