Students Discuss Church Development

On March 11, 2006, the UTS Theologians Club organized a discussion on the topic of “Hoon Dok Family Church: Vision and Challenges”. It seems that everyone these days is talking about small family church, a form of cell church.

Reverend Sun Myung Moon, Unification movement founder, called church membership to create home churches quite a few years ago. Yet, how do we really do it? How do we begin? What is a successful family church anyway? To address these questions, the Theologians Club at UTS decided to initiate an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Unlike many other events of this type, most of the time in the program was devoted to group discussion. There were two long break-out sessions: “Vision for HDFC” and “Practical Steps to Success.” UTS President Tyler Hendricks presented theses on the definition of HDFC, the authority and responsibility of families and communities, and the method of transition. Theologians Club President Shota Iwasaki spoke on the importance of listening in this transitional time. After each discussion a reporter from each group shared the group’s conclusions with the rest of the partcipants.

Most groups emphasized the centrality of "Hoon Dok," God’s Word, for activities that home churches might initiate, which higlighted the need for development of educational materials. A couple of reports conceived of how families could take real leadership roles in the society and be a key part in solving their communities’ problems not just spiritually, but also politically and financially.

As for practical steps, one of them of crucial importance, education and empowerment of member families themselves, seemed to spark the most active dialogue. UTS students come from different countries, and each brought his or her own experience into the discussion, creating a variety of opinions and suggestions.

Response Forms filled out by participants show that most would like to continue to address this topic as a school and in meetings with the larger community.

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