National Leadership Conference Kicks Off

from FFWPU-USA

The 2016 annual National Leadership Conference, themed this year as “430 Tribal Messiahship,” is a gathering of over 150 FFWPU USA pastors and ministry leaders this week in Las Vegas. Like last year, the conference embraces a family mentality where our national team of pastors and ministry leaders connect as one family and go about their day as families would, breaking up into teams of families, sharing their dreams and goals together, brainstorming together and even playing games together. The difference this year is that last year’s participants were each able to invite one more person to attend, expanding the scope of this meeting to include not only district pastors but local pastors, youth pastors, regional coordinators, and even Universal Peace Academy (UPA) cadets and Global Top Gun graduates from around the world. The intended outcome is a sense of leadership as a family, where every element and individual that makes up our national family has a shared role in leading our American movement and moving forward together.

Taking place over four days, the 430 Tribal Messiahship leadership conference covers four specific areas for reaching our National Tribal Messiahship goals for Vision 2020: Celebrating Achievements, Vision and Modeling, Goal Setting, and Action. On Tuesday, April 12, the conference opened with a lunch at the International Peace Education Center, followed by worship, prayer and icebreaker activities.

The theme for the day was “Celebrating Achievements.” Dr. Michael Balcomb, FFWPU USA President, gave opening remarks, and then Demian Dunkley, Director of Evangelism, gave an overview of the entire conference, its objectives and projected outcomes.

The presentations began that afternoon, with FFWPU USA Vice President Miilhan Stephens giving a review of the recent International Leadership Conference in Korea, Dr. Balcomb sharing a presentation about claiming our national victories, and Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP USA) President Naokimi Ushiroda leading a follow-up reflection activity.

The day closed with a garden party at the Las Vegas Family Church, where participants ate dinner and enjoyed entertainment, making for a lovely evening of family bonding. There was time to share favorite memories, during which participants learned a lot about each other’s lives, were able to connect deeply, and talked for hours on end. Several participants noted that this was a great way to open the conference, and they look forward to moving together as a family.

The conference continued bright and early on April 13, starting with a Hoon Dok Hwe (scripture reading) session and a testimony given by Bay Area Family Church Pastor, Rev. Kevin Thompson, on the recent Set Free Summit in North Carolina.

The theme for the day was “Vision and Modeling.” After an exercise session, breakfast, and group prayer, Continental Chairman Dr. Ki Hoon Kim talked about True Parents’ 40-year ministry in America. Dr. Balcomb followed up with a presentation on Vision 2020 and our plan for the next four years, and then Demian Dunkley gave three evening sessions about Tribal Messiahship, including discussions and guided reflections.

In the next two days, pastors and national leaders will receive more presentations and practical activities geared toward uniting under a common vision and everyone finding their personal contribution toward it. Pastors will be given the conference materials to share and practice with their communities upon returning home. Stay tuned for more news from this conference in Las Vegas in Friday’s weekly update video.

True Parents’ Day celebration at East Garden

Links from FFWPU-USA official site

Holy Day Celebration at East Garden

As we move forward in these critical years for God’s Providence, we unite under True Parents’ and Heavenly Parent’s love and vision for peace. Holy Days are a great opportunity to regroup centered on True Parents’ teachings and historical foundation, so that we can move forward their momentum, determination and spirit. ~~from Dr. Kim’s speech

National Ministry Team Looks Ahead

True Mother recently asked  “What is your dream?”  We have great dreams of saving this nation that God prepared, by waking up America like True Parents have done throughout their ministry.  When we work with True Parents, nothing is impossible.  We are the hope of True Parents. ~~from Dr. Kim’s speech

Dr. Michael Balcomb shared about two upcoming events that will echo True Father’s electrifying words at the Yankee Stadium and Washington Monument Rallies 40 years ago, a message from God to wake up America to its true purpose. The first event will take place over Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 – June 1, and will include a Bronx Interfaith Parade (May 28), a God Bless America Family Festival at Belvedere (May 29), outreach activities during Memorial Day parades across the country (May 30) and a Holy Ground prayer at Yankee Stadium (June 1). Stay tuned for more information and registration to these events!

Announcement and notes from FFWPU-USA HQ

What did your family and community do on True Parents’ Day? Share your story here. For further reading about the Holy Day, click on the links below.

Read True Father’s 1977 True Parents’ Day Message

Make Your Holy Day Donation

Local Holy Day Celebrations

Parents’ Day on April 2, 1965

True Father wrote letter to True Mother on 4/7 about this True Parents’ Day celebration:

This was the first Parents’ Day in America and the first time America attended me.  Because I wanted to celebrate Parents’ Day in the capital of the United States, I concluded my busy national tour, passed through San Francisco, and flew to Washington, DC, on March 31.  With the deep sincerity of the Washington members, I celebrated this historical event.  Members from many different regions attended.  God was with us, and we spent three days together with no regard for day or night.  We had a very good experience.

