Our UPF Seminar on May 10 to 12, 2019 in Bergen am Zee, Huize Glory was a special blessing and honour for our nation. In the Netherlands we have been very privileged to be able to host this important seminar on the EUME- level, where new ways of teaching our UPF- and WFWP- guests of Europe have been successfully pioneered by four of our EUME’s top teachers. Our special building, Glory House, situated in the dunes of the Dutch west coast and looking out on sea and beach, is now operating both as a spiritual centre and a hotel-restaurant business. The “high season” has started in this month of May. This means that a good number of tourists are lodging in Glory House, enjoying their holidays. Nevertheless, we were able to accommodate 35 seminar guests, including staff.
There were 25 guests (participants) from 7 nations (Netherlands, France, Austria, Serbia, Germany, Bulgaria, Russia). 16 of the participants were from Netherlands, of whom 7 were day guests. Besides the guests there was our international staff of 7 people, led by Dr Otsuka (UPF Eur. President) and Mr Jacques Marion (UPF Eur. general secretary). From Netherlands we had around 10 people supporting the seminar directly; besides there were 7 drivers. Almost half the number of new guests are from African origin. Africa plays an important providential role, even in other continents.
The emphasis of the seminar
At UPF conferences we normally teach general Peace Principles. Living in this decisive point in history, however, we felt that we should go more deeply into the DP, highlighting certain key points of the Principle, even advanced, sensitive points. Jacques Marion has often expressed the need he felt to go deeper, even in introductory seminars. Dr Otsuka had informed the teaching staff beforehand that, according to True Mother’s directions for teaching, certain points should be always included and never missed. The purpose is that people may come to understand more rapidly the significance and value of True Parents and the Blessing.
As a result in this seminar the lectures were presented with more and deeper content than in previous UPF- seminars.
Deep content of the lectures
DP-teachers were Jacques Marion, David Hanna, and David Fraser-Harris. Christian Hausmann was MC. In his announcements Christian referred to the serious content of the previous lecture. At the same time, using humour, he generated a happy, light feeling. He made sure that the schedule of the program was upheld tightly. In this way we were able to cover all parts of the program adequately.
The lectures were of high level, both in content and form, presented with great eloquence.
Sensitive points, even controversial, were clearly highlighted. I mention just a few here. David Hanna, at the end of his presentation on chapter one, made very clear the reality of the spiritual world and the need for us on earth to prepare for our eternal life. David Fraser Harris clearly pointed out the sexual aspect of the human fall, and its implications in our society. Jacques Marion, while explaining about the history of restoration, included an in- depth explanation of the process of the changing of blood lineage and the role of 5 controversial women in the Bible in the line of Jesus’ ancestors. In the same lecture Jacques explained the failure of John the Baptist and the tragedy of Jesus’ life and crucifixion.
People were inspired, some were even transformed
All lectures were more than an hour in length and covered quite some content. People, however, reacted very positively. Some of the participants referred to specific themes of the lecture, points which were important to them and from which they had received new realization, such as the
significance or the 5 women in Jesus’ ancestral line, or the mission of John the Baptist. Some expressed that they had heard of Rev. Moon before, but that now, after hearing the lectures, they had completely changed their viewpoint on True Parents. Several guests were priests of African origin, people of spirituality, who felt the spirit of God. All guests expressed sincere appreciation for father and mother Moon.
The teachers, the “two Davids”, Jacques and Christian each had their distinct personal style of conveying the message. Participants appreciated all of them. The lectures, presented in various styles, all testified to the deep heart as well as the intellectual fullness and depth of the one teaching.
- The teaching staff intends to keep developing their teaching methods, adapting and adjusting. Meanwhile a high level of quality of the lectures has been achieved by now. The lectures were strongly appreciated by virtually all participants (guests as well as our own members).
- Among the 16 participants from Netherlands, a good number wishes to continue to study the teaching. Some of them are priests with a congregation. Education needs to go on. We need to set up a system in Netherlands soon, a possibility for holding regular seminars. Also we wish to guide these people to the Blessing and organize Blessing events with them.
- Jacques Marion intends to hold more such EUME UPF-seminars of this kind in this year. In Netherlands we hope we may have one more such seminar in Glory house this year, perhaps in early September.
Some additional points by Glory House staff:
A Dutch blessed Couple, Derk and Gerdien van Dorsten, have taken on the management of Glory House since two years. Based on their hard work and efforts it was possible to prepare Glory House for such an event. Derk en Gerdien are leading the Glory House staff, meaning the staff for the hotel (rooms, appartments) etc. and the staff of the restaurant. The majority of staff members are not members of FFWPU. The hotel staff has been preparing the rooms. Derk planned the accommodation of the seminar guests with Jacques Marion. Also he developed a plan for the kitchen.
During the seminar Derk and Gerdien have joined the kitchen staff.
