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.
Dr. Ki Hoon Kim addressed national ministry leaders at the monthly progress meeting at the New Yorker Hotel on March 1, 2017.
We prepared a video clip of Archbishop Stallings’ introduction of True Mother from when she came to the ACLC True Family Values awards banquet in December 2017.
I felt that he invested all his energy into those seven minutes, and he’s still alive. He spent and invested everything in that moment to introduce the Second Coming of the Messiah, not just to introduce Mother. I really felt he was introducing the six thousand year history of God’s providence of restoration, and the woman God sent for the Second Coming of the Messiah for the sake of 7.4 billion people. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. He did a good job. Many people after his introduction, especially many Japanese wives, rushed to him to shake his hand and take his picture. I don’t know how many of them really understood this introduction, but they felt, through a connection of hearts, how much he poured every ounce of his energy for True Mother’s sake. Every person emailed me to testify this. In my own 40 years of church life, I never testified to True Parents like he just did. This is our foundation of America, the foundation of True Parents. This is where they spent all their energy for the sake of this country, America. Based on this foundation, we can stand up now. We have nothing to fear.
There are those who have completed the 430 Tribal Messiahship responsibility. True Mother invited around 60 families to come for a special morning breakfast and True Mother shared with them, “Thank you for what you have done. Thank you for following the path of True Father, what True Father shared with us about Tribal messiahship. This is True Father’s will. Thank you. You came to this event and completed what True Father asked you to do.” And then she said, “Please take care of these people with a mother’s heart, raising them with a mother’s heart and let them multiply as you did today and each blessed central family will bless over 430 couples.” This is True Mother’s blessing and appreciation for these 60 couples that came for Foundation Day and True Parents’ birthday celebration.
I said to Pastor Abernathy, “You fulfilled blessing 431 couples. And next year, your couple must definitely be recognized at Foundation Day by True Mother. I will share about your history with her.” And I asked, “What is next your next step?” His commitment to the blessing is the best tool he has in his 45 years of ministry to save people, his community and nation, and he would like to bless another 500 couples by 2020. Understand that God understands True Parents; please inherit the commission and power and responsibility from God and True Parents. This will make us a new person, new people and new church. I was amazed he has another goal to bless another 500! He said, “2020,” but I said, “How about end of this year?” He said, “That’s not enough. I have to bless all of the people in the state of Georgia.” That is his desire. Have you thought about it this way?
He is an established church pastor outside of our movement who adopted True Parents’ idea to save this country. Yet we made a mission statement; we have a vision statement to bring this country back to God through teaching about True Parents and by doing blessing activities. But how many times have we thought about that? Not just thinking – acting on it and leading this movement? We’re missing something. So, in this coming leaders’ meeting, we’d like to invite this couple and learn about his being to Korea and how he came to understand Divine Principle and True Parents’ vision and how he knew through the blessing activity True Parents will save this world. We will ask how he sees it. This is True Parents ongoing–from beginning to end–ministry. When we have this kind of commitment – like Pastor Abernathy – yes, we can do a lot! People without doing, will have fear in their mindset. They will think, “Oh I cannot do it.” No. True Parents taught us you can do anything that God asks of you.
So we have to really apply this vision into our daily activity. How can we save people? How can we be perfect? You are not just 95% perfect. True Parents want us to be 100% perfect. Perfection means 100%, not even 1% less. This is the reason True Father talked about absolute faith, love and obedience. Absolute is not a popular world in our common society. There is no absolute perfection and goodness. But True Father and True Mother are looking for absoluteness. So you know, I believe Pastor Abernathy has that kind of 100% clarity about the blessing activity.
