On Sunday, July 27th, 2014 UPF Giessen hosted a Summer Festival. The theme of the day was “World Family”. Over 100 UPF members and guests, from all walks of life, came together to take part in the diverse program.
The festival began at 11:00 a.m. with an interreligious celebration. Youth Representative Jonathan Makkonen shared his thoughts on the theme “World Family”: Only a religious lifestyle practiced daily would contribute to world peace. If the founders of the world religions would meet each other, they would be the last ones to start a fight. Many guests expressed their agreement with this sentiment.
After that Christian Claus, who led the program, presented Rev. Moon’s and the UPF vision of peace, along with the restoration of the UN, as suggested by Rev. Moon.
The morning program was rounded off with a lovely musical number and meditation session for peace in the Middle East.
The tantalizing flavors from the BBQ drifted into the main hall long before the music ended. The guests gained strength for the second half of the day through an excellent buffet! Free time during the lunch break was also used for sports, discussions and spontaneous musical performances.
At 3:00 PM, Benedikta Becker organized and led the afternoon program “World Café”. The three topics of discussion for the world café were introduced by Jonathan Makkonen (“Youth”), Erich Eisfeld (“Society”), and Laetitia Sengseis (“Religion”). Through the “World Café” activity, groups of 6-7 participants had the opportunity to exchange and discuss a question, presented by the hostess, to the theme “World Family”. Every 15 minutes, the groups were mixed and a new question was presented. This method allowed many people to interact and create diverse dialogues. The afternoon program was also accompanied by another fantastic interreligious musical performance.
Not only the discussions with their interesting conclusions, but the harmony in the atmosphere, to the day ending with coffee, cake and ice cream, inspired wishes to meet again.
UPF received further praise from Erich Eisfeld, a University student who initiated his own local version of the project “Transition Town”. He’s known about UPF for a few years and is inspired by the vision and is looking forward to further involvement and interaction.
We want to express our thanks and gratitude to all – especially those who traveled from abroad- that helped with the organization, operation and success of the Summer Festival!
Youth UPF Gießen