Updated: Mar 16, 2022
“So far we've been living in the land church era, but from now on we'll be living in the Ocean Church era.” (God’s Will and the Ocean, Ch.14 Leader’s Conference, 8/26/1983)
In creating Ocean Church in 1980, True Parents had a specific purpose in mind. All the way from the ’60s, True Parents had been continuously engaging in the Ocean Providence and continued to invest tremendously into it until True Father’s ascension in 2012. Along the way, they had also begun Ocean Church, to which they also invested immensely. In an effort to carry on their determination, we look to create effective programs that allow for Ocean Church to ultimately fulfill the purpose that True Parents had in mind for Ocean Church.
Before we can come up with an effective and meaningful program, however, we must first explore the overall vision and purpose of Ocean Providence and Ocean Training. This way, when we create and implement such a program, the youths and trainees can effectively gain an understanding of the tremendous vision behind Ocean Providence, and gain the focus, dreams, global vision, and pioneering spirit True Parents looked to pass on. It will become a way to inspire and ignite a fire in the young people of our movement!
Throughout this article, we will be discussing the answers to the following questions:
What was Ocean Church for? Why did True Parents deem it necessary?
What was the goal of Ocean Training? What kind of people should be trained?
What is the history of Ocean Church? What happened to it?
What are the functions and form Ocean Church must have? What should it look like?
By the end of the article, we hope to make clear what Ocean Church as an organization should look like as well as identify exactly what we should look to accomplish through Ocean Training.
(This article is an introduction to the Ocean Providence Text series, therefore more details not mentioned here are explained in later texts).
The Purpose and Role of Ocean Church
There are various aspects to Ocean Church that people have most likely heard of here and there, aspects such as ocean training, marine industries, solving the food problem, witnessing, etc. However, most aren’t aware of how these aspects are connected exactly, and what Ocean Church’s role exactly is with respect to all these points.
The first point of discussion then is what role Ocean Church plays in the grand scheme of God’s Providence and Plan.
It can be established that Ocean Church, in fact, did have a role, a large one, in God’s Providence. True Father explained this in multiple speeches.
“Ocean Church is not a random whim. I have a vision for America and Ocean Church plays an integral and important part in that. My mind is very deep. Everything that I do has a purpose which covers thousands of years.” (God’s Will and the Ocean, Chapter 4, Why We Have an Ocean Church)
True Father revealed on multiple occasions - as well as through His actions - that He had a very clear vision for the future of the United States of America with respect to God's Providence. He explained that part of that vision - an “integral and important part” - is the Ocean Church, revealing that the Ocean Church is necessary for the success of the American Providence.
True Father has also mentioned what He envisioned in the future for Ocean Church:
“Many people say the space age has arrived, but you cannot dwell in space. From the ocean, however, you can draw resources, you can make a living from it. For this reason I founded and created Ocean Church.
I feel in the future, the Ocean Church foundation can be greater than the land church.
So far we've been living in the land church era, but from now on we'll be living in the Ocean Church era.” (God’s Will and the Ocean, Chapter 14, Leaders' Conference August 26, 1983)
He saw that the oceans held the potential for resources and an economic foundation for the movement. He also understood the flow of the world’s economy itself, and saw that it was the dawn of the Ocean Era where we who would rely on it would be able to grow our economic foundation and even “be greater than the land church.” His expectations for the future of Ocean Church were immense in this way.
This economic foundation isn’t the only thing that True Father had expected to flourish.
“I believe that Ocean Church will succeed more than the IOWC and state centers. Why? Because the work you do with your boats will quickly gain recognition by the city.
Someday you may even become the mayor of your city. The people will elect you based on your contribution to cleaning up their city. Some of you might even become congressmen or senators.” (God’s Will and the Ocean, Chapter 8, Let Us Begin Again)
Not only did True Father envision a great economic base for Ocean Church’s future, but also that Ocean Church would become immensely successful in witnessing, even “more than the IOWC and state centers” (conventional churches). He expected the Ocean Church and its substantial activities for Providence to gain recognition by society quickly and effectively.
Along with these visions for Ocean Church, True Father had great goals and purpose behind the various Ocean Church activities that He initiated. He explains these goals and purposes for us in various speeches:
“From now, what am I going to do with Ocean Church? It is not simply about going out to the ocean for training. The purpose is to bring dominion over and love the ocean.” (The Pacific Rim Providence 128-249, 1983.8.28)
One main aspect of Ocean Church was ocean training, and this was in large part for the sake of bringing dominion over and loving the ocean which makes up over two-thirds of God’s creation on Earth. Through ocean training, members can have dominion over the entire marine world and its resources.
