Archive for September, 2016

It Takes a Village to Support a Young Adult

Written by Teresa Rischlrogers

School has officially been in session for several weeks now.  

By now, the excitement of a new semester has probably waned.

…students are feeling the strain of tests, projects, assignments, and a busy schedule.

…they’ve probably signed up for an extracurricular club, or two…or seven.

…they may have started working at an on-campus job (which, if you do it right, is a great way to get paid for doing homework).

…the “freshman 15” may have started to collect after all of the free food at the social events around campus.

For many, this is when the shift occurs from excitement to anxiety and stress.

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Meet the Board: Tasnah Moyer

Written by Yeol-Shim Bell
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We would like you to meet the youngest member of the CARP Board of Directors, Tasnah Moyer! Although young, she brings powerful leadership skills as an entrepreneur and she empathizes with college students’ experiences. She sees the potential that CARP can offer in its next chapter.

“Young people need a platform to express themselves, test their limits, and grow.”

The Making of a Leader

Tasnah, as a young 18-year old, chose to expand her perspective by attending a gap-year program, the Special Task Force (STF). Throughout her 3 years of service, she participated in door-to-door fundraising, service projects, and experiential learning to discover who she was, her purpose, and her connection to God and the world.

Tasnah re-unites with old STF friends at an Alumni Retreat.

Based on Father and Mother Moon’s philosophy of ‘One Family Under God,’ she developed a compassionate heart for others.

Transitioning into college at the University of Bridgeport (UB), Tasnah applied her experience and found ways to contribute to her campus and community. Tasnah served as the Secretary then President of the Student Government Association (SGA) where she oversaw the restructuring of the SGA Constitution.

She also assisted the faculty and university Dean in revamping the university’s Honors Program curriculum and collaborated with the SGA Board to promote educational programs on campus. Discussions spanned from gun violence on campus to religious freedom, poetry, and the arts.

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Tasnah celebrates with her team during an STF activity.

During her time at UB, Tasnah also served as Youth Pastor for the Bridgeport Family Church community. She graduated top of her class in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in World Religion and gave the university-wide commencement address.

“If you feel the need and have the passion, you can make things happen.”                                                        

Raising a New Generation of Leaders

Throughout her experiences, Tasnah has shown how one person could positively change an entire community. She attributes her success largely due to her involvement with STF (now re-branded as Generation of Peace Academy or GPA) and continues to invest back into the program as the coordinator of the STF and GPA Alumni Association.

Tasnah recognizes gap-year program participants’ strengths, including their determination and ability to adapt to any environment. These graduates have developed their communication, relationship, and goal setting skills. Tasnah wants to empower these future leaders to share their unique perspective and use their skills to transform their campuses.

“As graduates leave the program, it can be valuable to have a network of support and a platform for continued growth and discovery. There is a plethora of resources that students can tap into, with ways to continue their leadership and contribute to a culture of living for something bigger.”

The CARP Board and Staff pose at their October 2015 Strategic Planning Retreat.

The CARP Board and Staff pose at their October 2015 Strategic Planning Retreat.

Bridging the Gap

In hopes of serving as a bridge connecting STF and GPA alumni to CARP, she accepted the invitation to join the Board in October of 2015. At their core, both organizations aim to serve and empower students and young adults. We’re excited for the potential of this partnership.

For six months, Tasnah stepped up as Interim Chair, inspiring the Board by her willingness to learn, serve, and harmonize. Using her skills as a former Student Government President, Tasnah facilitated Board discussions and gave genuine feedback to the CARP staff.

Since March, Tasnah has been serving as a Board Director and a member of the Board’s Membership and Programming Committee, an area in which she feels excited to contribute her experience.

Tasnah hosted the "Thrive" workshop in Chicago for gap-year alumni and other young adults.

Tasnah hosted the “Thrive” workshop in Chicago for gap-year alumni and young adults.

She continues to invest her time and energy into CARP so gap-year alumni and other young adults can have an awe-inspiring college experience. She also travels around the country to speak to and facilitate young adult workshops.

Making a Difference Wherever She Goes

When Tasnah isn’t juggling her responsibilities with the STF and GPA Alumni Association or her wedding planning business, you can find her either relaxing in Philadelphia, hiking a breathtaking mountain, enjoying adventures with her family, creating artistic pieces with her sister, playing ultimate frisbee, or connecting to others.

The Moyers: Hans, Tasnah, Kyra, Felicitas, and Kolya

The Moyers: Hans, Tasnah, Kyra, Felicitas, and Kolya

Tasnah, you’ve already accomplished so much and we can’t wait to see what else you dream up. Thank you for your heart of service and for stepping up as a powerful, young woman leader! The world needs more people like you.

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Meet the Alumni: Jack Whedbee

Written by Yeol-Shim Bell

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Jack (bottom left corner) at the CARP Center in Berkeley, California

This “Throwback Thursday” highlights Jack Whedbee, a CARP alumni who shared with us his personal transformation from helping and teaching others.

Through studying and teaching the Divine Principle, he discovered the power of God’s love and grace which prompts us toward a world of peace and prosperity.

His story takes us back to his college days and his front-line work in the former Soviet Union (later the Commonwealth of Independent States).

In 1982, Jack Whedbee was an athletic psychology student at the University of Tennessee when he first read the World Student Times, a CARP publication sharing a principled perspective on current events. Jack, a Bible-salesman at the time, was intrigued by and identified with the ideals conveyed in the CARP newspaper.

Later, in the spring of 1983, Jack’s roommate attended a CARP event where he was asked to bring someone he could share his heart with.

That’s when Jack first met CARP.

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Jack doing what he loves: teaching.

