Archive for 2018

God in the New Year

Contributed by Jennifer Pierce

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Happy New Year!

Today marks the new year for the lunar calendar. With CARP being international and having roots in Asia, we would like to acknowledge the significance of this new beginning.

As a movement standing for God on campuses, we want to take this first day to celebrate and offer it to God.

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Why God?

God is important to our mission because God provides the absolute standard by which we love each other and this world. Man-made standards can always be changed and justified to fit agendas, but God’s standard never changes and will only ever justify absolute and perfect love.

CARP stands for God because God stands for perfect equality and love among humankind. God stands for us. He pours out His love unreservedly regardless of who we are and what we’ve done. We are encouraged to do the same.

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We stand for interfaith because we believe God has been working behind history to create all these different faiths to find God. Men may interpret God differently, but at the root, the overlap, is a God of love who desires that we love others the way He loves us.

Our founder, Father Moon, said this:

“Our thinking is different from that of young people in general…

Most young people in today’s world, especially college students, behave in a self-centered way regarding how they can establish a successful career in their country and how they can create a life life for themselves.

However, the young people of [CARP] should not do that.

Rather than thinking only about their own happiness, they ought to consider the needs of the people and the needs of the world, based on a higher ethical viewpoint.” – September 30, 1969

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Standing for Something Bigger

God provides us with the higher ethical viewpoint to consider others’ happiness and needs above our own, and we practice serving those needs.

Because God is our Parent, He teaches us about love. In our own families, we learn how to care and how to love from our parents. As our Heavenly Parent, He teaches us beyond loving just our own families or communities but the nation and the world, the entire human family.

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In CARP, we have a Korean phrase hyojeong which means filial heart. It is the heart to give back and serve our parents’ desires. Parents sacrifice themselves for the well-being of their children. When we care about our parents’ desires and needs above our own, we are repaying that.

God’s desires to make sure all of His children, wherever they are, whoever they are, are loved and taken care of. When we show love and take care of our fellow humans, we fulfill that desire.

That is why God is inseparable from our mission, and we are proud. 

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Victory Log 2017

With 2017 complete, we are already well underway with spring semester chapter programming. Before we dive deep into 2018, we wanted to take some time to celebrate all the amazing things we were able to achieve in 2017! These victories are only possible because of your support – Thank you!

First things first, we’ve expanded our list of registered chapters this year to 14!

Congratulations to the chapters who were officially registered on their campus in 2017: 

CARP CSN

College of Southern Nevada (CSN) in Las Vegas!

CARP ECC

El Camino College (ECC) in LA!

CARP CYPRESS

Cypress Community College in LA!

CARP UCLA

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in LA!

CARP GR

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in Michigan!

CARP Bay Area

Chabot College in Bay Area! 

HARP AHS

Also, congratulations to our first registered HARP chapter on Alhambra High School!

National Initiatives 

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Principled Worldview Curriculum Development. Through seminars, webinars, and consultations with esteemed educators throughout the year, CARP America has been developing content for chapters on topics like: Worldview, Thought Trends, Media, Marriage & Family, and Love & Sex. These presentations show the principled perspective on a number of topics and are intended to help students see how the Principle applies to their studies. 

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HyoJeong Trip, June 20 – July 4. CARP America took 120 students to visit Japan and Korea to learn the origins of CARP and connect with the founders. Emphasizing the experience of the Principle, the participants had a chance to connect with other students like family. The trip culminated in an intimate meeting with Co-founder of CARP, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who imparted a global mission onto the CARP students. Check out the Blog!

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Momentum, July 16-18. 50 CARP leaders from 12 different chapters across America and abroad gathered at the Belvedere Training Center in Tarrytown, New York, for the 2017 CARP “Momentum” Leadership Retreat. The purpose of this retreat was to establish a connection between chapter leaders, determine a direction as a National CARP team, and prepare for the upcoming school year. This retreat was a refresher and gave leaders the strength to move forward for the upcoming school year! Check out the full story here.

TP 2017

Turning Point, December 26 – January 1. Participants gathered from across the United States to participate in this year’s CARP Turning Point 7-Day Divine Principle Workshop at the International Peace Education Center. In its second year, ‘Turning Point’ has expanded its service to both number of participants (from 74 last year to over 120 this year) and number of communities participating to include Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

The participants include high school students, college students, young adults, and parental supporters. Participants also come from different backgrounds and understanding of the Divine Principle. Some of the participants grew up studying the Principle and about 30 of the young adults started studying the Principle in the last few years, months, or weeks. The diversity of the participants helps create an atmosphere where we can all grow and learn together. Read the blog here!

