UTS 40th Commencement Ceremony

~familyfed.org

On May 28, over 200 associates, friends and family members gathered in Barrytown, New York to attend the 40th commencement ceremony of the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS). Twenty-two candidates for graduation were conferred degrees at the ceremony, with several additional candidates honored in absentia. Two gentlemen, Dr. David Eaton of the New York City Symphony and the Rev. Dr. Michael Sykes of the United Missionary Baptist Church of East Orange, NJ, were also awarded honorary doctoral degrees.

Though the day was seasonably hot and humid, spirits were high and marked with gratitude at the commencement ceremony. Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chairman of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) North America, gave the commencement address. In addition to recounting his own experiences as a student at UTS from 1993-1996, Dr. Kim identified the connection in purpose between the founding of UTS and the establishment of the Universal Peace Academy (UPA) and Wonmo scholarship programs.

“These institutions,” he said, “were created by the founders of UTS, Father and Mother Moon, on the same principle: to provide education centered on God to both America and the world.” Further lamenting the current state of confusion evident in America from the level of families to that of the current presidential candidates, Dr. Kim invited the graduates and all others in attendance to participate in the upcomingGod Bless America Family Festival as an invaluable opportunity to help bring America back to God.

Read Dr. Kim’s Message

Dr. Hugh Spurgin, President of UTS and member of the original graduating class of 1977, likewise exhorted the graduates in his congratulatory remarks to take hold of the responsibility endowed to them by attending UTS. “God is sending you as his representatives to serve the people of despair in the world. He is sending you to bring love, peace, and hope to this world and to put an end to bigotry, selfishness, hatred, and corruption. Like a small mustard seed that has just been planted, the world doesn’t know you are coming; but the reach of your love and faith will grow, and you will be the ones to lead a spiritual revolution based on the love of God.”

Remarks were also given during the ceremony by Dr. Eaton and the Rev. Dr. Sykes in gratitude for the honorary degrees they received, and by two students representing the masters’ and doctoral cohorts, respectively: Mr. Samuel Mitchell, Master of Religious Education, and Dr. Drissa Kone, Doctor of Ministry in Peace and Justice.

Three musical performances were offered during the ceremony. Following the processional of the candidates, alumni, and faculty, Mrs. Ilwha Compton sang the national anthem to convene the event, and Mrs. Seiko Lee performed renditions of “The Lord’s Prayer” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” during the course of the program.

The ceremony was fittingly opened and closed with prayers of congratulation and rededication, and a reception followed the conclusion of the event for all in attendance.

To learn more about UTS and the unique programs offered at this interfaith seminary, please visit their website. While the main seminary campus remains in Barrytown, NY, many classes are now offered at the New York City branch campus and the recently opened Maryland branch is thriving.

ACLC Clergy Commemorate Yankee Stadium Rally’s 40th Anniversary

~from familyfed.org

On June 1, 1976, True Father addressed a crowd of 40,000 people at the God Bless America Yankee Stadium Rally. During the rally True Father said that he had come as a doctor and a firefighter to warn the nation that God was leaving America, and that only the power of God’s True Love could hold the nation together.

Forty years later, on Saturday, May 28, 2016, clergy from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and as far away as Georgia gathered in the New York City borough of the Bronx for a prayer breakfast held to commemorate the anniversary of the Yankee Stadium Rally. Nearly 100 ministers associated with the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) heard a powerful message in the sanctuary of the Friendly Baptist Church before meeting at the new Yankee Stadium to hold a rally.

The celebration started with a breakfast prepared by Rev. Irma Pacheco, the pastor of the Baptist House of Prayer, and her church family.  The ACLC clergy enjoyed the warm fellowship in the cool of the morning in the Taqwa Community Farm.

The group then moved to the sanctuary of the Friendly Baptist Church, where Senior Pastor Albert L.O. Sutton welcomed the ministers.  Bishop Jesse Edwards served as the master of ceremonies.  Accompanied by Rev. David Jenkins, pastor of the Bronx Community Baptist Church, Rev. Edwards led the assembly in joyful praise and worship.  Rev. Deborah D. Jenkins, the pastor of Faith @ Works Church and adjunct professor of the New York Theological Seminary, led the congregation in a responsive reading taken from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (Matthew 5:43-45 and Luke 6:32-36).