These are some parts of the True Father’s speech on 4/2/1965, Washington D.C.

After World War II we witnessed a very interesting and significant development. of history. After World War I and victory, great history was made. Have you ever wondered why, after World War II, the country which won the victory must serve and support those whom they fought? America, at the top of civilization of the 20th Century, has to bear the burden. America may not realize it, but from God’s point of view it was inevitable she must take up the burden. And God blesses America because of His love for Jesus Christ. Jesus’ will and mission were God’s also. Why is America blessed? In order to give America His blessing, God has to gather many things withheld from other lands. This is not a cheap thing. God earned this blessing with His sweat and blood and gave it to you. Therefore, we must come to the realization that America’s material conveniences and technological development are not given for pure enjoyment. No, even greater. You must realize these things come from God and cost His blood, sweat, and tears.

Your ancestors, Puritans, the Pilgrim fathers who came to this new and unknown world fought for God, risking their lives. Are you ready, if God calls upon you, to stand up and leave what you have; give it to the worldwide movement? Are you ready to respond to this call of God? In other words, God will order you to leave where you are and go to the land of Canaan, which is the Kingdom of Heaven. This journey is your homework, your task. If all Americans are as brave as their forefathers were and if they are really willing to respond to the call of God, then the Kingdom of God is very near.

You may be sorry, you may regret my saying this. We have such a stylish movement, we are settled down, where should we go? Then let me ask you: where are you and what do you have and what are you doing? Do you think you have the elements of the Kingdom of Heaven? In your society, what you have, can it be entered into the Kingdom of Heaven as it is?

After World War II more nations got their independence; nearly 110 nations claimed independence. Those who are advanced, those who are more famous in the sight of God must fulfill more blessings and assume more responsibility. This is Father’s heart. If a parent has many children and some of them are suffering, the parent wants to save the suffering children but the parent has no power to do this. He might even deprive his elder son of things in order to give more to his younger son. If our Negro brothers stand in that position, how would you react? We might see with our eyes the differences in color, but God is color blind. He can’t see colors, white or Negro; He sees differences of Heart. God might command you to save yourselves by giving to them because they are suffering.

It is common sense that God is really the Father of mankind and His command must be done. And when that call comes to you, ask your heart, Are you willing, are you ready to go? I One way or another, you have to give yourselves.

We must search for that individual in perfection, the family in God, nation in God, world in God, who can be leader over the world. This is our destiny. This is the destiny of those who claim to live a religious life. In order to lead mankind toward this one inevitable goal, we must find one man for this position. This is the purpose and objective of God, the objective of the Lord to come, and the objective of all man who follow. This is truly the hope of mankind, that we find a true individual, family, nation, and world in which God can be the true Master so that He and you may be unified in the parent and son relationship. This is the goal of all men. This day is inevitable.

However, God never works in violence. This day will not come as a typhoon or hurricane. Maybe this day will come in darkness as history reveals to us. Hardly anyone knew Abel’s mission. People knew about the mission of Noah. Everyone knew that God blessed Abraham as the father of mankind, but no one knew that Jacob deprived Esau of the blessing. No one comprehended God’s commandment to Moses. The people, did not know the reason for the birth of Jesus Christ. As history reveals, the turning point of the history of God is not like a thunderstorm on a worldwide scale. It begins with one man. Those who can realize who he is and what his mission is, they are the blessed. What a precious discovery to find that person and that day! That is the day of hope for God, hope for the Lord, hope of man.

That is the day of hope, the day of the True Parents. Why? Because all mankind has been without True Parents. Satan has been the parent. Have you ever considered that God’s blood is not running in your veins but the satanic element is. Have you ever hated this thought? The basic teaching of Christianity begins with denial. Don’t do this! Don’t do that! In other words, our blood came from the wrong father. Life came from the wrong father. If human sin had not been involved it wouldn’t have taken 6,000 years. Jesus signified symbolically, “You are the wild olive tree, and I am the true root.” What does a wild olive tree have to do with his mission? The first thing the wild olive tree has to do is cut off one branch and be grafted to a true one. Have you been grafted to Jesus Christ? Jesus alone was the true child of God. The blood of God thrived in Jesus, His ideal. Jesus was worthy of the manifestation of God. You should be grafted to this true vine to make a new return, a homecoming. But this returning could never be made. The tradition of Christianity does not govern the Principle.

In a true marriage, where do you belong, who owns you? Decide! You must be sad. You must react as one body with Christ. When he is sad, you are sad. When he is joyful, you must be joyful. All things must be parallel with Christ. Have you been a good wife? The New Testament clearly testified that we are not yet the sons of God in direct lineage. The only name given to us is adopted sons. We are known as adopted sons. We are not born of God. We do not have His blood or His lineage. Two thousand years ago Christ came, and what day has he been longing for, do you know? He wants to celebrate Parents’ Day so badly. The Israelites demolished it. Jesus frequently announced his relation ship with the people. I am the bridegroom, you are the bride. I Yes, he has been seeking his bride. The day he secures and inaugurates his bride, they become the True Parents of mankind. But this hope was prolonged until the time of the Lord of the Second Advent. Revelation clearly announced to you that the Marriage of the Lamb was ready and the Bride of the Lamb made herself ready. Those who participate in the marriage supper are the blessed ones. This is the true world of God. This is the day of fulfillment of the Lord of the Second Advent.

