Unification News for March 2005

ACLC Chicago Pastors' Prayer Breakfast

Chicago welcomed back Rev. Dr. Bishop Ki Hoon Kim and Pastor T.L. Barrett, Jr. on February 24, 2005 for our rousing Chicago-style monthly prayer breakfast. Bishop Kim, fresh from receiving an honorary doctorate from Sun Moon University and Pastor Barrett, fresh from a wonderful world-visionary conference in Korea brought all the spirit and power of their experience with them back to Chicago.

This was our monthly prayer breakfast for February. It was hosted by the Rev. Ollie James and held at his Greater Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church on Chicago's great South Side. Rev. James is a new member of Chicago's ACLC community and this was his first chance to host one of our monthly prayer breakfasts.

His church banquet hall was spacious and quite comfortable for the 150 ministers who gathered together on this last Thursday in February. Rev. James' members cooked up a banquet for the ministers. Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon (choice of turkey or pork), sausage, grits (this author's favorite) muffins, home made banana bread and orange juice. In other words, we were all very well taken care of.

Our beloved brother and "street fighter" Rev. Joseph McAfee served as this month's MC. Rev. McAfee was joined at the head table by Bishop Kim, Pastor Barrett, Dr. Paul Swanson (Lutheran School of Theology) and civil rights icon A.I. Dunlap.

The gathering was entertained by the melodious voice of Mrs. Kazumi Murray to begin the program after which many of the new minister guests (and there are more and more every month) stood up and were introduced.

We were then able to view the newest PowerPoint video presentation entitled "Building a Community of Hope" narrated by Rev. Phillip Schankar. At this point Rev. McAfee introduced one of the national conveners of ACLC, Chicago's very own T.L. Barrett, Jr. to deliver the morning's message. Pastor Barrett was still obviously inspired by his recent sojourn in the land of the morning calm. He began his remarks with deep words of gratitude for both Bishop Kim and for our True Parents. He remarked how our True Parents had re-stored his very own marriage.

Pastor Barrett then moved on to do what he does best: preach and teach. His scripture came from the book of Matthew, the seventeenth chapter beginning with the thirty fourth verse. He talked about how Jesus (and True Father as well) had no fear. He talked about the relationship between Jesus and Peter (Peter's fear and lack of faith) and paralleled that to the life of Rev. Moon. He talked about how Father had brought his own wife back to him and about how he himself had to stand up to the bishop of his own denomination, who had warned him against working with Rev. Moon. But Pastor Barrett receives his direction from God and his word, refusing to have any give and take with the nation of fear. His message to the pastors was "calm down" and get in touch with the true direction that God has for your life. Just as our True Parents so often go out on the ocean to get in touch with the true will of God, Jesus told Peter to go fishing in order to find the true answer to the tax collectors. "Calm down," Pastor Barrett reiterated and you will realize that God is truly in control.

Then our just-returned Dr. Ki Hoon Kim took the stage and greeted the pastors with his usual kindness and love. The pastors stood to applaud his new honor and to welcome him back. One such pastor, the 93 year old Rev. M.E. Sardon, had battled the flu. the way he had battled the enemies of the civil rights movement, in order to be present to welcome Bishop Kim back to Chicago.

Our growing contingent of Hispanic ministers made the announcement that on March 13 there will be the first full fledged Hispanic Ambassadors for Peace seminar held in Chicago and all within the sight of this report are most welcome to join us from 4-7pm in Elgin, Illinois. The ministers also displayed a beautiful photo from the local Hispanic newspaper of the Ambassadors for Peace Awards which they received during the True Family Values banquet last October.

Finally Rev. Franklin Morris closed out the session with the benediction prayer. As usual, it took quite a while for the inspired ministers to leave the church. All were infused with the spirit, driven home through the words of Pastor Barrett. Now we are beginning to prepare for the Ambassador for Peace seminar and Chicago's March Prayer Breakfast.

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