Unification News for February 2005

God's Day Celebration in NC

by Rev. Burgi Hutcherson

Our North Carolina Family Church organized a workshop for 2nd generation youth on December 29th through December 31st, 2004. A total of 38 children and about 10 staff members gathered at the CRT Christian Farm to participate in the seminar. Rev. John Pace, a very experienced lecturer, taught children from 10 to 13 years of age Rev. Welborn Rozier educated our older youth. He was supported by Mie Tsubata, a wonderful sister from Washington DC who just received the matching and blessing from True Parents in East Garden and shared her testimony. After the conclusion of the workshop more families came to prepare for our midnight prayer.

Our regional leader, Rev. Byung Seok Cho, guided us to do the prayer in the outdoors with candlelight. It was a wonderful way to start the New Year.

In the morning of True God's Day we gathered at 7 am for the Pledge Service Ceremony. Many families dressed in their beautiful holy gowns. It was a beautiful sight. We also heard some moving testimonies.

After breakfast more families arrived. Gathered for our True God's day service were 52 adults and 68 children, making a total of 120 people. That was the largest number of participants ever gathered in North Carolina. Families had come from the ocean to the mountains and from as far north as New York and as far south as Florida.

Our regional leader gave some gifts as recognition for the work done by our state and city leaders throughout the year of 2004, as well as to families making efforts in tithing. He emphasized the importance of a good life of faith with action as an important life- style for the New Year.

In return we offered bouquets of flowers to Rev. and Mrs. Cho to show our appreciation for their leadership, love and prayers for our region. Rev. and Mrs. Cho offered the flowers to the True Parents. That was a beautiful way to return our blessings to God.

The best was still to come. Rev. Cho offered a presentation of the course of True Parents, entitled "Tears." It shared deep moments of restoration, impressing upon all of us the tearful path of True Parents and True Family. All achievements in the history of Gods providence come on a foundation of tears. Which path are we going? Are we walking a trail of tears? It was deeply challenging to all our families to be so clearly confronted with this reality. Then Rev. Cho gave a power point presentation showing us visually the year 2004 in North Carolina. It was beautiful to remember the many activities, that we were working for in the past year. Then he also summarized the importance of building church and a community of faith centering on the central person (family), whom God has put in charge.

Then the three city leaders -- Rev. Tim Davis from the Raleigh family Church, Elise Tape from the Charlotte Family Church and Sun Niles from the Triad Family church--gave their reporst about 2004 and some thoughts and goals for 2005. I concluded the reporting with reflections. Then we distributed a goal sheet for 2005 to all. We had time to write down our internal and external goals, as well as our personal and public goals for the New Year.

The service came to a close with the offering, announcements, closing song and a benediction given by our regional leader.

After lunch, five finalists of the older 2nd generation participated in a Divine Principle lecture competition while the parents were listening. The presentations were really good. The jury decided to give participants a $50 cash price.

In the afternoon we closed out the program with cake and entertainment. Mamaru Uyama was the MC. We had beautiful songs, instrumental plays, dances and skits. And we concluded with our new band, with Mamoru Uyama at the drum and Bob Huneycutt on the guitar. Families joined into the band and danced to the tune of the songs. We enjoyed it very much.

Rev. Cho closed us out with a final song. We had a closing prayer by our state leader and four cheers of Ok Mansei!.

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