National Partnerships

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New York, Peace Starts With Me Rally, July 15. Mother Moon was the keynote at the ‘Peace Starts With Me’ Rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Her message was a call to action that everyone should practice peace in their hearts to make a change in this world.

20,000+ people gathered for the event including many CARP members from around the country. CARP students also came early to help prepare and invite people to the rally. CARP joined the 700 youth dance performance, many on stage.

Local Initiatives

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Las Vegas Cross Country Road Trip, May 28 – July 16. For 50 days, Las Vegas took their members and leaders on a road trip across the US to raise their level of understanding of the Principle as well as give them leadership skills through interaction with local communities. The trip had five components: fundraising, pilgrimage, workshops, community outreach, and mobilization leading up to Mother Moon’s Peace Starts With Me Rally at Madison Square Garden in New York. Read more here.

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Florida Donation Drive for Hurricane Irma. Although CARP Florida is still in development, they took time to give back to their community and gathered supplies for the victims of Hurricane Irma.

Local Retreats

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Los Angeles CHARP DP Lecture practice, August 6-8. CARP and HARP had a joint Divine Principle Lecture Practice workshop. This retreat combined both a practice of public speaking with the understanding of the Principle. They prepared, studied, and set conditions for their lectures which they presented at the end of the retreat. Parental Advisor, Naoko Hiraki, provided constructive encouragement and praises for the groups. Many participants who joined were grateful for the chance to understand the Principle on a deeper level through being able to teach it. 

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Las Vegas 7 Day Retreat, December 17 – December 23. As the final event of the semester, CARP Las Vegas held their 7-Day Retreat. The workshop was packed with a total of 28 students: 7 new guests, 4 new members, and 17 CARP/community members. The retreat was made with love with many lectures and activities. The retreat was designed to help participants practice a consistent life of faith, even after the retreat finished. Read more here!

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Dallas One Day Retreat, October 21st. CARP Dallas held a successful one day Principle Workshop with more than 20 participants. They were hosted by main lecturer Rev. Sakai and also guest speakers Rev. Hernandez and Rev. Jackson.

Local Professor Talks

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Las Vegas, “Peace Starts with Me” Campus Talks, November 1 & November 8. CARP Las Vegas held special ‘Campus Talks’ on their two campuses, College of Southern Nevada (CSN) and University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), with the theme “Peace Starts with Me.” This event was inspired by Mother Moon’s Peace Starts with Me Rally at Madison Square Garden (MSG) earlier this year.

The purpose of the Campus Talks was to create a space for professors and staff to share their knowledge and wisdom to students and to strengthen the relationship between the two. The goal was to create a cultural shift on the campuses to be more positive, interconnected, and empowering. Read more here.

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University of Bridgeport, On Being, November 29. CARP UB hosted their  event called, “On Being: A Discussion with Professors About Finding Your Identity, Values, and Passion in a Global Society” with another club on campus, the Global Affair Society. Twenty-five people in total attended the event including students, faculty, and community supporters. Opening the floor and creating a space for both professors and students to talk allowed students to feel free to ask questions and gain advice from the professors and peers. About 25 people attended. Read more here!

Guest Speakers Visit Local Chapters 

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Los Angeles, Rev. Nakamura, October 29. CARP LA had the pleasure of hosting Rev. Nakamura, a CARP alumni from Japan, who presented to many of the students at the Intercultural Exchange Trip to Japan and Korea this summer. Rev. Nakamura met with CARP chapter leaders and members, sharing his testimony as a CARP member in Japan and meeting Father Moon. He also gave lectures on Unification Thought. Read more here!

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Bay Area, Dr. Bento Leal, November 3. Dr. Bento Leal gave a dynamic presentation on ‘Empathic Listening’ at the CARP Bay Area IGNITE Night.

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New Jersey, Dr. Beebe, November 8. NJIT CARP was honored to have a special guest speaker, Dr. Beebe, come. Dr. Beebe currently serves on the Board of Directors of CARP-USA and contributes in developing CARP’s educational materials. Through this event, students were able to learn and understand what the true value, purpose, and outcome of education is and how it affects our own desires to pursue a career.

Bay Area Dr. Kaufmann

Bay Area, Dr. Kaufmann, November 17. CARP Bay Area hosted guest speaker Dr. Frank Kaufmann to speak on “Spirituality, Destination , and Pursuit of Interfaith Progress.” Dr. Kaufmann is the director of the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace and shared his experiences working in religion and conflict resolutions in many different countries.