Rev. Tom Cutts, the national executive director of ACLC, offered condolences to Rev. Angelo Rosario and Nancy Rosario.  Earlier that week Mrs. Rosario had lost her mother, Mrs. Maria Vega.  Rev. Esteban Galvan, the pastor of the Bronx Family Church, and his wife, Lorna Galvan, read a proclamation from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. commemorating the Yankee Stadium Rally.  The proclamation commended True Father for his efforts to save America, and for True Mother in her continuing the legacy.

Sheikh Musa Drammeh, imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of North America, offered greetings, a powerful word about peace, understanding and active cooperation. He then introduced Keynote Speaker Rev. Angelo Rosario. 

Rev. Rosario is the senior pastor of the Church of God’s Children.  He is also the chairman of the Bronx Clergy Task Force, established by the Bronx borough president.  Rev. Rosario is known throughout the five boroughs of New York as a man of God who puts his words into action.  He gave a spirit-filled message about serving others.  “Don’t simply pray for someone to find a job.  Help create a job in the community,” he said. He also spoke about making right decisions and holiness.  He gave up a well-paying business to answer the call of God to go into the Christian ministry.  Today his 10 children are all serving the Lord in various ministries, and four of his 25 grandchildren are also in the ministry. 

Rev. Deborah D. Jenkins commented, “We received a ministering word from Rev. Angelo Rosario this morning at the ACLC Interfaith Prayer Breakfast.  He said that the holier we become, the less evil there is in us.”

Rev. Dr. Perry Wootten, a Presbyterian minister, and a pastor in the Bronx for 27 years, offered the benediction.  Dr. Wootten celebrated our diversity and thanked God for being the parent of us all.

After the Prayer Breakfast, the clergy joined with about a hundred others at Gate Four of the Yankee Stadium.  There Rev. Esteban Galvan spoke of the event that took place there 40 years ago, and Rev. Edner Pierre-Louis, the district pastor of the New York District, gave an impassioned prayer asking God to continue to stay in America, and to use the nation to bless other countries of the world.  Rev. Tom Cutts led the crowd in four cheers to mark the end of the service.

The crowd then paraded up the street to the Taqwa Community Farm to join in a celebration and barbecue.

Special thanks go to Rev. Bruce Grodner, the ACLC national outreach director; Rev. Esteban Galvan; and Rev. Edner Pierre-Louis for conceiving of and orchestrating this commemorative prayer breakfast.  The support of Rev. John Kung and the Family Church of Queens, Rev. Daryl Clarke and the Family Church of Brooklyn, and Rev. Jacob Manoj and Rev. Hitoshi Onishi of the Clifton (New Jersey) Family Church was also greatly appreciated.  A good time was had by all.

Contributed by Rev. Tom Cutts, national executive director of ACLC

Your Weekly Update – May 27

~from familyfed.org

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Every week the National Ministry Team compiles stories and important upcoming events in a quick weekly update video. Here is what we cover this week:

GPA’s CIG Missionary Trainees Return Home

Generation Peace Academy’s (GPA) Cheon Il Guk Missionaries in-training have just returned home after dedicating three months to outreach efforts across the Philippines. Watch the Weekly Update video to hear excerpts from their reflections firsthand.

 

God Bless America Family Festival

We are just one week away from June 5, when we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Yankee Stadium Rally, the 62nd anniversary of the founding of HSA-UWC, and the 54th Day of All True Things with True Mother. Join us at Belvedere on June 5 with your family and friends, where there will be international food, an anniversary celebration, live music, fun for kids, and more!

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Cham Bumo Gyeong

The Cham Bumo Gyeong is the third volume of the Holy Scriptures after the Cheon Seong Gyeong and Pyeong Hwa Gyeong. Comprised of True Parents’ life course in their own words, the Holy Scriptures set is a profound source of daily inspiration and a priceless addition your home library.

Order a Copy

 

Memorial Day Celebrations

Monday, May 31 is Memorial Day. We wish everyone a very happy holiday in remembrance of those who have offered their lives to the service and safety of others, both at home and abroad.

