Unification News for July 1999

Congratulations and Appreciation Banquet

Rev. Eric Holt

Three hundred guests filled the Grand Ballroom of New York Citys New Yorker Hotel on a warm evening on June 24 to pay tribute to Rev. Joong Hyun Pak and welcome Dr. Chang Shik Yang. After serving for more than five years as the Continental Director of the Unification Church of North America, Rev. Pak, a loyal and long-serving soldier of God, was appointed Vice President of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace. Dr. Yang, who had been serving as the Regional Director of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) was appointed the new Continental Director of HSA-UWC and FFWPU.

After the sumptuous banquet, participants were treated to a rendition of Battle Hymn of the Republic from Mzuri, a talented local singer. Jamie Peterson sang Morning of An Age. Finally, ___ sang Sung Sam Whi Hananim. The lyrics of this song were composed by Rev. Pak and, after the song, NYC Symphony Director David Eaton presented Rev. Pak with a framed musical score of the song.

Emcee Rev. Daryl Clarke introduced Dr. Tyler Hendricks, President of the Unification Church of North America, who offered a multimedia presentation highlighting Rev. Paks philosophy of Unificationist ministry and his many accomplishments for the Will of God. In particular, the presentation focused on the four main points which Rev. Pak has always emphasized in ministry, namely: spirituality, creativity, professionalism and harmony. Video footage from the 2,000-Voice Interchurch Choir (of Madison Square Garden fame) provided an emotional climax to the presentation.

Many long-time friends and colleagues of Rev. and Mrs. Pak then offered congratulatory messages as well as personally-inscribed plaques and awards. Rev. Betty Neal, President of Ministers of Harlem, USA spoke in her inimitable spirited style, embracing Rev. and Mrs. Pak and presenting them with an ornate brass fish! On several occasions the crowd rose to its feet in appreciation for Rev. and Mrs. Pak, and many were moved to tears as testimonies were given.

During his address, [see page 2] Rev. Pak thanked the many brothers and sisters with whom he had worked throughout the years. In an emotional and heartfelt way, he expressed his gratitude, above all, to God and True Parents.

Rev. Phillip Schanker introduced Dr. and Mrs. Chang Shik Yang, sharing particularly moving personal experiences which he had had with Dr. and Mrs. Yang.

When it was time for Dr. Yang to speak, he adroitly sensed that the evenings festivities should be brought to a conclusion. Rather than deliver his prepared address, [see page 2] Dr. Yang sang God Bless America together with Mrs. Yang and two of their six children. It was a beautiful moment which, in a way, expressed much more about the heart and sincerity of Dr. Yang than a sermon ever could.

The Secretary-General of the Church of God in Christ, International, Bishop David Billings then offered encouraging congratulatory remarks. He was followed by Minister Benjamin Muhammad, Eastern Regional Representative to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. Minister Benjamin shared deeply, calling Rev. Pak "brother", which he described as the highest appellation in Islam. He reaffirmed the commitment of the Nation of Islam to work together with FFWPU.

The memorable evening concluded with three cheers of mansei (long life). Rev. and Mrs. Pak, Dr. and Mrs. Yang. Minister Benjamin Muhammad and his wife, Bishop Billings and other joined hands on the stage, symbolizing their determination to work together for the building of Gods Kingdom.

Many thanks are due to: David Eaton, Victor Matos, Tony Appia, Barry Geller, Magnus Larsson, Kanae Sueishi, Jorg Heller, Peter van Geldern, Simon Kinney, Desmond Green, Beryl Green, the Witnessing Team, Betty Lancaster, Yoshie Cuenca, Reiko Shea, Hiromi, Marina, Gina and many others. 

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