Red Hook Golf Club
Saturday Sept. 19th
Tee time 1:00 pm
  • Prizes
  • Raffle
  • Storytelling
Red Hook Golf Club
650 Route 199,
Red Hook, NY 12571
Event fee of $75 includes the round of golf, cart and celebration dinner.
Sign up with Fred Lacroix before Sept 5th: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

On Saturday July 4th, a group of 23 UTS graduates and friends met in the Derbyshire Peak District. This was a record number of attendees for the forum, with participants from the Continent as well as from different parts of the UK. The forum has evolved over the years from being just a meeting of UTS graduates to a more academic forum open to anyone with an interest in academic discussion of critical issues around Unificationism.

More News

An interreligious seminary is a community that is “uncomfortable” but “enriching,” where people “build trust by shared experiences.” This was the message Mr. John Gehring (UTS '84) shared with the UTS community on Tuesday in his talk entitled, “Making Friends from Other Faiths: Lessons from the Religious Youth Service.” Mr. Gehring drew from his more than thirty years of hands-on experience working with young people in multi-religious settings doing service projects in over 40 countries.

Mr. Gehring stated that among his closest friends are people of other faiths, and that his interreligious network is a substantial foundation in numerous countries for the ministry of the Seminary Founders, Rev. and Mrs. Moon. Thus he cautioned against a spiritual “arrogance” that assumes “we have it” and need to “impose” what we have on the other. He said such an attitude fails to appreciate people who come from a rich religious tradition of their own, who teach from thousands of years of conversation and practice. He noted that people of all faiths want to give to others what is of most value to themselves. The wise person, the peacebuilder, is able to value what is important to others, to be patient and listen.

He drew from the analogy of a New York subway. There one is shoulder to shoulder with people from all the world’s religions, yet no one gains from that encounter because all focus on their own newspaper and circle of friends. He encouraged the UTS community not to follow that example, but to be a family, sharing common goals, values and “sweating together” through service.

Thus, Mr. Gehring emphasized the importance of “relational skills” and “dialogue” as “essential” and stressed that UTS is where students learn those essentials and “inherit” the richness in other traditions, in the process becoming more deeply rooted in one’s own religious tradition. The goal at UTS for students of all religions, he suggested, should be to become a better person.

Mr. Gehring, who identifies himself as both a Christian and a Unificationist, presented a broad definition of Unificationist identity, based on four recent affirmations in Unificationist Marriage Blessings: God is the center of my life, I will be faithful to my spouse, I will raise children of purity, and I will support people of other religions. He suggested that Unificationist practices, such as morning devotional readings, include not only teachings of Rev. Moon, but also teachings from the world’s religious traditions.

Mr. Gehring was the Director of the Religious Youth Service (RYS) for over twenty years and is currently the International Director of the Interreligious Peace Sports Festival, under the banner of the Universal Peace Federation. He taught the Divine Principle Practicum and co-directed Field Education at UTS, 1994-97.

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