Unification News for May 2001

April 12 - Anchorage, Alaska

Over 500 hardy pioneers joined together on a Maundy Thursday evening for the "We Will Stand" event at the Hotel Captain Cook in downtown Anchorage.

For Father Moon, this was his third speaking engagement at the Captain Cook where he had first preached in 1974 and then again in 1996. It is said "three's a charm" or perfection. That was indeed true in this case.

Father Moon opened his keynote address with humor and intrigue, speaking about polar bears, brown bears, and black bears. He related intimately and directly with his Alaskan audience stating the need for reconciliation and harmony amongst all people beyond racial distinctions. He then described candidly the relationship between man and woman emphasizing the value of the marriage relationship. His frank approach to the topic of sex was unexpected but audience members sat enraptured, nodding and responding in agreement, sometimes shouting out "Amen".

His message provoked much laughter as well as reflection over the two hour presentation. By the conclusion, tears were also witnessed flowing freely from the eyes of several within the audience assembled.

Some left in the middle of the presentation when the hotel fire alarm went off, but most stood firm and waited for the noise to subside and a false alarm to be confirmed. All the ministers and VIPs in the front of the audience stayed in a true display of the spirit of unity. Incredibly, an hour later the fire alarm went off again for a second time. This time it was quickly stopped, and nobody left.

Over twenty volunteers came to Alaska from out of state. They offered sacrificially, their passion and determination during the final two weeks of preparation for the historical event. They reached out across a broad spectrum of people spanning several religious and ethnic communities.

As part of the awards presentations, an award was given to a Korean War Veteran who lost his leg in the Korean War and had participated in the Hung Nam prison (where Father Moon was held)liberation. Another minister had also been at Hung Nam. He expressed horror recollecting his experience of marching through and liberating the concentration death camp, wondering how anyone could survive such atrocity.

A recent Native Alaskan victim of racial malice ( or hate crime) in Anchorage was embraced by a white teenager, representing the perpetrators of the crime, and presented with a special gift. This ceremony of reconciliation accompanied by a haunting Native Honor Song created a memorable and sacred scene that was filmed and aired on the local nightly news.

The program concluded with spirited native drumming and dancing, moving ministers as well as elderly war veterans to the stage capping a truly unique Alaskan evening.

Regional report

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