Archive for August, 2017

Welcoming an Exciting New Voice to CARP

Contributed by Katya Beebe

17498776_10154275927531078_3164054324469881677_nJennifer giving a sermon at the Los Angeles Family Church in March 2017. 

A few things have been happening at CARP this summer. Two of CARP’s most active chapters, CARP Los Angeles and CARP Las Vegas, have organized separate initiatives – the International Exchange Trip to Japan and Korea and the 2017 CARP Las Vegas Summer Leadership Training respectively.  

The CARP America National Team is excited to welcome a new staff member, Jennifer Pierce! A member of CARP LA who also reported on the recent international exchange trip, Jennifer is a wonderful addition to the team as the new Program Assistant.

To better introduce her and have you, our readers and supporters, get to know her, we asked Jennifer about her ambitions and her experience as a college student and with CARP and what her new role can offer.

FullSizeRender1 (3)Jennifer and her family at her commencement ceremony, May 16, 2016. 

Writing for Positive Values

Jennifer is 22 years old and two years out of college. She attended Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles (just by the beach!) from September 2012 to December 2015 and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in screenwriting.

Growing up in the Hollywood hub, Jennifer always loved movies and the movie-making process. In high school, she was a writer for the school newspaper. To merge her two interests, Jennifer decided to pursue screenwriting in college.

10426635_10203022863971505_4371435168731068549_nWorking on set in her apartment.

While writing scripts for movies and TV pilots, with a little bit of voice acting on the side, Jennifer thought about the impact her screenwriting could have on the world.

“I would love to use screenwriting to promote positive values to present a counter-proposal [to what the media presents today]. I think the media is really skewed toward negative things right now.”

Jennifer has truly tapped into the potential she believes she can have in the world of entertainment. At this time, she imagines a self-production route using the scope of the internet as a way to break into and disrupt the industry dominated by Hollywood.

Living Outside My Parent’s Home

Needless to say, Jennifer’s conviction to spreading positive values aligns with CARP’s mission to empower students to study and share the Unification Principles. During college, however, Jennifer did not have a CARP chapter on her campus, which is something she wished she could have experienced.

20840475_10155392711823382_1599139335_nJennifer and her film major friends at their end of the year bonfire. 

“I did have fun in college, but did it have purpose? I wish I had a CARP-like structure. It would have provided me with more conviction towards what I wanted to do [earlier on].”

Still, Jennifer found a way to stay true to her convictions. For example, when Jennifer was living with a roommate, she was determined to clean the house every day. In building up this good habit, her roommate felt so grateful especially when her next roommate wasn’t so helpful in the cleaning department.

Besides learning to cook and clean for herself (which Jennifer encourages all students to experience, even in their parent’s house), Jennifer also learned how to share her faith with her college friends.

“In an environment that doesn’t support [my beliefs] 100%, [once I shared], my roommate was respectful. A lot of people don’t have that kind of experience. I had friends who supported me and respected me.”

13220914_10208404007191413_1311337050084611856_nJennifer and her friends during commencement.

Because Jennifer first and foremost believed in herself and her faith, she could confidently explain that to those around her even though they were living in another kind of culture.

In this light, Jennifer could be open about her habits and convictions to not date or drink and to even attend the Marriage Blessing Ceremony conducted by True Parents in Korea in 2013.

To share with other people on your campus allows you to eventually find support even from those who might not share your values. It’s like saying your goals out loud so someone can hear them and hold you accountable to them. This was Jennifer’s college experience.

13325538_10209845289468783_7413234393650563013_nJennifer and CARP in Japan in 2016. 

Becoming a Dedicated CARPie

Finally, in the summer before her last semester in 2015, Jennifer got a chance to work with CARP. She went out every day with CARP LA members to do community outreach and share what CARP was all about with others.

“I didn’t enjoy it at first, but then I found that if I really believed in these things [the Unification Principles] then I should be able to share it.”

This was the same approach Jennifer took in college where she developed confidence in the things she believed in which then she could share confidently.

By the fall semester, a CARP chapter was formed at Pasadena City College (the first campus chapter to open under the CARP LA parent branch). Even though she was finishing up her studies at LMU, she stepped up as Event Coordinator to continue outreach initiatives for the CARP Pasadena branch.

“It was a very rocky start and a learning experience. [For the semester] we put on one community service event, one fundraising event, and one social event.”

12472329_1694675777449203_5328471791464643015_nJennifer sharing Unification Principles during a CARP Pasadena meeting. 

The Momentum retreat organized by National CARP in January 2016 gave Jennifer and her team more tools and processes to put on even more successful events and campaigns. One of these events was a partnership with the local bowling alley wherein CARP Pasadena was able to raise funds from the tickets sold.

Since the spring of 2016, Jennifer joined the bigger leagues as a CARP LA Board Member along with Jermaine Bishop, Yuri Kaneko, and Hitoe Hiraki (who will be starting up a CARP chapter at Cal State LA this fall). In this role, Jennifer has been supporting chapters in the LA area and facilitating communication.

20292629_10154547592466736_4936712660089755603_nJennifer with (bottom L to R) International Liaison Nina Urbonya, National CARP President Teresa Rischl, and (top) CARP LA President Jermaine Bishop.

Starting in a New Role at CARP America

Jennifer’s experience as a CARP LA Board Member lends itself well to her new role as Program Assistant with the National CARP.

The role of Program Assistant consists of two objectives:

  • Chapter support: providing tools and resources to college and community chapters. This could be information on how to start up or maintain a chapter, assistance in clarifying chapter goals, and providing samples of chapter constitutions.   
  • Communications: reporting on local chapter events and providing inspiring stories via the CARP website and social media channels. This could be collecting local chapter news from chapter reps, conducting interviews with students, and facilitating communication between chapters.

