100 Days of Devotion and True Children’s Day
Across the nation, Unificationists held kick-off ceremonies for the 100-Day Devotion Period in Preparation for Foundation Day. Some communities combined their ceremony with the 57th True Children’s Day and 29th Foundation Day for the Unified Nation of Heaven and Earth Celebration. Here are photos and stories shared by local communities:
National Ministry Team
The National Ministry Team extends warm greetings during this Holy Day season. Members of the Media Department at the National Ministry Team came into the office early on the morning of October 31 to prepare an offering table for the 57th True Children’s Day. At the end of the day, FFWPU North America Continental Chairman, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, officiated an observance of the Holy Day, inviting all of the National Ministry Team to come together for a moment of heartfelt celebration and fellowship.
The Nashville Family Church held their kickoff ceremony for the 100-Day Devotion Period in Preparation for Foundation Day on Sunday, October 30. Pastor Yukihiro Saito served as the master of ceremonies and read a speech delivered by True Mother to explain the 100-day devotion. After offering a prayer of resolution to heaven, Pastor Priscilla Agari led the community in offering three cheers of Eog Mansei. Eight adults and nine young people participated.
Two Unificationist families came together to present a beautiful offering table for the kick-off of the 100-day devotion in the home of one of the families.
The Detroit Family Church held a large kickoff ceremony on October 30, 2016. They read True Mother’s message on the significance of the 100-day devotion and had a wonderful get-together. Dr. Ki Hoon Kim also attended the ceremony.
The Louisiana Family Church consolidated their kickoff ceremony with celebrations for the 57th True Children’s Day and the 29th Foundation Day for the Unified Nation of Heaven and Earth after attending Sunday Service in Laplace, Louisiana on October 30, 2016. The Sunday sermon emphasized True Mother’s call to district pastors and regional leaders of Korea and Japan to engage in dedicated outreach, to serve the Unification community, and to invite more couples to participate in the Marriage Blessing Ceremony.
About 30 Unificationists, including families and young children, gathered at the Milwaukee Family Church during their October 30 Sunday Service to kickoff the 100-day devotions. Young Unificationist Rosia Schmidt gave the Sunday sermon, “What Makes God Smile.” A short explanation was given by the District 7 District Pastor couple as well. A more in-depth determination service follows statewide the following Sunday.
On October 30, 2016, the Miami Family Church held their local kickoff ceremony for the 100-day devotion. After reading through True Mother’s speech explaining the significance of the devotion, the community was touched by True Mother’s heart and rededicated themselves to accomplishing God’s Will with her.
Las Vegas, NV
The Las Vegas Family Church held a Holy Pledge Service on Sunday, October 30. Young Unificationist and pastor, Justin Okamoto, gave a Sunday sermon about the preciousness of the parent-child relationship.
In the afternoon, the community held a potluck lunch with games for children including a bouncy house and pinata.
Local Unificationist James Oberg describes the day:
This morning’s pledge service for the 57th True Children’s Day held in True Parents residence was very wonderful. The inspirational guidance provided by Rev. Doo and through Rev. Compton’s prayer were most helpful in creating a warm environment for all brothers and sisters. Then we had a moving experience from the sermon in our sanctuary which was given by Mr. Justin Okamoto. His passionate sharing of heart brought many to tears. A tremendous blessing came to our church service today.
Following the service we took a group photo filled with smiling faces. Afterward, our potluck luncheon prepared by all families was a smorgasbord of love. The foods were great but greater still was the sharing of hearts as we dined together. The weather cooperated and I am so grateful to have been a part of this year’s True Children’s Day. The words “thank you” are powerless to express my gratitude to our True Parents.
The Harlem and Brooklyn Family Church celebrated True Children’s Day on Sunday, October 30th at the Brooklyn Church, on the beautiful tree-lined Foster Avenue in the community of Brooklyn, New York. The event was hosted by Rev. and Mrs. Daryl Clarke and the Brooklyn Church members cooked a fantastic meal of Japanese curry and Swedish meatballs.
The communities’ children led the service for the congregation of several families and guests. Pastor Ernest and Mrs. Rosemarie Morell from the Earnest Praise & Worship Ministries and a quest from Pakistan joined to celebrate this wonderful occasion. The Master of Ceremonies was Mr. Michael Bartsevich, and Miss Misun Teah gave the Sermon. Also joining and giving remarks was FFWPU District 2 Pastor, Rev. Edner Pierre-Louis.
“It was a revolutionary service, light and informative,” said Juanita Pierre-Louis.
The South Florida Family Church under Pastor Simone Doroski Miyazaki held a 100-day kickoff celebration.
The Seattle Family Church gathered in the chapel of their church building to celebrate the start of 100 days of devotion in preparation for Foundation Day 2017.
The Portland Family Church held their 100-day kickoff during Sunday Service this past weekend.
FFWPU USA President Dr. Michael Balcomb, his wife Fumiko Balcomb, and a small gathering of local Unificationists in Albany, New York, held a kickoff ceremony for the 100 days leading up to Foundation Day 2017.
Fifty parents and children of the Sacramento Family Church gathered to kick off the 100 days of devotion leading up to Foundation Day.
The Clifton Family Church held their True Children’s Day celebration on October 30. The community shared a meal, prayer, message and beautiful offering table.
The Houston Family Church gathered to celebrate True Children’s Day and wish everyone a happy Holy Day.
One hundred and fifty members of the Chicago community celebrated the kick-off of the 100 Days of Devotion and 57th Anniversary of True Children’s Day during the Sunday Service on October 30. The program was directed by the Chicago Youth Ministry. Everyone is excited by True Mother’s return to America later this month and the opportunities to serve in preparation for Foundation Day.
