BFD Group Leader Training

January 24.-27. 2008 in Munich/Germany
In January a Group Leaders’ Training Workshop was held in München, Germany, as a basic course for future group leaders and family counsellors.With the goal to reach and educate those, whose aspiration or position in the UPF demand the uneasy task of assisting members facing difficulties in their life of faith, their family life or their personal growth, Thomas Schuh and Irma Körtvelyessy, put together a programme providing the basic skills needed for group leading, education and support.There were 21 participants from several european nations, Geros Kunkel, responsible for the European Blessed Families Department, Thomas Schuh and Irma Körtvelyessy, from the German Family/Educaton Department, assisted by Wolf Osterheld and Lubelia Palfi, as co-workers.

The programme, containing:

  • Lectures
  • Self-experience of the group dynamic
  • Communication exercises
  • Experience oneself as leader of a small group, reflection on it and development of own ability as group leader, was enriched by wonderful, comforting and uplifting music, intended to relaxation, to physically exercising and to singing together.Dancing

The time given to share personal experiences within the group was experienced by mostly every trainee, as extremely valuable as they felt accepted, cherished and acknowledged.The contents of the Training including:A) The interaction of heart, intellect, emotion and will


  • Deal with feelings properly and understand the emotional healing process
  • How to utilise the healing power of the group
  • The role and tasks of the group leader
  • Initiating support groups

B) Competencies and Skills for Group Leading

  • Intervention in order to protect the group dynamic
  • Active Listening
  • Selective reflection
  • Guiding the development process through questions,

were available and compiled in a handbook for group leaders.

On attending the workshop I realised that there is a tremendous need for such meetings to take place: on the one hand to be educated and increase personal skills; on the other hand, group leaders need to have a steady and trustworthy place where they themselves can be free to pour out their hearts safely.

The need for healing from past wounds experienced throughout our difficult lives is as strong as the need to be recognized for our investment for God and True Parents. The need to experience truce within oneself or within one’s family and community is a reality no matter in which nation you are currently living. Such meetings provide the atmosphere you need to open up and also show you, you are not facing your trials alone: there are people, who do care!

I do hope that the participants take home the skills and the motivation necessary to start such supporting groups in their nations or communities and look forward to the next meeting in July as well as to the chance to meet new faces with whom to share such pleasant and moving time.

Lubelia Palfi (Germany)

Testimony from Margoth Kalstad – Norway

I came to the workshop, even though I am not presently totally open to receiving new teaching, since I am in the process of learning about Gestalt therapy. I am in my second year of a four year study and it demands a lot of attention. But I came because I would not miss this chance to take part in such an important work and providence for our church.

For me the Divine Principles are not merely an idea, but something I should make into a practise in my life. I have been wanting for so many years that we could try to live with love in our movement, the love that we until now have been pouring out to the world.

Now I feel is the time to heal ourselves with true love, and bring that true love we find and spread it among our brothers and sisters. We have been serving the world and True Parents by loving the Cain world, and I feel now is the time to bring that to another level.

It is not enough to speak about it to Cain world, but we ourselves have to live it as an example to the world around us. That is what our True Parents are asking of us now. Iit is a fearful journey but it is a journey I need to make and it will bring me closer to God and True Parents.

Why do I think like that? Because we have to fulfil on earth, we cannot go to heaven with our internal pain and resentment. There is no place for that pain in heaven, it will not fit in! I don’t want to bring that loneliness with me, just to find myself lonely again, and get stuck there with all the hurts and resentments.

I feel it is the time to offer it all up to God by putting it behind me and starting a new life of true love here on the earth, with the people that are closest to God and True Parents. I know that there is a lot of power and life, and that is what I experienced at the work shop.

Some of our dear brothers and sisters could share incredible burdens with us, and we could all feel liberated because of the atmosphere of love and compassion. And for me that is true parental love put into practice, and I found myself part of such an incredible experience.


Thank you to all the brothers and sisters that helped create such an atmosphere and I hope this is what we can bring to our nations and towns – an unconditional heart that can help to lift the burden of our life in the church.

There is no shame worth carrying and there is no resentment worth keeping if we want to live with God and True Parents and our brothers and sisters. It felt great to leave my burdens with family members and experience the vertical love that is there, and I hope many brothers and sisters will open up for such an experience and find help to get rid of childhood hurts and resentment.

I know that it will work if one is open to work with one’s own situation. I hope you will all find the inner courage to do that. That is what God would love the most, and what satan would hate the most!

Love from Norway

Margoth Tove Kalstad