Unification News for
Palm Sunday Crowd Greets True Mother in Atlanta
by Tom Cutts-Atlanta, GA
True Mother introduced Hoon Dok Hwe to nearly 1,000 people in Atlanta on Palm Sunday, April 5, 1998. Mother arrived in the city on a beautiful spring day. The air was cool, and the sky was bright and sunny. All around Atlanta, the buds on the dogwood trees and the azalea bushes were just beginning to open.
Later that afternoon, Mother was greeted by some of the most influential leaders of Atlanta and the Southeast; Civil Rights Champion Dr. Hosea Williams; a State Representative on two powerful committees; President Seuk Hee Lee of the 50,000 member Atlanta Korean Association; a past Dean of Students of Clark-Atlanta University; Dr. Jacob Quiambao, past President of Union Theological Seminary of The Philippines; Southern Regional Minister Jamil Muhammad of the Nation of Islam; Ms. Portia Scott, the Senior Editor of the Atlanta Daily World, the nation's oldest African-American newspaper; Mrs. Karla Brandau of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints; Talk Show Host Ms. Alberta Grant; Dr. Lonnie Edwards, Sr., the Assistant Superintendent of the Dekalb County Schools; Dr. Al Stewart, President of the Institute of the Christian World with projects in Atlanta and in three African countries; and Dr. Charles A. Carpenter, the Director of Pastoral Care and Clinical Psychology at a major regional hospital.
Mayor Bill Campbell of Atlanta, recognized Mrs. Moon's speaking tour by proclaiming April 5, 1998 as "The Day of Blessed Marriage." The cities of Marietta, East Point, Stone Mountain, Doraville, and Clayton County also sent proclamations recognizing April 5th as "The Day of Blessed Marriage."
The Speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich, and Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney also welcomed Mrs. Moon to Atlanta with their letters. Speaker Gingrich wrote, "Your efforts to strengthen family values are essential to the future of America... My best wishes to you as you continue your speaking tour."
A reception prior to the program held in the hotel's Garden Court gave guests an opportunity to refresh themselves, and to meet one another. The program began at 4 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom with welcoming remarks from Rev. Michael Jenkins, ACC Regional Director of the Chicago Region. The Rev. Dr. Hosea Williams offered the invocation. He asked God's blessing upon the assembled guests, upon the Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, and upon their work of saving the family.
As an introduction to True Mother, Mr. Neil Salonen delivered his remarks, and Mrs. Karen Judd Smith read the speech, "True Parents." There was a growing anticipation of meeting Mrs. Moon, and the audience's expectation was heightened even more by the video presentation, Toward World Peace. Rev. Jenkins introduced the video by saying "Truly the Word of God is powerful, but more powerful still, is the life of One who has put those Words into action." During the video, some guests were deeply touched, and even began crying.
Immediately after the video, True Mother came onto the stage, and was greeted with a standing ovation. After the Ballroom quieted, Mother read the speech, "Blessed Marriage and Eternal Life." She read with tremendous dignity and beauty. Heavenly Father and his servants throughout the ages endured unspeakable hardships to bring God's Providence to the time when Blessed Marriages could be proclaimed. Reflecting upon God's profound suffering and present joy, Mother herself was choked to tears several times during the speech, and paused to wipe tears from her eyes. The audience listened with rapt attention, carefully following the reading in their own speech booklets. Many guests marked passages that particularly moved them. At the conclusion, Mother's speech was warmly received another standing ovation.
Following the Hoon Dok Hwe, two dignitaries presented gifts to Mrs. Moon. Mrs. Karla Brandau, the Public Affairs Director for the Lilburn Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) presented the book, Mission, and a beautifully framed and illustrated message from the President of the LDS Church, describing God's ideal for man and woman, and the eternal importance of the family. Southern Regional Minister Jamil Muhammad of the Nation of Islam presented Mrs. Moon with a proclamation commending Mrs. Moon for her work of reconciliation, and promoting World Peace.
After receiving these gifts, Mother presented a set of True Father's collected speeches to each of eight dignitaries from Atlanta, and the Southeast The first set went to the Rev. Dr. Hosea Williams. He was Dr. Martin Luther King's Dr. King's Field General.
