Unification News for February 1997

Chicago King Day Prayer Breakfast

by Jack Toren-Chicago, IL

The City of Chicago hosted an Interfaith Breakfast commemorating the birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Thursday, January 16th. (January 15, 1929--April 4, 1968). A large snowfall the night before did not deter the invitation-only audience of 1,000 clergy from arriving at 8:00 AM. Despite the cold and snow, they warmly received the many musical tributes to King and recitation of parts of his many noteworthy speeches by young people from Chicago schools.

After the banquet meal and preceding the remarks of Chicago's Mayor Richard M. Daley who introduced the keynote speaker, Detroit Mayor Dennis W. Archer, we were led by three unity prayers. First to pray was the Bishop Shepard Little of the First Jurisdiction of Illinois, Church of God in Christ. This is the largest Protestant denomination in America. He is also Bishop over Rev. T. L. Barrett, Jr. who has hosted True Family Festivals in his Life Center C.O.G.I.C. this past December 27, 1996 and January 30, 1997.

Second, in the midway position between Protestant and Catholic, was our own Bishop, the Reverend Ki Hun Kim, Regional Director of Region 6 (formerly Region 5). Following his deep prayer, concluded in the name of True Parents, there was spontaneous applause from around the ballroom of the Palmer House Hotel.

Third to pray was Bishop George V. Murry, Auxillary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church's Archdiocese of Chicago.

At the end of the program, representative clergy were invited on stage and they led everyone, while arm-in-arm, in singing, "We Shall Overcome." The gathering of black and white, east and west to pledge to fulfill the dream of Dr. King was a moving tribute and inspiration to everyone there.

It was some 30 years ago that black and white Pentacostals, including the C.O.G.I.C., were derided as fringe groups and mocked as "Holy Rollers". They endured persecution to emerge now as mainstream and even as the leading group of Protestant Christianity in America. The Unification Church is, at this hour, undergoing a similar metamorphosis in the eyes of America. The scales are coming off and the beauty and dignity of True Parents and their labors in America and the rest of the world are becoming manifest. Soon, everyone will also sing with conviction the familiar refrain, "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the Coming of the Lord."

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