Unification News for July 1999
Making the Dream a Reality
Recently, I was struck by the impact that our lives as members of this church have on a community. It appears to me that the dreams we held so dearly 20 plus years ago, is indeed not that far from reality (even as simple as helping build God-centered communities). This especially struck me while I was conducting a funeral service for a good friend of mine. Standing in front of a rural community of 350 people giving the sermon and later the last rites at the gravesite, I could not help but feel a deep sense of gratitude to Rev. and Mrs. Moon for the rich opportunities they have given us.
My friend, was a well-known archeologist for Montana. I met her while I was fundraising for the church. Over the years, we could share deeply about God, life and many other spiritual principles. Though we had many wonderful conversations on archeology, it was because I could share with her my ministry that on her deathbed, she requested that Mike the "flower man", the minister would conduct the service for her passing. And one can imagine, how so many of my other "fundraising" friends were surprised seeing me in front reading the Bible when all these many years they only saw me conducting fundraising enterprises.
This is where I take the point that we do have a rich life that is very much in sync with reality. As the local businesses that I fundraise with recently gave my family and myself a free night and dinner at a local resort as a way of showing me their gratitude for my work. Yes, knowing that I am a minister of the Family Church, they are happy to support my activities and wish to encourage me by even presenting me with an embroidered shirt with Mike on the front and The Flower Man on back.
Recently, while Mrs. Moon was on tour in the Northwest, I was honored to bring my two brothers and their wives to attend the speech. They were very happy to hear her and please with her words. Our Regional leader (at that time Rev. Weon Geun Kim) was very gratuitous to visit with my brothers and present them with some Hoon Dok Hae Books. My brother stated, "I will place these next to my Divine Principle book which I have on my shelf in my bedroom." Again, I was struck with the old adage that if we do not give up; we will see the blessing bloom from the tree.
As with the rally events that we are working on, we see again that when we remain confident in our beliefs and faithful to the ideals, our friends respond and amazing experiences transpire. Our clergy friends were happy to be co-sponsors for the Pro-family rally. We realize that in continuing an ongoing dialogue and keeping connected, they respond in return. We had 220 people gather in the local Park for a Family Rally. Three other churches co-sponsored the event with two local businesses donating food and refreshments. One minister who had never expressed any interest before to work together, was so inspired by our efforts with this rally that he asked if he could be part of the event and donated money for the event.
Although it may seem like a paradox, having fun and being a religious person, it is in fact not far fetched. We can find the joy and excitement the enthusiasm and inspiration again and again as we reach out and witness our life of faith. Just last week, some people in the community met with us to work together to do a retirement/testimonial program at our church. The Catholic Nun is a very good friend of ours and has supported us and participated in many of our events. We saw it as an honor and blessing to host this Honor Rally. 150 people gathered (many were Native American elders and other Catholic Nuns) on June 27, to recognize this wonderful person. Again, I felt deeply how much our church is reaching that reality of being a substantial part of the community.
Bishop Weon Geun Kim has provided a lot of the inspiration to our work here in Montana. He encouraged us to do many of these outreach events and also gave us a lot of local authority and autonomy (Billings, Montana is 900 miles from the Regional center). His leadership is partly why we could have such positive connections and creates inspiring events that we have had. We too honor him and his family thanking him for their dedication and investment to our region and especially our state of Montana.
In conclusion, we are all making the dream we envisioned so many years a go become and becoming a reality. Nevertheless, as in our experiences, we must constantly strive for unity among our church community, dialogue and repent when we "step on each others toes". We each have our personal responsibilities, business and missions to deal with. Yet, when we work together and go out/reach out with different projects, not giving up or giving in, wonderful and inspiring dreams become a reality.
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