The Words of the Vargas Family
New York, USA - The first Ambassadors for Peace seminar of the year highlighted the potential of Christian, Jewish, Native American, Hispanic, and Mayan traditions to promote understanding and cooperation in the Americas. The February 6 seminar on "Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges: The Need for Hemispheric Cooperation" took place at the Lovin' Life Learning Center. A seven-day service and fact-finding trip to Guatemala was announced for July.
After the moderator, Rabbein Sarah Haddash, opened by blowing the shofar, Archbishop Moses de la Rosa from the Christ Family Church in New York emphasized that peace cannot be achieved without God.
Ambassador for Peace Dror Ashuah introduced two books he has written, Conversations with the Angels and So Be It, which are compilations of spiritual messages he has received from the spiritual realm over the past few years. He talked about the current era we are in and said that as more and more people vibrate internally at a higher spiritual frequency the realm of peace will expand.
Rev. Gerhard Bessell, whose family has been building an Ambassadors for Peace network in Guatemala, talked about the importance of spending time in other countries. Through such experiences, people can gain a greater understanding of the needs of others. The insights and compassion from first-hand experiences are important effective peace-building work. He invited people to join in a service and fact-finding trip to Guatemala July 17-23. Prof. Alan Saunders, who spearheaded UPF's Character Education Initiative, gave an interactive session on conflict resolution, and two young women, Karisa Morikawa and Joonmi Veith, shared their experiences teaching character education programs in Jamaica.
Some women may wonder, "What good can I as one woman do?" Mrs. Jacqueline McLeod spoke about women as peacemakers, emphasizing the vital roles that women can play as nurturers and healers, which are crucial qualities for building peace.
Ms. Genie Kagawa, Assistant Director of UPF's Office of UN Relations, described the five principles of peace, emphasizing "living for the sake of others" as the most essential element for creating peace. She described the vital role that NGOs play in working with governments and the United Nations to reduce disease, hunger, and war. Maria Luisa Vargas, who works at the United Nations, described the root cause of the world's problems as the severed connection between God and humankind. Therefore, religious insights need to be included in strategies to address global problems.
Mrs. Lynn Walsh, Director of UPF's Marriage and Family Peace Initiative, read from the founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon's recent address in Las Vegas on Building a United Nations That Embodies the True Love of God. "We are living in a time when everything will become clear," he said. "The truth of the heavenly world be known when we learn how to use our God-given abilities in the right way! If even a portion of the colossal energy and expenditure invested every day in the personal pursuit of pleasure could be diverted into a heavenly purpose, the pursuit of true happiness, how quickly the world could be changed."
Two Ambassadors for Peace were honored and presented with a statue of an eagle for their life work in serving the community and developing the American Clergy Leadership Conference. According to Native American tradition, since eagles fly higher and see better than other birds, they are considered to be closer to the Creator than any other Earth creatures. It carries the prayers of humans in the world of the Earth to the world of Spirit where the Creator resides and brings back the response. To give someone an eagle feather is to show ultimate respect.
Bishop Dr. Margie de la Rosa was honored for life of service and work in the community. The presentation was received by her husband, Archbishop Moses de la Rosa. Dr. Lonnie and Mrs. McLeod were honored for their many years of service, in particular with the Exodus program, which provides support services to people who are released from prison as they reintegrate into their communities.
Ambassador for Peace Susana Bastarrica shared a video presentation about the Vigil for International Peace, an event she hosts at the Central Park Bandshell in New York City every year on the Sunday closest to September 21, the UN International Day of Peace. Participants joined in a flamenco dance with newly appointed Ambassador for Peace, Imma Heredia. The seminar concluded with conversations among new-found friends and partners in peace.