Unification News for March 2004
by Rev. T. L. Henning
Saturday, March 6th, the ACLC Monthly Prayer Breakfast in Los Angeles at the McCarty Memorial Christian Church was a truly grand event with over one-hundred clergy attending, around one-hundred and fifty altogether. The theme was the Middle East Peace Initiative: Reconciling the Sons of Abraham.
1 Corinthians 13 from the New Testament was read by Rev. Millsap of the Sadoc Peace Family Church. Quotations from the Koran were read and explained by Imam Saddiq Safir, of the Masjid Ibaadillah of Los Angeles, one of the highest positioned leaders among Islamic clerics in Southern California. Rev. Sterling Brown read the 1956 sermon of Rev. Moon, "Abraham Lived A Life Of Unseen Ordeals," that highlighted Abrahamís character of sacrificial love. A delicious breakfast buffet brought the first part of the event to a happy conclusion.
Next, the video presentation, "The Path to Peace: Reconciling the Children of Abraham" really amazed the clergy who have not been able to participate directly in the Middle East Peace Initiative. It made a perfect atmosphere and foundation to prepare for our first speaker. Ms. Norma Foster, president of the United Nations Association, Pacific Coast Chapter and organizer of the annual Hollywood Bowl Easter Sunrise Service spoke on her experience of interfaith unity and love because of the work of the True Parents both in Jerusalem and in Los Angeles. She has a wealth of experience in media and international networking. Many clergy were moved deeply and showed it with a spontaneous standing ovation. The spirit was high and the music was dazzling; especially the rendition of "Peace, Shalom, Salaam Aleikum" written and produced by Minister Rick Joswick and Mr. Barry Fosman. Two choir ensembles combined for maximum effect; Origin and the Sadoc Christian Singers. What a powerful performance!
The audience was a blending of Christian and Islamic leaders. Several remarked how this kind of meeting is truly unprecedented in its demonstration of cooperation and unity like one large interfaith family.
Our speaker representing the Islamic faith was Imam Tariq Aquil. He is amazing in his ability to speak from the Bible and the Koran in the original languages of both. He preaches like a Gospel revivalist, but with great humor and he embodies the unity of faiths under God. Both Christians and Moslems cheered his presentation. His main point was the amazing ability of the True Parents to demonstrate love, even for those who show no love for them. This he pointed out, is the kind of love that leads the way to peace.
Rev. Godwin DíSilva, State Leader in Southern California, gave a presentation entitled "Affirming God-centered Marriage" that reviewed the Biblical and Divine Principle based view that Godís Ideal of marriage can only be realize by a man and a woman who complete the four great realms of heart in living for God and the family. The meeting closed out with announcements of upcoming events such as the Pilgrimage, the Ocean City convocation, sponsored trips to Africa through the "Changing Hands" mission of Patrick Erlandson, the Unification Worldview Seminar for Leaders of the Second Israel, the "Crown of Peace" Awards Ceremony in Washington DC and the next ACLC Prayer Breakfast slated for April 17th. Thanks to all who invested their heart and effort to make the victory possible, from the volunteer cooks who produced a delicious and bountiful breakfast, to the staff whose audio-visual expertise made a wonderfully professional staging of choirs and speakers and projections on stage, to the ushering and registering staff whose serving with attention to detail made the audience very comfortable, to those of our Peace Family Churches who brought their own guests like owners and not visitors to the event, to the youth of the Regional Task Force who volunteered their time to set things up and handle the odd jobs. Most especially I want to thank our Regional Director, Rev. Ku and also Mrs. Ku, for their inspiration and example that keeps the whole movement in Los Angeles on a course for victory.
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