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Grand Rapids, Kathryn Davis, November 30. CARP Grand Rapids’ event on November 30th hosted guest speaker, Kathryn Davis, local Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) chairwoman, who talked about “Healing the Heart of America.” 18 students and two faculty attended the event. Ms. Davis explained that everyone is a part of a family, the human family and change can take place when that is understood. She called for everyone to focus more on the spiritual side of life instead of the external. Students brainstormed solutions after her talk! Read more here!

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Bay Area, Rev. Kevin Thompson, December 2. For the last bi-monthly ‘IGNITE’ program of the year, Bay Area CARP invited Rev. Kevin Thompson from the Bay Area Family Church to share. Check out their Fall 2017 video report!

Local Partnerships

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University of Bridgeport, December 13. CARP at UB and Women’s Federation for World Peace International had a wonderful joint event for a commemoration of the UN International Year of the Family. It was called “Peace Making and Bridge Building: A Vision for the Human Family.” They had a wonderful speaker named Mamie Thompson who has done incredible conflict resolution oriented work including being the US Mission of the UN representative to South Africa during apartheid and her current work with New York City schools on a project called DREAM.

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Los Angeles, December 16. CARP Los Angeles (LA), in collaboration with the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), hosted a Revival Starts with Me Rally for the peaceful reunification of North and South Korea. This rally was inspired by Mother Moon’s successful rallies in Thailand, Japan, United States, and Korea this year. They gathered 1200 students and 20 churches to come out in support of this cause! Read more here!

Staff Highlights

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Honoring CARP’s History, August 5 – 6. Teresa Rischl (pictured above with current remnants of the Berlin Wall in Germany), represented CARP America at the 30th Anniversary of the Berlin Wall rally that CARP held to tear down the wall and help bring an end to communism. Thirty years ago, in 1987, CARP held its 4th CARP Convention for World Students in Berlin, gathering CARP members from all over the world. This year, over 400 attendees including CARP alumni from all over Europe and the United States shared testimonies of their experiences from 1987. Several alumni came to the stage in tears, overcome by the intensity and sacrifices made 30 years ago. The theme of the gathering was “Peace Starts with Me” with an emphasis on achieving peace without violence. Read more here!

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NEW STAFF: Jennifer Pierce, Program Assistant. Hailing from Los Angeles, Jennifer joined the team last August to help with communication and chapter support! She was active with CARP LA for two years before coming on to work nationally and is especially proud of helping to establish HARP LA (High school Association for the Research of Principles) as a way to empower high school students to study and apply Principle before going to college. Feel free to connect her at jennifer@carplife.org

NEW STAFF: Shirley Harris, Bookkeeper. We were happy to welcome Shirley as a part-time bookkeeper at the end of 2017. She brings a wealth of bookkeeping experience which will help CARP hone its finances and allow Taka (who was doing the bookkeeping) the chance to focus on his strengths in design and media. Welcome to the team, Shirley!

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STAFF ANNIVERSARY: We celebrate Takayoshi Sugawara for his 2 years with CARP! Serving as an administrator, he is largely responsible for our day-to-day management which includes everything you could imagine. He keeps CARP moving like a well oiled machine! As the man of many trades, we are so grateful for Taka’s commitment, perseverance, and incredible creativity. 

STAFF ANNIVERSARY: Where would we be without our President, Teresa Rischl?! Serving 4 years with CARP, she transitioned gracefully from Program Director to President this year. With a year under her belt as President, this year will be a time of growth and development. 

A BIG Thanks to outgoing staff:

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Naokimi Ushiroda, after serving as CARP President for over 3 years, transitioned into his new role as Director of Youth and Students for Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. We are honored to have had a leader like Naokimi who really raised CARP to new heights! We are also grateful Naokimi is still connected with CARP and supports new partnerships together. 

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David Young, previously Chapter Support Rep. and Content Creator, moved on in June to focus on his business as a coach, speaker, and facilitator. We wish David the best of luck and lots of success in his new ventures!

Katya Beebe, previously Communication Contractor, got blessed in marriage and moved to Germany for graduate school. Although on the other side of the ocean, she continues to check-up on CARP America and roots us on. Katya helped CARP establish consistent communications through the newsletter and social media. Thanks Katya!