True Father’s letter to True Mother on April 7, 1965

~~from Cham Bumo Gyeong: Book6, Chapter 1, Section 4-7

7  Dear Omma: I read the letter you sent me, including your report about Parents’ Day.  Thank you for your hard work.  Indeed, you are so precious as the Mother, and for this I am truly grateful.  I know that you worked hard for two events during my absence.  I am so happy that you have fulfilled your responsibility before God, as He desired.

When I think about the manifestation of Parents’ Day on earth, I realize how serious our position as True Parents is.  This event is indeed an awesome responsibility, and I cannot help but bow down before this incredible mission—that we can finally fulfill this day that should have been established 6,000 years ago when God was happy with the original world.  How much blood, sweat and tears were shed by countless prophets and ancestors who sacrificed themselves and suffered through the course of history to establish this day?

God alone knows the ups and downs that your Appa endured on the sorrowful path of indemnity to establish one woman, True Mother, and I pledge by attending you as that woman to bring about victory in bringing peace.  At the same time, I consider that Parents’ Day could be instituted as the day of God’s victory only after I had offered my youth and 40 years of my life, experiencing the pain and suffering of heaven and earth as I walked a path in the twilight and headed for the new dawn.  That past, filled with many bitter sorrows as I made the long journey for the heavenly law, makes me think of you, Omma, as even more precious.

However, even though we welcomed the 6th Parents’ Day, I must again impose on you responsibilities and missions for you to carry.  I deeply sympathize with you, Hyo-jin’s Omma, that you are destined to go along with me continually in order that we may achieve the level of global Parents.  Until the last moment, we still have to keep advancing until we reach the goal; then we will have vindication over the enemy.  Your Appa knows how grave your motherly responsibility is, bearing so many crosses.  Therefore, even though I am abroad, please understand that I am praying for you sincerely.

Especially as you are now carrying a child, please take care of your health.  Make tomorrow shine by fulfilling your responsibility.  Both heaven and earth regard you as so precious.  You and I are recognized as the substantial representatives at the center of Parents’ Day, the day that all humankind yearns for and will rejoice over.  As the whole cosmos is offering that day to us, we have to make it shine.

Although you are young, may you realize a heart that is lofty and high.  As you carry Heaven’s burden and the burden of the world, may you fulfill the responsibility of the Holy Lord who creates the realm of victory, where your life of good fortune and historical significance bears fruit as the Mother, in whose bosom all heaven and earth long to be embraced.

We cannot forget about the great number of people who have resolved to give up their lives for us.  We have also been given the solemn command to become the original beings of light, so that we can give life to the people who attend us and regard us as their beacon of life.  If people from many countries in addition to Korea, Japan and America want to serve us, we will be in debt to them.  We must not leave even one point of darkness in the background of history.  Don’t you think Appa knows the hardships faced by those leaders who are assuming responsibility?

Hallelujah to the holy day, Parents’ Day! May we, the substantial beings of this day, give glory to God and attend Him! Let us build up our virtue and shout out for restoration in order to fulfill the mission of the Parents!

When I think about this letter, together with the content of the letter to the church president, I realize that you must be very tired.  Thank you for your hard work.  I am ever praying that you will be victorious.  May you remain healthy by taking care of yourself, and fulfill all of your responsibilities.

I spent Parents’ Day in Washington and was busy tidying up afterwards.  The reason I could not write you until now was because there were many people who came to see me and I had to deal with some matters here.  This was the first Parents’ Day in America and the first time America attended me.  Because I wanted to celebrate Parents’ Day in the capital of the United States, I concluded my busy national tour, passed through San Francisco, and flew to Washington, DC, on March 31.  With the deep sincerity of the Washington members, I celebrated this historical event.  Members from many different regions attended.  God was with us, and we spent three days together with no regard for day or night.  We had a very good experience.

Even as I spent that time solemnly, I was thinking about Seoul.  With your chair placed next to mine I thought of you, crossing the continent and the Pacific Ocean in my heart.  The American members dressed in white holy robes and offered bows as they prayed to achieve honor before Heaven.  This was the first time I conducted a ceremony with people from all five races.  The event was very successful, and I resolved to expand it more on a worldwide scale.

As long as I am in Washington, my days are fully scheduled.  Besides that, I need to meet with some very important people.  By the middle of July I will have to depart for Europe.  I will let you know about my next itinerary later.  I hope that you may always be at peace.

-April 7, 1965, Washington, DC