Unification News for December 2001

Chicago

by Rev. Michael Jenkins

True Motherís eight-city tour concluded in Chicago on Saturday with great support and a graet victory. Over 2,000 religious leaders gathered to received True Mother's pronouncement of the Unified Nation of Cosmic Peace. Congressman Danny Davis and Secretary of State Jesse White stayed for the three hour luncheon. They both became official Ambassadors for Peace. Bishop Stallings gave a tremendous introduction to Mother. Rev. Thomas Jackson (a major figure in the Church of God In Christ) honored Mrs. Erikawa for the work the Japanese Missionaries have done. The True Family Values Japanese Missionary Choir sang with great grace and beauty.

Kim Barrett and the Quiet Storm Trio, both of Pastor T.L. Barrett's church, brought a great patriotic spirit by singing America the Beautiful and The Star Spangled Banner.

Chicago had sold most of the 200-plus tables to the Chicago churches over 600 of which have joined the American Clergy Leadership Conference.

In conjunction with the event the American Clergy Leadership Conference hosted 200 ministers representing all 50 states. Hawaii and Alaska were well represented.

The 2nd Annual Convocation of the ACLC received great messages from the Rev. Dr. Hycel Taylor of Pilgrim Baptist Church and Bishop Stallings and Bishop J. The Executive Committee of 21 pastors was officially voted in along with Executive director Levy Daugherty. Rev. Michael Jenkins and Pastor T.L. Barrett were affirmed as Co-Conveners with Chairman Dr. Chang Shik Yang. Bishop Stallings was confirmed as the Chairman of the Executive Committee.

Then in turn the 50 state executive committees were affirmed and the organization has come to life. Rev. Eu, the leader of our Japanese movement, gave a beautiful testimony to True Parents in Hawaii and that he couldn't believe that such prestigious clergy from many denominations and races have now firmly established a 50-state organization that is self sufficient. (All the clergy covered their own costs as much as possible.) It was an historical moment. I heard that the celebration in Hawaii was great and that Father was truly happy. Thank you True Mother.

We sincerely thank Bishop Ki Hoon Kim for his magnificent leadership and Dr. Yang for his vision to have the whole nation convene at the same time making the event truly representative of North America. All 50 state leaders and the leaders of Canada were there as well as the Vice Regional Directors and Regional Leaders.

The following is based on a report by Rev. Rich Lemont:

The combined 6th True Family Values Awards Banquet and the ACLC and ILC conferences that took place on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14, 15 was a great success.

True Mother was very pleased with the reception of the ministers and community leaders at the 8th speech in her American speaking tour.

Over 2,000 people attended the main event in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Chicago. Leading ministers, academics and politicians took part.

The Bridge of Peace ceremony was an emotional highlight for everyone. Representatives from the Christian, Moslem, Indian, White and Black communities took part to help heal the rifts of the past.

Over 270 Graduates of the ILC conference received their Ambassador of Peace awards before our True Mother. The ACLC conference on Friday saw over 200 ministers and church leaders take part in the convocation and discussion of the future course of ACLC. Archbishop Stallings remarks were especially well-received.

The ILC conference saw Rev. Maxine Walker's tremendous call to the gathered ministers and Muslim and Sikh leaders to take part in our True Parentís revitalization of the UN.

3 television stations, CBS and ABC and WGN, covered the event and CH 9 WGN sent out a fantastic feature story that was covered nationwide by satellite and cable systems.

The reaction of the ministers was tremendous. Bishop Frank Harrold, Jr. of St. Louis, Missouri attended the ACLC convocation and True Family Values Banquet. He said, "We people call, even at night, asking for helpÖ I learned that from Father Moon and the Unification Church. If he told me he had a revelation that I should go to some remote part of the world, I would leave the next day, I trust Rev. Moon that much."

Rev. and Mrs. Higashino brought a member of a large church. She could attend the ILS conference and the banquet and she was so inspired that she canceled two or three appointments to stay till the end. She was melted by the True Motherís presence. She listened to her speech so attentively and was making many underlines on the text. She looked so overwhelmed and she said, "I had a concept about Rev. Moon that he is conducting big marriage ceremonies, but I didn't know that he was for Peace."

We explained his vision of world peace through the ideal marriage, she was so moved and began to share her personal struggle. She is 41 years old and still single. She believes God must have someone for her but she couldn't find him yet. Since she sees the reality of marriages, she was afraid to go the same way as ordinary people go.

We explained that we are matched by Father and we shared our marriage life testimony. She said Rev. Moon has the key that Christian church doesn't have, which is "family." She said that even a huge church like hers has many singles, but nobody can do anything about it. She can't bring this kind of problem to the pastor because he is so busy worrying about more public things such as how to enlarge the parking lot space, banquet hall, etc.

We explained that even though Father himself is not doing matching anymore but in Chicago our Bishop Kim has that authority from Father, and we suggested that she apply for the matching by Bishop Kim. She said, "Why not." Rev. Higashino is giving her the application form now. She was very happy and thankful for the chance to have come and see True Mother.

Richard Singer reported that Rev. John Ray Smith from North Carolina was talking with Dr. Revele, one of our strong supporters from Detroit, and it turned out they were old friends.

About twenty years ago, they both were ministers in Washington, D.C. During that time, Minister Farrakhan wanted to have an event in Washington, but no one would rent them a hall. Rev. Smith was able to rent a hall for them so they could have their event. As Minister Farrakhan was so controversial at the time, very few ministers came to the event and Rev. Smith met Dr. Revele at that time. They became friends and Rev. Smith left the position he had of leading the broadcast ministry at one church to work with Dr. Revele.

Rev. Smith has only been working with our movement for a few months, and was very doubtful about coming to Chicago. In the end, it was only Burgi Hutchersonís faith and persistence that brought him. She has a way of being so insistent with such a pure heart that people can't refuse her. Once he was at the event, he had such a positive experience, but meeting his old friend Dr. Revele really inspired him. They talked for quite while about the "We Will Stand" tour and the press conference they had in Detroit. Rev. Smith has had many years dealing with both the print and broadcast media, and is well aware of their power, both for bad and for good. That is one reason he hadn't had anything to do with our movement until recently. Hearing Dr. Revele's testimony really inspired him and gave him hope for the future.

As Richard Singer said, "December 15th was a day of great victory in Chicago for True Mother's speaking tour and the conferences held in conjunction with the speech. One thing we need to remember is how much God and spirit world are working to prepare for these events, so much more than we are doing."

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