Unification News for April 2003

Take Down the Cross Service - Washington DC

by Rev. Kazuaki Ogawa

Bishop C. Phillip Johnson led the Good Friday service at New Prospect Family Praise and Worship Center in Washington, DC. About 150 people gathered with the support of ACLC ministers such as Dr. McGhee, Dr. Haupts and Min. Robb, and our Blessed Families centering on Rev. Lee.

"The BEGINNING of the END of the Era of the Cross" was the theme of this service and New Prospect Family offered such a historical gathering of "Taking Down the Cross."

One of the unique offering in the service was a drama, "Initiating the ERA of the CROWN" played by New Prospect Family members. Through this drama, they explained the history and origin of the Cross and its negativity.

Then, Bishop C. Phillip Johnson came out and spoke more about the End of the Era of the Cross and new era of the Crown. He said the Cross was a symbol of death, suffering and darkness and used as the instrument for persecution and the weapon for the war. Cross brought separation among religions, and many people were persecuted in the name of the Cross. It was also influenced by the Paganism. We have to look for Jesus. People want to see Jesus Himself and not the Cross. Victorious Jesus who brought life and the Crown is the symbol of life.

Dr. McGhee supported Bishop Johnson with his powerful speech and encouraged us to step out of the box. We were picked out, put down and picked up!

Then, in the solemn atmosphere, Bishop Johnson and Dr. McGhee started "Taking Down the Cross" and "Coronation" ceremony for Jesus and all who were there. The big wooden cross at Bishop Johnsonís church was took down, laid down and carried out of the room, and replaced by the newly designed Crown painted on the wall. Then, Bishop Johnson asked participants to come out to pick up their "crowns" (a paper crown and small pin). "The Old Rugged Cross" was sung throughout the ceremony and service was concluded with Bishop Johnsonís remark, reminding us of our responsibility as a member of loyal family. Jesus promised that he would be seated on the throne of God, and we will be sharing it with sonship and kingship. But, we canít sit on the throne with a cross. We have to take down the Cross and practice our loyalty with the Crown while we are on earth.

Whole service was very creative, inspiring and digestible, and everybody was lifted up in the end. It was really one of the historical services on Good Friday of this year.

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