Unification News for October 2002
12 City North American Speaking Tour - Chicago
True Motherís coming to Chicago on September 24, 2002 has been one of the most awaited events for this year, by many of our church pastors, guests and church membership in Region 12. It was overwhelming to witness the enthusiasm of over 1500 dignitaries, political, community, ambassadors, consul general and religious leaders who came to receive the new message of True Mother which was entitled, "The Origin of Peace is God" and the spirit worldís new revelation, " A Cloud of Witnesses"
Our event was held at the Grand Ballroom of the beautifully landscaped Hyatt Regency OíHare Hotel. The program began pretty much on time at around 6:15 PM with the musical prelude by the Rev. Walter Butts of Mt. Carmel Children of God MBC and the ever heartistic True Family Values Choir, which was composed of missionaries from Japan. Then our Regional Director, Bishop Ki Hoon Kim was called to welcome each and everyone who came from different walks of life especially those who even have traveled a long way just to be in this event.
We were very happy to see the Rev. Michael Jenkins back to our region once again and as usual have reached a certain degree of expertise in handling the Master of Ceremonies. The Co-Convener of ACLC Pastor T.L. Barrett, Jr. officially opened with the beautiful prayer to order on notes of harmony, love reconciliation and calling upon the power of the Holy Spirit. The audience was an incredible mixture of Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist and so many others. This was followed by the reading of the Proclamations sent by the Gov. George H. Ryan, the Cong. J. Dennis Hastert, the Hon. Jesse White, the Hon. Judy Baar Topinka, the Mayor Richard Daley and the Mayor Debra A. Powell, stating that September the 24th is Dr. Hak Ja Han Moonís Day! Archbishop George A. Stallings gave the special remarks and was again happily embraced by the crowd because of his charismatic and dynamic speech. And as we prepared to receive our True Mother, a video presentation about "The Power of True Love" was shown.
True Mother came out with a loving and exciting smile as she was welcomed warmly with a standing ovation, with a loud cheer and a rousing hand claps.
The room became very calm and peaceful when True Mother began reading her speech. It became more exciting when True Mother announced that she and her husband, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon were standing in the position of True Parents, the savior of humankind. Professor Olfat El Mallakh (Professor of World Religion from Christian Egypt), and was known much persecution in her lifetime said that he was moved by not only the content of her speech, but also the fact that as a native Korean, she could speak so beautifully, what an effort, what a sacrifice. Mrs. Moon is so beautiful, she is like a perfect image. Itís amazing that she has given birth to 13 children and has over 30 grandchildren (I have only 2 teenage daughters). She is ageless, she looks like an ideal woman. Also, I am supportive of the effort to bestow the Nobel Peace prize upon Rev. Moon. That is a noble effort whose time has come. Dr. and Mrs. Tom Lee (Dr. Lee is a former special assistant to the mayor of the city of Chicago) also testified that the program was great and the speech was enlightening especially the fact that they are standing as the True Parents. I am so amazed how they are devoting their lives to bringing peace to the world especially how they are setting an example, through their life and teaching, and how to bring families back together. I was deeply moved by the Cloud of witnesses. Rev. Olivia Jones (Pastor, Supreme temple of Love & Truth) commented that she has been attending Unification events for over 20 years and had been to Korea and Japan. She has felt so much love and gratitude to her Unification brothers and sisters for the way that they have been taking care of her through all the years.
Rev. M.E. Sardon also said that his members called him up first this morning and expressed of their having an incredible time at the event and the whole program turned out magnificent. Also, Mrs. Graziella Reyes de Prieto, the Consul General of Uruguay said, she is more happy to have received the title as an Ambassadors for Peace even though she has just passed the qualifying exam for the nationís Ambassadress position.
Many were actually moved by her message and were truly grateful of having been invited to this historical event. Rev. Larry Branch of Mt. Bethlehem MBC brought 34 members of his congregation and said, "Itís beautiful for me because Mrs. Moon teaches us to become unselfish and care more for other people. What made me more happy was that, my members had a good experience."
Mr. Ken Murray, one of our tribal messiahs testified also about Rev. Branchís wife that as she was reading along with TM, she was saying, "This is good, deep and very important and that God is speaking through Mother Moon.
And I know that God is giving me this message and that I was meant to be here today." Many of the churches have actually canceled and sacrificed their bible studies just to come to the banquet and they said that itís worth listening to the truth that Mother Moon had shared.
One of the highlights of the event was the commissioning of the Ambassadorís for Peace. Out of the one hundred recipients, six of them were chosen to go up on stage and receive the award directly from True Mother and this was followed by the presentation of gifts and flowers.
Mrs. Sometani, the WFWP Chairwoman of the Midwest, was privileged to read the " Testimonies from the Saints and other Leaders and the audience received it objectively.
Dr. Paul Swanson led the prayer for the meal then everyone proceeded eating. What made this event very unique this time was that TM was asked to read her speech first before having a dinner. This was I think a good idea because it nudges the audience to focus their attention first on the spiritual food before the physical food.
And almost towards the end of the program, some men and women representatives were invited to cross the bridge of peace, and was challenged to go beyond their faith, culture and ideology.
Chicago has once again brought tremendous victory and great joy to God and True Parents. We thank Bishop Kim and the unity of tribal messiahs and Japanese missionaries in Chicago. Truly this event has amazed everyone and has shaken heaven and earth!
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