Unification News for July 2005
Archbishop Stallings in Seattle, WA
by Rev. Mary Anglin
How do you report on a tornado that blew into town, stirred things up, and flew off with a wave and a smile? Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr., cannot be summarized on paper. But I'll try.
Archbishop Stallings arrived in Seattle on Saturday afternoon, June 11. On Saturday evening he addressed a group of 60 people at Windermere House. Guests included Family Federation members, Christian ministers, a Jewish rabbi, a Nation of Islam minister, and several of his members.
Archbishop Stallings began his talk by warmly embracing the crowd as his family. From that point he expressed the divinity of man and the potential for us to be like Jesus, like God. "When He created us in the divine image and likeness He put His essence in us. The reality is that we've forgotten that we're related to each other. No beginning and no end. We are eternal. We are of God," he said.
But soon came the challenge. To "exorcise" religion, "We play church. We get high on the smoke. We're distancing ourselves more and more. Moses, Jesus, Muhammad Ð we get caught up in the symbols but we don't want to walk as they did. We are Heavenly bound but no Earthly good! We embrace the creed but we don't want to BECOME the creed. We walk the path of least resistance. So are you surprised the world is in the shape it's in?"
Whew! The crowd was hopping! There were some tough questions asked, especially when the archbishop told us we won't be walking on streets of gold when we "go to Heaven." But none better than he to answer tough theological questions.
Those in the crowd who seemed to be affronted by him ironically raced up front at the end to buy his book. And the most challenged minister, or so we thought, actually invited him to his church to hold a week-long revival!
That was just day one. The following day, Archbishop Stallings spoke twice at Rev. Dr. Robert L. Jeffrey's 19th Anniversary Celebration. In the Sunday morning sermon, he won the hearts of the congregation by instilling in them a sense of pride as children of God. They couldn't wait until the afternoon session to hear more.
The afternoon crowd was educated with thr special words "love, life and lineage" and "God is unique, unchanging, eternal and absolute. Men and women are created in the image of God and should be 'married' to God." Archbishop Stallings clarified the meaning of the Firstt Blessing as individual maturity and perfection. And he told a very entertaining story to illustrate the meaning of the miracle of the fishes and loaves. Was it the physical multiplication into many fishes and loaves? Or was it that through a young boy's unselfish example and willingness to share, that every heart in the crowd was opened? The miracle was perhaps the change of heart. That is what is necessary Ð the willingness to live for the sake of others.
Stallings' exhortation to the congregation to support their minister in his God-given vision truly won the hearts of the minister himself and the crowd, as it affirmed for them the vision by which they are working.
Seattle Family thanks Archbishop Stallings, as well as all national ACLC ministers and our own national headquarters for their great support to the field. God bless you.
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