40 Years in America

Home Church Is My Kingdom Of Heaven

Rev. Ken Sudo at work in his Home Church area, Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York

Six months later, the church switched gears and concentrated its efforts on a "total-participation" door-to-door witnessing program in Manhattan with each member searching for 360 households to cultivate. This led to the development of "Home Church" which became the focus of the movementís witnessing activity between 1978-83. The concept was simple. Rather than have oneís contacts attend successive workshops with the goal of moving them into a center, the approach was to establish "Home Churches" in oneís witnessing area. Home Church held forth the promise of reducing negativity toward the church and at the same time significantly increasing numerical growth. Thus, it was emphatically embraced. Rev. Moon stated that Home Church should have been set up in the Garden of Eden and that it was the movementís final frontier and destiny. "In the future," he predicted, "presidents and prime ministers will do home church." It was the place where the races would be united and all human problems liquidated. Paraphrasing John 14:6, he said that "no one comes to the Father except by home church," and he explained that the number 144,000 of the Book of Revelation was "the number of home churches we will lift up."

Under such mottos as "Home Church Is My Kingdom of Heaven," members worked assiduously to set up home churches. Rev. Moon prepared a letter, subtitled "A Gift from 8,000 Miles Away," which was mailed to one million New York households. Members formed home church associations, held home church banquets and even conventions, undertook service projects, and distributed educational materials. However, even at its height, home church was not the only witnessing method pursued by the church. The movement still required full-time personnel, and members were subject to periodic mobilizations.

In 1979, fifty senior "blessed wives" were called to the field for two years for work on college campuses. In 1981, 120-day training was re-instituted. Finally, between 1983-85, the movement abandoned local work entirely during an emergency period of "total mobilization." All church wives and many members were asked to join mobile IOWC teams for three years. Eventually, fifty of these teams campaigned throughout the country -- witnessing, holding workshops on weekends, preaching, fundraising, doing public relations work, etc. The pattern was to campaign twenty-one days in a given city, then move to the next one. In mid-1984, the pattern changed. Each of the fifty IOWC teams were assigned to a different state and given the assignment of establishing four pioneer centers.

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