In addition to her new role, Jennifer will continue her ministry work as a Sunday School teacher and a LA Family Church council member to give back to her local community. She will also carry on her work as a CARP LA chapter member and staff while conveniently working at Pasadena City College.

“It’s kind of funny because I’m going to actually be communicating with myself.”

Let’s not have Jennifer only communicating with herself! She is a resource for all chapters across the US looking for support or to be inspired and empowered to continue the important work that CARP does for the college student demographic.

20228629_10156050417569879_4887668473730028860_nJennifer with other CARP leaders at Momentum Leaders Retreat 2017

“I am excited to see how much further we can go as CARP America. I am excited to be a part of that.”

And we are excited to have Jennifer on board and look forward to the progress we can make together.

Email Jennifer at jennifer@carplife.org for chapter support and check out all CARP communications at www.carplife.org and on our Facebook page.

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Tearing Down Walls

Contributed by Teresa Rischl

2017 - 170804-06 - 30. Anniversary Berlin CARP Convention (68)c

From August 5-6, 2017, over 400 people gathered in Berlin, Germany to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the CARP Rally at the Berlin Wall (read the official report here). This was a significant event in CARP’s history. 

Thirty years ago, in 1987, CARP held its 4th CARP Convention for World Students in Berlin, gathering CARP members from all over the world. At that time, the Berlin Wall delineated East and West Berlin, separating the communist and democratic worlds. There were many protests of the Wall as world leaders sought to bring unity to a divided people and nation.

CARP held several demonstrations at the Berlin Wall and was committed to bringing unity and peace to a divided Germany. That same year, the World CARP President at the time, Hyo Jin Moon (son of the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon) gave a rousing speech and desperately prayed with other CARP members at the Berlin Wall.

It was a dangerous time as fights, protests, and aggressive groups battled for and against the Wall. Despite the dangerous risk, CARP members demonstrated their courage in standing for a principled, God-centered world. The 30th Anniversary celebration honored the efforts of these heroes who contributed to the eventual fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

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Honoring the Past

The 30th Anniversary Celebration kicked off with some music offered by a reunion of some of the members of the Blue Tuna CARP band, followed by welcoming remarks from current CARP leaders of Germany, Albania, Austria, France, Italy, and the United States. Then, Claus Dubisz gave a talk, “The 1987 CARP Rally in Berlin in its historical context,” which included an overview of what transpired 30 years ago and the stark reality of that time.

CARP alumni from all over Europe and the United States gave testimonies of their experiences from 1987. Several alumni came to the stage in tears, overcome by the intensity and sacrifices made 30 years ago. Participants had a chance in the afternoon to actually visit memorials where the Berlin Wall used to be at Check Point Charlie, a famous American post at that time.

The rest of the program continued in the afternoon with additional testimonies, performances, and the main address given by Professor Yeon Ah Moon, the wife of Hyo Jin Moon. She emphasized the vision and heart of True Parents, Father and Mother Moon, in wanting to bring one family under God, without any walls or divisions between people.

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The following day, participants gathered for a Peace Road event and demonstration in the heart of Berlin. This signified the dream of having the world connected in peace. The theme of the gathering was “Peace Starts with Me” with an emphasis on achieving peace without violence.

Hard to Imagine

It’s really hard to imagine the despair and the battles fought at the Berlin Wall now, as new buildings have been constructed and people walk by on areas that were once off limits. I heard from people who were there in 1987 who could hardly believe it was the same place since so much had changed and developed.

Still, they will never forget. A line of bricks runs throughout the pavement of Berlin, signifying where the Wall used to stand, dividing East and West Berlin. There are still some parts of the Wall standing, used as memorials to honor the lives that were affected and taken because of this struggle.

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Taking on the Mission of Reunification

The history of the Berlin Wall offers many lessons for us today. First, I learned that no wall can keep us apart – at least not for long. In 1987, most Berliners believed that the Berlin Wall would be there forever and became resigned to that dismal future. However, CARP always believed in and fought for peace – true peace – which can only come about when we are united together as one family under God, our Heavenly Parent.

In the end, the Berlin Wall came down and ushered in a new beginning for a united Germany. Today, in 2017, it’s hard to imagine a world where the Wall existed.

That’s where my second lesson came in: one day in the not so distant future, we will live in a world where it will be hard to imagine that walls ever existed. I so look forward to the celebration of the reunification of North and South Korea, which CARP members today see as their ‘Berlin Wall’ mission.

At present, there are many who believe that Korea will always be divided; yet, just like 30 years ago, CARP is committed to peace and reunification. We believe it’s possible and we believe we have a special role to play.

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Who am I to Take This On?

As a Portuguese-American, I used to think, “what role or what difference could I have on another country?” What reason do I have to take on a mission of the reunification of North and South Korea, when I am not Korean myself?

That’s when I remembered the historic speech that the first World CARP President, Hyo Jin Moon, gave at the Berlin Wall in 1987. As a Korean who grew up in America, he was on the front line of the battle for the reunification of East and West Germany. He and countless others showed up to support peace and unification, regardless of where they were from.

This brings me to my third lesson: peace starts with me. It won’t happen as long as it’s “someone else’s job” to secure peace and prosperity. It won’t happen if I think of myself as small or insignificant. It won’t happen if I don’t create it, starting from myself first, and extending into my relationships with others.

All walls, whether internal or external, need to come down. That’s my commitment. I invite you join me in this movement for peace and as President Ronald Reagan said in 1987, “Tear down that wall!”

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