The National Ministry Team and members of the New York Unificationist community gathered bright and early at East Garden to observe the 57th True Children’s Day and 29th Foundation Day for the Unified Heaven and Earth, otherwise known as Gae Cheon Jeol or “Opening of Heaven.”
Emceed by Rev. Edner Pierre-Louis and opened in prayer by Hugh Spurgin, the gathering focused on the history and meaning of the two Holy Days. FFWPU President, Dr. Michael Balcomb, read True Father’s words on the very first Gae Cheon Jeol, from page 1226 of the Cheon Seong Gyeong, and Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, FFWPU North America Continental Chairman, spoke on the meaning of True Children’s Day.
Following this ceremony, everyone enjoyed breakfast together and transitioned into the National Ministry Team monthly meeting. FFWPU USA Vice President Miilhan Stephens emceed the meeting and welcomed local Unificationist Yasu Ozawa to open in prayer. Blessing & Family Ministry Director, Crescentia DeGoede, then read True Mother’s recent speech at the Korean and Japanese Cheon Il Guk Leaders Kickoff Ceremony of Harmony and Unity for Vision 2020.
Leaders of various FFWPU ministries and affiliate organizations spent the morning sharing and hearing both news from the past month and upcoming events. Their reports are summarized below.
The National Ministry Team is looking ahead to True Mother’s visit to America starting at the end of November for the International Leadership Conference (ILC) in Washington, D.C. and the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) National Convocation in New York. Dr. Balcomb and Dr. Kim each shared practical messages urging everyone to participate wholeheartedly in these upcoming events, in the spirit of true ownership.
“Let us empty ourselves, take off the mask of selfish individualism and stand up and be owners of Cheon Il Guk,” said Dr. Balcomb. “True Mother is coming here believing America will be the nation that will build Cheon Il Guk. She is coming right after the election with a message of healing and revival. This is the chance to let everyone know: True Parents are bringing a transformation to the world.”
JAPANESE REVIVAL 7-DAY WORKSHOP
Rev. Hiroshi Inose, Director of Kodan, shared about the preparation process for the seven-day workshop coming up in January for Japanese speakers. Announced just one month ago, the workshop has already sold out, with over 120 participants registered. Because of the high demand, there are plans for a second workshop for Japanese speakers in 2017.
2ND GRATITUDE TOUR
Rev. Michael and Zena Sykes went on their second Gratitude Tour from August 20 to September 4 throughout southeastern USA. The Sykes strongly believe that God’s hope for America is Blessed marriage. Blessed in 2014, the couple has been touring America to share about their experience and True Parents’ teaching, talk about racial harmony, and discuss the reality of one family under God with the people they meet. Several of their listeners have become open to receiving the Marriage Blessing. “You have the cure for what ails the world,” said Zena Sykes, urging everyone to realize the value of the Blessing and share it with others.
SPANISH DIVINE PRINCIPLE WORKSHOP
Richard de Sena, President of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) USA, shared about the seven-day Spanish Divine Principle Workshop held from October 24-30. Eighteen participants attended, including four married couples, one of which reconnected to the movement after a long time. “Why Spanish?” asked Mr. de Sena. “There are 56.6 million latinos in this nation, nearly 25% of population.” Stay tuned for registration for the January Spanish workshop in Las Vegas, available soon at familyfed.org/ipec.
ILC & ACLC
Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Co-Chairman of ACLC, outlined the schedule of events during True Mother’s upcoming visit to the USA. First, on November 28-30, the International Leadership Conference (ILC) will take place in Washington, D.C., which will include a major gathering of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP). To prepare for this crucial meeting, a delegation of clergy will be visiting congressional offices from November 15-17. After the ILC, the ACLC National Convocation will take place December 1-3 in New York. The second day of the conference will feature training, a pastors’ forum, and Divine Principle study. The convocation will close on December 3rd with a True Family Values banquet and a performance from The Little Angels. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for registration for The Little Angels’ performances in DC (November 29) and New York (December 3).
WFWP NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Angelika Selle, President of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) USA spoke about the mission behind WFWP and their annual assembly, namely, to embrace women and empower them to become women of heart. WFWP USA Vice President, Katarina Connery, then went over the assembly program, highlighting that the purpose of each program component is to testify to True Parents. She also urged everyone to invite couples to attend the Blessing Ceremony which will take place during the assembly.
ALOHA WORKSHOP FOR YOUTH
Naokimi Ushiroda, President of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) USA, announced an upcoming Aloha workshop for middle and high school youth from December 2-4. Youth will have the chance to meet with True Mother for an important opportunity to connect directly with True Parents. “The future of True Parents’ foundation is going to rest on helping the youth inherit that foundation,” said Naokimi. Generation Peace Academy participants, youth ministry, CARP, and young adults from the New York tri-state area are also invited to attend. Stay tuned for more details and registration.