The Words of the Jørgensen Family
Ministers and their wives at a CAUSA seminar in Hagerstown, Maryland, in November 1985. Viggo Jorgensen is standing back row left
In our CAUSA work with clergy in the Baltimore area we have tried to follow the advice of our Father:
In witnessing, it is essential to have the assistance of the spirit world, and spiritual help can only come when we consciously follow a religious way of life.
Studying the Principle gives us the best spiritual education. Practical education is necessary, too. Every evening the brothers and sisters in our center gather together and report on who they visited that day and what they experienced. They ask for advice about visiting churches and ministers, and we discuss each situation and make a plan for the best approach. There is much to talk about -- the spiritual importance of our work, our internal attitude while we are with the ministers, the proper standard of give and take with people, i.e., our way of speaking and our behavior. We also discuss the standard of our external appearance.
We take time to study about the traditions of other denominations so that we can explain our ideas within the framework of other theologies. In addition, it is important for all of us to continually update our knowledge about new developments within the Unification movement.
At our center, we have also been using self-improvement literature and audiotapes. This has enabled many brothers and sisters to see themselves in a different light. It helps us to evaluate our internal attitude while witnessing, and to set realistic goals for ourselves. When goals are written down, it's much easier to reach them. We concentrate on making prayer conditions, and on conditions to work a certain number of hours or approach a certain number of ministers a day.
Everybody wants to improve their situation -- ministers too. When we meet ministers we always try to give them something -- whether it's material or spiritual -- so they can gain something positive from our visit. We try to identify the pastors' special interests and problems and talk with them about what they are interested in. We explain how the CAUSA teachings and/or the Principle can help support them in their own personal, unique situation.
Above all else, we have learned that spirit world helps us when we cultivate an atmosphere of unity. Not only do we try to create unity within our center; we also try to cultivate unity in the churches we visit. When we make a relationship with a pastor, we try to get his wife involved in our activities, too. Sometimes a pastor's wife may be jealous of a sister working closely with her husband. In such cases, it is better when a brother helps with the minister while the sister develops a relationship with the wife.
It's also important to make friends with the other opinion leaders in the church as well -- the elders, the deacons, and the older members of the congregation. Their reaction to our presentations definitely affects our relationship with the church.
Because our brothers and sisters are consciously making conditions to cultivate the assistance of the spirit world, the Baltimore family has had some very interesting experiences visiting churches.
Back in 1984, two of our members went one day for the first time to a black Baptist church that has a congregation of about 1200, bringing with them a set of 10 Principle videotapes. They happened to arrive at the church during Bible study, where about 30 people were gathered together. They could sense a very high spiritual atmosphere there, and they sat down without saying a word. In his Bible study the minister was talking about receiving messages from God, and he then said, "We never know in what way God is working. We have two guests here tonight, and I feel they are very special people. Maybe they have a special message to us from God. Remember the two angels who came to Abraham. Abraham didn't understand at first that they were from God. So I think we should treat our guests very well"
So he said to the brother, "if you have something you would like to tell us, please come up and do so." Our brother was very astonished; but he went up and talked about the Principle message that was on the videotapes. Then the minister said that he would like very much to take the tapes. He immediately gave the brother $20 as a donation.
Later on, this minister let us speak about CAUSA to his whole congregation after his Sunday sermon. Eventually he came to a three-day CAUSA seminar, and now he wants us to teach his assistants. He is considering giving a whole CAUSA presentation himself in connection with one of his own services. One right we taught an hour and a half of CAUSA material during his Bible study. Eleven church leaders and deacons attended that evening. They all want to learn how to teach CAUSA.
Of course, not all the experiences we have turn out to bear fruit right away, but they always teach us something. Another time two of our sisters went to a black spiritualist church. They happened to come in during a candlelight prayer service; it was quite dark inside. Our sisters sat down in the rear, and the minister preaching from the pulpit all of a sudden said to the congregation that he could see lights over the heads of the two sisters in the back. "They are spiritually higher than any of us here," he said, "and we should listen to them. They are very special people. They have especially broad minds. These sisters are concerned with the whole world, and their ideas will affect all of humankind" Then he ended by saying again, "certainly they are people we should listen to:'
But after the service, when the high spiritual atmosphere had died down a bit, the minister did not actually listen to them. However, far from discouraging the sisters, they were excited to think that they had been spiritually perceived as important people! It gave them even more determination to go on.
Our members came in contact one day with a young minister of a white Pentecostal church. He told us that he had left his old church two years ago. He said God had almost commanded him to go and start a new church in this place. Within two years he was able to build up a good congregation of 200 people. When we met him he showed great interest in our teachings and began to study all the Principle videotapes.
A couple of our members have been going to his service every Sunday, and they have told me that the minister has incorporated the terminology, the examples, and many of the concepts of the Principle directly into his sermons. When they mentioned that his sermons seem to be very close to the Principle, he just smiled and said, "Oh, really?" Our two members have become accepted members of the congregation and often sing in the choir.
We had another gratifying experience with a minister and his wife, both in their 40's. The minister had come to a few CAUSA and a few Principle seminars in 1984. His wife reluctantly attended a one-day CAUSA seminar just to find out what it was about, but she remained very skeptical. She was warned many times by her friends not to get involved.
