The Words of Hyung Jin Moon From 2012
Kook Jin Nim and Ji Yea Nim, Hyung Jin Nim and Yeon Ah Nim lead a section of the parade through central Seoul on 1.2 (January 24). Six thousand members reportedly participated.
This is the second time we've held this Cheon Bok Festival, and there were many new initiatives. Moreover, True Parents came here to Cheon Bok Gung' and directly created the Cheon Bok Holy Salt as they did last year. Events we held for the first time included the parade, the World CARP Assembly, the Cheon Bok stay, a multicultural festival, a musical and a poetry reading evening. It was also our first time to promote the Cheon Bok Festival through the Korean media. During the CARP Convention, Hyung Jin Nim jogged throughout his speech at the World CARP Assembly and had the entire audience jog with him; I think that was another first! Many of the events and programs that were added had a common theme, testifying to True Parents. The Cheon Bok Festival is about shi and hyo -- attendance and filial piety.
As we were organizing many events, one great challenge was, of course, the budget. We have to be financially self-sufficient and independent. The biggest headache for me was to figure out a way to do this by ourselves. Kook Jin Nim and Hyung Jin Nim, especially, have been emphasizing that as the father nation Korea has to be able to take the responsibility; we should not rely on the mother nation or on any other nation outside of Korea. With that new thinking, even though we held new events this time and much money was needed, we funded all of these events independently
The Cheon Bok Ceremony (1.2; January 24): Father called the religious leaders, Kook Jin Nim and Hyung Jin Nim onstage. After speaking sternly to them, Father talked them through the performance of an exacting religious rite. Although they struggled to understand what was being asked, the two sons helped them. Finally, they succeeded and the candles were lit. The clerics then mixed the Holy Salt with earth from holy grounds including Father's birthplace.
To publicize the events we had electronic billboards promoting the Cheon Bok Festival in fourteen locations throughout Seoul. At one hundred screenings a day at each location, that calculates to forty-two thousand screenings in all, over the course of a month. The opening words in the sequence was "The teachings of True Parents, the Savior and Messiah...." We have, of course, advertised events many times before, but this was the first time we had advertised specifically with a statement proclaiming that True Parents are the Messiah.
Similarly, eight times throughout the week we ran advertisements in newspapers. We testified directly to True Parents messiahship and let the people of Korea know that we were holding the festival in celebration of True Parents birthday, and what the event consisted of.
Father called for holy salt to be brought to him. Hyung Jin Nim and Yeon Ah Nim brought the salt and maintained this reverential posture as Father holy salted the table in front of them while whistling. He said a few phrases and threw holy salt across the stage. He asked Hyung Jin Nim to cast holy salt and then two Korean leaders to do so as well.
Did you hear our announcement over the radio?
The Republic of Korea must become stronger. Korea has to stand out as the center of the world. The True Peace and Unity Cheon Bok Festival, a prayer for peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the world, officiated by President Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han, runs from their birthday, January 23, to January 29, in Seoul.
I think it was the first time that we included True Parents' full names on the airwaves. It was our first radio advertisement. To apply for this advertisement, we had to go through screening by a radio station. Each time we submitted a draft, the screening committee rejected it. We needed to get unanimous approval from the screening committee before we could broadcast it over the radio.
It took nine attempts before it passed; it took almost a month. Even at the last screening, our ad was not approved. We were so distraught at that point that we thought about just giving up on this. True Father was holding the Citizens' Rally to Support the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind. Rallies were being held around the entire nation. They were making extraordinary conditions in very challenging circumstances.
Events culminated in Father, Mother and their sons holding hands high as Father said, "[We] offer this unity of Cain and Abel, who represent the family on behalf of True Parents' sons and daughters, the sons and daughters of Eden..." The Holy Candles for the Establishment of the Heavenly Kingdom, created through this ceremony, will be distributed around the world.
And a miracle occurred: For the first time the radio station held an extraordinary screening session, one at which they decided to go on a majority vote rather than permit a veto by any one person. We learned later that a Christian on the committee had been vetoing our application. The screening committee met and decided that it had gone a bit too far. Ordinarily the vote had to be unanimous, but they took the extraordinary step of requiring only a majority. Because the majority approved, we were finally able to broadcast our commercial over the radio.
After seeing all this happen, I felt that God has prepared all this for us. All we had to do was take that single step forward and He would guide us. If I had just given up, what would have happened at that time? I felt we were receiving such care as we went through this whole thing.
From about three days after the radio advertisement began being broadcasted, we began getting online responses. People started saying, "Oh, the Unification Church has begun promoting itself in its own name. It seems they now have that confidence." And "The Unification Church seems to be using a different strategy." One person commented, "I think this is the first time I've heard someone's birthday being promoted on the radio!"
