Unification News for November 1999

Pennsylvania Summer Camp closes with Il Shim Purity Pledge

by Rob SayreóNew Tripoli, PA

The last day of the Summer Camp started with Pledge at 7am for the 220 adults and kids in attendance followed immediately by a pledge by three young teens with their families beside them and in front of the entire Camp.

The Pledge and ceremony itself was short and simple, but the effect for those attendingóboth kids and adultsóas well as the participants was immense. This simple right of passage in front of their families, peers and "extended spiritual family," I believe, will become one of the most significant acts we can use to help our children make a commitment to their faith on their own.

For information regarding this pledge and ceremony, contact your local church leader, or Rev. Hong, Brian Sabourin or Cathy Winings at the New Jersey church. Or you may contact Rob or Sally Sayre at sayrent1@aol.com.

Il Shim Pledge

As a Blessed Child of the second generation I freely and sincerely dedicate myself to:

1. Love and honor God and True Parents by practicing a life of attendance with absolute love, absolute faith and absolute obedience.

2. Love and honor my parents by maintaining the traditions of our lineage that began with the Matching and Blessing of True Parents and has been passed on to me.

3. Love and honor my church and community by giving of myself in service to others and by participating in God-centered activities.

4. Love and honor my future spouse, my future children and myself by saving sexual relations until the day I receive the Blessing.

This Pledge shall serve as a Covenant between my parents and I, between my future spouse and I, and between my Heavenly Father and I. The ring I wear shall be a sign of the covenant I enter into on this day.

Highlights!

Staying up last at night and watching shooting stars with my group. I had a chance to think about God and ponder the universe.

The Summer of 1999 saw 50 families from 8 states including 144 kids and 74 adults in attendance. This summer, the program was FAMILY CENTERED, which meant practically that at least one parent had to accompany their children. A provision was made for kids to be "adopted" by other parents and thus able to attend.

Our field reporters were able to catch up with many campers and able to read the reflections written by the kids and adults. A sample of these appears below. Note from the author; I left the unique spelling, grammar and wording of the kids AND adults reflections to retain the special flavor and feel of the Camp.

YOUNGER KIDS

Best Experiences:

The best experience Iíve hadÖ is the arts and crafts and all the time weíve had together at the campfires and the time with friends and family.

Seeing the bears up close and the deer too. Also playing volleyball and soccer.

When I was able to eat smores.

The lecture was, because I learned allllllooooootttttttt.

Being with my family in the cabin.

Being with my best friend.

The swimming, it cools you off.

The time I went and saw the deer at the campfire.

My best experience was when God protected us with the storm.

The best experience I had was when I went to the campfire.

Most Important Thing You Learned and WHY:

I think Cain & Abel, because itís a good lesson.

I learned the four-position foundation, because itís important.

To respect and listen to people who are in need.

That Jesus could have changed the world it wasnít for John the Baptist and Jesus was most loyal people would even do one thing Jesus asked him. I think that because I never heard it before.

The diagrams, as a good review.

How Adam and Eve mest it up for the world. Itís spiritual, they ate Eveís love.

The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil is really a symbol.

The most important thing is about Jesus, because he was Godís only son to help with the will.

Goals & Determinations:

My goals for the future are to be a true parent and have children and live for God and others.

I would like to have a stronger relationship with God and a better prayer life.

I should have better character.

Grow my spirit and get 150 pokemon battle figures.

Sit in nature and do crafts.

To be a better person and be a good parent.

I could try to help my Dad and my Mom more so I can become better and could be more helpful to other people. I will try not to complain to my Mom and Dad.

To be an actor and bring joy to people.

I would like to be a fireman.

To become a better painter.

I want to become a dolphin trainer.

ADULTS

We had a really good time. Specially our children were so happy w/friends and so many events. It was just like a Heaven!

Highlight came today at the Ceremony (Il Shim). Thatís good for all of us parents. Itís moving & it felt like the baton was being passed to the next generation. I have a goal this year of becoming more patient. I was a little shocked at myself that I did basket weaving and it was actually OK. I liked it.

