Unification News for August 2003

SFP in Massachusetts

by Mr. Sam Wada

On July 4th an event was held at the Emmanuel Baptist Church. Rev. Richard Wright at EBC had a vision of holding a picnic open to the public for quite some time. His intent was to extend the love of God to especially those who do not have the resources and opportunity to enjoy and celebrate the 4th of July. His desire was for this type of outreach to give those who have been suffering a chance to regain self-esteem.

Service for Peace volunteers empowered with this vision did a lot of community service in various parts of the city including street clean-up of challenging areas of the city. At the same time, they handed out July 4th invitations to people of the community.

A close friend who is a pastor of a well-established church thought that plan would not work out and he expressed that to Rev. Wright. His close pastor-friend challenged him. He said that no one would show up because July 4th is an event where people stay home. This pastor is aware that EBC and FFWPU were working side by side to plan and execute this event. In one sense he wanted this event to fail.

Rev. Wright, all the volunteers of Service for Peace, and several brothers and sisters from the Worcester Community worked day and night to prepare for the event. Rev. Wright and several members were preparing for the barbecue until 11:00 the night before. We were preparing for around 600 to 700 people to show up. There was tremendous amount of preparation needed. Three sisters from EBC came after midnight to prepare 200 lbs of potato salad. It took them until 7 in the morning.

Preparation also started early morning on July 4th. At 11am when the barbecue pit was almost ready and event was supposed to start, it did not look like anyone was going to show up. Close to 12:00, people started to show up and by 1:00 the place was packed with friends, people from other churches, and other parts of neighborhood. A close friend of the FFWPU donated a moonwalk for the children, and was a DJ, providing music. He gave a magic show and entertainment as well.

A little after 1:00, the pastor friend, who thought the event would not be successful, stopped by. He was actually surprised that so many people showed up. He not only came to see how it went, but he stayed nearly 3 hours. He said to Reverend Wright that for sure we would run out of food since so many people were there. But the food kept coming and coming so he was amazed. He thought it was just like the miracle of the bible. In fact, food did not run out until the end of the event. We started out with 1500 plates and only had 200 left at the end of the event.

During the program Rev Wright thank the staff, Service for Peace Members and especially Rev. Kil Hwan Kim and Unification Church for their support. He recognized Rev. Kim as representative of Rev. Moon working to unite and serve the community

Lots of people who came to the event asked for more information about the organization. Also a local newspaper reporter showed up and placed the event information on the front page the next day. The headline readí "Emmanuel Baptist Church Opens Celebration to All." There was a half page write up on it. Also, since the event occurred, Rev. Wright has been receiving a lot of phone calls concerning the event. Rev. Wright said that it was the best thing that has happened in many years with EBC and FFWPU getting together to hold this event for the community.

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