Unification News for January 2005

Holy Blessing for Clergy Couples in Los Angeles

by Rev. Henning

On Monday, December 27, the Pasadena Headquarters held a Holy Blessing for six clergy couples. The Holy Wine Ceremony began at ten oıclock. Pasadena House had been totally transformed overnight. Members working around the clock had beautifully decorated with lace and handmade crepe-paper flowers until the atmosphere was that of a wedding palace. Couples emerged from the dressing rooms wearing holy robes of white, hand-sewn satin cloth, tailored for them by the sisters of the Pasadena House staff. Those minister couples that had already been blessed in last yearıs ceremony for clergy became attendant couples to help form the gateway for this yearıs couples to enter the hall.

The feeling was like that of a small family wedding, even though with staff and guests more than seventy were present. All had participated in at least one course of Divine Principle presentations in a two-day seminar, followed by several internal guidance meetings on the meaning and value of the Blessing led by Rev. Ku, the regional director. (Some graduates attended the Blessing only as guests; although they had totally opened their hearts to the Principle and the True Parents, they were not able to find matches in time.) The atmosphere was one of total joy and liberation for the clergy who were being blessed and for the staff and the guests who witnessed an historical moment.

When the Holy Wine Ceremony was completed, brides donned their veils, and grooms adjusted their dress coats and red ties for their grand entrance to the Blessing ceremony. An awesome procession of couples down the corridor of white-robed clergy attendants emerged while Mrs. Nomoto played the familiar wedding march. A ceremonial address was delivered by Rev. Henning before the entrance of the officiators, Rev. and Mrs. Ku, acting on behalf of the True Parents. The holy water ceremony took place, followed by the affirmation of vows, exchange of rings and proclamation of the Blessing.

Congratulations began with a special address by Dr. William R. Johnson, district elder and superintendent of the CME churches and the co-convener of the ACLC in the Los Angeles region. Then there were congratulatory songs by Mrs. Nomoto and by Keith Williams, with Wesley and Magdalene Millsap singing together as the Sadoc Christian Singers. Bouquets of flowers honoring the officiating couple were received by Rev. and Mrs. Ku and then placed on special chairs underneath a huge portrait of the True Parents. A celebration cake was cut while everyone present sang ³Happy Blessing Day to You!² The ceremony closed with the recession of the officiators and all the blessed clergy couples.

The banquet that followed was truly a radiantly happy occasion. A wonderful spread of gourmet cooking greeted the buffet line, and plates were brimming over with the bounty. As the tables filled, glasses were raised for a toast by Rev. Henning and the celebration was underway. During the concluding moments each couple shared their testimony of their experience that morning. One said his couple had actually met the True Parents in New York and were so glad to be blessed on this day. Others said the experience had revealed in practice what they had learned in theory through the Divine Principle classes. All agreed that it had been a transforming experience; as pastors of churches, they would accept the invitation to participate as Peace Family Churches in the providence for restoration in the greater Los Angeles area.

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