Unification News for February 2002
Los Angeles Interfaith Prayer Breakfast
by BillieAnn Sabo
Saturday, February 2nd, 2002, was the first prayer breakfast the Los Angeles region has held in the new year. Our ministers, as a group had not gathered together since True Mother's speaking tour in LA on Nov. 30th.
Our keynote speaker was Rev. Dr. E.V. Hill, Pastor of the Mt. Zion MBC and celebrating his 41st year as their pastor on Feb. 17th. He has been preaching for 50 years and named by Time Magazine as one of seven most outstanding preachers in America. His spiritual parent, Mrs. Naoko Hiraki, the Los Angeles Kodan leader, has been visiting his church and working closely with him for 2 years. Dr. Hill gave the introduction to True Mother on November 30th then testified to True Parents greatness to other ministers after the event. Dr. Hill is a gold watch recipient and Ambassador of Peace.
For the February prayer breakfast, we decided on a theme centered on Dr. Martin Luther King and since E.V. Hill was a personal friend of the late Dr. King, we asked him to be our keynote speaker. Dr. Hill was one of the organizers of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference together with Dr. King. He agreed and gave a wonderful 50 minute speech regarding the Making of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He also gave great testimony to our church, our members and to True Parents.
We had just over 200 clergy attend and approximately 80 members. Almost 300 total. This was a breakfast buffet. Dr. Raymon Harris, pastor of the Greater Zion Flower MBC was our MC. He is a golden sea watch recipient and Ambassador of Peace. Our own church choir, Origin, led by Music Minister Mr. Rick Joswick performed throughout the breakfast. The invocation was given by Rev. Dr. Wiley Drake, pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park. Dr. Drake is a golden sea watch recipient and Ambassador of Peace. Following that was two scripture readings; one centered on Dr. King "I've Got a Dream" speech, and also Hoon Dok Hae from "God's Hope for America" given by Father in October of 1973.
Twenty-five black children, with the Little Angels Choir part of Dr. Dillard's Christ Full Gospel Baptist Church in Los Angeles offered two songs. Each was dressed in a green choir robe and totally loved by the audience.
After Dr. Hill's keynote speech, our own Japanese Heavenly Choir, sang during the free will offering. Dr. Hill verbally encouraged each and every pastor to dig deep in their pockets to support the cost of their breakfast as well as giving an additional donation. This was the most generous offering we have received so far.
Following the offering, our Los Angeles church pastor and VRD, Rev. Timothy Henning gave a power point presentation called the "Blessing of Love". Each clergy was given a workbook to follow along with the presentation and to fill in the blanks. The end of the presentation led into the Holy Blessing on April 27th. It also gave us the opportunity to hold a Holy Wine Ceremony during the prayer breakfast. Most of the pastors/ministers brought their spouses and our restaurant location already prepared plastic champagne glasses on each table. We used sparkling cider which had been blessed with holy wine prior to the breakfast. All couples and participants stood and offered a toast to their marriage. We completed over 100 couples pre-blessings during the prayer breakfast.
After that, we showed a modified 8-minute video of the 60 Couples Blessing in New York on May 27th, 2001.
We closed our prayer breakfast with a door prize drawing (color tv/vcr), sang "We Will Overcome" together and shouted three cheers of mansei. The closing prayer was given by Rev. Dr. Joseph (Papa) Lee of the Heavenly Vision MBC of Los Angeles. He also is a golden sea watch recipient and Ambassador of Peace.
This past week, we mailed a beautiful thank you card to each clergy that attended. Thanking them for attending as well as inviting them to attend our weekly Monday night minister dinner evening program and to offer them the TFVM lecture at their church.
This prayer breakfast was a wonderful stepping stone to April 27th. If anyone is interested in obtaining a video of our breakfast program, please send me an email to: BillieAnn at email@example.com.
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