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Marriage and Family

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Marriage and Family

Conference in Australia on Strengthening Marriage and Family

Sydney, Australia -A conference on the theme, “Strengthening Marriage and Family as a Foundation for Peace” was held at the Oceania Peace Embassy in Sydney on Aug. 2, 2014. Some 80 people from the community, including women and youth community leaders and Ambassadors for Peace, attended.

The objectives of the conference were to:

  • Make a unique contribution to the current debate regarding the natural family and present especially the distinctive Unification Movement perspective on how the family contributes to world peace.
  • Link with groups who have a like-minded viewpoint regarding the natural family.
  • Prepare a joint resolution by all the participating organizations regarding the issue of the natural family and the preservation of its integrity. The resolution is to be sent to politicians and religious leaders.
  • Develop a model for future jointly sponsored and organized events.

There were four main sessions in the conference:

“Family and Faith”

Representatives of five faith traditions (Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism and Unificationism) gave presentations about the significance and role of the family to their faith and the implications of having strong families to the society and nation.

“Protecting Marriage and Family”

Mary-Louise Fowler (vice president of the Australian Family Association) and Mary Jose Campos (director of Family Life International) both spoke passionately on the serious challenges to the natural family due to trends in popular thinking about marriage and family, and about meeting these challenges.

“Strengthening Marriage and Family Relationship Enhancement Workshop”

Drew and Jude Wade from “Wayfinding Love” ran a workshop with interesting activities on helping to strengthen our relationships and create a beautiful family culture. By their words and actions, they delivered a powerful testimony of rising above adversity to contribute to such a culture.

“The Family and World Peace”

This session highlighted the critical link between peace in the world and the topic of families, not usually or necessarily linked together. There were presentations from UPF (by Greg Stone, president of UPF-Australia), the Women’s Federation for World Peace (by Anne Bellavance, President of WFWP Australia), and the Youth Federation for World Peace (by Natascha Schellen)

The conference concluded with a delicious sit-down dinner served by young adults from the Unification Church community.

For the Unificationist community in Sydney, the conference was a big step forward externally to stamp its mark on the topic of marriage and family to the wider community, as the establishing of God-centred natural families is at the core of Unificationist theology and practice. Internally the conference was a considerable collaborative effort over several months of four Unificationist entities, raising the possibilities for similar collaboration in future events.

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