Articles From the July 1995 Unification News
UC and African Churches: "What a Fellowship!"
by Tyler Hendricks and Dan Fefferman
Unification Church Continental Leader Rev. Joong Hyun Pak and American UC President Dr. Tyler Hendricks discussed ecumenical Christian development in North America with leaders of other churches in Toronto, Canada, on their visit there, June 29-July 2. The discussions were part of an unprecedented ecumenical outreach by the UC to foster inter-church cooperation in order to strengthen and renew the institution of the family.
One most special meeting was with Pastor Alexander A. Bada, worldwide leader of the Celestial Church of Christ, and his global missions leader, Superior Evangelist P. H. Ajose. Rev. Pak also conferred with Reverend Trelleven, of the Church of God, and Bishop Wright, leader of Toronto's Healing Temple.
In New York, Reverend Pak has held discussions with Reverend Gabriel Fakeye, world leader of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement, and Bishop and Mrs. James C. Ellerbe, International Field Bishop of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star.
According to Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, the basis for ecumenical development toward world peace is true love within the family. "It begins from husband and wife, centering on God, and expands to the children, extended family and entire church and community," Rev. Pak explained. "The church is the bride of Christ, and the culmination of God's providence is given in terms of a marriage (Revelation 22). On the basis of ideal families, Christians of all denominations can unite in the Holy Spirit to meet the serious challenges of the present day with love and truth."
Rev. Pak's message has been well received by the African-based churches, especially the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) and the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement (C&S) both of which began in Nigeria. In that country, their members and Unification Church members are cooperating to mobilize massive participation in the upcoming Blessing `95 celebration August 24-25.
Blessing `95 will be a truly ecumenical event, with participation coming in substantial numbers from outside the Unification Church. It will also feature large numbers of previously married couples who will renew their vows through the Blessing, in addition to thousands of newlyweds whose marriages were arranged directly by Rev. and Mrs. Moon.
In the US special workshops have been held across the nation to introduce the Blessing to CCC and C&S leadership. Introductory programs have also been held for US leaders of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star (BCS).
"An amazing thing has been happening," stated Wesley Samuel, an elder Unification Member who is heading up a special ecumenical task force in the Church's national headquarters. "We are finding true fellowship everywhere with our African brothers and sisters. When we get together, it is as if God had secretly prepared a surprise family reunion for us all."
Both the CCC and C & S churches have congregations in several US cities, especially those with sizable Nigerian populations. Workshops have been held in New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities.
"God is creating a miracle," stated Dr. Hendricks. "Africans and Americans are uniting in a true fellowship of love beyond racial and cultural barriers. We are witnessing a real movement of the Holy Spirit. All I can say is `Thank God!' This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
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