Seventh Annual UTS Commencement

Seventh Annual UTS Commencement

Sun Myung Moon
June 25, 1983
Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown

On June 25, 1983, 45 students of Unification Theological Seminary gathered at Barrytown, with their teachers, friends, and parents, to participate in the Class of ’83 graduation ceremony. Most importantly, True Parents themselves attended the event, giving it a special, historical significance. To the surprise of many, Father left immediately afterward to continue fishing with Ocean Church members

Among the speakers was Mr. David Kim, president and “papa” of UTS. His last words to the graduating class included the following:

“When you go out into the field, you will be working on the front line between good and evil, harmony and conflict, and diplomacy.

“I hope that out there you will bring many more successes and achievements in order to become congratulated not only by me but by the nation and the world.”

Commencement Address
Sun Myung Moon
Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am truly grateful to you, the parents and families of the graduating students, friends, professors, and distinguished guests, for your attendance at this seventh graduation ceremony of the Unification Theological Seminary.

The Unification Church has recently emerged as a unique group, without precedent in history. Parents of our members, the larger society, nations, and the world recognize our uniqueness but they generally fail to understand the nature of it.

People in the world tend to see things primarily from a self-centered perspective. However, members of the Unification Church learn to view everything from a higher and larger dimension. For example: money, power, knowledge — even salvation — are regarded from a worldly viewpoint as benefiting the individual, or at most the family. How rare it is to find a person who puts even the welfare of the nation above that of the family! But for us the entire cosmos, both spiritual and physical, takes priority over the individual, the family, and even the nation.

Goals
Goals such as liberation, freedom, and happiness are generally sought for the sake of a few people rather than the human-family as a whole. But unlike the rest of the world, we strive toward liberation, freedom and happiness not only for all mankind, but even for God. Anyone who overlooks this difference fails to understand our true nature.

Because our perspective is different and our goal is different, the direction and contents of our lives are different. This difference is analogous to that between a sprinter and a marathon runner. Like the marathon runner, we need not only long-range thinking, but also more training. Our task demands more perseverance, longer periods of self-sacrifice, and more pain.

Coming from a narrower perspective, many parents, families, and even nations have failed to understand this, and have opposed us. In spite of this opposition, we have tried to embrace everyone; and fortunately, more and more people are now reflecting on their previous attitude and beginning to understand us.

Holy Sons and Daughters
From the point of view of the family, sons and daughters who love and serve their parents for the benefit of the entire family are called children of filial piety. From the point of view of a nation, citizens who love and serve their country are called loyal patriots. From a global point of view, people who love and serve all of mankind are called saints. And from a cosmic point of view, those who love and serve heaven as well as mankind are called holy sons and daughters of God. In the Unification Church, our goal is to become holy sons and daughters of God.

What does history need most? Does it need people with a narrow, worldly perspective, or does it need the Unification Church? If the conscientious people of the world really understood the Unification Church they would agree that history needs us more than anything else. And if we were to ask God, the answer would be the same.

As sons and daughters of God, we can be proud of our historical mission. When our generation passes away, we must leave behind a worthy history, a secure mankind, and a satisfied God. Such a mission enjoys the protection of history, mankind, and God. For this, we can be grateful in our daily work.

Those of you who are graduating from the Seminary today are part of this historical mission. Reverend Moon and the members of the Unification Church have devoted considerable effort to your education, and have high hopes that in your future careers you will become true leaders of tomorrow.

We are praying that you establish a royal pattern which will liberate mankind and God, and will defeat Satan and communism. We are also praying that you will establish a new and higher tradition for future history, mankind and God.

I would like to close by congratulating the graduates on their achievement; and by thanking once again the parents of these historically important young people, the professors who have instructed these people whom history needs, and the distinguished guests who will watch them with new hope.

Father’s Closing Prayer
Loving Father!

Before Thy noblest and highest Will, all human beings cannot even hide their miserable faces, because in the past, we failed to set up an acceptable standard of human dignity and prestige for Thee. Throughout the ages of history, Thou hast been following the path of human sorrows and miseries, working hard with these suffering human beings and sacrificing numerous people in the course of Restoration Providence, with the sole hope of fulfilling The Original Will. Our human ancestors failed to cooperate with Thy Will and failed in their heavenly responsibilities, for which we ask Thy sympathy.

In order to fulfill the noble task of Thy Will, Thou hast established many conscientious religions on earth; amongst them, Judaism and Christianity assumed special missions as central and leading forces to do Thy Will. However, up to the present, they failed to accomplish their noble responsibilities, for which we also humbly beseech Thee for Thy sympathy and forgiveness.

