On October 2 when the beauty of autumn was everywhere, the 3rd Student Webinar, “Family, the Source of Happiness,” was held in the New Jerusalem Imae Temple to enlighten the value of family and the happiness of being together with family to the students, our future generations. About 1,000 people, including students and their friends, parents, and instructors in charge of the student groups in the church, visited the Imae Temple. More than 3,750 people from all over the country, too, participated in the webinar through the live stream on YouTube.
Before the event started, side events attracted the students: a photo zone, a calligraphy zone, and a panel exhibition introducing the activities of the Church of God and the student group. At the photo zone, the students took a picture with their friends and parents to keep their memories in a picture, showing a big smile or making a heart with their hands.
In the calligraphy zone, ASEZ WAO, the Church of God Young Adult Worker Volunteer Group, welcomed the students. ASEZ WAO members made them postcards with pretty illustrations right on the spot with the messages, “I believe in you. Cheer up!,” “Thank you for your hard work,” and “Thank you for all your efforts.” A high school senior Yu-min Oh in Seoul said, “I chose ‘Don’t worry, you’re doing well right now’ as the phrase for the postcard because I wanted to cheer for myself before the SAT. It’s really comforting that someone wholeheartedly wrote that phrase for me.”
Around 1 p.m., the event started by getting a glimpse of what the students thought about happiness. The host introduced the hand signs that the students had prepared in advance on the subject of happiness. The main message emphasized the importance of the family: “Our body temperature is 36.5℃, our family happiness temperature is 100℃,” “I am happy because I am my mom and dad’s daughter,” “A family is the most precious gift,” “Happy home is the preview of the Kingdom of Heaven.” Some witty phrases made the participants laugh: “Let’s go eat barbeque today!,” “Eating with family is the best meal.”
At the time of the Student Talk [S-Talk], they prepared a skit about a situation where a teacher and students were discussing in a classroom with the subject, “What is happiness?” The actors pointed out that although the Korean Constitution guarantees the right to pursue happiness, Korean youths scored one of the lowest Better Life index among the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD]. They also said people are happy when they travel with their family, share joy with someone precious, and eat delicious food with their favorite people. Then, they pointed out that what’s more important for happiness is not “what you do” but “whom you are with.”
The students who prepared the S-Talk performance mentioned that they wanted to convey the message of the importance of family to their peers who attended the event. A high schooler Se-hee Bae said, “Happiness means being with someone precious to you. I hope that the message, ‘Your family always cheers for you and supports you’ has been delivered to the audience.”
The hosts for the seminar, “Family, the Source of Happiness,” were also students. The hosts explained the heavenly family system that consists of God the Father, God the Mother, and God’s children in detail, and they emphasized that the family is the source of happiness in heaven as well as on this earth. A high schooler Seo-jin Song, who was in charge of the presentation, said, “Things get tough when I study, but I think I am handling it well because of my family’s support. While preparing this event, I realized how valuable my family is in my life.”
The event became a time for parents to communicate with their children. Hyeon-gu Yoo, who attended the event with his eighth grader daughter, said, “I wanted to be a dad like their friend, but we spend less time together because of our busy schedules. That’s why this seminar was even more meaningful, and as a father, I gain a great desire to lead my family well. I will recommend this seminar to my colleagues next time.”
The Church of God held its first and second student webinars in April and May, respectively, at the New Jerusalem Imae Temple. This event, which has appealed to the students, is becoming a beneficial program that helps students establish correct values and cultivate emotions in a time when their bodies and minds are growing rapidly.