Articles From the June 1995 Unification News


In Memoriam Stephen Roomet

Stephen Roomet passed away this May. These are excerpts from some of the testimonials read at the Seung Hwa service.

As I read Stephen's brief biography, I was stilled in my soul by his victories as a spiritual parent, by the way in which he liberated God's love, life and lineage to extend to other Americans, at least two of whom have served in these years in the lonely mission of State Leaders. Through them and many others, Steve's legacy is one of strength and hope, a legacy of indemnity and restoration.

On behalf of the entity of the American Church, which in some symbolic way I am called to represent, I salute Stephen Roomet's years of dedication and his self-denying attitude of humility and offering to this hour.

Dr. Tyler Hendricks, President, Unification Church of America

We drove into the town of Billings, Montana on a hot, summer afternoon. We had been traveling for about three months but I recall this one particular afternoon quite vividly. I remember the weatherman saying it was 110 degrees in the shade. I had just come back to the van that we worked out of, and I recall feeling so depressed that my one desire was just to walk away from this way of life. My head pounded with a headache. I was pouring buckets of sweat. As a condition to liberate America and for God to work through us, we had agreed with Stephen to not eat until dinnertime.

Stephen had to have known what I was feeling. Without a word we drove straight to a park area where water sprinklers were shooting streams of cold water. He threw the van into park and challenged me to a foot race to the sprinklers. In a matter of a few minutes my perspective had changed and I felt refreshed again and ready to do whatever he wanted done next. It was just one of so many moments I experienced during that time in my young spiritual life. Stephen was doing his best in his own way to fulfill what Father had asked us to do-to push hard, to go the extra mile, to give and give more, to pay indemnity with a smile and still try to have a parent's heart of compassion. He was just as tired as I was but he had the great heart and awareness to lift my spirits when I needed it. He had the capacity to reach down deep in his own reservoir of love when circumstances made it a very hard thing to do. I remember recording in my diary that such a simple act demonstrated the beauty of a principled life. And my faith grew a little because of it.

For some ten months, off and on, I traveled with Stephen around the country. I saw an awful lot of America, its beauty and grandeur, but also the sad and the dingy. I laughed, I cried, and I cried some more...and when I got back home dirty, sweaty and exhausted, Stephen encouraged me to pray for those folks and offer up whatever these people could give. Then at 5 am we were up again to pray. Always it was Stephen shaking my shoulder to wake me up and encourage me with that great dimpled grin of his. Stephen truly loved this country beyond himself. I will miss him.

Jim Howell, Laurel, Maryland

In the 20 years that I have known Stephen, he has been the personification of kindness and gentleness. His soft presence amid the harsh realities of New York was always a comfort to me-and to so many others. Stephen's quiet goodness has also epitomized for me the best of religion. He never sought to draw attention to himself, yet he freely gave of himself to others. There was no need for him to trumpet his religious beliefs to others with loud words. When I think of Stephen's life, I think of the words of the prophet Micah: "Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God."

Dr. Mose Durst, Berkeley, CA

Stephen meant a lot to me. He exemplified someone who was very enthusiastic to do God's will. I remember as a young member, Stephen stopping the car and running out to witness to someone. Stephen was someone I wanted to emulate. Stephen's example kept me going when things were falling apart around me. I couldn't give up when I thought of Stephen.

Peeter Saarna (spiritual son), Topeka, KS

Throughout our time in the church, we met often and I could always find a kindred spirit in Stephen as we shared of the joys and struggles of the spiritual life. Very often, particularly in my first years in "the family" I felt God's love through Stephen. With a sense of humor and strength he was able to push me beyond myself. I will always be grateful for the love that I received in our church from people like Stephen.

David Dilg (spiritual son), Wilmington, DE

He has always been a good father. As a spiritual parent, he took very good care of his spiritual children, writing often and thinking of little things to inspire and motivate each one uniquely.

One of his favorite activities was praying at the beach, especially during Il Jeung prayers, years ago; he loves the ocean and during those prayers he always experiences God's heart. He always had something supportive and inspiring to share with the rest of us, even if our hearts had not been opened!

John & Helen Abelseth, Kelowna, British Columbia

A few months from now it will be 20 years since I walked into a bar in Santa Cruz, California, looking for a drink while on a cross-country summer hitchhiking trip, and felt a tap on my shoulder as I waited to place my order with the bartender. Turning around, I saw a fellow with eyes big enough to rival my own, who wanted to know if I'd like to join him and some friends. My prayer for Stephen is for him to find peace and plenty of the hard work he's so good at in spiritual world! Thank you, Stephen

John Willis (spiritual son)


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