We were looking at the online comments, too. One said, "What about Yong Gi Cho, pastor of the Full Gospel Church on Yeouido, with the world's largest congregation?" But others responded that the Unification Church is a religion that is being supported by its businesses, which is at least better than Yong Gi Cho, who just receives donations from his followers.
The parade featured several floats -- this one depicts Father's prison experience; another showed True Parents giving the blessing.
When we first began preparing for the parade, last August, I went to report to True Parents. In the beginning, all of us were wondering if we were just going to be ridiculed for doing it. We wondered what we would do if it snowed that day. What if the weather is cold? Most of our staff members were also opposed to the idea of a parade. The mission fell to me to go to True Parents and ask their permission to make it into a small pilgrimage around Korea. I brought this petition to True Mother, but True Mother said, "You must make a strong statement!"
After that, we had been thinking to soften our message in the radio broadcasts, but True Mother said, "You have to give it to them straight!" Many people were suggesting we should package True Parents so that they could easily be understood and accepted by people in society, and until now that had been part of our church culture. Throughout the parade and Cheon Bok Festival we basically went ahead with Mother's standard of promoting True Parents forthrightly.
Some of the reflections we got from the members who participated said, "It was so exciting!" "It seemed as if we owned the whole world!" and "We could rid ourselves of the bitter pain we had been feeling."
The day before the parade, the forecast was for a very cold day, minus six degrees Celsius, but on the actual day it went up to zero. Thanks be to God! The evening before it had snowed, as you know, and it had been very windy. The day after the parade, was also very cold. God and True Parents had prepared that day for us. I felt how much they had been waiting urgently for us to proclaim them, and how everything had worked out miraculously.
True Parents applaud the musical True Parents, depicting True Parents' lives; Father surrounded by fellow prisoners at Hungnam labor camp.
In August, when I first reported to True Parents, they advised us of the need to create a second-generation culture and that there needed to be many second generation members who could testify to the True Parents; moreover, that our second-generation members must counter the fallen youth culture. It was suggested to have a children's choir, and that we stage a musical during their birthday celebration.
We used to have similar performances in the past, but we had discontinued them some years back. We held an audition but we had concerns over whether we could stage a musical because our actors were amateurs; moreover, we would have to hold it at the Chung Pyung training center, which is limited in the size of its stage, props, and so forth. Still, we felt that we should overcome those limits by proactive thought.
Although we are all amateurs, we have passion based on our faith. Let's express that to True Parents through the performance. That was how the cast began.
The musical True Parents, depicting True Parents' lives; True Mother, as a girl, with her mother Soon Ae Hong; A grandma wonders if she might be chosen as the Lord's bride.
Every day, along with a hundred and twenty full bows, they did Hoon Dok Hae with True Father's autobiography, in order to relate to and feel empathy toward Father's life course. Most of the second-generation student actors were able to uplift their standard of heart, not to just understand Father intellectually, but to experience True Parents through their whole being. Through that very short, strict period, they trained and prepared. The young cast trained and rehearsed until 2:00 AM, sometimes even 4:00 or 5:00 AM every day. Even then, they would still wake up at 7:00 AM and have Pledge Service. In terms of the conditions they were making, they were approaching Father's level!
Multicultural Festival: Featuring dance and song as expressions of joy over True Parents' births, it took place on 1.6 (January 28); Left: Russian children perform a folk dance; Right: International Women in Korea members lead the audience in modern dance.
On the morning of the day they were to perform the musical, Father suddenly left for Geomun Island. When I heard from Yeon Ah Nim that Father had gone to Geomun Island, my heart completely deflated, because I supposed that True Parents would not make it back to Chung Pyung in time for the musical. After we all sat down quietly for a little while, unable to move, we realized we would put on the musical anyway. Actually, thinking more about the time when True Parents will not be here with us physically on earth, I was struck with a feeling of gratitude to be able to live here at this time with True Parents, to look into their faces while they are here on earth.
The performance was scheduled to begin at 4:00 PM. True Parents arrived back from Geomun Island at 3:50! They quickly changed and came to the training center for the performance. We heard that True Parents liked it very much. All the young people who played in the musical were so happy to hear that. When we first began praying together, there were many young people who did not seem immersed in the prayers, but after the performance, many of them testified that they were deeply moved. Their hearts were touched by the fact that they were able to perform in person in front of True Parents. Some of them testified later, saying that they would never forget, for as long as they live, how they were given the opportunity to return glory and joy to True Parents while Father and Mother are on earth.