Articles From the March 1994 Unification News


True Parents' Birthday In New York City - 1994

On February 15, 1994, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon and Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon hosted the celebration of their birthday in New York City. Some 1,500 members gathered to celebrate with them at the World Mission Center, Manhattan Center, and the following day at East Garden.

The couple had been outside of the United States since the occasion of Mrs. Moon's United Nations address on September 7. In the intervening months she has spoken throughout the world, and the Reverend Moon has been hard at work teaching in Korea. So it was with a great deal of appreciation and gladness that the Unification members here greeted the first couple.

As do all Holy Days, the celebration began with prayer and offering to Heavenly Father in the early morning. Rev. and Mrs. Moon and their entire family bowed before God's altar, followed by the elder membership and representative couples from across America and around the world. After the prayer, Reverend Moon spoke at length, until two of his grandchildren skipped back into the the room to remind him that it was time for breakfast.

Following a quick repast, Rev. and Mrs. Moon hurried downstairs to the Grand Ballroom of the World Mission Center to the gathered membership. There was a special contingent of Christian clergy from the city and around the nation, almost 100 strong. Reverend Moon addressed them directly several times during his morning speech, which focused on the dire need for God's hand to guide this nation, and the responsibility of Christianity in that connection. He stressed the terrible reality of sin, and its origin in the fall of man. Since Christians have never understood the real meaning of the fall, they have not been able to solve the problem of sin.

At the close of the speech, Reverend and Mrs. Moon returned to the stage for presentations from Dr. Robert Grant, Dr. Donald Sills and other representative ministers. In particular they brought a page from the first edition of the King James Bible, published in 1611. Insterestingly, the page which they obtained was the page containing the account of the human fall, Genesis 3.

In the afternoon there was a lecture competition, with a dozen competitors from across America. The winner was Long Island's own Rev. Chen Fong, with the perennial runners-up Rev. Will Suttles (Detroit) and Mr. Eric Holt (Unification Theological Seminary). In his remarks on presenting the awards and cash prizes that evening during the performance, Dr. James Baughman, President of the American Church, called for the WFWP sisters as well as the second generation to challenge the brothers in lecturing excellence.

That evening we convened at the Manhattan Center to enjoy a stellar performance. It opened with several dances by young stars of the Kirov Academy Ballet in Washington, DC. As Reverend Moon has commented, ballet is the highest expression of dance, because the dancers are always on their tiptoes reaching upwards. They were not only on their tiptoes, they were leaping and flinging each other across the stage. It was a delightful performance, including a charming comic piece by one young boy.

Music dominated the balance of the program, beginning with a shared set by Sheila Vaughn and Patsy Casino. Both alumni of the pioneering 70s Unification band, Sunburst, Sheila and Patsy displayed tremendous vocal harmony and dulct sensitivity to their material and to each other. Their artistic abilities have developed over the years, as befits daughters of God growing in His love and truth. From Japan via Manhattan Center Studies came a rock vocalist and guitarist, Shunya Sawada. Mr. Sawada was instrumental (pardon me) in bringing about the opening of mainland China to our Unification culture, orchestrating (there I go again) the advent of the Japanese band, Sunrise Ocean, to several mainland venues. The government of China while desiring to satisfy the people's appetite for contemporary music, feel that music should uplift the people's spirit and contribute to their well-being and discipline to live for the sake of others. Since this is in harmony with the Unification spirit, there is a perfect fit.

Mr. Sawada is a soulful singer and excellent guitarist. He performed a Chinese song, which transitioned from Chinese tonality to American rockabilly with remarkable smoothness. His opener was his own composition, "Polaris." His tour de force was Hyo Jin Nim's song, "Rebirth." In that third song he proved himself a brilliant object to a brilliant subject, completely faithful to the originating genius and adding through that objectivity his own natural genius. Hyo Jin Nim's music is of course powerfully masculine, and Shunya is a relatively feminine object, bringing out new aspects of Hyo Jin Nim's work by his delicate treatment. His love for Hyo Jin Nim and True Parents showed through every note of his guitar and inflection of his voice.

We were treated as well to a famous Korean mezzo-soprano, Hak Nam Kim, who performed two traditional Korean songs. By the way, Ms. Kim was a featured soloist at the inauguration of President Young Sam Kim. Manhattan Center Television provided an illuminating piece on True Mother's 40-nation speaking tour correlated with Father's teaching on Cheju Island, entitled "Love Has No Boundaries." In a wonderful segment we saw Father and Mother conversing and singing together on both ends of the phone while 10,000 miles apart. As the lights came up, our happy hearts witnessed them sitting together in our presence, enjoying the performance held in their honor together with us. Their parental love and our children's love combined for that moment, giving us the taste of heaven. And a happy birthday was had by all.

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