The Words of the LaGrotteria Family
Conference Services Department - IIFWP Annual Staff Meeting - Prepared Remarks
January 7, 2003
Hampton Inn, Elmsford, New York
Good morning. It is my honor and pleasure to have an opportunity to speak with you this morning. It is quite obvious that our organization has grown a great deal over the past year. Since its historic inception during the World Culture and Sports Festival's Special Convocation held in Seoul, February 4-6, 1999, the IIFWP has steadily developed its institutional character and unique providential mission.
For the first three years, we operated primarily in a pioneer mode. During that time we conducted many events and programs, most notably the Hoon Dok Seminars which began in the summer of 1999 and eventually kicked off worldwide multiplication and expansion of True Father's educational system to both members and non-members alike around the globe.
In addition, we supported many International Leadership Seminars, coordinated the Annual World Culture and Sports Festivals, and conducted Special Convocations, Summits, Symposia, Conferences, Service Projects, Collaborations and endless meetings of various sizes and shapes. .
Over this past year we began the transition from pioneer-mode to a semi-permanent institutional presence and center here in Tarrytown. During this past year the Ambassador for Peace initiative, begun during our pioneer time, has been expanded to cover the entire globe with Ambassadors for Peace being established at each level of society. We also worked on many conferences and collaborations with other significant Providential activities such as the Blessings and Speaking tours.
As Director of Conference Services, under the guidance of Dr. Walsh, my job has been to organize and supervise the invitation process for many of these events and to coordinate the on- site manifestation of the actual events themselves. In addition, over the past year, as mentioned, our organization has attempted to create an institutional center of operations and organization for its worldwide network. My role in this area has been to support our Secretary General, Dr. Walsh in consolidating our staff and creating a suitable office environment and communications system so that we can efficiently administrate our many varied activities and projects. In so doing I have seen the Principle manifested on the institutional level in a unique way. I would like to share with you some thoughts on this topic. . Many dimensions of our institutional culture match the Principle on one level or another. For example, when we do a conference we first create the external environment, second invite the guests and finally engage them in productive give and take action. This is the same as the order of the creation; God created the earth or environment first, second He created Adam and Eve, and finally gave them the Blessing to interact in productive give and take action with one another.
Human beings are a complex integration of mind and body. The mind provides direction and guidance whereas the body produces results in real time through specific action. No mind is ever satisfied by thinking alone; the mind always seeks an object partner with which to interact so that its ideas can become reality. This is the same as the relationship between God and the universe. God created so that he could have a substantial object partner in reality who could provide stimulating joy and satisfaction. He first created the natural world which reflected his nature in symbol and then created human beings which more fully reflected His nature in substantial form; as True Father likes to say, God's love partner.
Our IIFWP culture too reflects some of these same aspects of the Principle. In our organization we have a mind-side group of staff members known as the directors and have a body side group of staff members known as staff members. Among the mind-side group we the mind-of-the-mind so to speak represented by Rev. Kwak and Dr. Walsh. We also have the mind-of-the-body so to speak represented by the leaders of various functional departments, such as Mr. Yoshida in the Finance Department and myself for Conference Services.
The mind side provides direction and guidance and the body side carries out their wishes in myriad functions from the use of money to planning and executing conferences, to ordering office supplies and taking out the trash.
The relationship between these two groups of people is highly reflective of the relationship between an individual's mind and body.
Just like our own mind, the mind of the IIFWP directors is characterized by their Dreams, Wishes, Visions, Hopes, Plans, and Directions reflected from the higher powers.
Just like our own body, the body of IIFWP staff members is characterized by their Age, Experience, Skills, Abilities, Resources, Time, Space, Personal Limitations, Personal Style, Grace, Speed, Accuracy, and the like.
The IIFWP mind appears unlimited in its ability to provide new and greater direction and the IIFWP body often appears unlimited in its ability to provide the realization of those directions in reality; be it a conference on short notice, an office reorganization, the production of books and literature, tax audits, payrolls, or the basic daily functions of a large staff and office environment.
However... even with all this wonderful give and take action going on between the collective IIFWP Mind and the collective IIFWP Body... there are still some very real problems being experienced between them which are not unlike the relationship between our own mind and body.
For example, the IIFWP mind does not stop... it moves on to the next thing regardless of time and space, limits of resources, needs of the body, etc. Contrary to popular opinion, the body does get tired and needs a rest now and then. The body has real needs of its own, just as in the Principle we recognize the self-purpose and the whole-purpose as being interconnected legitimate. In a for-profit corporation the needs of the self or the needs of the body are often called human resources or personnel management. What we need is a plan that understands the body, validates its real needs, while simultaneously addressing the need for public action. For example, if we are an organization which needs to work 24 hours a day, then instead of being caught off guard when we are called at odd hours or at inconvenient times, we need to create systems and possibly new ways of thinking to match those needs. If we will always work on a short term basis, then we need to have the skills, contacts and resources which support this way of operating. In the Conference Services Department we have developed some helpful tools in this regard. For example, we have vendors who understand our needs and can provide proposals for service in very short time periods. They know when we call, that we need results from them right away. We have printers who understand that everything we do is last minute and will work with us even to the final moment. We have invested in staff both in Washington DC and here in NY who can transit to various conference services roles with relative ease due to the advance work of our permanent staff. For example when Hans Moyer arrived at the recent God Conference in December, he said he felt like the horse was saddled and all he had to do was jump on and ride away! I loved that testimony because that story graphically demonstrates exactly the kind of results we are seeking.
In short let's not be re-active, but pro-active, and integrated in how we develop our relationships among our various departments and between the collective IIFWP mind and the collective IIFWP body. Communication is essential and in this coming year we should try to develop a greater respect between the two... the mind, after all, would not accomplish a thing without the body, and the body would be consumed with itself without the mind....we are interconnected and thus need to recognize our interdependence and develop harmony and peace as we fulfill our common mission.
So, in conclusion, during this year of 2003, as we dance the IIFWP dance and celebrate the completion level of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, let our dance be with grace and style, from the heart, with steps of precision flowing effortless as we glide across the days and months of the year...
God Bless you and thank you very much.