Unification News for April 2003

Chicago Divine Principle Seminar for Clergy

by Marina Acevedo

It was a cloudy Wednesday morning, when the whole world was expecting the most important news of the decade. What would happen? Would there be a peaceful settlement or the beginning of war. In Chicago a whole different scenario was taking shape. Two Hundred clergy made their way from Florida, Texas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, and all over the Midwest region to join in our 4-Day Divine Principle seminar for clergy. It was held March 19 - 21, 2003 in the Ramada Plaza Hotel near the O'Hare Airport. At exactly 11 o'clock in the morning the whole lobby was filled with clergy. Our gracious host Bishop Ki Hoon Kim and Chicago family church members welcomed all the participants with a warm reception and southern hospitality that made them all feel at home.

The schedule was tight, starting with a Hoon Dok Hae at 6 am and a series of lectures and panel discussions throughout the whole day and into the night. Amazingly the majority of participants were present from the 6 am Hoon Dok Hae until the 8 pm testimonies in the evening.

The spiritual atmosphere of the first day was heavy! The majority of participants were new, some have known and worked with our church for many years and still had difficulties accepting certain truths. They all were attentive to lectures and were not shy with their comments. All the lecturers were outstanding not to mention our very own President Rev. Michael Jenkins, Rev. Philip Schanker and Rev. Kevin McCarthy. Our toastmaster was the excellence of the Rev. Levy Daugherty the vice president of the F.F.W.P. There were powerful testimonies from our dynamic resource speakers like Arch-Bishop George Augustus Stallings, Rev. Jessie Edwards and the mighty Bishop McGee. All of them worked so hard to lessen the tension and soften the blow of the ultimate question that was to be given to our participants.

The second day was like the growth stage. The tension and confusion that arose during the panel discussion about the Cross and the meaning of Salvation really caused a stir. Various ideas and objections came as well as support for the idea. The majority was not ready to bring down their crosses. In spite of such differences of opinions and beliefs, everybody gathered and prayed together for good health, strength and long life for our True Parents. It was very moving and inspiring to hear their prayers on how they cared for Father Moon.

The third day was the completion stage. The Resurrection, Christology, and the Value of the Blessing were presented. Right at that moment, the Holy Spirit descended from heaven and poured down upon us. All the participants hailed and praised God throughout the lectures. No objections were heard when Rev. Jenkins concluded that Rev. Moon is the second coming of Jesus. He was given strong cheers and a standing ovation.

The panel discussion was about what would have happened if Israel had accepted Jesus? The majority of clergy expressed their deep sorrow as to why Jesus was not able to have his lineage. They considered the prospect of Rev. Moon being in the position of the rejected Christ of the new Israel. During the luncheon, one lady pastor from Indianapolis testified about her conviction and faith concerning Father Moon. She shared about the countless blessings she had received from God as a result of her belief. She gave $500.00 donation to ACLC and encouraged all the pastors to give as well. With that everybody gave and we raised around five thousand dollars. It was very moving to see how those clergy were united to give a love offering as a way to express their thanks for all the blessings they received in the seminar.

That afternoon was even more amazing! When Archbishop Stallings gave his address, "Tear down the Wall/Let this Cup Pass, the Beginning of the Era of Liberation, Blessing and Unity of all God's Children" it was very powerful presentation. The whole crowd gave him a standing ovation. The spiritual atmosphere was so high, everybody started to praise God with tears of joy and it all ended with a very beautiful fellowship among all the participants and staff.

Dr. Chang Shik Yang challenged the clergy in his opening speech by saying, "Don't ask who is Rev. Moon?" but ask yourselves who am I? In his closing speech he explained so well who is Reverend Moon and what is his fruits as a champion. That was the best conclusion! Everybody got so inspired and many promised to bring down their crosses in support of Father Moon.

The seminar was a great success! Based on the comments and reactions of the participants, they were so inspired by the Holy Spirit, and the love and unity fostered in every corner of the convention hall. They left feeling great joy and were very thankful to be a part of this seminar. Congratulations to all the energetic lecturers for a job well done.

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