Spreading the Blessing in Kentucky
by Dennis Wooley-Louisville, KY
With a few countries and continents bestowing the Blessing upon large numbers of individuals and married couples, I considered seriously what we in America will do to open the gates. I anguished over this question primarily for our state, Kentucky. Finally the breakthrough arrived, and we are experiencing great hope.
I would like to start from the beginning. I arrived home after 40 days at Chung Pyung Lake. In spite of the phenomenal experience of Daemonim's workshop, I still wondered how our state could bring victory with the Blessing. I began contacting our ministers, and I invited them to lunch to have a chance to inspire them about the Blessing. Although the ministers' experience at last year's Washington conference was very high, they still experienced reluctance and hesitation. My reaction to that was to reach out to new ministers, only to experience rejection and more hesitation and heartache. I offered two successful seminars on The Holy Communion of Marriage, but no substantial Blessing resulted. I even gave one private seminar to a bishop of the House of God church, but still I could not move this man and his wife to receive the Blessing, nor could I persuade him to allow me to give the whole church a seminar.
While I was spinning my wheels with the churches and the ministers, one Tribal Messiah sister, Sun Willett, was successfully inviting couples for the Blessing. What a comfort that was for me! Our first Blessing took place in Lexington, Kentucky, where seven couples including one minister and his wife were Blessed. My wife and I experienced such joy as we officiated! But my heart was still filled with pain and uncertainty regarding future Blessings.
My wife and I decided to do a Divine Principle reading condition. One evening as we read together, we experienced a strange noise in our apartment; it sounded like a bell's ringing. We had no logical explanation for this sound, so we considered that it was spiritual. I am not one who has had many spiritual experiences, such as seeing or hearing the spiritual world. I should mention that while we were reading, I had a very intense headache. Later, I thought that this bell-ringing sound was a way for spirit world to comfort us. That night, during the 100-day prayer condition which Daemonim gave us, I could break through and cry for the first time during the condition. For me, shedding tears in prayer is next to impossible-I am just not a very good weeper. I spoke to God in a very personal way, and I asked Him how to achieve the Blessing goal. I said to God that we have many theological ways to express our motivation to act, but that it's more from my heart to say that my motivation to act and to sacrifice springs from my love for God and True Parents. I explained to God that I could see no clear path to fulfill the Blessing goal: what can I, what can we, do? When I concluded this prayer, I was surprised because my headache had lifted, and a very warm and peaceful feeling enveloped me. The only way I know to describe this feeling is that it was like a parent putting an arm around me with the purpose to encourage, and I emerged from this experience with expectation, hope and love.
The answer came, but in an unexpected way. Sun Willett had gone house to house, and she invited 12 couples to a hall Blessing. My wife and I drove down to Georgetown, Kentucky to officiate. There was only one problem: not one couple came! Then Sun Willett said to me that we should visit them in their homes and Bless them there. I agreed. In about one hour, we Blessed six couples in their homes. Then I had a great inspiration that we could go door to door and Bless couples whom we have not previously contacted. My imagination was filled with intense expectancy.
As a couple we began experimenting with door to door Blessings, and we discovered it works. I gave Holy Wine and Holy Water to each of our Tribal Messiah families, and I educated them how to conduct Blessings. Including my couple, there are several couples working, and our state brings this great Blessing to new couples almost every day. One can imagine that if every American Blessed couple brought one new couple per day, that would mean about 2,500 new Blessed couples daily, and 360,000 couples would be no problem by November. As I write this, Kentucky has brought 140 new couples, and that number increases every day by five or six couples.
I have developed a script for the door to door Blessings, and I would like to offer it here. Hi. (Showing my business card.) My name is Dennis, and this is my wife and baby. We are working with the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. The world founders of the FFWPU are the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. We are on a campaign to reach out to 160 married couples who would like to do a five-minute marriage rededication. The purpose is to revive family values and to create world peace. May we come in and explain?