Besides the UPF seminar there were other activities going on in and around Glory House. Also there were other guests, having their holiday. This meant extra work for the Glory house staff.
Derk and Gerdien’s tireless dedication, in preparing the seminar as well as during the seminar, has been the main reason why we could offer this possibility from Netherlands.
Derk and Gerdien van Dorsten had restored a special room to be the True Parents room, a Holy Place for meditation and reading. It can also be used for leaders meetings.
Dr Otsuka and Jacques Marion are in discussion with Derk about the availability of Glory House for seminars in this and the coming year.
The UPF seminar taking place in our country provided us with a special opportunity to invite our own people. The Dutch guests have come from mainly the witnessing efforts of Mrs Rita Salaris and Elizabeth Baatenburg. Rita has made phone calls to priests in the Amsterdam region. Elizabeth and her husband witness to Christian churches (Dutch as well as African) in their home town area near Rotterdam. Mr Stuit and his wife, VIPs from Netherlands, are contacts of Mr Wim Koetsier.
We were grateful to Dr Otsuka for taking interviews with Rita and Elizabeth and with two of the guests, (Mrs Andriamanjato from France and Mr Stuit from Netherlands). In this way a video was made which he sent to Korea (Dr Yun) and to the European News. Besides doing his official mission as EUME – UPF president Dr Otsuka took time during this weekend to serve our Dutch members in various ways. We deeply appreciate it.
Besides all Glory house matters. Jacques Marion had asked Netherlands for mainly two things: transportation arrangements for the guests and a staff of sisters to support the seminar.
- We found eight brothers available to do the driving on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
- On Friday morning the arriving guests were received by three people at the airport; at the meeting point they connected them to their respective drivers.
- Concerning sisters Jacques particularly asked for a seminar mother. Kyung Ja Hanna, who had come with her husband, took on that task. She checked continually what the guests needed, gave her attention, asked the people if they had had a proper lunch etc. She made sure everyone felt looked after.
- From Netherlands we had a team of three sisters, Mihoko, Elfrid and Kaori, to support the seminar. They prepared the coffee, tea and snacks for the breaks between the lectures.
- Also, they coordinated the transport of the guests. Mihoko took pictures.
- Wim Koetsier and Derk van Dorsten took care of technical and practical matters
- (concerning sound and light).
- On Saturday evening we had an entertainment session. Five of our members (including myself, as a piano accompanist) as well as one young lady (violin player) who has come into contact with us recently, did a musical performance.
One of the performers was Mrs Eleanor Klerkx, Gospel singer, our blessed sister from Haarlem. During the entertainment participants had the opportunity to relax and sing along.
We look back at this UPF seminar with great joy and gratitude. It has given us new courage and hope. We intend to continue the education of the people, starting with those who came to the seminars and from there expanding to many others, giving them God’s Word and the Marriage Blessing of OurTrue Parents.
Reflection on the Universal Peace Federation seminar
The seminar deals on Gods true love doctrine and its intention for mankind to live together in love and peace. The life of Reverend Moon personified the need to bring about world peace irrespective of religious background, affiliations or beliefs. It focuses on the root cause of the evil that leads to hatred and strife among mortals. It opens my eyes to how things went wrong from the beginning and God’s various attempts to make it right.
The seminar was indeed an eye opener to so many hidden questions that l have nursed for years.
I see the seminar as a passage to the much expected link to help bring about cooperation through the family, countries and religious entity so as to strengthen our voice towards forsaking hatred to breed love in order to give room for peace.
The seminar has changed my perception about so many issues and equipped me with better understanding about issues, what Reverend Moon stand for and the rich legacy of love and peace he laid down. I am really privileged to learn from the life of this legend and its foundation.
The second lady (from the same Christian Church) writes the following:
Thank you for the invitation to UPF. I really enjoyed it and it was nice to meet the other participants. As per your request, please se my feedback below in italics:
“The vision of UPF for global peace is highly commendable. My first day as a participant was inspirational, mostly listening and learning about the founder’s relentless efforts and admirable courage to promote world peace.
The concept of family as an instrument for peace is fascinating yet crucial. The event was a good reminder that we cannot underestimate the importance of core values like tolerance, honesty, fairness, love and equality in the family architecture.
The seminar left me with a lot of food for thought. Most importantly is the question: what can I as a participant concretely do within my sphere of influence to help realize this vision for world peace?
I look forward to participating in future events and continuing this dialogue. It was definitely worth the trip over!”
Third reflection: from a Baptist pastor In Amsterdam, originally from Ghana.
Dear Sister…, greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. From the look of things, the seminar was well organized. The speakers were very good, and everything went well. The participants were very nice and real believers. We were real blessed and I believed every one there experienced the same thing. I wish you all the blessings from the Almighty God for the good work done. The way you love people is very fantastic. God loves you so do I.