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Nina Urbonya served as a part-time International Liason for the past 2 years, connecting to CARP chapters across the globe and sharing best practices and resources. Nina will continue to support international communications on a project-basis this year. She and her husband are excited to welcome a baby girl in April. Congratulations Nina and thank you for connecting CARP America to the world through your numerous travels. 

Plug In!

CARP Chapters around the country held consistent meetings on and off campus to study and apply Principle. Check out your local CARP chapter for more info!

  • CARP Las Vegas (Jinil Fleischman): info@carplv.org
  • CARP LA (Jermaine Bishop Jr): carplife.la@gmail.com
  • CARP Bay Area (Gabby von Euw): carpbayarea@gmail.com
  • CARP Grand Rapids (Josue Kisile): hebangjakisile@gmail.com
  • CARP Dallas (Woojin Suina): woojinsuina@gmail.com
  • CARP NJIT (Takafumi Mashiko): carp.njit@gmail.com
  • CARP at UB (Ricky de Sena): ri.desena2@gmail.com

At the heart of a CARP chapter are the weekly meetings where students can build deeper relationships, grow, and engage with a positive and empowering community. Here are just a few:

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BAY AREA Ignite

GR weekly

Gratitude Corner

We also wanted to acknowledge the many people who made these victories possible:

  • Board of Directors
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    • Charko Patterson, Board Chair, Audit & Finance Committee
    • Amy Cuhel-Schuckers, Board Vice Chair, Board Development Committee
    • Chad Hoover, Board Secretary, Fundraising & Board Development Committee
    • Markus Karr, Audit & Finance Committee
    • Dr. Robert Beebe, Membership & Programming Committee
    • Kai Wise, Membership & Programming Committee
    • Clara Brunkhorst, Fundraising Committee
    • Graeme Carmichael, Board Treasurer
    • Teresa Rischl, ex oficio Director as CARP President
    • *Marjorie Buessing (completed her term in July)
    • *Tasnah Moyer (competed her term in July)
    • *Roland Platt (completed his term in June)
  • Donors 
    • Whether supporting through our monthly giving program or through special campaigns, we are so grateful for your generosity, sincerity, and support. 
    • We especially want to thank our Major Donors, Ocean Peace and Pacific Food, who sponsor the Leadership Retreats which have been crucial to our mission and in providing student leaders with the resources, community, and support they need to be successful. We are so grateful for these generous donors for investing in the future of our movement. Thank you!!
  • Parental Advisors
    • The Parental Advisors are the unsung heroes of CARP. They provide encouragement, support, volunteer hours, and advice for students and chapters. Many times their work is behind the scenes and yet is critical to sustainable growth in a community. Although there are many more out there, here are the central Parental Advisors for chapters:
    • Akira & Makiko Watanable, CARP Las Vegas
    • Naoko Hiraki, CARP Los Angeles
    • Greg & Keiko Breland, CARP University of Bridgeport
    • Kimie Stana, CARP North Lake College
    • Kazuya Morita, Markus von Euw & Christine Froehlich, CARP Bay Area
    • Chad & Ann Hoover, Cornell University
  • Volunteers

If you are inspired to get involved, email teresa@carplife.org. We’d love to partner with you!

Thank you for our victorious 2017! Let’s make 2018 even better!

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The Birth of CARP in Grand Rapids

Contributed by Josue Kisile

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When I look back to where we started with CARP in Grand Rapids, I see God working. Personally, I was never very interested in doing CARP, perhaps because I did not have the right understanding of what it was and I limited myself. Since childhood, I have been very attracted to the idea of becoming a pastor or a church representative, but CARP never crossed my mind.

But now, you can call me “the CARP guy.” After studying Father Moon’s words on CARP and the history of CARP, I am convinced that if we are to revive the spirit of our movement and bring it back the youthful spirit that characterized it in its early years, CARP is the way to do it. CARP is a movement of the Principle.

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How did I become so hooked on CARP?

The idea came when I had to give a speech in my class on something that I am very passionate about. I struggled to find a topic that was not related to God, religion, or soccer. If you are really paying attention to what is going on on the college campuses, you’d know that topics related to God and religion are not very welcomed, and soccer didn’t seem the right fit.

I made up my mind to talk about sexual purity, but I had to find a title that would grab my audience’s attention. I titled it: “Sexual Purity: a Solution to Sexually Transmitted Diseases.” My professor, despite being a Christian, wasn’t comfortable with me talking about such a subject because of the repercussions it might cause in the class. I wouldn’t be saying the truth if I said I wasn’t scared. However, I took it very seriously because I saw it as an opportunity to convey a message from God.