Dr. King would sent Dr. William's team into a city to break the fear that the black people had of the white power structure. Dr. William's team would do this through demonstrations, and other acts of civil disobedience. Then Dr. King, Dr. Abernathy, Andrew Young and others would come to the city to negotiate with the city leaders. If city leaders would not negotiate, Dr. King threatened that Dr. Williams and his "gangsters" would stay longer.
This was a very dangerous mission. Dr. Williams was severely beaten numerous times, 20 of his men and women died during the struggle, and he was imprisoned 135 times.
Dr. Williams is a recent American Leadership Conference graduate. He is extremely concerned that America is headed down the same road of inner corruption and ruin as the Roman Empire. He applauds the work of Rev. and Mrs. Moon in strengthening the family, and said, "Rev. Moon's family movement might just be the movement that will save America."
Also receiving the collected speeches from Mrs. Moon was Professor Jacob Quiambao, a retired United Methodist minister. Dr. Quiambao is Professor Emeritus of Religion and Theology at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and is a past President of the Union Theological Seminary in The Philippines. Among his notable students is Bishop Nacpil, President of the World Council of United Methodist Bishops.
Other dignitaries receiving the books from Mother included; Ms. Portia Scott. She is the Senior Editor of the Atlanta Daily World, the nation's oldest African American newspaper, and is also a professor of journalism at the Clark-Atlanta University; Dr. Lonnie Edwards, Sr. is the Assistant Superintendent of Schools of the Dekalb County School System. He is the director of the department of Staff and Community Relations; Mr. Seuk Hee Lee is the President of the 50,000 member Atlanta Korean Association; Mrs. Karla Brandau is the Public Relations Director of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, Lilburn, Georgia Stake; and Southern Regional Minister Jamil Muhammad of the Nation of Islam.
Following Mother's reading, and the book presentations, Mother, several V.I.P.'s, and church members moved to another room for a victory celebration. Here Father and Mother spoke to one another by telephone. A sound system had been prepared so that Father and the members in New York could hear and speak with Mother and the members in Atlanta.
During the celebration, the elementary and middle school students from the Top Garden School in Bayou la Batre, Alabama delighted Mother and Father with several songs. In New York the nine-year old daughter of Chris and Gillian Cochran surprised everyone with her professional rendition of one of the songs from the play Annie.
In Atlanta, Mr. Salonen sang a Korean song, which made Mother smile and even laugh aloud. Mother said the first part was good, but the second part needed some practice. Finally, Mother sang a song, and in closing asked the second- generation children if they knew that they were different from other children. They answered "Yes." She admonished them to protect their purity.
The next morning at 6 a.m., about twenty-five church leaders, business leaders, WFWP leaders, and ACC leaders gathered with Mother for Hoon Dok Hwe. Rev. Peter Kim began by reading sentences in Korean and then translating each sentence into English. Mother stopped him and told him to read only in Korean. After several minutes, Mother stopped Rev. Kim again and told everyone that Hoon Dok Hwe should be read in Korean, not in Japanese or English. It is only by knowing Korean that we can truly understand the depth of True Parents' heart.
Also by learning Korean we can make True Parents happy. Mother reminded the members how Mr. Salonen had delighted Father and Mother with his attempt at singing a Korean song.
Then Mother asked this reporter to read the speech "True Parents." Mother has heard this speech many times before, yet she was again moved to tears. Mother remarked, "The Word of God is so delicious, it never loses it's taste." Then Mother asked Rev. Mike Jenkins to read "Blessed Marriage and Eternal Life."
After Hoon Dok Hwe, Mother had breakfast with Rev. Young Sik An, Regional Director of Region Five, and of the leaders from the region. Mother seemed pleased with reports about the American Leadership Conference that had taken place the weekend before, and about Master Marine in Bayou la Batre, Alabama. Ninety ALC guests from Atlanta and the Southeast had profound experiences at the conference. One youth minister had already shared the True Family Values seminar with some of his 1,200 young people, and many had committed themselves to sexual purity until marriage. Bret Dungan, the President of Master Marine reported huge increases in revenues at Father's ship building company.
After breakfast, Mother signed her name to twelve copies of the tour speech booklet, and quickly departed for the airport. Mother left as Atlanta as the city was bursting in spring time blossom.
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