Looking forward to the new year with great enthusiasm!
First of all thank you for your support this year. We have had a wonderful year at YouthUPF-UK with a lot of great events, our usual projects, The Youth Interfaith Council, an Evening With (Doing Well and Doing Good), the fabulous concert, projects away in Malta and we the last group has just came back last night from Jerusalem.
This email will just enclose quick paragraphs from various reflections by the YouthUPF Team, received during the year from the latest project. We send you , your families our love, continue to part-take, become more active and involve your friends next year. God Bless you, from YouthUPF – UK.
Reflections from Religious Youth Service in Jerusalem
There are so many highlights, so many moments of shear love, appreciation and inspiration that I felt. I was so very moved, touched and inspired to see how the 40 participant from 14 countries bonded, and developed over the 4 days we spent together.
We got to spend some time at temple mount and see the amazing ‘Dome of the Rock’ mosque as well as visiting the church of the Holy Sepulcher. Our friendly tour guide explained the historical and religious significance of these places and the Old City to both Muslims, Christians, and Jews, the knowledge of which would come very handy throughout the rest of the trip.
A final word from one of the Arab-Israeli students on how he would someday be willing to defend a fellow Jewish-Israeli from an extremist if he was willing to do the same was very touching and was a glimmer of hope that someday perhaps there will be peace .
I have made some long lasting friendships and am glad to have spent time with YouthUPF who made me feel very welcome and accepted even though I don’t belong to any faith in particular. MEPI is doing great work and learning about the work they do was inspirational.This has left a warm feeling of support and hope for world peace the future.
At the beginning, I felt peace is almost impossible. But as we engaged with people from both sides more, I came to realize that conflict is caused by lack of understanding and empathy toward each other. If the Palestinians can feel the pain of the Israelis who have been discriminated and humiliated throughout history, and if the Israelis can feel the Palestinian s’ pain, they may be able to achieve reconciliation. Peace is undoubtedly difficult to achieve but I learned the importance of not to giving up and doing everything you can to realize it.
Practically the Hotel was great, the focus was always positive and about peace and the tour guide was superb. The schedule was packed with amazing activities that I would not want to have missed for the world. I am really grateful to have been selected and would love to take part in more projects like this in the future. Thank you so much UPF, all the Israeli organizers and especially Christa for making this all possible for the UK team.
What I have learnt from such an intense programme in 4 days has been pronominal, tangible, serene, loving and incredibly rewarding. I shall keep every moment close to my heart, reminding me of the beauty I experienced.
Reflections from Fundraising Concert
Thanks again for having me play at your event, I really enjoyed it.It was lovely to meet everyone and I felt the evening was very inspiring.You showed great hospitality and made me feel very welcome!It was a fun evening and as I said was very inspiring, that message of peace was definitely felt throughout the whole room.
Congratulations for a great event!You had a great lineup with amazing musicians. I really hope we can work together again.
The concert evening was full of energy and excitement for everybody. I sensed love and support for the occasion by guests. I remember the nice lady who attended the UPF Peace Council and was very enthusiastic about attending the concert as she was happy to pay the full ticket cost, rather than the discount offer. There were some guests bringing their kids. This made the whole atmosphere even more special. The live performance was absolutely amazing. I was only able to see some of the performances, not all. I was astonished by the talented artists.
“Amazing heart felt music by some really humble and talented artists. It was a joy to listen to the uplifting and positive music surrounded by such a warm and inviting audience. More of the same again please!”
Reflections from our Ambassador For Peace Get Together
Great people coming to share and discuss on how to move forward was a great sight to see, naturally the spiritual stimulation did not end there. Margaret Ali and Robin Marsh went on to explore the UPF motto ‘live for the sake of others’ and successfully proved that it is more than a ‘pretty saying.’ They dissected the maxim in a way that showed that ‘giving’, ‘helping’ and ‘aiding’ others is not a favour we are doing for the world. Instead it is a necessity. It is something that we must do in order to survive and thrive spiritually. Having a counter view only focuses on our bodily needs.It turns out that many of us tend to prioritize the latter needs hence why so many individuals seem to think giving is a luxury.
I did not think I was a perpetrator of such a stance but after listening to the presentation and evaluating my daily thoughts and actions, which at first instance seemed trivial, I more or less neglect my spiritual self and instead devote excessive time and effort to physical ME. As the presentation drew to a close, I made a mental note of all the actions, which focus on physical me and promised myself I would do more to ensure that spiritual ME is not kept in the shadows.
In conclusion I would like to say that I thank God that I came to hear this Principle. In the short few hours, I have learned so much and I was touched deeply by the presentations given and the people around me. I look forward to hearing more. We can all make a difference. All we need to do is take the first step. That in turn means that if we really want to change the world, we need to get up and take action by making the first step to uphold the UPF principle of Living for the Sake of Others.