Unification News for February 2005
Boston Brings Victory
by Rev. Jenkins
Boston had 26 inches of snow over the weekend of January 24, 2005, but this didn't stop 200 religious leaders from gathering at the Radisson Hotel on Monday evening, January 24th for religious leaders education. Just as the New England Patriots demonstrated the way to victory, so did our Boston ACLC movement. The snow was a blessing in disguise. The day of the event, Rev. Kim and some of our leaders go to key ministers' homes and shovel their driveways. With this extra effort, the religious leaders were touched and could not resist coming out.
The Boston movement has grown significantly. Some years ago Bishop Kim decided he would follow the model that was set forth in Chicago for ACLC. He has followed that meticulously, and the foundation with leaders of all faiths is developing significantly. Also noticeable was the broad cross-section of blessed families who work in different businesses and organizations connected with our True Parents who are truly engaged in the work of the providence.
Rev. Jim Edgerly has taken responsibility to help guide and develop our family members in their understanding, cooperation, planning and development to develop our community of faith. We could see the results through the program on Monday night. The diversity of religious leaders was most striking, and it was very encouraging for me to see how Father's direction (Education of 8000 Religious Leaders) always has a very deep root in the providential steps that must be taken to build the Kingdom of God on earth.
The religious leaders are bonding heart-to-heart with Father Moon, and this is becoming contagious not only among Christians but now is truly spreading to the Muslim and Jewish family. In particular, a significant number of very prominent Muslim leaders in the Boston community were in attendance for the first time. Through our outreach they have been touched by the spirit we convey that there is one God. Our programs now have the quality and depth that Muslim leaders can see the work of Allah in them, and therefore a new movement of all of God's people is beginning to form. This was true in Boston. Imam Seifullah, who is a Boston-area leader of the Muslim American Society, has become a prominent ACLC leader. It was beautiful to see how he embraced the other Islamic leaders and helped build the bridge so they could understand where ACLC was going. What is also encouraging is that the Christian leaders feel even greater power and anointing of Jesus and the Holy Spirit as they stand side by side with Muslim leaders.
The program began with prayer and then led right into a beautiful banquet dinner. Rev. Edgerly was the MC who guided the well-developed program. Then Mrs. Shelly Watanabe read from the December 13th morning address, "Filial Children of God Are Patriots Who Strive to Liberate His Heart." This speech as well as the speech from the evening of the 13th , which was given through the Powerpoint presentation, are the two anchors for which a new step in the education of 8000 religious leaders in America is occurring.
The morning speech conveys creation, fall, restoration and the meaning of the Blessing. The evening speech helps the religious leaders understand the revolution of conscience, revolution of atonement and revolution of heart that is essential for building a world of peace and harmony. As Mrs. Watanabe read from Father's words it was beautiful to see all the religious leaders following along with the text. We can never underestimate the value of God's word and how it changes people. Many new religious leaders came in the door, taking their first step to a unique experience. Many of them have been in interreligious dialogue or conferences with people of different faiths before, but the special quality of ACLC meetings is the inspirational component that draws upon the Koran, Bible and Torah in such a way that the spirit of oneness and common covenant and commitment to God is experienced and embraced. This is very different from dialogue, in which we are just seeking to understand one another -- although that is a very necessary component of interreligious work. However, this activity is going beyond dialogue in establishing our identity as children before the one God of mankind. That identity is essential to make one family. Once we understand that God is the parent of all humankind, then we can truly understand that we are brothers and sisters with one parent. This understanding is spreading like wildfire from Boston to Baltimore, from Washington to Ramallah. There is one God and he is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Muslim leaders were in attendance from the Middle East who have prominent roles in Boston. As we met them after the conference, each and every one of them wanted to join the ACLC, and some expressed a new hope that God had sent Father Moon to bring God's people together. Through the Powerpoint presentation they could see substantially how barriers are being broken down in the Holy Land, and it was a confirmation that this is truly the work of the God for all mankind.
The Christian leaders also are now walking beyond the barriers and boundaries of Christianity. Rev. Laroche, who has 1,100 in attendance every Sunday at his Christian church and is a very powerful force in Boston, is coming step by step into the ACLC fellowship, and now he knows the spirit of Jesus is guiding this. At the same time, these prominent Christian leaders are coming to see that God has a plan for Christians with the spirit of Jesus' love to become one in heart with Muslims, that there should be no barriers separating God's people. If we go forth with the true love of Jesus, we will bind together as one and deal with the challenges of youth, family, and world peace. Truth and Love must guide our path.
