Articles From the November 1995 Unification News


The Philadelphia Sisterhood Ceremony: Rekindling America's Spirit

by Hope Igarashi-Weehawken, NJ

We have held two Sisterhood Ceremonies in Philadelphia, PA which have each been very good experiences. The preparation work has been challenging at times. However, the beauty and victories have certainly been worth the effort. We are very grateful to True Parents for the opportunities.

Through the conferences, our staff and our sisters of Japan have been reminded that Philadelphia is a key and important city in our nation's history, as I will later explain.

Oct. 27-28 we held our second conference in Cherry Hill, NJ, just a few minutes from Philadelphia. On the seminar day, we were fortunate to have as guest speakers Mrs. Norman Vincent Peale, Ambassador "Lucky" Roosevelt (who is very lucky!) and Matt Biondi. They each gave incredible testimonies which had all of us either in tears or in laughter by their sincerity and honesty. We found them to be fine and noble people, which says a lot for the true American spirit.

The following day, we were honored to have Dr. Joyce Brothers as our keynote speaker. She was so gracious! Her speech was intellectual and informative as she reassured us that women have their special qualities and their places in this world. She was also very tender.

We were very fortunate that she agreed to cross the bridge, and it was a moving experience for us all. She was deeply moved by the Bridge Ceremony. She wept so much that even when she began her speech she was still crying and had to pause for a moment to compose herself. She was overwhelmed with joy!

Some of the VIPs who crossed the bridge were also deeply moved. One of them, a state director of 39 chapters of a Catholic retreat group, wanted to become a WFWP member and asked if it was okay to send a donation. A professor who heard of the conference from a flyer posted at the university she taught at asked so many questions and wanted a book which explains about our church and its activities.

Candi Staton, the entertainer, was great and expressed her love and praise for Jesus through her songs. During one song, she had all the women holding hands and dancing to her music. The atmosphere was electric!

Rekindling America's Spirit

On an internal level, some of the staff experienced a new aspect of the IWFC-the liberation of the American forefathers. Philadelphia is actually the birthplace of America's democracy. The signing of the Declaration of Independence took place there, as well as our Constitution. Many other historical events took place there. Mrs. Spurgin felt our forefathers' strong pull at this conference. One week before our conference, our New Jersey staff held its usual Il Jung prayer. While our Japanese coordinator, Masako Jamison, was praying deeply about our forefathers and calling out their names, I experienced them near us. A few forefathers were at our New Jersey church pulpit trying to speak at the podium, but it was Abraham Lincoln who finally reached it. His eyes were serious. He wanted to say many things but the words couldn't seem to come out. I felt he was trying to speak on the rekindling of America that he loves so, and desperately wants us to help save our country.

Mrs. Watabe, the leader of the women from Japan, felt the presence of one of our American forefathers in her hotel room. The next day, as she toured historical sites in Philadelphia, she felt his presence again while praying in the historical Christ Church where George Washington and other forefathers often prayed.

Both the Japanese and Western staff realize now that the forefathers and foremothers need us and can get liberation from the ceremonies. It is exciting and a responsibility to liberate them and this country. Philadelphia is proving to be a very necessary conference. I'm certain that in each region, unique aspects of the conferences are being discovered.

We are grateful to our Japanese sisters both in America and in Japan. Their love and prayers for America are helping us better to appreciate and value our own heritage. The conference ended on a high note as we all danced together. We felt liberated and healed by the purity of the dancing!

In conclusion, we give special recognition and gratitude to Rev. Joong Hyun Pak, Rev. and Mrs. Do Hee Park, Mrs. Nora Spurgin and Mrs. Yoko Kobayashi for their advice and support. Special thanks also go to the National Headquarters staff in New York and our local staff who are all working with constant commitment and dedication. And, of course, our deepest gratitude goes to our True Parents.

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