Unification News for April 2005

Report ACLC April 05 Montana - Peace Through Forgiveness Seminar in Montana

Reported by Rev. Michael A. Yakawich

On April 14th, 2005, the Montana ACLC sponsored a one- day seminar on the topic "Peace Through Forgiveness" at the Howard Johnson Express Inn at Billings, Montana.

We had a remarkable turnout with 30 participants. Eight churches were represented, including the Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, The All Nations Christian Fellowship Church, Latter Day Saints, Church of the Diamond Heart, the Native American Church and the Family Church. We had a great turnout of Native American Tribes represented, including the Crow Nation, Northern Cheyenne Nation, Cherokee Nation and the Lakota Sioux Nation. We had representatives of other cultures as well, including African American, Hispanic, Asian, and European.

What made it special was the clear direction and guidance we received from Bishop Lee and Rev. Wiesinger, the incredible teamwork of the local members and the emerging leadership of the Montana ACLC membership, who took a lot of initiative in organizing, sponsoring, participating and directing this one day seminar. One ACLC member gave a very generous financial donation for the event as well.

We had an action- packed seminar that included an opening prayer by Brother Bede Baldry, a De La Salle Catholic Brother and president of the Billings Clergy Association. The Bible Reading from Psalms 133 was given by Elder Brunner from the L.D.S. church. We then had a smudging, or blessing, ceremony from members of the Crow Nation and Catholic community lead by Rabbit Knows Gun who is an elder and artist of the Crow Nation.

We then had presented the video "Path To Peace" regarding the Pilgrimage to Israel, which moved everyone's heart and especially brought back wonderful memories to our participants who had gone on recent ACLC Pilgrimages.

Next, we were honored with a Peace Pipe Ceremony from a woman pipe carrier, Randene Fitzpatrick, whose ancestors are both from the Crow Nation in Montana and Lakota Nation in Rosebud, South Dakota. This was a very rare opportunity to have such a holy and sacred Native American tradition as part of our seminar. Then, Rabbit Knows Gun, shared deeply of the culture and heritage of the Native American with presentations of the War Bonnet, traditions and culture.

We proceeded with two brief presentations from Elder Paul Kalina from the L.D.S. church, who spoke on "Peace within the Family". He shared about the Proclamation on the Family that LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley originally gave on September 23, 1995. Elder Kalina gave a very insightful talk on the value of creating peace in the family as the first step to peace in the world. Then, we had a businessman and CEO of an energy company in Montana, Mr. Clint Woods, who gave a presentation on "Peace Through The Business World". He really inspired the audience with his clear message that business must be established on values that not only guide that organization but help give that company a vision to serve and support the larger community.

Our keynote speakers then moved the Holy Spirit to a higher level with Evangelist Eunice Terry sharing of her trip to Washington D.C. in December of 2004 and her more recent trip to the Peace Summit to South Korea in 2005. She has been a longtime friend of our church. Yet, having come back from these trips, she is "on fire" with a testimony of love and appreciating for Father and Mother Moon. She stated, "Thank God for Rev. Moon! He is not a taker but rather a giver! He is sharing his wealth for the sake of world peace!" She challenged all to "stop thinking about your organization, which is just a name over the door, and start truly loving each other like Father Moon encourages!"

We then had the opportunity to hear the song "Jerusalem" sung by Sister Lyn Ramswroop, a good friend of Evangelist Terry. It was a very beautiful song that many had not heard in years.

Our other keynote speaker, Chaplain Carol Whiteman, proceeded to move the audience with her experiences in Los Angeles for the ACLC Convocation and then her trip on the Pilgrimage in Israel. She shared stores that many of us had not heard before. She received a healing of her knee while in prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane. She shared deeply that she felt she was carrying on the work of her mother, who traveled as a peacemaker throughout the United States. She too was so thankful for Father and Mother Moon giving her the opportunity to go to Israel. She was really taken care of; other Native Americans on the tour treated her as a grandmother and made sure she was always in the front of the line.

In the afternoon of our seminar, we had Sister Jerri Tate, a community leader and social worker, give a testimony of her trip to a WFWP conference in Washington, D.C. as well as her recent Pilgrimage to Israel. She was deeply touched by the Bridge Ceremony and therefore led the entire audience in a Bridge Ceremony that day. It was an incredible experience for all. There were tears and laughter. At one point, Yukiko Yakawich was matched to and embraced a white American sister, Coila Glass, in restoration of World War II. Amazingly, other sisters rushed to be part of this couple if their parents or relatives were also deeply impacted by the war, including Native American and African American sisters.

Pastor Mike and his wife, Yukiko, then conducted a CIG Blessing to all those attending. Then, the Rev. Lane (Methodist) and Brother Baldry (Catholic) presented and placed the Crowns of Peace on the stage. It was an incredible spirit since the ACLC membership themselves took ownership as they supported and directed Pastor Mike as what should be done and said. They offered clarification on the meaning of the Pilgrimage, the value of the Bridge Ceremony, and the significance of the Crowns of Peace.

Finally, we anointed six participants and presented to them Ambassadors for Peace awards through the auspices of Mr. Paul DiLorenzo, the Montana director of the American Family Coalition. Chaplain Carol Whiteman literally anointed all recipients with Holy Oil she brought back from her trip to Israel.

The staff included our local Family Church membership who really made this event so successful as well. Mr. Chad Martin did an excellent job in recording the entire event. One brother, Mr. Clint Woods, drove from five hours away to support our event. Mrs. Fusako Martin, Mrs. Kimiko DiLorenzo and Mrs. Yukiko Yakawich really pulled together and worked so faithfully and diligently in the background from greeting, registering and accommodating all of our guests. We all felt the love of Father and Mother Moon, who really set the conditions, provided the opportunity, and made this entire seminar possible. As one guest, a former superintendent of the Methodist Church, commented, "There was such a beautiful selection of people, religions and cultures from all over the community. It was truly inspiring!" Chaplain Carol Whiteman concluded, "God was in it!"

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