Unification News for October 2002
12 City North American Speaking Tour - Denver
True Mother's speech in Denver fell on a Saturday, September 29. It was decided that it would be a luncheon event because Mother would arrive that morning from Los Angeles and then, after the speech, travel back to New York for a victory celebration at East Garden.
It turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day. Mother and her party, including Dr. Yang, Rev. Jenkins, Archbishop Stallings and Rev. Edwards arrived at Centennial Airport at about 8:30 am after a pre-dawn departure from L.A. Once they arrived at the Doubletree Hotel , they only had little time to prepare before the program began.
Registration began at 10:30 am. The first part of the program began at 11:00 am with the "Bridge of Peace" ceremony. Rev. Janice Buxton from New Hope Outreach Ministries was our Master of ceremonies for the bridge program. She welcomed all our guests and introduced the intercultural choir, led by Chiu-fen Buczynski. They gave a spirited rendition of the National Anthem in an arrangement that included "America the Beautiful". Next Rev. Peggy Yujiri gave a short PowerPoint introduction to the Women's Federation, the Bridge of Peace and the Ambassadors of Peace initiative. After the presentation ten specially selected couples crossed the bridge representing the unity of all races, religions, cultures. The final couple was an intergenerational pair. Our WFWP chairwoman, Catherine Ichinohe, had specially selected these couples. They included representatives of many of the groups who were attending the event. There were Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Scientologists, African Americans, Native Americans, White-Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian-Americans included.
At 11:30 am, Rev, Michael Jenkins took over as the MC. He welcomed everyone again and read proclamations from the mayor of Denver and the mayor of Colorado Springs proclaiming the day to be "True Peace Day". He then brought up Archbishop George Stallings who gave a wonderful introduction to Dr. Moon, the keynote speaker. The video followed and the True Mother came to the stage to give her speech. Mother started off by saying "Good Evening". Then she paused, smiled, looked at her watch and said, "Good Afternoon". She began reading with the most beautiful and graceful demeanor. Although the speech lasted almost an hour and contained some challenging content, not one of our well over 500 guests got up from their seat or made any noise until Mother had completed her speech. There was a particularly beautiful and peaceful atmosphere in the room and many people commented on their response forms that Mother has expressed a lot of love for the audience through her lovely presentation.
As soon as Mother's speech was completed we proceeded with the presentation of six Ambassadors for Peace certificates on the stage. The recipients were Patricia Shannon-Banister, chairman of the City of Aurora Commission on Human relations, Dennis Vigil, Exec, Director of GANAS, Hispanic youth service agency, Patty Allstead, Chair of the Denver Interfaith Alliance, Mali Hzu, Director of the Chinese Cultural Institute of Colorado Springs, Christina Martinez, Director of the Colorado Foundation for Families and Children, and Marsha Mallot-Bennett, the president of Denver Sister Cities International.
Representatives of the Colorado Ambassadors for Peace then presented an award to Mother. The award was for True Parent's sacrificial effort to foster religious unity. The presenters were Mr. & Mrs. Mohamad Jodeh of the Denver Islamic Society and Rev. William Ephriam of Progressive C.O.G.I.C.
There was a flower presentation from Rev. & Mrs. Mark Lincoln and then True Mother left the stage and was on her way to the airport and back to New York. She waited only long enough for Rev. Jesse Edwards to give a moving and powerful introduction to the messages from the Spirit World. Then True Mother and her party were gone, leaving a wonderful and warm spirit behind them.
The messages from the Saints were beautiful read by Mrs. Susan Brunhofer. After the reading, luncheon was served. During lunch we were treated to another song from the intercultural choir as well as some heavenly music from Mrs. ___. We also had a clarinet duet and a saxophone solo by Mr. Cheng Bin Lin. While the lunch progressed with lively conversation at the tables centering on Mrs. Moon's powerful message, we were also able to present an additional thirty Ambassador for Peace Certificates to community and religious leaders in the audience. In giving out the additional certificates we enlisted the help of some of our current Ambassadors for Peace. Imam Nabhan, the Imam of the Denver Islamic Society, Rev. John Tomson, the superintendent of the Pikes Peak region of the United Methodist Church and Mrs. Shen, a prominent Asian leader in Colorado.
