The Words of the Stephens Family
The Women's' Federation for World Peace, USA's Inaugural Luncheon was both bitter sweet and full of hope for the future. On the afternoon of Sunday, March 21, 2010, WFWP, USA said farewell to its president of the past 10 years, Mrs. Alexa Fish Ward, and welcomed its newly appointed president, Rev. Angelika Selle.
The Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center was filled with people even before the tables were set up that afternoon. Everyone was there to honor not just the outgoing and incoming presidents, but Mrs. Nora Spurgin, WFWP, USA's founding president, and all the women who have worked hard to make WFWP, USA the organization it is today.
The afternoon began with welcoming remarks by Mrs. Heather Thalheimer and an invocation before the start of lunch. Afterward, Mrs. Elizabeth Aihe, a WFWP, USA member from Washington D.C., recited a poem to Mrs. Ward that she had written for her own mother, as well as Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who have both inspired her with their hearts.
A Power Point presentation, titled "A Decade of Service," that highlighted the activities of WFWP, USA both nationally and internationally, was given by Mrs. Caroline Betancourt. Pictures documented activities of local chapters, fundraisers for projects and programs, international conferences with world-wide WFWP members and leaders, and events with top VIPs.
Mrs. Ward's speech was brimming with gratitude and appreciation for the opportunities she experienced, and for each person who had supported her during her mission throughout the last ten years. After first thanking HSA-UWC President and CEO, Rev. In Jin Moon, for her support, she made a special mention of those who took care of the nitty-gritty daily work that made WFWP, USA run, the friends that she made among the WFWP leadership, and her family who supported her even when it meant sacrifice for them. She also expressed a great deal of respect for Rev. Selle as the new WFWP, USA president and faith in both her and Rev. In Jin Moon's leadership.
Rev. Selle then sincerely acknowledged the strength of Mrs. Ward in her building of WFWP, USA. "[WFWP] needed a strong woman who could go through the jungle with a machete and blaze the trail in a world where there was no support for women," explained Rev. Selle. Next, she encouraged all women to become natural holy women who could both attract the world and purify it. She emphasized that WFWP needed to impact the world through the testimony of its members' good families and relationships. Rev. Selle confirms, "God is giving [women] a lot of new spirit and power for this new age."
Rev. Joshua Cotter, HSA-UWC's Executive Vice President, gave the keynote address, stepping in for Rev. In Jin Moon who could not be there but sent her well wishes through Rev. Cotter.
During this important ceremony of appreciation, Mrs. Ward was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work with WFWP, USA, as well as a very special achievement award from WFWP's founders, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and her husband Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
The afternoon concluded with all three presidents, Mrs. Nora Spurgin, Mrs. Alexa Ward, and Rev. Angelika Selle coming onto the stage, flowers in hand, leading the audience in the singing of the WFWP Celebratory song, "Let There Be Peace on Earth."
Written by Nari Stephens, Administrative Director for WFWP, USA