Unification News for February 2005
Chicago Shines in the Education of 8,000 Religious Leaders
Once again the Chicago ACLC has shown a great example for the work of bringing religious leaders together for the salvation of the nation. A most amazing aspect of the Chicago movement is that it continues to grow in influence and status, having been recognized by the mayor and the governor as a most positive religious force in the Midwest. The strength of the ACLC clergy in Chicago was forged through the fires of persecution. When the Clouds of Witnesses (testimonies of the saints) was published in 2002, many clergy were severely criticized. Some were ostracized and some could not stand any more with us. But what happened on Saturday, Jan. 29th, was the most encouraging expression of the power of true love: every single clergy person, and even some who were the most vocal in stating their opposition to the ACLC movement, have been brought back into the movement and have become stronger proponents than ever.
At first the testimony of the Clouds of Witnesses caused such tribulation because it brought forth the testimony that True Parents were in fact the ones anointed to fulfill the Second Coming. But through deeper understanding and education, combined with the confirmation of the Holy Spirit, the clergy in Chicago have risen with greater conviction than ever. Three hundred forty-two clergy gathered to celebrate the first prayer breakfast of the year for ACLC on January 29. It also was Bishop Kimıs birthday.
Pastor T.L. Barrett, Rev. James Bass, and pastor after pastor who are known throughout the region showed their support and their conviction that this movement is the movement that can unify the body of Christ and change the direction of America. Our 8,000 religious leadersı education program emphasized that in Father Moonıs call, the emphasis was placed on finding Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim leaders. ACLC, which started from a Christian perspective, has so profoundly centered on the love of Jesus that there is no discomfort or separation between the Abrahamic faiths and the atmosphere created.
Rev. Harold White, who has been dean of the ministersı conference in Chicago for many years, stands as the coconvenor of our Chicago movement. Rev. White has stood strong through the storms and trials and was our MC for that day. Rev. White opened with a testimony that the work of Bishop Kim, Pastor Barrett and the other clergy of ACLC have brought him into the movement; without question, he is convinced that this is the central work of Godıs dispensation that will never change. Rev. White has received the blessing of marriage and is helping to lead the blessing movement in America.
Other key figures in attendance were Rev. Princella Hudson Gilliam, one of the first Baptist women pastors in America, and also Rev. A.I. Dunlap and Rev. Sardon, among the earliest participants in the clergy movement of Father Moon, who have stood strong throughout the years. Rev. Dunlap and Rev. Sardon led the march on the Chicago Tribune, which led to the agreement to stop using pejorative terms as labels of our movement.
The ACLC video, "The Power of True Love," was shown; interestingly, it features many key Chicago clergy. One nationally known Baptist leader at the prayer breakfast, Rev. Dr. LeRoy Elliot of New Greater St. John Community Baptist Church, testifies in the video as to how the blessing enhanced his life, improving his marriage and family enormously. He says everything changed after his marriage was blessed. Before the blessing it was like the family was built on a foundation of sand. After the blessing he felt his family had been secured. He even stated, "I can walk better now, I can see better now, my wife and family look better to me now."
Also featured in the video was the testimony of Min. Torrey Barrett and his wife, Brandi, of how their marriage was collapsing when Torreyıs father, Pastor T.L. Barrett, invited them to the blessing. Torrey testified that the blessing experience transformed his life, and without question his marriage was healed. Two years later we are happy to report that their marriage is prospering and increasing in blessing.
Also featured in the video was the fact that so many prominent religious leaders stood with Father Moon over the years from many different faiths. One such leader was the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan, who was represented at the prayer breakfast by Min. Thomas Mohammad and his wife Sharon, and our beloved colleague and great woman leader, Sister Claudette Marie Mohammad, chief of protocol for the Nation of Islam. We were deeply, deeply moved at their commitment to lift up Allah and embrace all faiths and religions. We had a wonderful fellowship on this day.
Rev. Jenkins gave the sermon based on the new PowerPoint educational piece called "Hope for a Fractured World: The Role of Religious leaders." Also prominently featured was Rev. A. Elizabeth Pierce, who emceed the program together with Rev. White. Rev. Pierce has a very powerful ministry on the west side of Chicago and has been a very good friend of one leading Roman Catholic archbishop. Rev. Pierce stated that this fellowship, which is pure and holy, brings the spirit of the Lord and moves through the religious leaders to heal the divisions of humanity. Rev. Pierce honored Bishop Kim, Rev. Jenkins, and Pastor Barrett, and proudly presented a new aspect of ACLC entitled Women in Ministry.
Then Rev. Pierce introduced Bishop Weeks from Detroit, who had just had her founding meeting of Women in Ministry. It was a beautiful testimony. Detroit was prominently represented there by Rev. Hatcher and his wife, as well as by Rev. Mack Vinson. Bishop Weeks was on fire. She began by saying, "Peace, Shalom, Salaam Aleikum." She testified that ACLC is not only moving through America to deal the divisions between man and women but is also active in the Middle East. Women throughout the audience were deeply moved. This is the fastest growing aspect of ACLC. Women in Ministry is promoting prayer for our elected officials, our husbands and families, and for the pastors. This is the work of the Lord.
The spirit was great on that day especially because so many clergy have returned in full support. This is greatly due to the outreach efforts of our blessed families and ACLC clergy in Chicago, who not only have their monthly prayer breakfasts but always visit and fellowship church-to-church so that the pastor and the congregation feel the power of the Holy Spirit moving to bring Godıs people together. Interfaith prayers were offered by Roman Catholic Father Leonardo Maldonaldo (who brought with him 32 Catholic leaders), Min. Thomas Mohammad, and Dr. Paul Swanson of the Lutheran Church.
The greatest power of Father and Mother Moon is the same power that Jesus had and the same power Mohammad had -- the power of love. Bishop Kim carries that power forward to every pastor. Because of that, healing could occur. Healing occurs when there is sacrifice and love for one another. It was a glorious day for America, thanks to the religious education throughout this nation. We thank you, Chicago, for a great victory. We are confident that it will be continue to expand.
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