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“To find a solution to a problem, we need to know its cause. The reason we haven’t found a solution to the problem of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is that we focus on the effects rather than on the cause. STD’s are the effects of sex outside of marriage; to solve the problem, we have to do the opposite of what we have been doing, which is absolute abstinence before marriage and absolute fidelity in marriage,” I said in my speech in front of forty of my classmates.

Speaking Up on Campus

To my big surprise and contrary to the negative response I expected, I was applauded and even congratulated by my professor and some of my classmates. On that day I learned that although the flame of the truth is overshadowed by the false philosophy that is popular in our society, nothing can stop it from burning. I felt a call to bring back the flame of truth at my campus.

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From the time that I learned that I have the support of my community and that of the CARP National team, I felt empowered to establish a chapter. I felt the support from God in every step I took to register CARP as an official club on campus. It looked like people were already prepared to support the establishment of CARP at Grand Rapids Community College. Every person I spoke to was ready to support.

Because of that, I could easily relate to Mother Moon’s words that if we unite with her, miracles can happen. Yes, if we unite with the person God is working through and move forward denying ourselves, we can achieve what seems impossible to achieve.

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I declared I would start a CARP chapter at Grand Rapids Community College for my new year’s resolution for 2017 and on September 8, 2017, CARP was officially recognized. As of today, we have 15 members registered with CARP, and the number is set to increase before the end of this winter semester. We meet twice a week: on Mondays for a CARP Talk with either a guest speaker or a student presenting on a topic they are passionate about in conformity with our CARP principles. On Tuesdays, we meet for Divine Principle study.

I am very grateful for the brothers and sisters who are tirelessly working to bring guests to our weekly meetings. I have a lot of hope that through CARP, we can bring victory.

Check out more of CARP Grand Rapids on their Facebook Page!

Have your own chapter story to share? Send it to jennifer@carplife.org

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The Year of Influence

Contributed by Denthew Learey 

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Influence is the ability to impact the character, development, or behavior of others. There’s a lot out there in our society that influences us: media, social networks, movies, education, peers, friends, family, etc. Sadly, not all of these influences are good and can even have a bad impact on our lives. It’s time to put this negative barrage to an end.

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That’s why CARP is so important. CARP stands for the values and principles that help us become the light in a dark and troubled world. Let the victories of this past year fill us with strength as we proudly make a positive influence in 2018.

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Victory List

  • 14 chapters were officially registered on campus. This gives us legitimacy on campus, a voice, and further resources and opportunities.
  • Deepened partnerships with local supporters and national organizations like the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) and the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP)
  • Connected to the world – 120 participants traveled to Japan and Korea to have a priceless intercultural exchange with Korea CARP, Japan CARP, and others.
  • And more…

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At times we may be overcome by fear and doubt when trying to stand up. But, in those moments, remember what we’ve already accomplished and overcome. You’re not alone. Students and CARP chapters across the nation hosted rallies and events that reminded us to be confident and proud of all the good that CARP stands for.

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2018: The Year of Influence

At a leadership retreat at the beginning of this year, our National CARP President, Teresa Rischl, declared 2018 the year we become intentional about the influence and positive impact we want to have in our relationships, campuses, society, and world. With the foundation of all we’ve done, let’s move forward with confidence. As Mother Moon similarly said, ‘what are you afraid of?’

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We have a whole new year ahead of us and so much potential as CARP to influence many students positively. Let the testimonies of the past bring life to the testimonies of the present and future of what’s possible.

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Oftentimes, we might think our influence is small and has no impact on the universe. Jonathan Safran Foer in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close has a different mindset, and shares this story:

“When Dad was still alive, and I got incredibly heavy boots about how relatively insignificant life is, and how, compared to the universe and compared to time, it didn’t even matter if I existed at all.

When Dad was tucking me in that night and we were talking about the book, I asked if he could think of a solution to that problem. ‘What problem?’

‘The problem of how relatively insignificant we are.’

He said, ‘Well, what would happen if a plane dropped you in the middle of the Sahara Desert and you picked up a single grain of sand with tweezers and moved it one millimetre?’

I said, ‘I’d probably die of dehydration.’

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He said, ‘I just mean right then, when you moved that single grain of sand. What would that mean?’

I said, ‘I dunno, what?’

He said. ‘Think about it.’

I thought about it. ‘I guess I would have moved a grain of sand.’

‘Which would mean?’

‘Which would mean I moved a grain of sand?’

‘Which would mean you changed the Sahara.’