“It knocked my socks off; I mean, I literally had to take my shoes off at the door.”

Jack’s perspective expanded through the culture and content at CARP events, discussions, and seminars.

He reflected on the influence of principles in everyday conversations and pondered about human potential more and more.

Through his study of the Divine Principle, Jack could further appreciate the harmony within nature. Observing this harmony inspired Jack to elevate his relationship with God and open his heart to other ways God may try to connect through creation.

After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Psychology in March 1984, Jack began witnessing with CARP and sharing principled ideals on streets and campuses across the Californian Bay. Jack’s discussions about principled life were usually relaxed and personal. Wherever he went, he was inspired to listen to and share varied ideas and ideals.

Global Citizen: Russian Edition

In 1990, Father Moon started a CARP student exchange program after the Berlin Wall fell and communism weakened. In December of that year, Jack flew to St. Petersburg and began teaching Divine Principle.

Throughout his time in Russia, Jack lectured to anyone who understood English.

Since his students were only just emerging from an atheistic regime, they often fell silent when Jack’s chalky hands scrawled quotes from the Bible. Based on this effort, the International Education Foundation (IEF) was developed to publicly share the teachings of the Divine Principle to a non-religious audience.

Jack also spent his time and money on the local orphanages in between his two main hobbies: running and reading. Although the people of St. Petersburg touched his heart (and vice versa), Jack eventually had to depart for Volgograd in 1993 with his lovely wife, Yukari.

In 1995, their daughter, Soon-Mi, was born in the Kalmykia region. There was a strong family community in Southern Russia, creating an embracing and supportive atmosphere for their young family.

Creating World Peace Through Our Own Family and Example

After years in the breathtaking Russian winter, the Whedbee trio flew back to the United States in 1996. Jack’s eyes were open to God’s power and how much one person could contribute to the world. In 1997, Jack attended the Unification Theological Seminary and graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 2000.

Though Jack hasn’t seen his Russian friends in years, he still remembers how God worked through him and his friends to create a better world.

 “After all these years, I still think that world peace is possible.”

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The Whedbee clan: Soon-Mi, Jacob, Yuki, Jack, Yukari, and Josh 

Jack hopes to instill his children, Soon-Mi, Jacob, Yuki, and Josh, with love for the Principle that impacted his life so deeply. Jack and Yukari and their busy children are usually at their Georgian home, tending to delicious tomatoes in their garden.

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CARP MANILA: Sharing Food, Sharing Love

On August 30, 2016 CARP Manila had the opportunity to serve their community by volunteering for a ‘Food Feeding Program’ at the local Baclaran Elementary School.

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Over 200 children were fed over the course of the program.

One of the volunteers remarked, “It’s so overwhelming to welcome every single student as they entered the room, serve them by giving them food, then hearing their gratitude as they leave. It was like we want them to receive love, but we feel we receive more love from them.”

Some of the missionaries who were recently sent to the Philippines were also very happy as they were able to taste one of the best Filipino recipes, ‘Tinola.’

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After having worked hard to ensure that all 200 children were well fed and satisfied, the CARP volunteers had some time during lunch to socialize and bond with the school teachers and other staff. They expressed deep gratitude to the teachers, Ms. Nenita Panio and Ms. Myra Hizon, who were the main organizers that made this program possible. These teachers planned, sponsored and prepared the entire program and then graciously invited CARP to participate.

CARP members were very grateful to be a part of such a meaningful program. Father Moon has taught through his autobiography that “Food is love.” The CARP volunteers could directly experience this through the program.

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“I really felt that True Father’s words were true. When we share food, we are sharing love.”

CARP Manila is looking forward to taking part in more meaningful activities to create a positive impact on their community.

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Albania Celebrates Father Moon’s Life and Legacy

Mother Moon recently directed nations around the world to commemorate Father Moon’s life in their own nations. On September 3, 2016, 280 people including Ambassadors for Peace, current and former Ministers, government representatives and guests from all over Albania gathered in the main hall of the Tirana International Hotel to honor, remember and celebrate the life of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

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The program consisted of testimonies and performances, all testifying about Father Moon in a different light. Some testified about how great, strong and determined True Father was even when facing persecution or death. Others testified about how sensitive and compassionate he was, moved to tears by watching a leaf fall from the tree.

Opening remarks were given by Rev. Giuseppe Cali who came to Albania from Italy to teach Divine Principle to young Albanians. Rev. Cali shared his personal experiences with True Father and how his life was changed drastically by the teachings and lifestyle of Father Moon, who lived an exemplary life.

After a moving video about True Father’s life and achievements, Mr. Ali Lacej, the coordinator of Albanians’ Peace Council, testified about the greatness of True Father’s teachings and the spiritual revolution he brought to peoples’ minds and hearts. He ended by saying, “Father Moon has done so much for Albania and Albanians.”img_9954

This was followed by beautiful songs performances by two Universal Peace Academy students and Albanian blessed families, concluding with a lively dance performance by 4 Japanese missionary brothers. They all expressed their heart of gratitude to Father Moon through their performances.  

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But perhaps the most moving part of the program were the four heartfelt testimonies. Each testimony was filled with sincerity and a longing for Father Moon. They shared about the precious memories they had with Father Moon, bringing the audience to tears.

To end off the beautiful ceremony, the famous Albanian singer, Marisa Ikonomi sang “Let it Be”,  followed by another famous Albanian song.

It was a short program but all the attendees left feeling closer to Father and Mother Moon. Some of the guests who had know little about Father Moon’s life were happy to have this opportunity to get to know him better.

Albania will continue to testify about Father and Mother Moon and let people know that they are here.

 

 

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