Unification News for December 2004

Chicago Prayer Breakfast

by Rev. Bruce Sutchar

In the midst of everything else, there is one constant in Chicago: the monthly prayer breakfast. So even though we had just completed our successful True Family Values Banquet and were in the midst of preparing for next month's conferences in Washington, the November Prayer Breakfast was right on schedule.

And this was a very special event for many reasons. First of all, it was hosted by one of the most eminent ministers in the city of Chicago, Pastor Lucius Hall. Pastor Hall himself has one of the most famous annual banquets in the city of Chicago. Every year, for as long as anyone can remember, he fills the Hyatt Regency Hotel, one of Chicagošs largest and finest hotels. He runs the banquet in a very unusual way. He serves as the MC himself and spends the entire time offering tributes to the assembled gathering. He never speaks from notes, but, believe you me, he remembers every detail about every one of his guests.

As we pulled into the full parking lot across the street from the First Church of Love and Truth, the first person I saw was Pastor Lucius Hall himself. He was wearing a white kitchen apron, as he was serving not only as our host but also as the head chef for our delicious breakfast.

This morning our MC was Chicagošs ACLC president, Dr. A. Harold White.There were many first- time participants and new guests. Guests were coming from farther and farther away and more and more pastors have been bringing their friends and associates.

First on the program, Dr. Paul Swanson introduced an apostolic minister who was attending for the first time. Then we were treated to three speakers.

The first presentation was a videotape slide show presented by our Japanese missionary from Rwanda. It was a National Geographic type travelogue, educating all as to the work of our True Parents and the WFWP in Rwanda.

Then our WFWP leader, Mrs. Kathleen Sometani, gave a heart-felt and educational PowerPoint presentation about her recent trip to Guinea Bissau in Northwest Africa. Our Bishop Kim is the National Messiah to Guinea Bissau, and the Japanese missionaries visit Chicago on a regular basis. He usually travels there himself, every year, but this year Mrs. Sometani and her teenage daughter Vicki took on the mission. Chicagošs WFWP is always doing fund-raising and supportive projects to support the schools and educational projects of our WFWP in Guinea Bissau. Mrs. Sometani did a yeomanšs job of presenting a very complex situation (no water, no electricity, schools that close down if it is raining outside, a burned-out presidential palace). But she also presented the wonderful hearts of the native people. I donšt think that there was a dry eye in the house by the time Mrs. Sometani finished.

Our program concluded with a presentation about Service for Peace and the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr., Day of Service next January. One of the brand -new pastors closed us out in prayer and the 150 guests embraced, shook hands, offered one final Praise the Lord/Hallelujah and were on our way.

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