Eighty people gathered at the Parents´ Matching Convocation in Gräevenwiesbach Youth Hostel, Germany, from Friday 19th. to 22nd. November.
On Friday evening, after almost everyone had arrived, Germany´s National Leader, Fritz Piepenburg, gave some deep opening words and then the European BFD´s Committee Chairperson, Rainer Fuchs, welcomed everyone warmly and gave some clear orientation. Then everyone mingled, getting to know each other and settling into their rooms.
On Saturday, after a very inspiring HDH and morning service given by Lisa Janssen, four presentations were given during the day, interspersed with time for networking. They were: ‘Parents Matching and the CIG standard’, by Geros Kunkel, explaining the CIG standard set by True Parents, which is the standard that all candidates should aim for; ‘Setting the Tradition of Matching our Children’, was an inspiring and clear message given by Rainer Fuchs; ‘Matching Support for the Parents’, by Tessa Thonett, was given with many examples of real situations that parents often have to deal with when matching their children, and ‘Treasures of Heaven Ministry’, was a very moving presentation given by Lisa Janssen, bringing tears to many eyes. As always, many of the parents approached the speakers after their talks to say how helpful and inspiring their words had been. After some testimonies in the evening there was more time given for networking and getting to know the candidates who were presented in a separate private room.
On Sunday, after a very moving HDH and morning service given by Ashley Crosthwaite, three groups with different topics were organized and people could choose the one they preferred to attend. One, led by Geros and Ashley, was for parents who had questions about difficulties their children had with regards to faith or other special situations; another was for parents of Treasures of Heaven, led by Lisa and also Maria Pammer; and the third was for general matching support, a very lively meeting led by Markus and Tessa Thonett. Afterwards there was a Panel Discussion and the Closing Session, where some small gifts were then offered to the BFD´s staff. It ended up with a group photo and a delicious lunch.
The parents were encouraged to come to the Convocation even before they had children of Matching age, to learn about this very important tradition that True Parents have bestowed upon us Central Blessed Couples. The parents then often attend 2 or even 3 times, to understand things they may have missed (due to limited English perhaps?) and to also meet new parents of different candidates. On this occasion the majority were coming for the first time.
The atmosphere was always good, familiar and easy. One mother was impressed by the harmony and feeling of love that was among the BFD´s staff, and many expressed satisfaction concerning the program in general. One father stood and declared his gratitude and appreciation for the level of professionalism and loving attention of the staff, asking everyone to give a large round of applause, which was given for longer than was necessary.
Parents felt grateful for all the efforts and good give and take at the Convocation and also for the understanding and precious advise we received – Thank you!