Unification News for June 2005
Fifth Anniversary of Chicago ACLC Prayer Breakfasts
By Bruce Sutchar
Chicago’s monthly prayer breakfast May 17, 2005 was very special for a number of reasons. First of all, it was the fifth anniversary of our ACLC prayer breakfasts – we have had 60 such prayer breakfasts in Chicago, one every month for five years, and each one at a different host church. Also this particular breakfast was hosted by a very special lady—the Rev. Maxine Walker. Rev. Walker had been the keynote speaker at our prayer breakfast three months ago and was so moved by the spirit and the program that she offered her own church to host our May breakfast, despite the fact that she is receiving treatment for cancer. She gave a beautiful welcome to our gathering and a special Thank You to both Bishop Kim and our True Parents.
Our beloved ACLC Convener, Dr. A. Harold White, ran the prayer breakfast. During breakfast we watched a video of the WFWP pilgrimage to Israel. As always, several new guests were in attendance, a testimony to the ongoing work of our Chicago members. Mr. Steve Nomura gave an update and invitation to the ministers to join our ongoing Service for Peace projects in Chicago.
One of the highlights of the morning was Hanako Sometani, the daughter of our WFWP regional director, Mrs. Kathleen Sometani. Hanako offered the speech that she had recently recited to win Chicago’s Second Generation speech contest, a recitation about the war between science and religion from the book Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown, the author of the DaVinci Code. Not only was Hanako well received but was also invited by several of the ministers to participate in their upcoming youth services. Next Rev. Etta Ellis gave a moving testimony about her recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Rev. Willie Weston, who will host Archbishop Stallings on the first Sunday in June, gave an equally wonderful testimony about his experience at the recent Divine Principle workshop in Ocean City.
Then Dr. Paul Swanson reported about his recent participation in an IIPC planning meeting in Washington, D.C. Dr. Swanson is a Lutheran scholar who has been working with our movement for over 25 years, attending our meetings consistently and offering prayers at the Madison Square Garden Blessing. After about 30 minutes of announcements (an indication of the extent of the activities connected to our Chicago clergy, Bishop Kim thanked everyone for coming. After we cut a Fifth Anniversary birthday cake, Rev. James Bass gave the benediction.
Like so many times before, the congregation was slow to leave. Even nearly one hour later, many of the ministers were still gathered in the sanctuary and even outside in the parking lot. In the five years of having these monthly prayer breakfasts, we have had many wonderful meetings. But there was something very special about this meeting. It might have been the presence and hosting of Rev. Walker. Or that the room was filled so far beyond capacity that our members eventually offered up their seats to the incoming guests and the three overflow rooms were filled. It certainly had to do with the consistent spiritual leadership of Bishop Kim and the respect that is shown to Bishop Kim by the ministers. Yet I believe that it has to do even more with the power of the spirit in this age of Cheon IL Gook. In many ways, this wasn’t just one more large meeting. Rather, I truly believe that this was like a gathering of small Cheon Il Gook church groups, all sharing breakfast (both physical and spiritual) together. I believe that such events will be repeated and duplicated all over the country (world) time and time again in this age of Cheon Il Gook. God Bless you all.
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