Unification News for June 1999

New Eden Academy gets a Boost from True Parents…and a Rainbow from Heaven

by Beverly Freed—Bridgeport, CT

With the providential shift to youth, True Father has recently given numerous instructions to the leaders of New Eden Academy, making it clear that he wants New Eden to be a launching pad for the second generation. Perhaps most significant in this expression of support for the Academy is the assignment of Mrs. Nora Spurgin to work with her husband, Dr. Hugh Spurgin, as the parent figures of the developing high school located in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

On May 24, 1999, True Father directly spoke to the Spurgins of their roles, stating that Nora would be freed of her duties and position as president of WFWP in America to work full time with the school as vice-principal. This is in keeping with True Parents’ plan to place couples in positions of leadership for church organizations worldwide.

Mrs. Spurgin says, "Certainly WFWP has been both challenging and fulfilling for me, and I expect New Eden also to present its challenges and rewards. We are very happy to work together as a couple at the Academy. Hugh and I were always most successful and happiest when we worked together in the same providential mission. We have very different personalities and perspectives on life which hopefully will make the school broader in approach and help to create ‘the whole student.’ I also look forward to digging deeper into the Bridgeport community. For many years, I traveled to an office in New York City from my home in numerous other states and had little sense of ownership in the community where I lived."

New Eden Academy will continue to use facilities at the University of Bridgeport in exchange for a fee. This includes the opportunity for high school students to take college courses for credit at a fraction of the normal costs for tuition.

It is clear that True Parents see New Eden Academy as a beginning focal point for the development of a total, heavenly youth culture centered on the principles of heaven. This is no small job. Although New Eden is making an effort to set the standard with second generation members of our church, these precious young people have been raised in the same culture of violence and immorality which currently influences youth today. Many families struggle to find character education programs and new standards are being set in place step-by-step with careful planning and dedication to youth.

At the May 30 victory celebration at Belvedere, True Father spoke about his desire to bless pure young people as the foundation for the kingdom of heaven on earth. For such a future, we need well-rounded, well-educated youth who can be qualified to be the leaders of tomorrow. No matter what position they are born in as Blessed children, they must gain the life experience to take leadership responsibility.

A boarding high school offers a place to begin creating the "whole public person." After two years in operation, NEA leaders and staff can see that we are constantly confronted with new areas to pioneer—both internal and external discipline, life skills, relationships, motivation, service and, of course, academic and language skills. It is a tall order; however, our True Parents have high hopes. True Father said, "I want New Eden Academy to be the most important high school in the world—the model for all other high schools—the Harvard of high schools. I will support New Eden; do not send your children to other high schools in America."

The staff of New Eden is committed to implementing new programs and ideas continuously in order to reach toward True Parents’ high expectation. We ask for your prayers and support to help us create the place where the leaders of tomorrow and born and prepared. As we move closer to the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, there will be a crying need to God-centered young leaders of integrity, commitment and unselfishness to make this "God’s Kingdom" real.

I would like to close this article with an amazing story Mrs. Spurgin related to me. Here it is in her own words: "A few days after I received this mission with New Eden, I walked out of our high school and saw an unusual rainbow in the sky immediately over the New Eden building. Usually rainbows are an arch which goes across the sky from horizon to horizon. This one, however, looked like it had fallen over! I walked a little further from the door to see where it ended, but it did not end. It was a complete circle—just above the building. It looked like a halo on top of the Academy. I could not believe my eyes, for I had never seen a circle rainbow in the ‘dome’ of the sky! I felt that God was giving us a beautiful promise. By the way, it was not even raining. We took pictures, which were difficult to get because of the sun."

There are several positions open at NEA for teachers and staff for the upcoming year. We are particularly looking for an adventuresome activities director/coach/song leader filled with excitement and energy. We are particularly interested in youthful teachers, ideally second-generation. If you are interested in working at New Eden, please let us know. Also, we will be taking student applications for the upcoming school year throughout the summer until August 7. School begins on Sunday, August 21. Our phone is (203) 334-3434, the fax is (203) 334-8651, and the e-mail is neweden@erols.com.

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