Contributed by Peter & Klara Chen
On January 27, the LA Blessing & Family Ministry hosted a Level 2 Blessing Workshop at the Pasadena House. 42 participated, of which 39 were young Blessed Children and three were first-generation Unificationists. The average age of the participants was 23.
Our community has had a number of requests for a Level 2 in the past, but could not gather enough participants to host one. A breakthrough came last August when we were able to work with one second-generation Blessed Could and were able to secure 25 young participants for a Level 1 Blessing Workshop. This time, we collaborated with two young people and had 42 participants. The two young people volunteered to take care of all the logistics so we could focus on preparing the content.
Looking back, we think the formula for the breakthrough was to identify and build deep “heartistic” relationships with key people who are influential among their peers and introduce the educational content naturally that inspired and moved them based on our personal experiences. It took us some time and a lot of investment, but eventually, it all came together. True Father said that “The only way to break down the generation gap is through the culture of heart.” We think that we have proven, at least to ourselves, that these words are true.
In the evaluations of the workshop, the participants gave an average score of 4.5 out of 5 for “overall quality of the sessions.” Based on this and the specific feedback of the participants, we can report that the workshop was a great success. Here are some reflections on the overall workshop experience:
“It was very informative and helpful. Gave me clarity in where I am at, what I would like in my future spouse, what I need to work on. Thank you for hosting and helping us all out with your experiences and understanding.”
“It was well organized and despite the limited time, I think we hit the core and most important topics. Presentations were well-organized and insightful. The testimonies provided valuable insights as to how the process can work and occur in real life. I feel much more equipped and knowledgeable about what it takes to become a qualified candidate.”
“I also appreciated how the matching supporters were introduced. For many of them, I didn’t know how they played that role in our community and thought this information was useful for our future.”
There were many good suggestions as to how to improve the external condition as well as the content of the workshop. However, the one that stood out was about availability of the matching supporters in the community. Here is one such suggestion:
“I know it might be hard to get all the matching supporters to gather, but if it is possible to have them attend and not just sit in the back but maybe we can break into groups with one matching supporter in each group and get the chance to ask them questions get advice in a more intimate setting and just get to know them more and have them get to know us”
In conclusion, we have gained immeasurable insights into what is working well and what may need to be improved in terms of the national level Blessing education content. We strongly felt that continuous development of collaborative effort between the national and local BFM is desirable. In terms of implementing the suggestions made by the participants locally, we will utilize our monthly Matching Supporters meeting we have been hosting since last March, as well as inviting them to the upcoming Matching Preparation Seminar hosted by John Ableseth in March. We are grateful we had this experience.