‘So?’

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‘So? So the Sahara is a vast desert. And it has existed for million of years. And you changed it!’

‘That’s true!’ I said, sitting up. ‘I changed the Sahara!’

‘Which means?’ he said.

‘What? Tell me.’

‘Well, I’m not talking about painting the Mona Lisa or curing cancer. I’m just talking about moving that one grain of sand one millimetre.’

‘Yeah?’

‘If you hadn’t done it, human history would have been one way …’

‘Uh-huh?’

‘But, you did do it, so …’

I stood on the bed, pointed my fingers at the fake stars, and screamed: ‘I changed the universe!’

‘You did.’”

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You are the Change

We might have just moved a piece of sand one millimeter, but still we made an impact on the universe. This doesn’t compare to the colossal steps we make every day on our campuses, in our chapters, and through our relationships. Each act of love influences the culture around us and creates a positive impact. So don’t hold back. Make a change. Reach out. Help others. Let 2018 be the year we transform the culture around us into a culture of heart so we can take steps to truly be one family under God.

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What can you do? Get involved! There is strength and power in numbers. We can make an even greater impact when more people get involved. Don’t have a chapter near you? Start one yourself! We started a weekly support series designed to help inspired individuals take the steps to start a chapter. If you’re interested, contact jennifer@carplife.org. Together, let’s make this an incredible year of heart, joy, truth, and love.

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CARP Bay Area Serves on MLK Day

Contributed by Gabriela Von Euw, CARP Bay Area

IMG_8324editPicture with the Mayor of Oakland at the Oakland Animal Shelter (OAS) on Saturday, January 13th.

“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every year on the third Monday of January, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is celebrated nationally through service projects, as a way to honor MLK Jr.’s efforts to stand up for peace and better our country. Martin Luther King, Jr. has inspired millions to go out, serve others, and lend a helping hand to our communities. This year, over 2,000 volunteers attended the Oakland service project to honor Dr. King’s birthday weekend. 

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Volunteer Service is not just about cleaning, gardening, pulling weeds, etc., but about what we can learn about ourselves and each other. It’s a time when people from many different backgrounds and beliefs gather together to help make a difference in the world, letting go of the barriers that may divide us. It’s a peaceful time where we can all do something small to create a big change.

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This year, we had many projects available in the Bay Area where volunteers could serve by picking up trash, re-painting old walls and gates, weeding, gardening, and more. Our two main projects were at the Rose Garden and at the Oakland Animal Shelter. At the Rose Garden, we had 60 people come from the Bay Area Family Church (BAFC). We also had Boy Scouts, High School students, CARP members, and other community members participate. We went around the gardens in small groups clearing the vines and weeds around the trees. It was tough work, but everyone remained high spirited working together.

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“Our service project was at Rose Garden, and I was caught off-guard to see how many beer bottles were surrounding the tree area which we were responsible to clean. It was clear that the garden was being misused. However, while working with other volunteers, I learned that the garden was also a place used for presenting ‘Mother of the Year’ awards to female citizens who best embodied ‘motherhood.’ I felt that despite what I saw in the garden, by serving and cleaning it, I was contributing to reviving the garden for that heavenly purpose.” – Junta Naito, CARP Bay Area 

IMG_8480aaGroup photo of the BAFC volunteers at the Oakland Rose Garden. 

Every year, a group goes out from the BAFC to volunteer at the Rose Garden which Oakland greatly appreciates. On Saturday, a small group of about eight of high school and CARP college students went out to the Oakland Animal Shelter to put together kennel beds for the animals in the shelter and re-painted the fading yellow gates. We also had a few others from the Oakland community and Oakland counsel join us in the service work.

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“As a young college student, I am building deeper roots in my beliefs and values. [School] makes me face polarized views in many different avenues. It is sometimes exhausting to deal with. There is so much in the world that people disagree about; however, one thing that almost everyone can come to common ground is acts of service. I was moved to see so many groups and individuals come out to simply serve the community. It gave me hope that someday we can find common ground on a bigger scale, so we can come accomplish even greater things.” – Erika Gordon, CARP Bay Area

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The Mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf, visited and helped at each project. At the end of the project, we took a group picture with the mayor at the Animal Shelter. It was a successful weekend of service with many hardworking people from all over coming together to beautify our community we live in! Let’s keep the spirit of serving beyond this day!

Check out more about what CARP Bay Area does on their Facebook page! CARP is all about bettering the community around us.

If you have an inspiring story, send it to jennifer@carplife.org

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