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A Busy August for the Barrytown Conference Center

BARRYTOWN – The month of August is shaping up to be one of the busiest months ever at the Barrytown Conference Center on the campus of the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) located in upstate New York. Six separate events are scheduled, with the possibility of a seventh that could take place at the end of the month.

The action starts even a few days earlier, however, when the Empire State Riders (ESR) make their annual pilgrimage to the area and spend a night camped out in tents on the UTS Barrytown grounds. Every year the Riders begin their week-long ride in lower Manhattan and finish at Niagara Falls to raise money for cancer research sponsored by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute of Buffalo. Over $590,000 has already been raised from this year’s ride, with four days still to go.

Shortly after, when the calendar rolls over into August, the action really starts to heat up. The semi-annual Doctor of Ministry intensive will run from August 5-17. Director of the DMin program, Dr. Kathy Winings, will welcome first-year and returning students to the campus for a two-week stay. The second of the two intensives is held at Barrytown in February. 

Things then shift almost immediately from the classroom to the playing field as the Blessed Culture and Sports Festival XIV (BCSF) will set up their sporting events, artwork, food venues and musical productions from the 8th to the 12th. This will be the ninth straight year the event will be held on the Barrytown grounds.

busy august tentsEmpire State Riders, 2017

At nearly the same time, a large contingent of Chinese musicians will be housed on the campus. The Bard China-USA Music Institute has reserved 28 rooms from the 9th to the 26th as they prepare for a concert in New York City. The group will spend the day at Bard College practicing for their performance and spend their nights on the Barrytown campus.

Then, from the 12th to the 14th, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) will hold a workshop to prepare people for participation in the Marriage Blessing.

FFWPU- The Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony is a celebration of the commitment of one man and one woman to love each other eternally and to create a strong marriage and empowered family.

“The Blessing is a magnificent thing. You cannot receive the Blessing based on your own desire. The value of a life is more precious than that of the whole universe. That is why when you make vows to take responsibility for a person, you should be ready and willing to do so forever.”  Father and Mother Moon

No sooner will this workshop conclude than the next event, a four-day retreat – which runs from Aug. 16-19 – will start for 120 members of the Young Adult Ministry, which is also sponsored by the FFWPU.   Value Systems


The final confirmed event is the Bard MBA Sustainability program, which will take place from the Aug. 24-27, with the students enjoying a three-night stay in the guest rooms.
To close out the month, one final event is tentatively on the schedule but has not, as yet, been confirmed. Coming on the success of last summer’s two-and-a-half-week long shoot of a privately-funded film here on the campus, there is a possibility that another film will be shot here. If so, the schedule would run from Aug. 30 to Sept. 6, an eight-day shoot, and close out the busiest August ever on the Barrytown campus.