Unification News for December 1996
800 Ministers Attend DC True Family Values
Ministry Conference for Clergy
by Eric Holt-Tarrytown, NY
The final True Family Values Ministry conference took place from December 10 through 12 at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. It had been just over six months since the first True Family Values Ministry seminar took place in June.
As the opening drew near, it became clear than many hundreds of ministers were registering for this, the final event. In the end, the tally was over eight hundred ministers from all over the country. There turned out to be so many participants that the originally planned hotel (the Sheraton in Arlington) ended up being too small and the conference had to be relocated to the much larger Washington Hilton, and even then, participants had to stay in five other nearby hotels in order for all to be to accommodated.
As regional leader Rev. Yang pointed out, it was poignant that this final conference should take place in the same hotel, and in the same room where Father had spoken only a few months earlier. And so it was that the conference opened with an air of expectation as the overflow crowd packed into the auditorium to hear master of ceremonies, Levy Daugherty, offer the opening remarks.
Over the last six months, the True Family Values contents have been revised, refined and improved with every conference. Throughout the conference, the 800 ministers gave their focused attention, while UC members listened with pride as Dr. Hendricks displayed confident mastery of his subject: True Family Values.
At one point, Dr. Hendricks explained how the situation confronted by Christians in America today in very similar to that faced by St. Paul when he traveled to Rome. In particular, the first chapter of Romans relates Paul's lamentation over the debauchery in Rome, a problem reminiscent of present-day America. During a lecture on the following day, Dr. Hendricks asked the ministers which part a husband likes most in his wife: her hands, or is it, "Honey, I love you for your mind!??" The room erupted in a chorus of "amens" and loud acknowledgment as the ministers unanimously agreed on the value of their spouse's most holy place!
As most of us know, Kevin McCarthy has a unique ability to touch the heart, the mind and the funny-bone all at the same time. (Did you know that John the Baptist and Elijah shopped in the same mall?) This ability comes in handy: for example, isn't it hard to justify the highly unusual way that God worked through the unique women of Jesus' lineage? By drawing attention to the humorous irony of each situation, Rev. McCarthy communicated the providential working of God, while avoiding sensitive moral and ethical dilemmas.
An unforgettable moment in the conference was the surprise visit of Dr. Bo Hi Pak, who brought greetings and God's blessings from our True Parents. The ever-charismatic Dr. Pak stirred the hearts of the audience when he related a story about how, during the Korean war, he was in the U.S. for additional training with a group of other Korean army officers. They took a taxi from Georgia to ....New York City and Washington, D.C., in order to see the sights, and to behold beloved America, before returning to probable death on the battlefield in Korea.
The conference featured an impressive array of clergy, or perhaps one should say "clerics". Seated in front throughout the conference was a group of Moslems leaders, including a Sufi cleric from Pakistan with over one and a half million followers. In addition, three theological school presidents, several bishops, and clergy from every race and a multitude of denominations, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox, were in attendance. Father Athanasius Paul, a priest from the Orthodox Church traveled to the seminar from California. He had been instructed to come by his leader, Pope Shinoda III, a leader of over 800,000 Orthodox Christians.
One notable participant in the conference was a Sioux Indian Chief, a direct descendent of Chief Red Cloud and the head of more than 60,000 native Americans. At the conclusion of the conference he offered a moving testimony, after which women from the tribe presented Rev. Pak with a beautiful ceremonial quilt which they had labored long to sew. Mayor Barry's assistant also came and shared a proclamation from the Mayor.
The conference concluded with an address by Rev. Joong Hyun Pak, President of the True Family Values Ministry. Speaking passionately, and quoting from Revelation 22:12-17, Rev. Pak emphasized to the ministers that one cannot enter the Kingdom of God without a family. The Kingdom of God is a place of joy, and joy comes from practicing true love. Therefore, we need a partner. Rev. Pak told the multi- racial audience that it is those who belong to the love race who will enter the Kingdom of God. We should prepare ourselves as true families to meet the coming Lord.
After the conference, Rev. Pak shared that now the task of each UC family is to adopt, love and offer service from the bottom of our hearts to a minister and his congregation. We, the laborers who are called to reap the plentiful harvest, should recall that the Blessing is to be shared as freely, as widely, ...and as soon as possible.
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