Unification News for October 2003

Chicago Pastors' Prayer Breakfast

by Rev. Bruce Sutchar

I remember that our champion witnessner Mrs. Sheri Rueter used to counsel us to always be consistent. Tell God what you are going to do and do it at the same time everyday, if at all possible. In this vein, Chicago’s Bishop Ki Hoon Kim, initiated a monthly prayer breakfast, on the 4th Tuesday of every month for the past 3 years. And this commitment to God and True Parents has born great fruits. No matter what else might be happening, the monthly prayer breakfast would go on.

So on Tuesday, September 30th, 150 ministers gathered for the first time at Rev. Mason Nall’s Christ Universal Church of Holiness on Chicago’s great South Side. This prayer breakfast would combine the U.N. providence, the Jerusalem Pilgrimage, the Ambassadors for Peace and Parents Day all into one. Under master of ceremonies Rev. Joseph "street fighter" McAfee’s guidance the program took a decidedly evangelical tone. This program, the best ever in many ways over the past three years, drew a outpouring of ministers from all over the midwest. Carl Swearson, AFC Regional leader from Missouri drove up the 320 miles with Sisters Rev. Irma Cannida and Earlice Wrice and a first time participant Bishop Darius Whitson. Rev. David Kasbow drove 320 miles down from Detroit to share his experience in Jerusalem, but also to learnfrom the Chicago method. Others came from all over the Midwest.

A wonderful breakfast was had by all, hosted by Rev. Mason Nall for the first time. Two brand new Church of Christ pastors attended for the first time.

They were recognized with many of the other new guests (its been hard to predict numbers lately because many of the Pastors are inviting other pastors and we can never predict the total guest count).

The beautiful True Family Values Choir sang one gospel and one Japanese song to set the spirit straight. Then we all witnessed the newest film documentary of the first Jerusalem Pilgrimage narrated by our own rev. Phillip Schanker. (Rev. Schanker’s daughter, Chicago STF member, Mrs. Mie Stein sat in the audience shining with pride as she watched and listened to her Father’s voice narrating the video presentation). Then ACLC Co-Convenor Pastor T.L. Barrett, Jr. shared in depth about his second experience on the Jerusalem Pilgrimage. Pastor Barrett shared with such deep love and commitment and his honoring of Bishop Kim was non-stop. Then David Rendel, who some have experienced as re-born with the Holy Spirit since his return from Israel shared his deep passion and determination about where we are going from here. Finally Rev. Bruce Sutchar took the podium. First he honored the faith and commitment of several pastors in the face of woes and challenges and he especially paid tribute to the commitment of the Chicago STF members. Rev. Sutchar also acknowledged their strength through the tragedy in Louisiana and noted that he had just returned from fishing with Rev. Hun Suk Lee in Alaska.

The congregation then honored Dr. Paul and Cordelia’s beautiful 46 year marriage by giving them the "Parents of the Year" award from Northwest Indiana.

Finally, the ministers discussed the meaning of Father’s UN Providence and the commitment needed to become an Ambassador for Peace. The body then honored the host Pastor Rev. & Mrs. Nall as "Ambassadors for Peace"

All that was left was to honor one of Chicago’s great Civil Rights Activists, Webb Evans, for all of his efforts on behalf of God, equality and fairness over the past 50 years. Webb Evans is a Chicago icon, who is still fighting the good fight and this was his very first prayer breakfast.

Pastor Barrett and Pastor Harrison "lightening" Bolton then raised quite an offering on their own in order to honor the tireless work, sacrifice and service of Bishop Kim and the Chicago Family Church. Many ministers donated $50 or $100 dollars from their hearts. ACLC National executive Board member Pastor Connie Crawford Bansa, sitting beside her father, Bishop Melvin Crawford leapt to her feet and began challenging the ministers to give from their hearts, which they did in great abundance.

After the ministers announced their upcoming events, Bishop Kim took the podium and implored the ministers to continue to work together, breaking down all barriers that might stand in our way toward building the Kingdom of Heaven.

The program concluded with a beautiful prayer from Dr. Swanson, Professor Emeritus from the University of Chicago’s Lutheran School of Theology.

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