The Words of the Spurgin Family
Telling our story to the nations is as long and as wide and as deep as we can allow Father to be in our hearts. Washington Center, therefore, with each new member and each new inspiration, seeks always to open a new door --another door to another heart. As we share more freely, Principle becomes incorporated into our total life experience, and we discover more and varied ways of sharing it.
Sharing this precious truth has been a growing experience for all of us as we look back on the pattern of progression.
Witnessing does begin at home, literally. Inspiration comes; it is shared; plans are made; minds are prepared spiritually and intellectually; and we move!
The Family dining room is the stage for most of this. Picture Farley Jones standing by the window delivering his speech (to be given in Dupont Circle) while the remainder of the Family finishes Sunday morning breakfast -- eyes fixed on him. "You must speak louder, “ comments Miss Kim; and Farley continues:
Today, I'm going to tell you all about some great news -- tremendous news! -- fantastic news! And what that news is, I'll tell you in a moment.
First -- what is the best thing in life? Eh? What's the greatest thing in the world? Joy? Happiness? Peace of mind? Love? Yes, these are the really good things in life -- but they’re part of something greater! GOD! Sure! you accept the idea of God --then you must accept Him as the ultimate Good, right? God is. He is the finest thing that is.
Well, sure, this is a fact -- but the problem is that no one knows it. No one knows that the richest experience in life -- and the most permanently rich experience in life, is God. Not knowing this, people head in other directions, toward things which just aren’t adequate substitutes. But some people do all right anyway, don't they? I was doing all right. But believe me, it's like eating strawberry shortcake without the whipped cream -- put the whipped cream on, and there is more life -- zest -- satisfaction in it, isn't there? So it is with God. If you get Him into your life, through understanding Him, through knowing Him, your life will be infinitely better.
Now, many of you are probably thinking that what I'm saying doesn't hold up -- that you've tried relating to God, and it hasn't added much to your life. Well, try it again -- but try it a new way. Yes, there is a new way, a better way! A new, even revolutionary approach to God, one that will enable you to make God a bright, beautiful reality in your own life. Yes! One that will enable you to put the whipped cream on the shortcake.
About 25 years ago, a man in the East -- a philosopher and religious leader there -- experienced divine revelations. This is nothing new. Moses had such revelations; Jesus did, too. But with each subsequent revelation, greater. truth about God and man is brought to men. With these revelations to the man in the East, man now knows more about God, who He is, what He is, than he has ever known. With a good friend, the more you know about him, the more you can understand him.
So the closer you can get to him. The same with God --through these revelations, we can understand Him and grow closer to Him. Now possible is a complete understanding of God, and of life. Who are we? Why are we? Why history? Why do things happen the way they do?
Well, so what? Who needs to know this? You do! You all do! For your own benefit and satisfaction. The more you understand about a book, or a movie, the more it means to you. So the more you understand about life, the more it will mean to you and the happier you'll be ; once you have the ultimate understanding of life, you'll be on the way to leading the fullest, richest life possible. You'll be on the road toward achieving perfection -which state we're all meant to achieve -- and all will achieve! (Yes, everyone!) Come to our public lecture. We can tell you all about it, more deeply. Our group is called the Unified Family. Come!
For Saturday evening entertainment, who needs to go out when spontaneous door-to-door witness practice affords opportunity for a combination of wit and sincerity. Tune in and hear Sylvia's serious voice stating her purposes to the lady behind the door (who happens to be Gio), "Have you heard of the God is Dead movement? Well, we're from the other side." Sylvia joins the peals of laughter when she suddenly envisions herself as a spirit from the other side of Jordan!
Writing dialogues for a play depicting the discrepancy between the real and the ideal brings out the uniqueness of each personality, while practicing for it brings out still another side. Poor Hillie, the disillusioned lover, changed personalities each time she discussed marriage with another substitute hero (Family members had a hard time making themselves available for practice).
And so it goes. In this important and urgent day there is a time for sincerity, for labor, for planning, and for laughing; but always with efficiency! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and there is no room for idleness.
"Today is going to be a great day!" "What kind of a day?" "A great day!"
