By Scott Simonds
The Unification Movement and our close cousins, evangelical Christianity, are struggling to engage young adults between the ages of 18 and 29. David Kinnaman, a sociologist with the Barna Group research firm and author of unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity…and Why It Matters, analyzed data on what people in this demographic think about evangelical Christianity, and why it matters for outreach ministries.
While researching how “Outsiders” — those outside the church — view Christianity, he also discovered common reasons why young believers are leaving the church, which he documented in his follow-up book, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith.
Kinnaman and the Barna Group have delineated and characterized four generations which form the backdrop for his book: Elders, Boomers, Busters, and Mosaics.
Elders are characterized as having grown up in homogenous communities, engaged in organized churches, they are patriotic, and had limited means of communication outside of their neighborhoods. They lived through the Great Depression, World War II and the Korean War.
By John Redmond
On the first anniversary of Foundation Day, Sam Nagasaka, project manager of the Vision 2020 Project of FFWPU International, presented in Today’s World a strategic planning document. It describes a process that each nation and city can follow to align their efforts with the current highest providential priority. Mr. Nagasaka (UTS class of 2000) served as a vice president for PR and marketing with World CARP International HQ and was part of the strategic task force team of Japan FFWPU HQ.
His document represents a significant change in the way strategic activities are developed in the movement. Reverend Moon closely controlled strategic and tactical planning, seeking to move quickly and decisively, planning battles like a general, with short timelines and sacrificing long-term goals for short-term wins. Based on his successful foundation, the shift to building and maintaining the movement for long-term effectiveness requires a different approach.
Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon has set large general goals, but expects the central blessed families to take the time and make the effort to plan and execute strategies and tactics for success in the areas of their local and national responsibilities. Headquarters can’t effectively decide what your community does best and how to make a community that attracts young families; only those who know the local area and culture can be successful at that.
By Kim Barry
In the past few years, I have studied about and met some truly amazing people and looked at the legacies they left by their lives, impacting those around them and their descendants. We don’t often see first-hand the influence one person has had on the lives of others, but recently some of us were fortunate enough to experience this.
On March 1st, 400 people gathered at UTS for a seunghwa ceremony to celebrate the life and give our final farewell to Bruce Bonini. He was not a major leader in our movement, and I’ve yet to see an announcement on an official church site about his passing. What drew so many to his final farewell? It was his heart.
The large attendance of so many young people attested to the fact he had a big impact across generations. Several young men gave tearful testimonies of how just a few wise, kind words from Bruce had life-altering impact on them.
Bruce was instrumental in the development of Shehaqua Family Camp in Pennsylvania, the Pocono Family Ministries, which has been such a great source of inspiration, education and community. It would take a book to document the impact that Shehaqua has had on the lives of countless families. All of those who started and invested in that camp should be proud of its legacy. Bruce more recently had invested himself in developing a music ministry in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
By Mark P. Barry
Last June, in “Lessons from Apple under Steve Jobs,” I suggested what Unificationists could learn from the experience of Apple under its founder. Nine months later, and two and a half years since Jobs’ passing, Apple is facing more skeptics than at any point since its turnaround 16 years ago.
Now, many are asking whether Apple without Jobs can continue to make transformational products that will delight users. The reason is nothing Apple has introduced since fall 2011 — when Jobs died — has been innovative or disruptive, but simply modest improvements of existing products.
Has Apple lost the essence of what made it great? Is it struggling to find new vision and identity after Jobs? And what can we learn from its current experience as Unificationists?
In the business world, two and a half years is generally not sufficient time to make any judgments — except in the world of high technology, where new products are constantly introduced, superseded, disposed, and market share frequently shifts.
By Richard A. Panzer
It could be fairly said the defining element of those who identify with the Unification Movement is that at one time or another in our lives, we have been touched by the teachings of Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. Reflecting on Father’s legacy, I have asked myself what is the core message he strove to leave behind? If I had to choose one word to describe Rev. Moon, what would that be?
For me, that one word would be: giving. To pick just two of countless times: his 14 hours of non-stop speaking about God’s nature, will and ideal I experienced in the 1980s at Belvedere; and when he returned during temporary releases from Danbury prison and spent that time telling us not to worry, that God would use his incarceration to further bless America. The main lesson, in my mind, was: here is a man who is constantly striving to find ways to give more and more.
While he was battling his federal court case in 1982, he launched The Washington Times, and in 1984, purchased 250 trucks to be used to deliver food to the needy shortly before entering prison. How many foreigners in the U.S. decide, while on trial or in prison, to spend more than a billion dollars of precious resources to serve the nation that incarcerated them?