Historically when God's people come together a condition is set for the weakening of those who would stand against the Will of Heaven. Throughout the Bible that key conditions are established when the central figures of God's providence come together and unite. When Saul united and received the anointing of God through Samuel, Saul and Samuel could stand together strongly to advance the will of God. However, when Saul denied the importance of the prophet and disunity came about, Saul's kingship fell and lost its power.
Therefore, these religious leaders are coming to understand very deeply that Father Moon is setting the condition to bring together God's people beyond boundaries. Our covenant is that there is one God, and God is now engrafting all the people of God into the true olive true. That engrafting process comes through the holy juice or holy candy and the blessing of the family, which True Parents have now established in such a way that the blessing can be extended through Muslim, Christian, and Jewish clerics, and indeed through leaders of all faith traditions.
Father Moon has established clearly that religious leaders have the authority from God after the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven in which they truly can eliminate the problems of divorce and adultery from their families and communities. God has chosen the religious leaders for this providential role. Therefore, through the education of 8,000 religious leaders we are preparing a new body, the body of the Lord, upon which the conditions of unity will be set and the forces of darkness can be chased out of the family, community, and even the nation.
Rev. Jim Flynn, president of AFC, and Rev. Phillip Schanker, director of education for FFWPU, did an excellent job of putting together the essence of Father's December 13 morning and evening addresses to convey the heart of God. The new PowerPoint presentation is entitled "Hope for a Fractured World The Role of Religious Leaders."
It was my first time giving the full presentation in public, and I must say I was inspired to see that Father's direction has always a mysterious and unknown power to it. By linking this education of 8,000 religious leaders to the December 13th speeches, a new dimension of education is coming out in which Muslims, Christians and Jews are inspired in the same way the ACLC clergy were inspired years ago. They can feel the power of the Holy Spirit, and they see the confirmation of the word of God in the Koran, Bible and Torah. With this component of the word and the spirit, a profound conviction is being established in the hearts of true religious leaders.
When we bring the word correctly and with the right heart, it helps to separate out those who really feel the calling at this time to stand up and build a new world for God. That is not everybody's calling, so those who do not feel called at this time must be embraced, understood, loved and respected. We should never forget that as we give the word we are planting seeds in each person's heart. God knows the hour in which those seeds will germinate and bring fruit.
Often we block religious leaders by expecting them to respond right away; instead, we should continue to give the word. When we look at Father Moon's life course, we can see that its essence is teaching and living God's word unconditionally, giving it to everyone, beyond race, religion, culture, knowing that when seeds are planted correctly, they will eventually bear fruit. The seeds must be watered with blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice for the benefit of those leaders, with the heart of God that conveys understanding.
Through this continual nurturing, eventually the hearts of the religious leader catch on fire. We have seen this countless times. Therefore, we want to encourage everyone in their education of 8,000 leaders to understand that God has a harvest that is prepared. True Father has made clear it exists in the Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish and communities of all faith traditions. If we sow the seed of God's word at this time, we will create a foundation for anointed religious leaders to come together. That is needed by the nation and world.
One of the essential points to be conveyed is God's heart, and the anguish that God experienced because of loss of His children. Father Moon revealed a new concept for all religious leaders, yet it is common to us in our experience as families. That is, our hearts ache when we lose our children, when we are unable to see our children fulfill their purpose and come to manifest true love and godly lives. What has not been known is that God's heart is also aching. Yet the Scriptures reveal that God grieved that He made man after He saw what happened through the fall. The heart of God is not simple to understand. It is conveyed powerfully in this presentation that God is a God of suffering and He can be seen as a God in prison because His desire and hope is that His children will be fulfilled and liberated. He is not the God of one group or another. He is the God of all, so He is not complete or happy until all of His children come to know the glory of God and know the freedom and liberation of God's true love. Therefore, the heart of God is conveyed with the understanding that we as religious leaders have the power of God.
