Unification News for April 2005
Ambassadors for Peace Luncheon in Orange County
Rev. Tim Henning
March 8, 2005
Tuesday, March 8th, a tremendous Ambassadors for Peace meeting organized by Susan Munsell was held at a Lutheran Church in Huntingdon Beach. Nine new Peace Ambassadors were appointed, including two bishops, interfaith directors, a rabbi, a Jesuit priest, several mainline church pastors and a national disaster relief agency director.
The program began with the opening prayer of Bishop Bless, Pastor of the St. Thaddeus Lutheran Church. Fifty-five guests attended including ACLC Clergy, City Council members and one journalist from the largest-circulation Islamic newspaper in America, who was invited by Imam Haitham Bundakji. The program continued with readings from the Midrashic literature, the New Testament, the Koran, and the Founder's message. Next a video presentation of the "Crown of Peace" drew a huge applause from the audience. The video content genuinely moved the audience, but especially because Imam Haitham Bundakji, our keynote speaker who was featured in the video, was there and is well known by most of those present.
The testimony of Dr. Nicholas Benson was incredible as spoke on the topic of "Peace Through Love". He testified to the international foundation of the True Parents for world peace and shared his own testimony of transformation to from a leader of guerilla troops with a deadly mission to a Christian minister and now an Ambassador for Peace.
Keith McCarthy, Mayor Pro-Tem of Downey, as Master of Ceremonies did a splendid job of tying each presentation together and kept the program on course highlighting very moving moments. When he introduced Imam Haitham Bundakji, the whole assembly gave him a standing ovation.
The keynote address was a slide presentation that told the story of the Middle East Peace Initiative from the point of view of a person who experienced a personal transformation through it and has witnessed the impact it has made for peace in the Middle East. He embraced the Rabbi and the Jesuit Priest present demonstrating the love that he believes will lead to world peace. The whole presentation was truly impressive. Mayor Keith McCarthy, who is also the IIFWP Coordinator for Southern California, presented the certificates of appointment while highlighting each Ambassador's biography together with Rev. Dr. Ku who is the chairman of the IIFWP of Los Angeles.
The event concluded with the song "Peace, Shalom, Salaam Aleikum" sung by Keith Williams and Magdalene Millsap. That song, written by Mr. Barry Fosman and Mr. Rick Joswick, has become such a powerful statement about the love shown in the Middle East Peace Initiative. The ceremony came to a close and Rev. Henning of the LA Family Church concluded with an invitation to study with the Unification Worldview Seminar class. Three clergy responded and will begin their studies next Wednesday. After the closing prayer, a wonderful Persian-style buffet lunch was served. Every one there seemed overjoyed to participate in this meeting and eager to work together to bring peace at home and abroad.
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