You know 15 years ago I was in Kona, Hawaii,…and I was with True Father who was sitting in a chair just there, I was sitting down on the floor nearby and it was just True Father and me in a small living room. He remembered that when I was at UTS, so many leaders they all got scholarships but not me. So I wondered, “why not me?” I did a good job in frontline mission work for a long time without pay or anything. Sometimes I showed Peter Kim I paid $3,000 in tuition fees showing him the check saying, “I paid myself. Please get me some scholarship because my wife is in Chicago doing a babysitting job to send me to UTS because True Parents asked me to come study there.” Many leaders, some from Korea, got a full scholarship. I didn’t know this would happen, but True Father acknowledged me personally saying, “I know you were struggling for a short time because I didn’t support your scholarship.” I was very shocked at that moment! True Father remembered all of these things. I never complained, I never said anything but True Father remembered all kinds of things. “Don’t worry,” he said. “I always remember everything that happens around me.”
Why am I sharing this? Because we are in the church organization and we get minimum pay and we work here and there and sometimes we feel, “Oh, I work so hard but no one recognizes me and no one really supports me.” But your investment, your sincere dedication, is invaluable. Always God can utilize whatever you invest in. Because of your investment we are here today. You know America dramatically changed in the last four years and we are independent from any financial support from Japan or True Parents. We have shifted from being financially dependent on Japan and True Parents and we are now independent from them. We don’t want to make America a burden on our Japanese families or on True Father or True Mother’s shoulders. We changed so now many people are asking America for help.
So I am ready. We should be ready to support others as True Parents did. True Father’s life motto was “living for the sake of others.” With this spirit we can move forward, centering on our tribal messiah and blessing activities. Our dear second generation and this department, Koichi Nakai—I was so moved by his presentation at the leader’s weekly meeting. I’ve been thinking about having an annual convocation—a Family Fed annual convocation. Then we can promote our activities to the public and, of course, to our blessed family members as well. Your small effort can change things.
We will build up a prayer team. Last weekend, I was in San Francisco, and Mrs. Durst, she is praying every day without any meals. This is what we are missing. We will encourage people to make necessary conditions, prayer and donations, sincere dedication and sincere devotion. I remember when I was 12 years old and staying in the old church complex, these elder ladies held a prayer vigil day and night to support True Parents’ successful worldwide speaking tour.
This Apple Heaven USA Band, I was so concerned about how they would compete with Japan who had 120 people participating in their team and with Korea who had a 150 people in their growing performance. We only had eight people, how can we compete with Japan and Korea? I was so concerned until that moment. And then, after they performed so many people came to me saying, “Oh, America did the best. Exceptional! They did a wonderful job.” I was surprised. I never imagined that outcome so I shared about it wherever I went. In San Francisco, I was with Kevin Thompson, he was driving and helping me and I shared this and he reminded me they were not just singing a song. They were dancing. Did you see that video? That accent with the song and moving and dancing, I think it came from Luke Higuchi. With Luke’s input, that little dance motion changed it a lot. I forgot until he reminded me and that was the most effective thing for our Apple Heaven USA. Let’s give Luke a big hand. Apple Heaven USA, stand up. (applause). Everyone was attracted by our team. Thank you again.
I have every time, every day, every moment I think positively on issues taking place around me, around America, around the world, around True Parents. And then I try to inspire myself and others as well. And I have absolute confidence centering on True Parents. With this, we can bring this country back to God. I am very clear. We will make America new—as True Mother mentioned last time in the Kennedy Caucus Room. What I heard awakened my heart. True Mother said: this country must be a new America centering on True Parents. This is the only way. This is the reason True Mother has asked us to testify about True Parents. We don’t have to look here and there. True Mother even said you don’t have to worry…Many people tried to mediate for spirit world saying “I’m getting a message from True Father and Professor Young Oon Kim and Hyo Jin Moon, etc.” True Mother is very clear: the only authority is True Mother and Cheongpyeong on that. There is no one else representing our True Parents. Our church is True Parents’ church, not Unification Church, not Family Federation church. We are a church centering on the Second Coming of the Messiah, whatever we may call ourselves. We have to include everyone. We are very strongly, firmly, standing on True Parents’ foundation in America. This is the only way. The same was true 40, 50 years ago as it is today: with True Parents we can move forward. America first? Dr. Kim first? That’s not right. True Parents first! The nature of the fall is what? Self-centeredness. So why do we have some struggles and confusion? Because they went their own self-centered way. Even True Father said your conscience is your God, but a self-centered conscience is big trouble. So we have to figure it out centered on Hoon Dok Hwe (scripture reading). We have True Father and True Mother’s messages, so I really wanted to ask you to stick with the volume of True Parents’ messages. That’s enough. Even I have no space to hear something else.