Unison voices promise Father and each other that we will do our part as we stand in a circle praying for Father's wisdom in seeking His children. Like an army, we march forward reinforced by the great sense of spirituality multiplied by each one's effort and love.
Sunday afternoons for the past five months have been times when the whole Family joins in the witnessing campaign. Spirit and unity seem to reach the peak on these afternoons. As Neil says, "It's such a great feeling to walk the streets and feel the presence and power of brothers and sisters in the next block. We’re like a wave passing over the area."
As you have already guessed, fishing in the D. C. Ocean has taken varied forms. These include sharing individually with people while on the job, attending meetings, stopping people on the streets, and passing little messages on the bus, as well as well-planned TO THE FOUNTAIN!
In some more creative, structured, programs. Consequently, we have gone through an evolutionary process of successes and failures, hopefully emerging as wiser, more polished, and more confident and aggressive fishers of men.
During the summer months Dupont Circle (the local hippie haven) became the usual Sunday afternoon speaking arena for "that Unified Family from 'S' Street." At first members wrote and memorized three to five-minute speeches introducing the Divine Principle from various viewpoints. Turn your attention to Walter as he runs up to the Circle fountain, his voice booming: "Come out, come out, you people!" Or as Sylvia pleads, "People of the twentieth century, your attention is necessary. There is a war on!" Or as Becky pointedly states, "This is your city! This is your country! This is your world!"
COME OUT! PEOPLE OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY!
Thus, each Sunday about four members speak in succession, inviting those who are concerned to join the Family in group discussion or hear lectures. Some people listened, some sneered; others shook their heads as if to say, "What a shame-such fine young people." And there were those who came to hear more.
No one but us would have guessed that these young people who spoke with such conviction and authority may have really been quaking in their boots. What but the Divine Principle could have brought many of us to speak in public in a park?
As we "loosened up" a bit, members began speaking spontaneously. More people listened. Then we began singing as a group before we spoke. Even more people listened. Finally, while some Family members held illustrative charts, Philip gave a simplified first chapter and captured a large, curious audience. The content of the speeches combined with the zest of the speakers aroused the curiosity of nearly everyone-from tourists to little old ladies who came to see what a hippie looked like. One attractive young tourist from Switzerland came because she thought we were "fanatics". After hearing Principle and spending every evening one week with us, she asked, "If I were staying in America, could I move in?" The next day she was headed for New York and then back to Switzerland -- with a study course in her bag.
Others, like Beverly and Jim, fine Christians, were struck by the sincerity of the speakers. They came to hear the Principle and are now wondering how to communicate the good news to others.
Many have come and gone. We present the truth; some recognize it and commit themselves, others recognize it but choose not to commit themselves, and some reject it.
As the days grew colder and the crowds in the parks sparser, a new witnessing strategy was in the making. Now each Sunday finds us marching out of the Center, dividing up into cars and going off to the area where we pair off to visit the homes in that part of town.
Twenty people can contact approximately 200 homes in one Sunday afternoon. Rain or shine, out we go. One lady commented, "This must be worth hearing if you go out on a miserable, rainy day to tell me about it.”
Door-to-door witnessing is teaching us on-the-spot approaches to every type of person. We Anne and Marshall feel that we are laying a foundation for reaching the more settled middle-class families. Certainly they are not as excited about a new philosophy or religion as are the searching youth. So, by trial and error, we seek for methods of letting them know we are not Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormon missionaries on the one hand or a fly-by-night group of kids on the other. Thus we've added to our list of contacts philosophers, authors, professors, newspaper editors, and housewives.
The written word is another means of communicating the Principle. We cannot measure its impact at this point. The George Washington University paper carried the good news:
Ultimate Truth Has Come
Farley or Sylvia
Farley and Sylvia were subsequently quite popular.
Farley's creative mind and Ken's printing skill produced posters which were placed on bulletin boards around the D. C. area, including American University, Georgetown University, and the University of Maryland.
Most of you have seen our new invitations. They have become extremely helpful in almost every type of Witnessing.
Speaking in universities in the area has opened up new avenues. Philip gave several lectures at the Free University held at American University. Everywhere there are doors waiting to be opened. Students and young working people are our most fertile soil at this point.