Unification News for February 2004

Interfaith Prayer Breakfast in Upstate New York

by Dr, Carlson

Upstate New York, the newest region, under regional director Rev. Ki Yeal Lee, who is currently at the 40-day workshop in Korea, held a very successful MEPI prayer breakfast on Saturday, January 31 at the Unification Theological Seminary, hosted by the ACLC and FFWPU of Upstate New York.

Among an audience of 52 were a nice mixture of eighteen guests, most long-time friends of FFWPU. Mr. Abdou Gaye, the breakfast organizer, emceed an inspiring program for everyone. After opening remarks by Dr. David Carlson, and a prayer of invocation from Dr. Tyler Hendricks, everyone enjoyed breakfast and were then completely transfixed by the "Peace Under One God" video. Dr. Andrew Wilson, perhaps uniquely qualified, presented the PowerPoint talk, introducing the Israel pilgrimages and putting the MEPI into larger perspective and an incredibly beautiful song was offered by Mrs. ___. This was followed by prayers for peace offered by Imam Asil M. Khan for the Muslim faith, Rev. Gilbert McKenzie for the Christian faith, and Dr. David Carlson for the Unification faith, which brought an appropriate conclusion to the breakfast.

One could hardly ask for a finer quality program, overall. The spirit was high and very warm, and several guests were inspired to enquire further about programs available, to become Ambassadors for Peace, and to attend the next pilgrimage. Dr. Vivian Wortham, a professor of intercultural understanding, shared that she had received a revelation during the program and that she could see how everything and everyone was coming together into one grand harmony, and that this was exactly what God desired.

Among the guests were Rev. and Mrs. John Flowers of Poughkeepsie. He was selected as the Poughkeepsian "man of the year" a few years ago, and he provided beautiful red roses for everyone. Rev. Reginald Joseph, a Baptist, responded on his own initiative to the invitation he received by email. Michael Sklarr, a writer interested in education and world peace, and the director of a non-profit project about peaceful exchange, was especially inspired by the points made about Ghandi.

Also attending for the first time were David and Olive Fadda, who operate a spiritual center in Kingston, New York and are interested in interreligious activities. Also from Kingston was Mr. John B. Adolphe. Reinaldo and Naomi Galarza, from the Lutheran Church, stated that they were ready that day to purchase their tickets to Israel. Among the Muslims were Imam Salahuddin from Newburgh and Imam Asil M. Khan and his neighbor, Ummar, an inspired Muslim lady. Imam Khan offered the Muslim prayer. Zana Malick and Mary Beth Perfes attended one of our programs for the first time. Rev. Gilbert McKenzie of the Presbyterian church of Poughkeepsie, who offered the Christian prayer for peace, is interested in becoming an Ambassador for Peace. Constant Luis and Dr. David SC Kim both expressed their appreciation. Finally, Rev. Hyong Dock Yoon, of the United Methodist church, attended for the first time.

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