True Mother really wants to move straight forward, so at these monthly meetings we really want to share and inspire one another with what we are doing. These days when we have leaders’ meetings and weekly department meetings, what I take note of is the leaders and their presentations and all their great ideas. You may see so many things. You will see a new America in the next years. And you will see a new Family Federation in the next three years. You will see in the next three years a new Unification movement with your support. Be like Pastor Abernathy. Be like Archbishop Stallings. Be like True Parents.
A few days ago, my reading of Hoon Dok Hwe said, you must be like God—God, God, God, God! I cannot be saved by myself. I can be saved by my family. If you don’t have family you cannot be saved and blessed by yourself. No way. Family can save the tribe. This is the focus of our tribe activity. If you think: I am very happy. I have a family, my wife or husband. They totally support me. My children are all blessed. What else do I need? That’s not right. You must save your tribe. Your neighbors are not far away. You shouldn’t be blessed without blessing your neighbors. This is the meaning of Tribal Messiahship, so please participate. When you step in, we are one team. One family under God. Your work and donations and prayers can help our movement all around the nation and all around the world. So once again thank you, and I am very proud of Teresa’s new mission and Naokimi’s new mission and if you would like to get a mission please let us know. I will give you a very special mission with True Parents’ Blessing!
Thank you and God bless you.
– 天地人真の父母様御聖誕および基元節記念行事祝勝会 / 神氏族メシヤ使命完了家庭招請特別集会 / HJ天苑指導者特別集会＆満月お月見 / 2017世界宣教戦略院総会 / 韓国：世界平和女性連合韓国会長就任式
– 神氏族メシヤ活動 (コンゴ民主共和国：神氏族メシヤ祝福式および修練会 / リベリア：原理修練会および祝福式 / アルバニア：神氏族メシヤ祝福式 / ドイツ：「WE CAN DO IT」神氏族メシヤ修練会)
– 平和運動 (アメリカ：第21回ACLC真の家庭価値授賞式)
– 青年活動 (韓国：進路探検隊・成果発表および奨学金伝達 / 日本：Global Youth Festival 2017 in OSAKA / ブラジル：中米カープ総会 / パラグアイ：レダ聖地21日修練会)
– 主要ニュース (韓国：愛の分かち合い祝祭 / 東北大陸：モンゴル韓国聖地巡礼)
– 神氏族メシヤ活動 (タイ：マハーサーラカーム州政府指導者1000双祝福式 / マレーシア：神氏族メシヤコーチング教育)
– 平和運動 (日本：ILC-Japan 2016 in 仙台、富山 / アメリカ：女性連合リーダーシップセミナー / バングラデシュ：世界平和議員連合創設大会)
– 青年活動 (アメリカ・ハワイ成和学生修練会, 北中部地域青年修練会 / コスタリカ：第２回ヒーローズ奉仕団心情コンサート / ブラジルCARP：全国大学生戦略会議 / ウガンダ：ワキソ地域青年連合創立式 / ミャンマー：ALT青年教育、および奉仕活動)
– 主要ニュース (韓国：第57回 真の子女の日および、第29回天宙統一国開天日記念敬礼式 / 天地人真の父母様主管HJ天苑和合・統一体育大会 / 天一国基元節４周年勝利に向けた全国牧会者総会 / 2016山水苑愛国会統一実践国民大会 / 6500双 祝福28周年記念式 / ドミニカ共和国：聖地連合礼拝)