To totally indemnify all the failures of the past and present in the course of the Restoration Providence, Thou established the Unification Church, and Thou hast been the guiding force in overcoming severe suffering, hardships and unbearable persecution. The work of the Unification Church began out of the small and distant nation of Korea, now reaching out to the highest levels of the contemporary world. This development and these accomplishments, derived from Thy guidance, protection and love, now await the final confrontation and challenge to the whole world, for which I am deeply grateful to Thee.

To accelerate such a noble Will, the Unification Church inaugurated the Unification Theological Seminary nine years ago to train and produce important leaders. We are now celebrating the seventh graduation ceremony today: we pray that Thou be in this ceremony with these new graduates. They studied here for two or three years and worked very hard to become respectable, proud and victorious leaders-to-be in the course of God’s Dispensation on behalf of all mankind, to influence the past, present and future of all mankind.

These new graduates will stand firmly in the front line centering on this land of America, the leader of the world; protecting free nations; controlling the rapid spread of Communism to conquer the entire globe; and establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, the noblest task to be accomplished. We pray that Thou bless, protect and guide these 45 new graduates who will challenge this troubled world of reality. Thy divine protection, infinite care and intervention be with them throughout their entire life. I humbly place all these new graduates in Thy hands and Thy direct guidance. I again beseech Thee that they will not fail Thee, since they did already pledge their life to Thee a long time ago.

In expressing gratitude to all those who are attending this graduation — distinguished guests, faculty, staff, parents, relatives and friends — may Thy blessing today be upon them forever.

In the name of True Parents

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Graduate Response
James Flynn
Rev. and Mrs. Moon, Distinguished Faculty, Honored Guests, Brothers and Sisters:

On this momentous day, we are proud and grateful to stand before you as members of the 7th graduating class of the Unification Theological Seminary. We wish to thank you with all of our hearts for the love and support that you have given to us throughout our course of studies here.

Our education at the seminary has been broad and rounded. We have been challenged not only to increase our knowledge but also expand our hearts and our faith. In our increasingly secular society, it seems that theological seminaries often convey only knowledge about Gods But here, our intellectual pursuits are placed in the context of a vital religious life. The varieties of our experience at UTS have been rich and meaningful — from community worship and personal prayer, from classroom work and individual study, to ecumenical dialogues, CARP, fishing, tennis-playing, and even washing dishes together. All this and much more has been part of our learning experience. We have had the opportunity to gain not only knowledge about God, but also understanding of God and experience with God. For this we are deeply grateful.

We have been taught by a diverse and distinguished faculty, representing various aspects of the Judea-Christian tradition. From them we have learned to respect and appreciate the rich spiritual heritage that has gone before us. We pray for the humility to inherit from those traditions, as well as for the willingness to respond to the unfolding of God’s providence in our time.

Today is for us not only a day of completion, but also of new beginning: not only of celebration, but also commitment. For we have come here not to study and prepare simply for careers in ministry or religious education. Rather, we are striving to be the great men and women, God-centered people, through whom God can work to make His ideal real. Through the inspiration of Rev. Moon, we have come to believe that the great hope of the Kingdom of God on earth can be realized in our time. Therefore, as we complete our studies at UTS, we commit ourselves wholeheartedly to this great mission, to become the catalysts for the building of God’s Kingdom.

We are especially grateful today to Rev. and Mrs. Moon. By their words and example they have imparted to us a vision of a better life and a better world. They have instilled in us the courage to take responsibility. The malaise of our world today is obvious. There is great need for inspired people with the strength and humility to serve, to minister, and to lead. It is our hope and prayer to become such people.

We are glad that you — our parents, teachers, friends and relatives — can join with us to celebrate this day. Each of you is precious to us, for your love and trust in us has been so meaningful and important.

We go forth from this seminary today with high ideals, a great vision, and the foundation of the skills we need to translate the vision into reality. We have shared much together here, and the bonds of heart that were forged will not be left behind. We are convinced that it is not simply knowledge about God that will build God’s Kingdom, but further our cooperative efforts, with each other and with God, to create true and loving relationships.

The world today is desperately in need of healing, and God is in need of those willing to take responsibility. We hope to express our gratitude to God for all that we have been given, not simply in words, but more importantly, in our deep commitment to become the instruments of God’s peace, God’s hope, and God’s love.

Thank you very much.