The Words of the Hanna Family
The Faith and Finance WS was the 2nd of its kind (the 1st took place last year in Rome), and we were lucky to have it in the familiar and calm surroundings of Livingstone House -- to have a European level workshop locally was a real blessing. The primary attraction was that we could take time as a group of 18+ to receive guidance on a subject that is not usually talked about in such depth. However, the area of 'the 3rd blessing' is clearly something that affects us all in life, and our relationship with money and our careers is an important one -- how can we be true stewards? How can we offer what we have to a higher purpose? How can we practice the Principle in this key area of all our lives? Whether we like it or not, how we use our money is a very spiritual activity.
The bulk of the content was shared by our elder brother Inshunor Joergensen -- a former director of the ESGD -- and his life experience and expertise shone through in his ability to connect Faith with Finance; his dual experiences working in the movement and in the world of finance gave him a quiet authority that communicated clearly. Additionally, we had testimonial guidance from our Uncle Tim Read, who made the Principle so real and alive -- showing how the Principle really works; how it brings growth and solves problems. Also, we had the benefit of our European Youth Department staff, Geros Kunkel and Julius Alexy, to also contribute words of advice and share the time together.
The education included life experience in mission and work, True Father's words, and aspects of the Divine Principle to put forward a very convincing and inspiring case for saving, spending for others, investing in education, and for the spiritual principle of tithing. Our finances are something that we can offer, as well as our time and our expertise -- and by offering we receive so much back for our lives. Indeed one participant reflected that:
"The idea that I can strive to be wealthy in order to be the highest tither/sponsor of the ESGD and 2nd Gen activities put a new perspective on my life goals."
It is this kind of fresh thinking that the workshop stimulated and provoked, as everyone regardless of their stage in adult life, strongly felt the need to be more serious in this area, and make practical steps to change bad habits e.g. budgeting, saving, investing in education, investing in others, tithing etc. Personally, I was really encouraged by the content, and am determined to make effort to be more disciplined with my finances and have a longer term view of how they relate to my life of faith. I hope we can all experience more content in this area, and was really grateful for Inshunor and the European Youth Leadership for their investment of heart and funds, as well as precious time shared with brothers and sisters -- as always we can learn so much from each other's attitudes, responses and experiences.