Unification News for April 2003

DC Region DP Seminar for Clergy

by Deborah Taylor

The fourth convocation of clergy was held March 26 -- 29, 2003 in Ocean City, Maryland, the states included Washington, DC, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Maryland, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama,

We came to Ocean City after weeks of prayer, visitations and numerous conditions. We came with hopes but also with some fears: what if the ministers don't show up, what if, what if... Well, our hopes were fulfilled and our fears faded. Not only did we reach our Regional goal of 120; we came very close to reaching the Block goal of 300 as well.

Our next dilemma: Yikes, what do we do with all these people? Again, no need to worry -- Heavenly Father was in control. Hoon Dok Hae got us off to a great start every morning, many ministers attended as well as our members. The lecturers Rev. Phillip Schanker and Rev. Kevin McCarthy and the lectures were excellent. The panel discussions gave the ministers a chance to talk to us, to say what was in their hearts and minds. And in the evenings we heard inspiring sermons, one from Rev. Jesse Edwards from Philadelphia and one from Rev. Bennie Owens from Texas.

On a personal note, it was almost unbelievable to me to see how much the ministers and guests were able to grasp in comparison to ten, fifteen years ago. I sat holding my breath through Fall of Man and Mission of Messiah, but finally relaxed when one of my most 'objective' contacts came to me and confided, "I've been in my room wailing, I never knew God and Jesus had so much pain." This is truly a new age!

One very different aspect this time is that we are not alone. Both panel discussions I attended we were firmly supported by warm ministers. They, not we, answered the questions and handled the debates with appropriate bible verses, when new ministers struggling to digest all they had just heard, asked question after question.

One minister, Rev. M from Florida sat patiently for a long time listening to the ongoing exchange about 'What if Jesus had been accepted by Israel?' Finally unable to sustain herself, she burst out of her chair and marched up to the front saying firmly, "This is not Jesus' time and if it was and everything had been fulfilled, we would not have the opportunity to be here today. So, it's time for us to put up or shut up!" And that was the end of our group discussion for that period.

Archbishop George Agustus Stallings gave a very logical and convincing explanation of why we adopted the cross and have given it such high prestige and why we now out of consideration to Heavenly Father and Jesus should take it down. He drew rousing applause time after time. Rev. Michael Jenkins displayed his 'full anointing' as he wisely taught them and readied them for the next step.

Rev. Levy Daugherty supported by Bishop C. Phillip Johnson and Bishop McGee were superb hosts. Dr. Chang Shik Yang's animated and intimate account of True Father and his own relationship and understanding of Him was very refreshing and touched many hearts. A special thanks to Rev. In Hoi Lee for overseeing everything for without him, DC wouldn't be DC. And thanks to all the ministers and the volunteers who supported us in this great effort.

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