The Words of the Stephens Family

Testimony - National Won Jeon Shrine

Jim Stephens
February 28, 2004

Brothers and Sisters,

Back in October I had the privilege to go to Israel on the Third Pilgrimage for Peace in the Middle East. I traveled there with Bill Selig who is one of the main driving forces behind the National Won Jeon Memorial Shrine for our members here in Washington, DC.

In 2003, there were 6 Won Jeon ceremonies here in Washington for our brothers and sisters.

Normally, thinking and talking about our own death and funeral arrangements is a very uncomfortable experience, but talking with Bill during the trip gave me many insights that I was totally unaware of. As a result I helped design the website for the Won Jeon when we returned. I also bought a double crypt for myself and my wife using the payment plan that they have.

As you probably know, True Father has designated this site as the "Arlington Cemetery" for our American members. Plans are in the works to make this a special place for meditation and a holy shrine to our American members for the sacrifices that they have made. When Father designates that a Seung Hwa is to be "National level", it is held here.

Dr. Chang Shik Yang and Rev. Michael Jenkins are deeply involved in the planning for this site and held the Inaugural Ceremony back in October. The committee is attempting to purchase 300 plots over a 5 year period but have not yet reached the half way mark.

I encourage all of you to educate yourselves about this very important issue by spending a few minutes on the website.

Here are a few of the eye opening things that I learned.

1. Funerals can cost in the neighborhood of $10,000. Caskets alone can run more than $5,000. But if you know where to go, you could save $2,000 to $3,000 or more on the same casket.

2. The Fort Lincoln Cemetery has a rich history dating back to Abraham Lincoln who held strategy meetings on the site. There is a limited number of plots that will ever be available. That's one reason we want to get as many as possible as a group. The group rate of $1,700 for an individual or $2,000 for a double crypt is a bargain price that won't be available much longer. Comparable burial sites in other places are going to cost 4,600 for a single and $6,700 for a double.

3. The committee of elders and leaders has gone out of their way to make it as easy as possible for members to participate. For as little as $100 you can make a reservation and pay over time. If you change your mind, you can always sell it later to someone else.

4. When a loved one passes, it is an extremely emotional time and financially very stressful. It's better to make decisions in advance, rather than during such a crisis. With some simple planning now, according to the heartfelt support of the Won Jeon Committee, you can bring great peace of mind to loved ones.

5. In 25 years about 50% of us members Blessed in 1982 will be in spirit world. The planning has to be done sooner or later. There's no time like the present because prices are only going to go up.

If you want to talk to me about any of this, feel free to call.

God bless,

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