In mobilizing guests for this event, we contacted well over one hundred religious, service and ethnic groups. We made many wonderful contacts and already have more than ten groups who want to participate in Service for Peace projects together. There were 21 groups who reserved tables of ten at the event. The diversity of the audience was remarkable and I believe that is one thing that moved everyone.
Following are some testimonies and comments from participants:
Rev. Oyediji from Nigeria attended our Sunday Service the next day. He gave us this testimony: "when I came to the event yesterday I was so amazed. It my country there are religious riots and Moslems are killing Christians. But yesterday I felt, 'What is this!' I saw Muslims, Christians Hindus and Buddhists all sharing together in harmony. There was no hatred. I was very moved and inspired. A seed was planted in me. I am 'pregnant'. I want to go back and tell my people that we have to do this too."
The first lady of a prominent Baptist church said, "I am so honored to receive this Ambassador for Peace Award. I can't wait to go back to my church and start working as an Ambassador for Peace. I want to let everyone know about what I heard here today." She invited our WFWP chairwoman to appear on her TV show this Tuesday.
Another testimony is to the Nation of Islam. We asked our local NOI chapter to help us with security for the event. Their security chief took it so much to heart that he visited the hotel several times before the event. He checked every exit and entrance. He checked the path Mrs. Moon would walk from her room to the Ballroom. He called our security coordinator eight times in one day to check all the details. At the event they assigned six brothers who were stationed all around the room. They stood quietly throughout the event and were totally focused to protect Mother. We felt that they protected our True Mother with the same heart they had towards Min. Farrakhan.
One pastor of a major Baptist church attended together with his wife and a group from his church. He brought the mother of the Mayor of Denver's wife as well as the secretary of the Mayor. Afterwards we gave them one of the flower arraignments for their church service the next day. He said, " I will put this on our main altar and I will tell everyone where it came from."
The pastor of New Example Baptist church asked us for more copies of the speech book.
The president of the Nigerian association of Denver said, "This is absolutely the best program I have ever attended."
One of our guests was the founder and executive director of a service program for youth and their parents. He started this organization after his fourteen-year-old daughter, Gina, was murdered by four teens in an attempted rape. He was read to go after them to kill them when his daughter appeared to him in a vision, wrapped in the arms of Jesus. She told him, "Daddy, do not hate them. You must love them, forgive them, help them. Otherwise I will never appear to you again." His daughter was so beautiful. He was changed and he started this program to serve youth and point them in the right direction. He came to our church four days before the event. He agreed to attend Mother's event. Immediately after that he became very sick. He had a high fever. On the day of the event he called our WFWP chairwoman and told her he could not come. She told him, "You must come. Gina is waiting for you at the event. She will never forgive you if you do not come." He got up out of bed and came to the event. He had not eaten in four days. Immediately he began to feel better. When lunch was served he ate every bite! His fever was gone. He stayed to receive the Ambassador of Peace Certificate.
The president of the Ghana Association said, "I will contact all the people in our association and tell them to work together with you."
Another pastor of a local church told Rev. Ngalame, our state leader, " Please always invite me! This was a wonderful program!"
There is one local Baptist minister who had asked that his name be removed from the ACLC Board after the "Clouds of Witnesses " was published in the local newspaper. He said he would come to the program, but later an associate of his called him and told him not to come. Rev. Ngalame called him again and said, "No you must come!" He came and had a deep experience with Mother's talk.
One local "peace through music" activist who had helped conduct the choir was moved to tears when she received the Ambassador for Peace certificate.
One of the women who received the award from Mother on the stage spoke to me as she was leaving. She is a very prominent citizen of Denver. She told me just how honored she was to have received the certificate and she told me that she definitely wanted to work with us from now on. She said that the program was absolutely the best she had every attended.
Another woman who also received the certificate from Mother has an important job for the State of Colorado. This is the first event she has attended. I asked her how she enjoyed it and she said she enjoyed every bit of it. She told me she really likes the way we do things and is interested in working together.
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