Unification News for November 2002

New York Ambassadors for Peace Educational Seminar

On Saturday October 12, at the Tarrytown Hilton Hotel, the New York Region held its first "Ambassadors for Peace" educational seminar and its first "Physical World Resolution."

It started off in the morning with the Ambassadors for Peace educational seminar. Rev. Bruce Grodner (pastor of Westchester County) did an excellent job as the emcee for the event. Rev. Andrew Compton (vice-regional director) gave the welcoming remarks followed by a video that introduced the IIFWP. The goal of the meeting did not focus on a call to action, but rather to help them to more deeply understand True Parent's vision for the IIFWP, its history, its guiding principles, and its goals. After the video, Mr. Antonio Betencourt gave a power point presentation which offered a much fuller introduction to the IIFWP. Mr. Betencourt has a very dignified and statesmen like personality which gave a greater sense of authority to the contents. At the same time his presentation was very spirited and on several occasions the audience responded with applause and shouts of AMEN!.

In the audience we had two council woman, one of whom was the first black council woman in her city, and one Imam. The majority of the 60 participants were ministers from our church outreach efforts.

The educational seminar ended with the lunch program. Over lunch we offered the guests entertainment and two testimonies that presented concrete examples of our activities. Robin Baum presented the Service for Peace initiative and Taj Hamad presented our global activities (including the Moslem conference in Indonesia).

After lunch Rev. Esteban Galvan took over as emcee, and did a tremendous job of guiding us through the "Resolution" program. On our banner we named it the INTERRELIGIOUS CONVOCATION FOR WORLD PEACE. It began with two readings, one from True Father's words on the topic of peace (by Beryl Green), and the other on the testimonies from the spiritual world (by Rev. Tom Corley). After the readings Rev. Jenkins helped the Christians in the audience connect to the spirit of the event by offering biblical quotes in an enthusiastic mini-sermon. He was then followed by Archbishop Stallings who gave a powerful introduction to what had taken place in heaven and what was taking place now on the earth. He then encouraged everyone to join in signing the resolution that had been signed by the saints in the spiritual world.

This was followed by four very brief testimonies from representatives of four faiths, Islam (Imam Konate of Harlem), Buddhism (Monk Bang of East Garden), Judaism (Dr. Andrew Wilson of UTS), and Christianity (Dr Michelle Berry-McMaster of Brooklyn). Finally Rev. Jenkins asked the four religious representatives to join with him in the signing of the resolution. The program concluded with a prayer.

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