Unification News for March 2003

ACLC Pastors' Prayer Breakfast in Chicago

by Rev. Bruce Sutchar

There is something to say for consistency-and that is what our Chicago ACLC is all about. For the past year under the consistent leadership of our Bishop, Ki Hoon Kim and our ACLC Co-Convenors Dr. A. Harold White and Pastor Bennie Owens we have continued to have a monthly prayer breakfast on the third Tuesday of every month. We move around and the breakfast is hosted by a different church every month. Even last month, in January, when the initial direction for every State to hold a monthly prayer breakfast was rescinded because of all the preparation for our journeys to and our activities in Korea, Chicago, which had already proceeded with our monthly prayer continued with business as usual.

As a result Archbishop George Augustus Stallings and Rev. LeChung Pyungwere able to come to Chicago and keynote our Prayer Breakfast. And it turned into an awesome experience with over 250 ministers and guests filling Rev. James Porter's beautiful banquet hall to the rafters. Only the day before, filled with the were able to come to Chicago and keynote our Prayer Breakfast. And it turned into an awesome experience with over 250 ministers and guests filling Rev. James Porter's beautiful banquet hall to the rafters. Only the day before, filled with the Chung Pyung spirit, Bishop Kim, in fact had returned from the 50-day workshop in Korea to lead the event. However, I must admit that when he saw the confirmation list, he was more than a little concerned about the event's attendance. But the Holy Spirit worked wonders and 50 unconfirmed guests were brought by the ministers themselves. One of the most inspired attendees was the national ACLC Co-convenors, Chicago's very own Pastor T.L. Barrett, Jr. In fact, Pastor Barrett was so inspired that he offered his own Life Center Church of God in Christ as the host of our February meeting.

So even though nearly all of our members had barely returned from Korea and even though, Washington, DC was in the midst of hosting back to back national conferences (the Media Conference and the Peace in the Middle East Conference) in Washington DC, God saw fit to send Rev. Jesse Edwards and Rev. Levy Daugherty back to Chicago to keynote the event on February 27, 2003.

Time does not permit me to go into the depth of their two sermons, but just me say this in synopsis. Chicago ministers are falling in love with Rev. Daugherty -- especially after the incredible keynote that he had offered in January. But today' sermon was truly amazing. What has come to be known as a sure sign that Rev. Daugherty's sermon was theologically correct was the smile on the inspired face of Lutheran Professor of Theology, Dr. Paul Swanson. Dr. Swanson is the theological conscience of our movement. And as Rev. Daugherty recognized his presence during the meeting, Dr. Swanson's theological face bore an approving Lutheran smile.

The event was also attended by Chicago Civil Rights icon and 91 year old Pastor, Rev. M. E. Sardon. Rev. Sardon has been working with our movement for over 20 years (since the Project Volunteer/ ICC days with David "Cheese Man" Caprara. In addition to Rev. Sardon, such Chicago icons as Rev. A.I. Dunlap and Rev. Olivia Jones (both over 20 year veterans of our movement in Chicago) joined us along with Brother Thomas Muhammad from the Nation of Islam, who had just hosted Bishop Kim and Rev. Jenkins at the Nation's annual "Saviours Day" event with Minister Louis Farrakhan 10 days earlier. (A note....this monthly prayer breakfast has been a great way to keep in touch with our long time ministers, so many of whom, like Rev. Bennie and Sister Elaine Smothers, Rev. Isaac Strong (in whose church I had given my first sermon in 1984), Rev. Mickey Walker, (who had walked door-to-door with us during our 1986 signature campaign) and so many others.

But I digress-by the time our MC A. Harold White, our host pastor, T.L. Barrett, the Japanese True Family Values Choir and Rev. Daugherty had finished it was already 11AM which is our promised closing time-and we had not even heard from Rev. Edwards. But Rev. Edwards was true to the time and he poured out his heart and soul in just 15 minutes in which time he captivated our entire congregation.

One note about Rev. Edwards "sermon". Each minister is certainly unique in the way that they bring forth the spirit if God and the Holy Spirit to the pulpit. For me the uniqueness of Rev. Edwards is how he brings God to the pulpit. Especially after a powerful sermon like the one that Rev. Daugherty had just delivered, there is little room (and probably little need) for more words. But, there is always more room for God's love (The Principle teaches us that Jesus taught the disciples with the truth, but he raised them with love). And that is exactly what Rev. Edwards brought to the pulpit. He brought the recognition that we serve a great and loving God. He bought the recognition that we serve an awesome God. And he brought the recognition and attendance to the love of God. When he finished (truly in less than 15 minutes) the room was truly filled with the Holy Spirit.

The fellowship which remained after the official program ended, continued for quite some time-as many were drunk with the holy Spirit. However, the providence is moving on-at record speed. So Rev. Daugherty and Rev. Edwards sped back to the airport so they could catch planes back to Washington and Philadelphia respectively as they prepared for the "Peace in the Middle East Conference and True Parents' Keynote address one step ahead of Dr. Swanson and Pastor Owens (who were on the afternoon flight) and Pastor Barrett and Dr. White (who were on the evening flight.) Bishop Kim sped off to host our members to one of his now famous buffet lunches. The STF members, 2nd generation children of Tom & Alexa Ward (both presenters at the Washington conference), New York City pastor Andy Compton, Los Angeles area Mayor Keith McCarthy, New York Attorney Andy Kessler, 1800 blessed couple (and newly matched) son of Dan and Pamela Stein and more, who had served the breakfast so well, took off to attend the Civil Rights Speech of Rev. Sardon for Black History month at Loyola University.

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