When we left Camp we felt we wanted to stay more. And on the way home, I needed much determination to come back home for the community.

(The) 2nd Generations talent show was very beautiful. Everyone did good play and singing. I forgot time and they are beautiful than any TV or movie star!

The Pure Love Pledge was so precious. Until that day, how much their parents and themselves made effort? Thank you Heavenly Father and True Parents love and protection. I want to pray their strong pledge to God and keeping purity for future spouse.

Working with a group of boys was an intense experience for me. God loves them and is desperate to raise them to be examples and strong leaders in societyís future.

It was wonderful to work with the ten-year old girls-they are mature enough to talk about deeper application of the Principle and young enough to be open to learn from adults.

(What I gained) Receiving Godís comfort and guidance through different brothers & sisters. Understanding the power of repentance and feeling a sense of renewal and peace I have not experienced in a long time.

It was a great experience to be together with many Blessed Families, Momís and Dadís and their children, what a heavenly experience. Brothers & sisters worked together serving each otherís families with much love, truly I never heard anybody complain.

OLDER KIDS

Best Experiences:

Any time I spend with my older group, but especially the nights. We spend them under shooting stars and in a dark Rec. Hall during a storm with lightning.

I had two very moving experiences. One took place in the soccer field under a sky filed with starry and streaked by meteorites. Watching the stars I really felt connected to the universe and was permeated with a sense of magic and timelessness. I was so grateful for Godís gifts and His Love. The second experience was when the older BCs were in the Rec. Hall and we were hit (a tree nearby actually) by lightning. At first we were all terrified but after prayer, reflection, and some talking the girls all grew closer. In addition, I had a deep experience and felt the immediacy and power of Godís love.

The best experience could not be told in one experience alone. The whole camp was the best experience, but I enjoyed many things as well. The older 2nd Generation went to watch meteors and I had never seen a shooting star until this workshop.

I canít pinpoint which exact moment was the most meaningful, because it was the people I shared the experiences with that made it great. Everyone in my group is so beautiful and they have such strong spirits and I am so glad that I was able to get to know them and really feel that we were brothers & sisters and Children of God.

The thunderstorm was truly a message from God. A sign of His was that He led us to read a passage (in the Bible) which verified His point.

NOTE: The Camp organizers are puzzling about how to provide a thunderstorm next year!

Most important thing you learned in the workshop class:

In eery single workshop class we talked about something different. Whetehr it was Godís aching heart, or Adam & Eve, each one had a very good lesson to learn.

I really have to bring joy to others. Many people are confused and have harder lives than me.

I think everything we learned at the workshop is important. I think this because as we grow up we are going to need to use the examples to govern our lives and resist temptation.

I learned more about the 3 blessings of God to Adam & Eve: be fruitful, multiply and have dominion.

I think that the most important thing that I learned is that we as older brothers & sisters must set an example of purity and oneness with God. We must be the leaders to work towards building the Kingdom and we canít just sit around and wait for someone else to fulfill the mission.

I think the most important thing I learned was to love your enemy.

I liked learning about all the sacrifices people like Noah and Joseph did to make a better world. Through the lectures and through my experiences I became more aware of the heart of God.

New goals & determinations:

My goals for the future rest mainly in what any Blessed Family would hope for. I want to become blessed and have a family that is centered on Godís will, Love and standards.

I feel that now I can open my heart more freely to others and I want to share my experiences. I want to tell my friends at school about my church more deeper and not be ashamed as before.

I came here searching to find a piece of God. I know I am too inexperienced to now understand him completely. I want to keep up my standard like I have been, but definitely begin a serious prayer life.

Seeing the shooting start at night was probably the best experience I had.

Study the Divine Principle more and pray more deeply.

One of my goals is to keep in touch with all my friends here at Camp. Iíve never really done that before, but I really feel like I need to. Thatís how I get support. Other goals are to finish reading the Bible and the Divine Principle and to be true to my beliefs all the time.

My goals for the future are to think more deeply about God and making a God centered life.

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