Unification News for May 2002

144,000 Blessing in Harlem

April 27th was a most holy and joy filled day for the New York Region. More than 1,500 happy souls gathered for the 144,000 Clergy Couple Blessing at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Harlem. It was a special day everyone had been waiting for with hope and desire.  Those early arrivals came and enjoyed very tasty food at the reception, which provided time for sharing and for the making of new friends. Hundreds of clergy gathered for this family atmosphere in the Church dining hall with Rev. Bruce Grodner as the welcoming emcee. There were also accompanying attractions such as videos and photo displays of ACLC local events. Everyone was pleased with this enlightened and warm gathering of people. There was a feeling of anticipation and hope that coming up was something new and loving, i.e.. the Rededication and Blessing Ceremony.

As guests began to fill the Church sanctuary there were heard beautiful choral songs led by Mr. Robert Hall and the Manhattan Family Praise Team. Already the Church was becoming filled with a wide variety of wonderfully mixed audience of many races and religions. When host Pastor, Rev. Bobbie McDaniel came to the pulpit the 250-300 clergy (including members of their congregations) had already been seated and attentively followed the program with a deep feeling of satisfaction and peace.  The church was filled to capacity, with people standing in the aisles.  The day took on another spirit of celebration when the announcement came from Emcee Rev. Daryl Clarke that today marked the birthday of Rev. Mc Daniel, our wonderful host. The invocation was given with spiritually uplifting words of soul by Archbishop Angel Torres, United Church of Christ.

Most clear and significant words of welcoming were given by the Bishop Dong Woo Kim, Executive Committee, ACLC. At this point everyone had the feeling like this entire event was an historic event that would be changing the family of America through this most Godly Blessing of clergy and congregation. If you didn't see tears of joy you saw smiles of agreement in the audience. God was good with us on this day! Following along in the program we heard of the many gratuitous proclamations given from as close as Manhattan Borough President to the halls of Albany, N.Y. Rumiko Tsaken directed the West-Rock Choir together with the Manhattan Family Church Choir in a most heavenly sung selection of songs, giving sounds of love,  joy and purity.

Then the Apostle Dr. S.A. Cole, Church of Jesus Christ, Inc. came to the pulpit and put evangelical fire to the ceremony, testifying to his gratitude and commitment to this most divine cause of the Family Rededication and Blessing Ceremony. He spoke with the mighty conviction of the prophecy and blessing that all the clergy present felt. The feeling he expressed was not to stop but 'let's go oní. Everybody said, Ďletís go oní Amen, Ďletís go oní.

Next, with the same powerful and enthusiastic spirit, was the Bishop Cecil Riley. The Bishop anointed us all with a dynamic message of purpose and conviction and we became so happy and praising the Lord that the general feeling was that the Holy Spirit was speaking. There was so much hand clapping and praising that we knew we werenít going to leave this ceremony the same but new and different, with more of the true love, life, and lineage. Hallelujah! And Mrs. Eleanor Riley blessed us with a most loving and strong holy song of love from Heaven.

The actual Ceremony of Blessing and Rededication was led by the officiators, Bishop and Mrs. Dong Woo Kim, representing our True Parents. Due to some technical difficulties rather than the satellite transmission from Washington D. C. we were able to have a very clear and wonderful video playing of the 60 Clergy Couples Blessing in N.Y. May, 2001.

Everyone was so intently focused and involved with the prayer and the reading of vows that it was as though everyone was feeling the liveliness and the preciousness of this new moment of new beginning in Marriage and family. You could have heard a pin drop, The atmosphere was so peaceful and serious. Three local religious leadership couples received the Blessing and they proudly represented the clergy and congregation participating on this most joyous day of glory and victory. Everyone felt like we had been clearly doing Godís Will.

In conclusion, following a cake cutting and closing cheers of Mansei, the clergy and congregation shared embraces of joy, victory and love for this most grand event of celebration of new life by the 144,000 Clergy Blessing all over America. Many great leadership were present like the Bishop Billy Robinson from the Garden of Prayer Cathedral, C.O.G.I.C. and many respective clergy and vast variety of denominations and locations. Many clergy filled the steps outside, taking pictures and sharing good words about the total feeling of joy and peace that each and everyone of us had experienced this day. Recovering from open heart surgery and moments before the actual ceremony Rev. Miguel Cruz, Alpha & Omega, pastor. he almost missed the event feeling some chest pains but he went ahead and challenged himself and he said, "I'm most grateful because I see what a meaningful event this is. I wouldnít have missed it, not for the world. Thank you." Rev. Miguel and wife, Juanita both attended with friends.

These kind of testimonies tell us that we're seeing the beginning of eternal relationships of clergy and congregations, making concerted efforts to see Godís will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Thank you, True Parents.

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