On a beautiful, sunny and breezy spring day, hundreds of Unificationists and friends from New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Bridgeport, participants of the Generation Peace Academy, as well as visitors from the Tarrytown, New York area celebrated the 55th Day of All True Things at a day-long family festival at Belvedere.
The festival included an exciting variety of events including a Sunday Service, tours of the newly opened Hyo Jeong East Garden Museum, and the closing luncheon of this weekend’s 1975 missionary reunion. A medley of music and performances was also provided by Apple Heaven USA, the Family Churches of Manhattan and Belvedere, and other local artists. Vendors sold food and merchandise, and children enjoyed games, pony rides, and bouncy castles. Festival participants shared in community and fellowship, which provided an opportunity for newcomers to experience the culture and traditions of our True Parents and the Unification community.
“When I come here together for FamilyFest, I can’t help but think about what an incredible event this is going to become,” shared Susan Bouachri. “There’s great food, great music, and a great atmosphere. This is such a special opportunity for Tribal Messiahs. We can really help people understand who True Parents are, and the fact that we want to become true parents ourselves. We can share this blessing with everyone.”
On the meaning of the Day of All True Things, Dr. Drissa Kona shared, “Today we are here in a symbolic way to return the world God has created back to God and to use it for His purpose. We need to take care of this planet for future generations.”
The message of the day was delivered by both Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, FFWPU International Vice-President, and Dr. Michael Balcomb, FFWPU USA President. Dr. Kim shared recent news and important updates, including the ongoing missionary reunion, True Mother’s recent messages to thousands in Korea and Japan, True Mother’s upcoming youth rally in Thailand, and the upcoming True Parents at the Garden event at Madison Square Garden on July 15, when True Mother will return to America to share a message about God’s dream for humankind.
“This gathering will be for the sake of not only America but for the world,” shared Dr. Kim. He reminisced on True Father’s historic 1973 speech at Madison Square Garden, and reminded everyone of the total investment that True Parents have made for America and the world. He encouraged everyone to attend and commit with the same vigor and hope, as we work to unite this world under God.
Dr. Balcomb gave the Holy Day address, exhorting us to be confident in our identity as God’s sons and daughters. An emerging theme of the festival and missionary reunion was the power of faith, and Dr. Balcomb echoed this in his sermon. “This week we’ve heard bad news around the world,” he said. “Not a day goes by where we don’t hear news that causes us to waver and doubt. This is when we need to remember who we really are, children of God. With True Parents, we have all we need, if we can inherit the way of true love.”
“Madison Square Garden is not big enough a venue if we truly understood the magnitude of True Parents and the time we’re in,” he added, closing his message with a word on the role of America as God’s elder son nation to take care of our Heavenly Parent and True Parents and to lead our sibling nations back to God.
After the service, the 1975 missionaries headed over to East Garden for a final luncheon and the first tours of the Hyo Jeong East Garden Museum for the day. Stay tuned for more on that story in the days ahead.
From the FFWPU USA National Ministry Team, we wish everyone a happy Holy Day weekend! You can share your Holy Day celebration stories and photos at familyfed.org/share-a-story. Stay tuned throughout this week for stories of Day of All True Things festivities from around the nation.