“I created something that did not exist in the US by sending out people to pioneer Ocean Church. I created Ocean Churches in 30 of the most important seacoast locations in America. We can pursue seafood business, but we can also enter the charter-boat fishing business
This is the foundation for the global recreational fishing business I will create in the future. I trained people and built Ocean Church as an enterprise that gives tours to people who enjoy fishing as a hobby.” (Chambumo Gyeong, Book 10, 186-306, 1989/02/06)
True Father also explained how Ocean Church, training, and gaining dominion over the marine resources would lead a way to establish Ocean Church as an Oceanic Enterprise that can delve into and start the Marine Hobby Industry. True Father saw that entering the Ocean and Marine Industries would allow for the members to fulfill even more for God’s Providence and the world:
“I saw that the key to future food problems lies in the ocean and have endeavored to develop a wide range of oceanic businesses from nothing. I spent more time in the ocean than anyone else, thinking on the ocean, praying on the ocean, and struggled on the ocean. How much time and effort did I invest? You cannot imagine it. How valuable it is, considering that catching a single fish leads to restoring several people?” (The Unification Church and The Land and The Sea, June 1, 1991)
True Father said that he had invested two-thirds of His whole life's work into the ocean. He did this for the sake of God's Providence and the people of the world. Centering on Ocean training, leading to dominating marine resources, and building Oceanic Enterprise for the Marine Hobby Industry, True Parents ultimately saw that these foundations would be “the key to future food problems.” It is why, as True Father said, he looked to develop so many oceanic businesses through Ocean Church. It was for the sake of solving the food problem - and ultimately saving the people.
It can be said, then, that Ocean Church was created with the ultimate purpose of solving the food problem.
True Father explained the urgency of the global starvation problem:
“When I look at the world situation, I feel that securing sufficient food supplies is the most pressing problem. Solving the food crisis cannot be put off for even a moment. Even now, some twenty thousand people around the world die of hunger-related causes every day.
We cannot afford to be apathetic just because we and our immediate families are not facing hunger.” (As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, Chapter 7)
Though it won’t be discussed in this article thoroughly, there are many indications that the global food problem is one of, if not the most, urgent issue that we need to resolve. For those living in developed countries like America, Japan, Korea, etc. it is hard to recognize the urgency of this problem. To many, this problem is one that has no immediate effect, if at all, on them or their loved ones, so it’s a problem from far away that might mean nothing.
However, the reality is that while it may not be a problem for us, it is a life-threatening problem for so many of God’s children all over the world. As God’s children and True Parents’ followers, members must see the importance of this. True Father knew this, and He saw that we, the ones who know God’s Heart, need to be taking action to find a solution. Solving the hunger problem is the “most pressing problem” and the most urgent task that we have.
True Father looked for the solution to the hunger problem, and in his autobiography, He proposed the following plan:
“Simply distributing food supplies by itself will not resolve hunger, though. A more fundamental approach to the problem is needed.”
“I am considering two fundamental and concrete methods. The first is to provide ample supplies of food at low cost, and the second is to share technology that people can use to overcome hunger on their own.” (As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, Chapter 7, pg. 315)
There were two methods that He saw were fundamental to solving world hunger:
Distributing food at low cost.
Teaching technology to overcome hunger.
Simply providing food to people is not enough to outroot the problem of hunger. Hunger continues to run rampant throughout underdeveloped countries because the people have no means to generate their own source of food. So to rectify such a problem, Father saw that along with the provision of food, we must also teach people the means they need to overcome hunger on their own.
True Father stresses the importance of this issue further, explaining the necessity of resolving hunger before we can even think about peace:
“True peace will not come as long as humanity does not solve the problem of hunger. If the person next to me is about to die of hunger, peace is a mere luxury.” (As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, Chapter 7, pg. 321)
Though we may talk of peace and unification, those that cannot even have a meal a day will not see the truth in those claims. If we want true peace, no person should be left starving. Along with the importance of resolving global hunger, True Father also reveals the important and significant role of the oceans with respect to world peace and unity:
“I am going to nurture the ocean in accordance with the original intention of the Creator, and make it the center stage for bringing the world together.” (The Pacific Rim Providence 128-249, 1983.8.28)
“The oceans can become a central point for bringing the world together.” (As a Peace-loving Global Citizen, Ch. 7)
“We have to make this foundation for the entire world. This is the fastest way to bring people and nations together. I am always thinking how this can be done and that is why I am making a foundation on the ocean. When we make this foundation, our direction towards the future will be straight.” (God’s Will and the Ocean, Ch.11, ‘True Parents’ & ‘Indemnity’)