Articles From the February 1995 Unification News
Birthday Celebration For Rev. And Mrs. Moon In New York
Unification Church leaders from 40 nations and all 50 states gathered in New York City on February 5 for the celebration of the birthday of Reverend Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon. It was Reverend Moon's 75th birthday. He and she both were born on January 6 of the lunar calendar, in villages but a few miles apart in what is now North Korea.
The day began with an offering ceremony involving some 300 members of the Moon family and church elders and leaders. Officiated by Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, this ceremony, based upon the tradition of offering the first fruits of the harvest, both literally and symbolically as a tithe, to God. Reverend and Mrs. Moon bow first to God, and then their children and grandchildren, and then the church elders and younger members. Holy candles are lit and then Reverend Moon gives the opening prayer of the day. After the prayer, a large cake is cut and rice cakes are distributed to all. Later in the day the cake is cut and distributed among all the membership, and the fruits of the offering table, carefully built into towers, is sent out among the membership in the New York area and across the nation (nuts and other non- perishables).
After the ceremony, Reverend and Mrs. Moon and their family proceeded to the Grand Ballroom of the New Yorker Hotel, where some 1,500 members were awaiting them. There were special guests as well for the speech, including Christian ministers (some of whom could not stay the entire time because of their own Sunday morning obligations!), scholars and political leaders.
Not one to mince words, Reverend Moon explained to them strongly about the purpose of creation being the perfection of love between a true man and true woman. But prior to achieving that, or being qualified for that, one must have one's mind and body united completely, centering on the will of God. Reverend Moon challenged the special guests along with all the members to unite their minds and bodies in following their consciences, and to create families of goodness in service to the nation and world. It was a challenging speech.
After the speech, there were special presentations to Reverend Moon, including a book of collected testimonies by the UN troops who had participated in the liberation of Hungnam prison in 1951. This was presented by one of those soldiers personally, a man who is now an eminent New York lawyer and who is working, coincidentally, with North Korean delegates for the sake of gaining information on MIAs from the Korean War.
After lunch there began a serendipitous series of yute games. Church leaders from eight continental regions gathered in the Grand Ballroom, and played this traditional Korean game all afternoon. Unfortunately, the results were not clear by dinner time, so the tournament was brought to a temporary halt, to be continued after the evening entertainment, commencing at around 10 pm. By 2:30 am, the four finalists had been determined: the teams from the Middle East, Asia, the Boston, New Jersey and Washington, DC, Regions of the United States and the Los Angeles and New York Regions of the United States. The reader must wait until the end of the article to find out who won, because the finals did not come until two days later.
The Evening Performance of the 1995 True Parents' Birthday was a classically-oriented program, featuring the Kirov Academy Ballet of Washington, DC. (See side-bar for details of the program.) Bright and early the next morning the National and State Leaders jumped onto buses bound for Washington, DC, and after an inspiring few hours of dozing away, we arrived at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Crystal City to observe the third of the series of eight International Women's Friendship Conferences (see article by Mrs. Nora Spurgin in this issue). The women among the group were privileged to join the ceremony and be joined together with Japanese sisters.
The following morning all the leaders gathered in the Conference Theatre of the hotel for an all-day meeting with Reverend and Mrs. Moon. We heard reports about the Women's Friendship Conferences and developments of our church activities in South America. This was followed by Reverend Moon's address. He covered the ethics of Principle, of self-sacrifice and "investing everything and forgetting, and investing more" as God's way of life. People who live that way, following the way of God, for the higher purpose of the benefit of the whole, will automatically become the leaders of the society, nation and world. All Unification Church leaders were encouraged to follow this way of life.
After a break, Reverend Moon's address continued with a discussion of the principle by which God has worked through women throughout biblical history. Because of the fall, women as well as men fell into an unprincipled position. In order to return to the proper position in front of God and the family, there must be a reversal of the process of the fall. The act of the fall saw Eve act against both her Father (God) and her husband (Adam) in the process of following Satan's word. To reverse this, women standing in the position of Eve must follow God's word, even if in the process they must act against the wishes of their (physical) father and their husband (both of whom, relative to a chosen woman, stand on the side of Satan). To reduce it to simple terms, Eve left God for the sake of Satan, to restore this Eve must leave Satan for the sake of God.
What Reverend Moon discovered--and here is a key for understanding his work of over 50 years--is that the fall was not just a spiritual event, an psychological event centering on mental rebellion against God, but that this mental rebellion was acted out by persons in historical relationships. Hence, the fall can only be resolved through the actions of persons in historical relationships, who establish certain positions and avoid the mistakes of the past, resist the temptations to which our ancestors fell prey, love and sacrifice where our ancestors separated and became arrogant.
Reverend Moon delivered a fascinating and illuminating account of the actions of the women of the Bible, from Rebekah, to Rachel and Leah, to Mary, Mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth, her kinswoman. Through this we could understand much more deeply the origin of the birth of Christ. We could also understand more about our own relationship as husbands and wives, and also about the relationships between various nations who stand in certain providential positions, centering on "the Lord of all nations". Did not the God of the Old Testament address nations as individual persons?
The third and final session of the leaders meeting included a set of visionary instructions for the coming months and years, far too numerous and complex to begin to summarize. This was followed by a session led by Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak on the practical implementation of Reverend Moon's vision. One small item bears mention here:
We would like to have 100 new holy songs by the end of this year. All members are invited to submit written lyrics, preferably in Korean, to the World Mission Department, by the end of September. Selected composers will put the 100 lyrics selected by True Parents to melody. The suggested themes for these songs are: The original relationship of God, man and the creation; the ideal of perfection; God's dominion and sovereignty; True Love; the love for God, the people and the nation; giving glory to God; giving glory and gratitude to True Parents; the Completed Testament Age.
And, by the way, the finals of the yute game were played in New York after the bus back from Washington. They began at about midnight and concluded around 3 am. The winners were: 1. United States Regions 1, 2 and 3; 2. United States Regions 10 and 11; 3. Asia.
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