Unification News for June 2005

Chicago Welcomes Archbishop Stallings!

by Ken Murray

ACLC Pastor Willie Weston of Hope Evangelistic Ministries International held his Eighth. Annual Founder's Day Anniversary from June 2-June 5. It was very exciting and extremely successful, culminating on Sunday with Archbishop Stallings being the keynote speaker.

Pastor Weston has been very active and supportive as an Ambassador for Peace, as well as an ACLC member for the past two years. He has attended three Divine Principle convocations, and two trips to the Holy Land, among other things. For the past five months, he and his church members have been preparing for this year's anniversary celebration.

Pastor Weston has felt very clearly that God has guided him to become a part of the ACLC. He is very serious about expanding his ministry, and following God's guidance. He is a powerful preacher and an excellent teacher, as he naturally incorporates the fundamental teachings of the Divine Principle into his teaching and sermons. He is very moved by the vision of Father Moon and his work, and grateful for his association with ACLC. Pastor Weston has always been particularly impressed by Archbishop Stallings. It has been a long-time part of his vision to have Archbishop speak at his church. This Sunday was like a dream come true!

ArchbishopStallings arrived in Chicago at about 3:00 PM on Saturday and was picked up by Pastor Weston and welcomed by his church with a wonderful meal. Then he was brought to Pastor Weston's home. and in the words of Archbishop Stallings; "I was treated like a king!" At the same time, Pastor Weston deeply cherished the opportunity to spend time together with the archbishop, sharing very deeply together...

Sunday was unbelievably successful! It was such a wonderful mixed gathering of an incredible variety of people, including 15-20 different pastors,(including many of our ACLC pastors), who brought a good number of their congregation with them, about 25 members from Chicago Family Church, and many others representing so many different churches. It was remarkable! The fellowship and the overall spirit kept building. And the music was outstanding, which added to the high spirit and excitement. Musicians included Pastor Weston's daughters, who are both evangelists; many choirs from the other churches, Stephanie Nishida and Kazumi Murray, who offered a moving song that had the audience singing together with them; and finally, by request of Archbishop Stallings, Pastor Weston's son, who sang a very deep song that was just awesome.

The most amazing thing to me was that Archbishop Stalling’s 90-minute sermon had EVERYONE'S undivided attention through the duration! It was put together by God Himself; and everyone felt, "He was talking personally to me."

The archbishop has a way to personally connect and include individuals in his talk, helping them to feel important and valuable in a very genuine and sincere way, because in God's opinion each one is important and valuable! It was probably the most rewarding experience I have ever had, observing so many people having such a deep experience that they will never forget!

Afterwards, numerous people, one by one, came up to me, begging me for a copy of a tape of the sermon. It was all recorded by a camcorder and will be available on DVD.

I want to personally thank Archbishop George Augustus Stallings for coming to Chicago and making such a deep, unforgettable impact on so many different people, and also thank Sayomi-san and ACLC for allowing him to come and spend this time with all of us.

The last point I want to mention is that we made time to go visit our dear regional leader, Bishop Kim, Sunday morning before the service began. He was in the hospital due to a very serious car accident the day before. We sincerely request your prayers for his quick recovery. Archbishop Stallings, Pastor Weston and his assistant, Elder Cashaw, and myself went to visit Bishop Kim. When we first saw him, he was asleep and seemed incapable of even talking. But as soon as he realized Archbishop Stallings was there, he immediately came to life, and pushed me to do everything I possibly could to encourage all our members to come and support the archbishop and take care of him in every way possible, apologizing that he himself won't be able to attend. Even in his most difficult moment, the bishop was completely focused on living for the sake of others, as True Parents teach and share by example. So many of our ACLC ministers keep calling and visiting THEIR dearly beloved bishop. We pray for Bishop Kim's healing.

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