Unification News for April 2005
Minnesota ACLC Luncheon Seminar
by Rev. James M. Gavin
The theme was "Unleashing the Power of the Clergy and Religion in the 21st Century" when Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr. made his visit to Minnesota on Saturday, March, 12, 2005. Local Family Federation members and ACLC supporters from various churches had been preparing for weeks to welcome Archbishop Stallings. Behind the scenes Rev. Sung Jong Seo and Rev. James Bard, the regional and vice regional directors of the Family Federation, gave tremendous support and guidance for this event.
"One family, one church" has been the model that we adopted after Rev. Michael Jenkins visited Minnesota several years ago, and many families diligently worked with their adopted churches for this event. Some families have gone beyond one church and were able to bring more pastors and friends to the program. When the event started our center was overflowing with one of the largest groups ever assembled there; the people responsible for lunch had to quickly prepare more food so there would be enough.
Rev. Walter Battle emceed the event with great energy and inspiration. To begin the program he read a report that described the decline of morals, the healthcare crisis, the fact that the military was stretched to its limits, the disparity between rich and poor, and so forth. Then Rev. Battle read the date and origin of the report - A.D .90, in the Roman Empire. It made you think about the state of affairs in the world today and what has to be done to turn the tide.
Rev. Battle introduced ACLC Co-Conveners Rev. Jesse Griffin and Rev. James Gavin, who both offered welcoming remarks and then gave insight into the Statement of Purpose of ACLC. As the 10 core commitments that ACLC stands upon were explained to the audience, it became apparent that we were all participating in a spiritual movement that could unite our various faiths, break down racial barriers, give direction to the nations, promote family values, uplift Jesus Christ and the virtues of all faiths, work to serve the community and live for the sake of others to creatr a culture of peace under our common Parent God. All present heartily applauded these commitments and stood together under a common cause.
Rev. Kenneth Garnier, pastor of the Minneapolis Church of Christ, opened the meeting with a heartfelt prayer. Rev. Garnier has been a friend and supporter of Father and Mother Moon's movement since the mid 1980s.
Dr. Rosilyn Carroll, who stepped up to introduce our speaker, was without a doubt the most qualified to do so. Dr. Carroll is a professor at Hamline University in St. Paul and has been a coworker with Archbishop Stallings for many years. She is one of the leaders of the national Imani Temple Catholic Church and travels at the bishop's request to congregations all over the country. In her introduction she told us of the young George Stallings, the seminarian, attending Catholic schools in the south in America and then later on being selected to attend school in Rome, where he excelled in his studies and was recognized as a gifted future leader. She told us of how he went on to pastor churches and how he was loved and respected by his congregations. She said that the young priest began to see that there was more the church could do in the African American Community and, because no one supported him, he boldly went on to establish the Imani Temple African Catholic Congregation. We learned that he became well-known throughout the country as a Catholic priest who was trying to bring empowerment to the African American community, a man not afraid to take a stand for what is right and true and that is why it is no surprise to see him link arms with Mother and Father Moon and the ACLC movement. It was apparent to all who heard her introduction that Dr. Carroll has great respect and love for Archbishop Stallings.
Rev. Battle then introduced the Family Federation Choir, led by Mr. Scott Pankow. Mr. Pankow and the 20- member chorus have practiced diligently and become a great choir during the past year. They filled the room with a beautiful spirit to prepare for Archbishop Stallings' talk.
To hear Archbishop Stallings does many wonderful things to a listener's spirit. The spirit and the truth are with him when he speaks. The accompanying paragraphs [appearing in the Sermons & Speeches section] will give you a taste of what he enthusiastically poured out to our ACLC program in Minnesota. Special thanks to Mrs. Judy Wilson, who transcribed these words. She did a wonderful job and wants you to know that the unedited notes are still in a rough state. Mr. Keith Anderson is working on the finished text.
At the conclusion of his talk, everyone was on their feet. The spirit was very high. There was no denying that Heavenly Father was in the house!
Following the talk we heard responses from Rev. Carolyn Arnett, Rev. Arthur Agnew, Rev. Roosevelt Hunter, Sister Charles Etta Hunter, Brother Antonio Mohammed and Brother James Mohammed. They not only agreed with the message but they told us why and expounded, in their own way, on the words the archbishop had spoken. Everyone was truly inspired.
Lunch followed, and everyone enjoyed a lively fellowship. During lunch Rev. Charley Robinson, Pastor of the Ebenezer Restoration and Revival Temple, gave a testimony of his recent seven-day trip to Korea, where he spent 5 days at the Chung Pyung Lake training center and two days in Seoul. He said Rev. Moon's spirit was incredible. He saw and felt God's love through Rev. and Mrs. Moon and all who were gathered for the conference in Korea.
Following lunch Archbishop Stallings spent an animated half hour answering questions. The Q&A was especially informative on a wide range of issues, from the Holy Land Pilgrimages, to what ACLC can do here in our churches in Minnesota.
March 17th was Archbishop Stallings birthday and even though it was a little early, we celebrated anyway. A cake was brought out with the candles burning (there were so many it almost burned down the house) and we all sang "Happy Birthday" two rousing times. The candles were blown out and the cake was cut and we had our cake and ate it too.
Rev. Stallings probably signed at least a hundred copies of his newest book "I Am.living in the rhythm of the god within in the key of g minor." He took time to talk to everyone individually as he signed the books.
Then we were off with a few of the meeting participants to a Chinese restaurant, for a lunch hosted by Rev. Sung Jong Seo. Archbishop Stallings had no time to eat at the event and was ready for some nourishment. We had a wonderful lunch and got to know more about our special guest. Rev. Jim Bard asked Archbishop Stallings about his background from his youth to his current ministry. It was fascinating and very interesting information that he shared with us. Following lunch, it was off to the airport.
We thank God for blessing Minnesota with the visit of Archbishop Stallings. A great time was had by all.
A total of over twenty pastors attended the meeting, along with many members from their churches. Dr. Rosilyn Carroll brought four professors from Hamline University, who were very impressed with the convocation. At least eight members of the Nation of Islam attended and enthusiastically participated in the program. Many friends and family of Family Federation members filled the room -- there were close to 200 people present.
Special thanks to Rev. Jesse Griffin, Rev. and Mrs. Seo, Rev. and Mrs. Bard, our great missionaries, Hideo and Tomoko Taira and Keiko Takahashi; Mr. Scott Pankow, our choir director, and the wonderful choir; Rev. Walter Battle, our Master of Ceremonies; Dr. Gordon Anderson, who created the flyer and program for the event; Mr. Dennis Pearson, who organized the audio and visual along with his team; Dr. Rosylin Carroll for chauffeuring our speaker and giving him a powerful introduction; our team leaders, who prepared the center and organized the lunch; all brothers and sisters who got out the word and promoted the event, and most especially all our ACLC pastors and their members who participated in and supported the event.
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