Unification News for March 1999
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moons World Tour Comes To New York City
Rev. Eric Holt -- NYC
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon is currently on a world Speaking Tour. Originating in Korea and Japan, the tour landed in the U.S. on March 19, and on March 21, New York Citys Manhattan Center prepared a warm welcome for this great lady of vision. The Manhattan Center has played host to practically every known "famous" person: from Einstein to Madonna and Pavarotti. And so it was, that, on March 21, this magnificent woman of God, destined to be more famous that all of her predecessors, was due to speak.
As organizers, we were not quite sure what would happen on the day of the event, and who would show up. Well - as it happened, the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center was filled to capacity one hour before the program was scheduled to start! An overflow area in the adjacent New Yorker Hotel filled up too. A local newspaper reported that 3,000 people were there, (pretty close -- anyway, who are we to dispute the fact-finding of the local media?!) Over half of those who came were first-timers, who had never heard Dr. Moon before. Our lonely pioneers in the Bronx, under the pastorship of Rev. and Mrs. Esteban Galvan, brought 7 bus-loads of fresh faces (over 450 people). Hundred more came by bus, subway, etc., from Brooklyn, Harlem, Queens, Manhattan, Long Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, etc.
At the VIP reception one hour before the start of the program, we were honored by the presence of several U.N. ambassadors, ministers, imams, educators, and government officials -- over eighty in all. The atmosphere was light, joyful and full of expectation as we mingled among this whos who of New York City.
The day was not without incident. Just before the program was due to start water started to pour in like a waterfall from the ceiling on to the stage. Not the best time to do a cleaning! It turned out that the roof had been (unsuccessfully) repaired, and the heavy rain just poured in. The stage crew worked desperately to stem the flow of water and were fairly successful, although not entirely. The outcome was that, during Dr. Moons speech, in additional to the beautiful blue lit floral backdrop, there was a "special effect", namely slowly dripping water about 15 feet behind the speaker!
The program began with a spiritual extravaganza as local host Rev. Daryl Clarke introduced the 100-member St. Pauls Community Baptist Church Choir, clad in beautiful African robes. As they swayed back and forth, the deep spirit of their relatively subdued singing filled the theater. Then, emcee, Rev. Michael Jenkins introduced the invocator, Dr. O.B.J. Burson, pastor of The Holy Trinity Baptist Church, in Brooklyn, and an official in the National Baptist Convention. Following the invocation, Carmen Tancredi, an opera singer with the New York Metropolitan Opera, offered a rendition of a classical piece.
Warm welcoming remarks were offered by a U.N. ambassador, followed by an introduction by Dr. Tyler Hendricks, President of Family Federation. We were treated to a 10-minute video about Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, highlighting her many achievements for world peace, unification, and family values. By this time, everyone was on the edge of their seats as we waited for the entrance of the principal speaker.
Dr. Moon came on stage attired in an elegant green suit. She smiled beautifully, as she approached the podium to give her speech. Her 50-minute talk was punctuated by bursts of applause and "amens" -- dozens of times, and at the end the audience rose to its feet in appreciation.
Dr. Moon spoke passionately about the path which all humankind is destined to walk. Just what is it that we should pursue in our life? The thing that everyone needs, even God Himself, is true love. If we live such an authentic way of life, we can enjoy true freedom in this life and in the world to come. Each of us passes through three phases during our life: the time in the womb, out earthly life, and our eternal life in the spiritual world. We need to prepare now for life in the hereafter. How? By practicing love in the family and by living for the sake of others. There is nothing more precious than a true person who possesses true love. We need to experience such a life of true love while we are in this earthly life. In the world to come, love is the air we breathe. In that world, if we have prepared well, we will have the ability to fly anywhere -- on the wings of love! The unfortunate reality is that we are not living this way. This is all the more sad for God Himself, as our Creator -- the One who had the greatest hope for His original children, Adam and Eve. The Messiah comes to rectify this, as the True Parents, a substitute as it were, for fallen Adam and Eve. God and humankind are longing for the original homeland of true love. As we approach the new millennium, the hope of humankind and the hope of God rests with our establishing families of true love, where spouses are eternally in love and faithful to each other, where parents sacrifice for their children, where children piously return joy to their parents, their grandparents, and to God.
After Dr. Moons speech, she was presented with several awards. A U.N. ambassador had prepared a special award which he presented to Dr. Moon. Over 130 New York clergy offered a plaque honoring Dr. Moon. The New York Christian Times, through its publisher, Rev. Dennis Dillon, presented Dr. Moon with its prestigious "Front Page Award". Numerous letters, proclamations and awards were received (over 100 in all) from local Mayors, from the New York State Assembly, from U.S. Congressmen, and from various organizations. One Bronx residents organization with over 100,000 members honored Dr. Moon as "The Lady of the Century"!
The program concluded with an excellent musical presentation from a group led by Rev. Philip Thomas, a well known performer in New York, and as they prepared to come on stage, Rev. Clarke announced the winners of the door prizes.
At the post-program reception with Dr. Moon, Rev. Moon, who had been listening to the entire program by telephone from South America, spoke with and sang to his wife! It was an enchanting moment when Dr. Moon sang a delightful English song for Rev. Moon. Others joined in and sang solos back and forth across the hemispheres. Rev. Dillon also sang. In the end, we can say that a great woman of God came and truly blessed New York. Hers is indeed a message for the new millennium. Families of true love are the gateway to happiness. Many people worked long and hard to make this a successful and memorable event, and special thanks are due to these many brothers and sisters, too numerous to mention.
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