Rev. Catherine Ono, who spent two months in the Middle East with our Peace Task Force, has also been bringing that kind of commitment to the outreach to clergy. Her introduction to Archbishop Stallings was truly outstanding. When Archbishop G. Augustus Stallings spoke, immediately the room became hushed. Somehow, we can see that the power of the spirit of the ACLC ministry is bringing a sense of great hope and expectation. The clergy are so excited to come together now and hear the message from True Parents and the message from the ACLC.
As a national leader of ACLC, Archbishop Stallings has stepped out of the box so far that when we hear him speak we forget there ever was a box. We see in him the manifestation of True Father's teachings, that one day when religious leaders truly understand who Father Moon is, they will come to such a profound and energized commitment that even the core members of Father Moon's movement will have a hard time keeping up with them. I can see this phase is coming into Archbishop Stallings' life. He not only preached the word but also taught the word, and taught it from his heart. His speech dealt with the course of religions and the heart of God. It delved into purpose of creation, that God's ideal was to have a family, that God's heart was poured into His children and that He wanted to have a blood lineage in which He could dwell with His children forever. When that was broken, God's heart was broken. The purpose of religion is to bring mankind back to God. For that to happen another Adam has to emerge. That was the purpose of Jesus' coming, to do what Adam could not do. That is the purpose of the coming of Father and Mother Moon, to restore what Adam was to do and extend it to Eve and the family -- to become the true parents of mankind.
Really listening to Archbishop Stallings, I could see how much Father's blood, sweat and tears have poured out over these religious leaders. For many years we were skeptical that religious leaders would ever understand. We would see them work with us for years and still not understand what God was really doing at this time. They would see our work simply as interfaith work and not as the work to bring the Kingdom.
But now not only Archbishop Stallings but also many, many clergy are coming forward with this kind of spirit and understanding. It's absolutely the substantial evidence that we are living in the era after the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. Ministers are really standing up and testifying that Father Moon is the one who was sent by God to fulfill what the Koran, Bible and Torah have all called for -- the coming of the anointed one, the one who could fulfill the prophecies of scripture and bring the world to the throne of God. This testimony is not just from Archbishop Stallings and a few other people, but through his tearful sacrifice and the path we've walked with ACLC, this providence is spreading rapidly.
I can see this in Boston. Many clergy there have come to this commitment. They know that God has sent True Parents at this providential hour. Many understood very clearly and are willing to risk their lives, fortune and sacred honor to stand for building blessed families and bringing the change of lineage to all humanity. Many are willing to risk their lives, like Archbishop Stallings and others, going into Gaza. When I showed the pictures of Archbishop Stallings in Gaza standing next to the barbed wire fence, or meeting key leaders such as Shimon Peres, I could see people's eyes light up as they saw that we are truly going to every camp to bring God's love and truth. There is no limitation or barrier when you walk this path with God.
Archbishop Stallings touched people's hearts deeply and brought them to a point of covenant and commitment to heed the call and have the courage to stand up as Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, and Mother Teresa did, to lead the people according to the will of God at this time. This is not just another time in history. This is a crossroads in which the destiny of peoples and nations are being decided. How? By whether or not the religious leaders can heed the call.
I am very confident, seeing these religious leaders heed the call of God, that America will be turned into the true elder son nation that can embrace the world and bring peace on earth, not because of policies or programs, but because the key people God has chosen, both political and religious, are coming together to set the condition of unity that the Bible has always foretold as being necessary.
A prominent state senator stayed with us through the whole program. We touched on some of the aspects of Father Moon's worldwide work, and as an Ambassador for Peace he has made a tremendous commitment to do the will of God at this time. He also is bringing forth the understanding of the value and the place of the political leaders together at the table with religious leaders, for ultimately policies and programs do matter. Once the internal conditions are set, then the right policies and programs for building better families and community can be established. This is the way of God's will. We are deeply encouraged by the work we see going on with the Boston community.
We concluded with the blessing. Rev. Richard Wright, one of our ACLC key leaders, Bishop Erol Skyers, Rev. Bradshaw, and Imam Seifullah, and other imams carried the holy juice to every couple and person in the audience. Together we shared the new covenant with this holy juice, and all in the room entered into the realm of the Kingdom of Heaven, having been anointed and blessed to be released completely from all past conditions and brought into the spirit that we have the power, the authority and the calling from God.
We sincerely thank Rev. Kim and especially Rev. Bismarck Bamfo and Rev. Catherine Ono for the work to reach out to all the clergy to fulfill the direction of heaven.
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