The following is a testimony on the theme “together” given by second-generation Unificationist Josh Hunter during a recent Sunday Service at New Hope Academy in Maryland. Hunter is a 2012 graduate of Generation Peace Academy and now works in youth-adult ministry in the Maryland, organizing activities such as weekly- and monthly youth programs for high-school and middle school Unificationists.
My name is Josh Hunter, and I would like to share three points about our theme, “together,” that through personal experience and thoughts, I have found to be extremely important to me.
The first point I would like to talk about is the true togetherness that we need in our community. Growing up, searching for answers and trying to find your faith in this movement is challenging. During this time, I had two friends, brothers really, who I had grown up with, who, no matter what, were there for me as I was for them. Whatever the struggles we went through, we remained brothers. Our relationship transcended this movement. I really feel this is the heart we must have for each other as brothers and sisters, a heart of unconditional love that does not judge or ignore but comforts and supports. We are all aging "together," we all come to church "together," but are we truly a community striving to really be together as brothers and sisters? I feel this is an absolute necessity for our movement to continue, not together physically by coming to church, but together in heart as a community striving to be a family.
The second point I would like to share is about the relationship between the first-generation- and second-generation Unificationists. The legacy and ideals, the Divine Principle, everything beautiful that our True Parents have given us, will not continue without the second-generation. It will not. Unless we second-generation truly unite and inherit the heart, knowledge and foundation that the first-generation has worked so hard to lay, we cannot continue this legacy. The bridge of understanding among first- and second-generation Unificationists needs work. From personal experience with my father and mother, I have inherited so much love, knowledge, desire and purpose. I know that there is so much to be offered to the second-generation from the first-generation and vice versa, but conscious effort from both sides is needed to truly create a reciprocal relationship. If we cannot do this as a community, True Parents legacy will end. Only together can we continue this legacy.
Lastly, I would like to share about the absolute importance of each second-generation Unificationist. While growing up and finding my place in this movement, one of the things that made it easy to want to stray was not understanding why I mattered. Why am I so important? Why are my parents so strict about certain things? How can I change the world? As I grow older and am looking more seriously at being independent as a young man and thinking about the family I will create, it has become clearer to me that the ideals we all strive for – one family under God, world peace, unconditional love – are not attainable by the effort of one person. I’m sure to many that this realization may elicit a "well, duh" kind of a response, but for me, it has become extremely clear that the family we raise, the decedents we are ancestors to will change the world only if we inherit and pass on our True Parents teachings and heart. For each person, this is an absolute truth. Every second-generation Unificationist here will have a family, but it is how we raise and educate those families that will truly make a difference in this world. Already as the second-generation, we are our True Parents and parents’ legacy and we all are invaluable.