This week in history, May 22-28

International Strides for Peace

This week in history, May 22-28:

  • Peter Koch departs as the first missionary to Europe (May 22, 1963)
  • The American Clergy Leadership Conference is inaugurated (May 22, 2000)
  • The Universal Ballet Company is established (May 24, 1984)
  • Women of Peace Rally takes place in Jerusalem (May 24, 2004)
  • Interfaith clergy attend the Marriage Blessing Ceremony (May 27, 2001)

Continue reading This week in history, May 22-28

Your Weekly Update – May 20

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Every week the National Ministry Team compiles stories and important upcoming events in a quick weekly update video. Here is what we cover this week:

Third Annual Ocean Summit

Forty ocean-lovers and Ocean Providence leaders gathered for the Third Annual Leadership Ocean Summit at East Garden in New York. Over the weekend of May 14-15, they listened to and shared testimonies and memories of spending time with True Father out on the water. A highlight of the program was an informative session and goal-setting activity for getting involved with Ocean Providence. Participants were left inspired and renewed to continue building upon their passion and goals for ocean-related projects.

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Peace King Cup Fishing Tournament

On Saturday, May 14, the Peace King Cup Luncheon and Awards Ceremony celebrated this year’s fishing tournament and True Parents’ 56th Marriage Blessing anniversary. Winners received a cash prize and trophy, and shared about the challenges and triumphs of their fishing experience. This year, 145 people braved a day of fishing on the Hudson River, rain or shine, and were part of the biggest turnout in the tournament’s history. If you missed this year’s tournament, you don’t have to wait a whole year to go fishing! Contact Captain Takahashi (ktaka10591@gmail.com or 914-629-7660) to schedule your fishing trip this summer.

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Bay Area Can Do It!

The Bay Area Family Church held a We Can Do It seminar for Tribal Messiahship the weekend of May 14 and 15, presented by Demian Dunkley, the director of evangelism for FFWPU-USA

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God Bless America Family Festival

On June 5, we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Yankee Stadium Rally, the 62nd anniversary of the founding of HSA-UWC, and the 54th Day of All True Things with True Mother. Join us at Belvedere on June 5 with your family and friends, where there will be international food, an anniversary celebration, live music, fun for kids, and more!

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Parents in Bay Area Get Real About Pornography

~from FFWPU-USA, BFM

Rev. Kevin Thompson, pastor of the Bay Area Family Church, gave an informative presentation on pornography and the effects of it to a congregation of interested parents on Sunday, April 25. Rev. Thompson recently attended the Set Free Summit with 40 other passionate Unificationists, which addressed the pornography culture. The following are some key points that Rev. Thompson emphasized in his presentation. For more information on pornography, please visit puremind.online.
Continue reading Parents in Bay Area Get Real About Pornography

Your Weekly Update – May 13

~from FFWPU-USA official site (familyfed.org)

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Every week the National Ministry Team compiles stories and important upcoming events in a quick weekly update video. Here is what we cover this week:

Cheong Pyeong Azalea Great Works Festival

Watch the Weekly Update video for a news of the recent festival in Korea and to hear True Mother’s recent message.

 

Celebration with True Mother

On June 5, we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Yankee Stadium Rally, the 62nd anniversary of the founding of HSA-UWC, and the 54th Day of All True Things with True Mother. Join us at Belvedere on June 5 with your family and friends, where there will be international food, an anniversary celebration, live music, fun for kids, and more!

Register

 

Peace King Cup Fishing Tournament

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s tournament! Check out the photos and leaderboard of this week’s catches at peacekingcup.com.

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National Ministry Team Monthly Meeting

~from FFWPU-USA official site

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On May 11, the National Ministry Team met for their most recent monthly meeting. A mixed air of excitement and determination filled the room in light of the upcoming God Bless America Family Festival. The sense that we are approaching a significant turning point in God’s Providence in America grew with each presentation given by representatives from Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) affiliates and by the many Unificationists who are pursuing creative, independent initiatives around the country.

Miilhan Stephens, FFWPU USA Vice President, emceed the event, and followin Continue reading National Ministry Team Monthly Meeting