Unification News for July 2004
Acts of a Tribal Messiah: Mark Denni
Mark Denni decided at some point that he should challenge himself and go out and be involved in inter-faith activities. This was clearly what Father was calling him to do and to not be involved was frustrating and sad. He started to go to visit churches and mosques. At first it was a chore, something that he had to do but as he kept at it he found that he began to enjoy the dialogue and the connections that he made. He was involving himself in a bible study at work and he was introduced to a local inter faith group by our sister Bruna Allen which included Bahai and Muslims as well as Christians.
Despite his busy job schedule and the raising of four children he made the time to put this inter-faith outreach into his weekly schedule. It often means sacrifice, having to attend meetings when he would rather do something else, sit through long meetings that sometimes arenít always joyful or even wondering about the value of the content. However Mark kept at it. He has been an inspiration to me and others to see a generally mild mannered faithful brother step out in faith and bring victories to God and True Parents.
Mark, His wife Kinnuyo and heir two boys Nathan and Jonathan took on the inter-faith ministry as a family affair and have been making friends and relating with people ever since while experiencing Godís blessings in their family life.
On June 20th Mark and his family hosted an event at the Bay Area Family Church entitled the "Prayers And Blessings Of Abraham". Together with Dr. Hanif Koya of Ahmadiyaa Movement of Islam, Mark came up with the idea of inviting speakers of the 3 Abrahamic faiths to share their views on our common father Abraham. This was especially poignant seeing that this was Fatherís Day. Rev Bento Leal acted as MC for the evening and did a sterling job of keeping the program moving and on target.
Dr. Mose Durst, former President of HSA-UWC and now the Chairman of the Board of Principled Academy gave very wonderful remarks about the Jewish faith in which what you do is more important than what you believe.
From the Christian tradition Pastor Ben Daniels of Foothill Presbyterian Church of San Jose, an author and radio commentator, spoke about the grace of God who could use a man like Abraham and turn him into a champion of the faith. This gives hope that God can also use men and women such as ourselves.
Dr. Hanif Koya then gave a Muslim viewpoint, reciting and translating prayers of the Koran.
This was followed by a time of questions and answers from the audience which was very stimulating and could easily have gone on and on except for time constraints. Kevin Thompson gave some concluding remarks to bring the evening to a close before we were given a blessing prayer from each of the faiths. A sign of how enjoyable the evening was could be seen in the fellowship afterwards where, despite the lateness of Sunday night it seemed that no-one wanted to go home.
Mark was the inspiration and the organizer of the program, Kinnuyo was a gracious hostess, Nathan was soundman and Jonathan was photographer. A family affair indeed. Congratulations to the Denni family on your Tribal Messiah work. This is an inspiration to us all.
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