When we enter, we take them through the Holy Wine and Holy Water Ceremonies. My spouse and I embrace the couples' hands, and I pray. Next, we ask them to say "yes" after each marriage vow. It is very important for the couple to fill out the headquarters' application. I explain that through the application they can receive a beautiful certificate. One Tribal Messiah, Norman Presley, suggested giving each couple a lunch or dinner certificate from a delightful restaurant. At the end, I explain to them that the FFWPU is a large organization composed of many ministers and leaders, and that its purpose is to strengthen marriages and families. I tell them that we are not expecting anything from them. Most couples are very joyful. One couple said to me that they appreciated the religious wedding because they had been married by a justice of the peace. Once we encountered a married couple while another couple was visiting them. We pre-Blessed both couples at the same time, together. During the vows, I asked both couples to shout "yes"! They united with my direction perfectly, and they experienced much joy as they shouted "yes!" in unison. We have met virtually no negativity. Our challenge is to find both spouses home or to find married people. When we found married couples, they invariably elected to invite us in and receive their home Blessing. They were surprised, but their original minds were powerfully moved, and they expressed much joy and gratitude because we had knocked on their door. Recently, my wife and I pre-Blessed an Indian couple. The husband explained that he is agnostic. I exclaimed to him that I understood, because many years ago I too was agnostic. He then very sincerely asked me how I changed. I said, I can answer very simply; I discovered Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Divine Principle, and after having studied its contents, my life completely changed and from that moment there was never another doubt about the existence of God. This highly educated man whose wife is a medical doctor asked very humbly where he can get the Divine Principle. I said, I will get it for you now, but the man said, we can come to you, and both he and his wife jumped into our van and came home with us. We served them juice, and I served them the Divine Principle, and as I write this now, the husband is reading the Divine Principle from cover to cover.
I would like to share about the effort of Sun Willett, our Korean Tribal Messiah sister in Georgetown, Kentucky. Sun Willett has brought 90 couples from our 140 by herself. From the couples she brought, at least 15 hold Ph.D. degrees, and several are doctoral students from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. One key to her success was because she joined a group for foreign wives who met at a church for fellowship. As she is Korean, she fits right in with the group.
On April 28, Joe and Sun Willett invited nine couples for the Blessing. They were Russian and Palestinian. Two of the Russians hold doctorates in scientific fields. My wife and I officiated this Blessing, and I gave the talk which Dr. Hendricks developed, God's Plan for Conjugal Love. All participants were Christian. One Palestinian man who has lived in the United States for many years said to me that this marriage talk was the best he ever heard in his life. Therefore, I owe a huge debt to Dr. Hendricks for developing these brilliant seminars. One Russian wife sang two beautiful traditional Russian songs for our entertainment. One of the Russian husbands, with much enthusiasm, said to me that he enjoyed the Holy Wine Ceremony very much because this ceremony is similar to the marriage ceremony of the Russian Orthodox Church. During my talk, I was moved by the spirit, and I asked if anyone was married more than 20 years; each couple then began spontaneously to shout out how many years they were married, and we all applauded each couple. This raised the atmosphere very high.
On May 20, the Willetts once again as well as Greg and Keiko Breland invited 14 couples to Ryan's Family Steak House for the Blessing. Most of these couples were friends of the couples whom we pre-Blessed on April 28. The couples from April 28 felt compelled to share this great Blessing with their friends. From those pre-Blessed on May 20, nearly each couple said "thank you" after my wife and I gave them the Holy Wine. Before I read the Blessing vows, I asked all couples to respond to each vow with a resounding "yes!" in unison. That moment was very exciting as we really raised the roof! I felt True Parents were in the room. One man from India came to us with tears in his eyes and exclaimed, "I did not know that this experience would be so touching." For entertainment, we listened to songs from Russia, India, Palestine and-as our very own Sun Willett sang Arirang-Korea. The spirit and atmosphere of this international Blessing felt like a Unification event. I closed my eyes and imagined I was attending a celebration at East Garden.
The Willetts and the Brelands invited very accomplished and distinguished people for this Blessing. One participant is a medical doctor, and three other participants hold Ph.D.'s. Two are engineers; another, Xijun Fu, is the artistic director of the Lexington Ballet. The nations represented by couples at this Blessing included Russia, India, Egypt, Palestine, China, Vietnam, Armenia, Tanzania and the United States.
Through the door to door Blessings, I have found incredible liberation. Of course, I still intend to work with our ministers and with the churches, but at the same time I must not wait for them, and in Kentucky, for the present, the door to door method is moving at the speed of light compared to the speed of the ministers. The comfort I feel is the result of the freedom to stay in the subject position in my approach to the Blessing. Often I have allowed ministers to make me the object completely, which is fine when it comes to serving them and the community, but we simply have no time to waste. We must quickly go on the offensive to bring God's liberation to this nation, to save the families and marriages. I know with full certainty that it is entirely possible for America to pre-Bless 360,000 couples. But we have to become aggressive and consider creative modes of reaching out.
Dennis Wooley is the Kentucky state leader.