Unification News for December 2004

Crown of Peace Award Ceremony North Carolina

By Rev. Burgi Hutcherson

On Saturday, October 30, North Carolinaıs FFWPU presented a Crown of Peace Award Ceremony at the Christ Rescue Temple Christian Farm in Winston-Salem. Attending the program were 22 guests, 24 FFWPU members, and 24 second generation, which made a total of 70 people.

It was only two weeks prior that we learned about the providential significance of honoring True Parents with the Crown of Peace. Every state in America was asked to hold this event by the end of the month of October. Our families decided to hold the event in Winston-Salem, where there is a strong foundation with ACLC.

Mrs. Sharon Pace, president of the American Family Coalition of North Carolina, was the Master of Ceremonies. She introduced Bishop Willie Davis, Jr., pastor of the Christ Rescue Temple Apostolic Church in Winston-Salem and cochairman of ACLC in North Carolina, who gave the invocation and opening remarks. He shared his appreciation for the work of True Parents and expressed his joy to gather in the privacy of his farm for such a worthy occasion. He understood that history was being made.

Then Rev. Byung Seok Cho and his beautiful wife Yasuyo touched the audience with a wonderful musical presentation. All hearts were brought together into one accord with a beautiful duet.

Rev. Tim Davis from the Raleigh FFWPU led all of us in a special marriage rededication.

With joy and deep gratitude we welcomed the keynote speaker of the evening, Rev. Phillip Schanker, vice president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, from Washington, D.C. He had just arrived by plane from Miami, Florida, where he had delivered a keynote address for the Florida Crown of Peace Award Ceremony at lunchtime. Rev. Schanker was able to convey deeply to our ACLC clergy and members the historical significance of this event. He did a great job teaching the truth hidden in the Bible by sharing the Divine Principle. I saw the smiles and appreciation in the faces of our ministers and Ambassadors for Peace.

A special video presentation followed. Rev. Schanker had brought with him a new video: ³The Crown of Peace.² It conveyed the work of reconciliation and peace Making done by Father and Mother Moon, especially in the Middle East.

Mrs. Sharon Pace called her husband, John Pace, and myself on stage to give the Crown of Peace Awards to three leaders who have done exceptional, work in the community in peace making and leadership. We recognized Bishop Willie Davis, Jr., Rev. Fermin Bocanegra, pastor of the Spanish Christian Wesleyan Church, and Evangelist Cynthia Hill. All had been Ambassadors for Peace and did their assignments well.

The highlight of the evening arrived when True Parents were recognized as ³King and Queen of Peace.² Bishop Legrant from the Progressive Apostolic Church in Winston-Salem and Mrs. Janette Millner, wife of Rev. Harry Millner from the St. John Apostle Church, offered the crowns to Rev. and Mrs. Cho, representing True Parents. With prayerful hearts, Rev. and Mrs. Cho put the beautiful crowns on a special prepared table. Then our newest blessed central family, Donnie and Sun Niles, presented flowers to True Parents.

Evangelist Cynthia Hill offered the song ³ The Lordıs Prayer,² which touched our hearts. Then Rev. Fermin Bocanegra gave congratulatory remarks. He pointed out that we have to be peacemakers in our daily lives. There are always opportunities that come up and challenge us to give the best of ourselves. It is good to work for peace in the world, but peace begins with us.

Rev. Byung Seok Cho gathered everybody in a large circle and offered the benediction with a sincere heart. The spirit was warm and filled with love.

We cut a beautiful victory cake and shared fellowship with all the participants while enjoying the nice snacks and refreshments that our families had brought.

In reflection I would like to say that this event was difficult to organize. I was challenged with uncertainties up to the final moment, even to the point of offering the crowns. The giving of the crowns, as imperfect as it was done, represented todayıs humanity with its ignorance and shortcomings. Rev. and Mrs. Cho, in the role of True Parents, performed a great task. Their hearts were peaceful and calm in the midst of problems, which helped put me at ease. I felt so grateful for heavenly Fatherıs abundance of love, forgiveness, and grace, which cover all the shortcomings and imperfections on the side of humanity. Through True Parents, Heavenly Father could receive our efforts.

I want to express my deepest gratitude for the successful completion of this ceremony, especially for Rev. and Mrs. Cho, Rev. Schanker, and the ACLC clergy. I thank all blessed central families for their support, especially Sharon Pace for organizing under difficult circumstances and Mrs. Gail Davis for handcrafting the two beautiful crowns.

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