The Verheyens in Annapolis have been taking good care of this couple, constantly making many prayer conditions for them. Finally several months ago, this couple came to a three-day Principle seminar. When the wife heard the lectures she understood that the rumors she had heard were not at all true. She experienced so much love and concern from the people there that at the end of the seminar she broke down in tears and testified that she truly felt this was a movement of God. This couple is now convinced that God is truly working through the Unification movement and they want to continue to be involved with us.
A dinner for clergy in Baltimore, Maryland
One of our most interesting experiences has been with a large white congregation of the Church of God. One of our brothers has been developing relationships with the members there for over a year. He first contacted the head minister in the summer of 1984 with religious freedom materials. As the sot e leader, I visited the head minister several times, and showed him some CAUSA videotapes. He is actually quite fundamental and he thoroughly studied "cult religions" in pursuing his doctor of divinity degree; but in the beginning he was open-minded about us. The second time we went to visit him in his office, he grabbed our hands and prayed very strongly with us.
This church emphasizes prayer very much and the members are always praying that God can use them and give them deeper understanding.
Two of our members went to the church one evening when there was a revival going on. A well-respected woman evangelist from California was leading the revival; the main minister was sitting in one of the pews. The evangelist started out by saying that, although she had planned a topic already, God was telling her something different. He led her to speak about prayer. At the close of her sermon she began to receive messages from spirit world, and she started to pick some people from the congregation that she didn't know and talk about what she was spiritually seeing.
She told one woman there that, although she had gone through many difficulties with her family and had suffered much, she need not suffer anymore; the situation would clear up. This woman was so overwhelmed by the comfort of these words that she began to weep.
Our brother and sister were already prepared with their pen and paper when the evangelist finally looked at them. She concentrated on them for a while and said: "You have been trying to reach for the big ship, but you don't see the small boats that will bring you to the big ship." Our brother and sister immediately felt this had to do with their missions. They felt she was telling them that although they were looking for big results, they should be constantly alert to the small opportunities which would ultimately lead to the big result.
Then she became more personal and she said to them both, "Don't worry about your futures. Everything will be okay. God will take care of the future. God will use you. You will be a blessing to many people."
Both the brother and the sister have had extremely difficult marriage problems, so they both felt this was a direct message of comfort from God.
Then the evangelist compared the work they were doing with the phenomenon of a stone that is thrown into the water. In the same way that waves radiating out from the stone make bigger and bigger circles, what they were doing would grow bigger and bigger and better and better.
Then she began to speak out quite loudly: "God has one more thing He wants to tell you! God will give you showers of blessing, showers of blessing!" At this point she started to become very emotional. She was shouting out for more than one minute, saying over and over, "God will give you shower upon shower of blessing! Shower upon shower of blessing!" And the people around her began shouting 'Amen! Praise the Lord! Amen! Amen!" There were about 100 people at the service that night. Afterwards, many people from the congregation came up to talk with them.
Over a period of several months, more and more people in the church, including several assistant pastors and elders, wanted to know about the Principle. One of the assistant pastors started studying the set of three Divine Principle tapes.
When the minister heard about how much interest we were generating among his congregation, he became suspicious, wondering if we could be leading his young people astray. He gave a strong sermon one Sunday about the danger of false messiahs. But we are continuing to visit the church once or twice a month. Our brother has developed a good relationship with five or six young couples in the church. In several homes he is now welcomed like a brother or a son when he goes to visit them. Just recently the Spanish assistant pastor had breakfast with us. We are not trying to push the head minister in any way, but we are just continuing to put our energy into this church. We have confidence that something good will happen with this congregation.
Our region has been very privileged to have working with us Dr. 0. Sinclair Franklin, a long-time CAUSA lecturer who was one of the main staff ministers for the Common Suffering Fellowship. Dr. Franklin has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and just retired in June 1985 from the Methodist ministry. I first met him in February 1984, and he and his wife were very much touched by us and the love they experienced at our seminars. He was the first minister outside of our church ever to give a public CAUSA lecture.
When everyone was mobilized in August 1985, Dr. Franklin told me it was a very wise thing to do because every religious movement should keep up its evangelical work. He supports us 100 percent. Dr. Franklin is head of the Maryland CMA, and just last month he was elected to the Board of Directors of CAUSA USA, along with Dr. Bo Hi Pak, Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, Ambassador Phillip Sanchez, and Joe Tully. He also recently became an associate member of our church. We are very grateful that this wonderful man is working with us in Baltimore.
We now have about 15 solid ministers from mainline churches who have held CAUSA presentations in their churches and who are eager to present the CAUSA message to other churches in Baltimore. One minister has let us speak about CAUSA on his radio broadcast on Sunday morning. Many congregations have invited us to give the lectures and slide presentations at their Bible study classes. Because of this, the attitude of whole congregations toward the Unification movement has become positive.
What brings all these results is persistent work, week by week, cultivating person-to-person relationships. In the Baltimore family we try to emphasize unity in our work, with each other, and in the churches we visit. We have learned that this is essential in order for the spirit world to assist us and for God's spirit of love to surround all that we do.