Los Angeles, CA
The Los Angeles Family Church family celebrated True Children’s Day on Sunday, October 30 at our new home. KEA families joined and we had more than 400 people in attendance at the Service. Rev. Young Tack Yang, District Pastor, led the Pledge Service and gave a message about True Children’s Day titled, “What Are We Going to Teach to Our Children?”, emphasizing the parents’ role to educate children in the heavenly tradition. The 100-day devotion period leading up to the 4th Anniversary of Foundation Day was also mentioned during the service. A delicious Korean lunch was served afterwards by Los Angeles Family Church Pastor George Kazakos and 10 volunteer team leaders and mothers led by Mrs. Yang. Celebration activities were organized by our young adult members, including yut, foosball, and Ping-Pong tournaments with cash prizes. There were a lot of games for the young children, like bingo, in cafeteria, and everyone could participate in a raffle to win prizes. Our community truly celebrated as one family under our Heavenly Parent.
On Sunday, October 30, during the Sunday Worship Service, the Honolulu Family Church celebrated True Children’s Day and Foundation Day for the Unified Nation of Heaven and Earth alongside their kick-off ceremony for the 100-day devotion period. They concluded the ceremony by shouting together “seungri, seungri, seungri!” (Korean for “victory”)
Unificationists of the Tampa Family Church celebrated the 100-day kickoff, True Children’s Day, Foundation Day for the Unified Nation of Heaven and Earth, and Halloween on Sunday, October 30. The celebrations and kickoff ceremony were held on a boat owned by members of the community, making for high spirits and a festive atmosphere. Amid pumpkin carving and Halloween games held later in the day, two dolphins came up to swim alongside the boat and were felt by some to be a positive omen.
Salt Lake City, UT
The Anchorage Family Church held a three-part event for the October 30, 2016 Sunday service at Anchorage Garden. The Sunday service opened with a shared Family Pledge and offering table for the 57th True Children’s Day and the 29th Foundation Day for the Unified Nation of Heaven and Earth.
This 100-day kickoff ceremony and Sunday service was also an historical first all-youth Sunday service. Emcee Akiyoshi Whitmore opened with prayers and songs, accompanied by a duet of flute by Sarah Inoue and piano by Serena Inoue. A skit called “Sharing Naturally,” was created Dong Won Yu, who served as the narrator and protagonist of the skit, and was backed by the cast of Hideki Kimura, Seamus McCarty, Hillary Fujimoto, Yohei Fujimoto, Serena Inoue, Sarah Inoue and Takuma Inoue. Dong Won humorously reacted to things offered by a line-up of characters seeking to build a connection with him, such as music, dialogue with friends, pastoral messages, and good food. Food was the winning invitation to bring the skit’s new guest (Dong Won).
Tony Hu gave the message, which was based on two essays on persistence and love from Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World. Ambassador for Peace Ramona Duby was the event photographer. During announcements, the call was made to connect in heart and passion to personal goals to grow the Anchorage Family Church for Vision 2020 and to write down and share these goals with others.
A Special Grace Holy Wine and Cheon Il Guk Holy Item Bequeathing Ceremony was given to Kojin and Jaena Tranberg and their two children: Michael Yoshi and David Kona. Cheers of Eog Mansei, group photos and a potluck closed the 100-day kickoff event.
On Sunday, October 30, the Family Church of Connecticut held a simple ceremony offering the next 100-days as a period of devotion and activities as we prepare for Foundation Day 2017. About 100 attendees listened as Pastor Mika gave a brief presentation on the purpose, meaning, and heart behind the devotion, and highlighted four main goals for the Bridgeport community to strive for during this time. The goals include: 1) to host a Marriage Blessing Ceremony before the end of 2016, which is also a goal for District 4; 2) for each member of the community to practice “intentional loving” each week, based on Demian Dunkley’s video “Witnessing is Love”; 3) to hold one or more community outreach/improvement projects during this time; 4) to host a third Special Grace Ceremony in January 2017. At the end of the ceremony, all of the members of the congregation stood and held hands as we prayed together, offering our hearts to do everything we could during this special time period.
As a way of continuing to get our community involved and to spark greater encouragement within the community, the pastors set up a special Facebook group in which members of Bridgeport can upload photos, share stories, or even post inspirations, thoughts, and ideas related to our goals during this time.
Some quotes from the kickoff ceremony:
“I feel that this is a time for reflection and deepening my faith and conviction in True Parents and Vision 2020.”
“I appreciate that clear goals were set for our community. It brought substance to the ceremony and made these 100-days something to look forward to.”
The Albuquerque Family Church celebrated True Children’s Day and held the 100-Day Kickoff Ceremony on Sunday, October 30, 2016. Young adults led the service with Holy Songs and a special song presentation for the celebration.
During the True Children’s Day service, New Mexico Senate Candidate Joy Garratt shared about attending the Olympics held in Korea in 1988 with True Parents. She described True Parents’ participation in the many events, especially when their children represented Korea in the equestrian competition. Joy played a video from the 1988 Olympics of the many nations of the world singing and dancing together as one family on the world wide stage. It was as moving as the Chicago fans singing “Go Cubs Go” at the last World Series game.
During the Kickoff Ceremony, Amelia Schnorr read Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s speech to the world about Vision 2020 and the creation of Heaven’s nation. Pastor Rickey Schnorr declared our resolve to work toward fulfilling Vision 2020 in our families, in our workplace, and in our community.
Afterwards, members of the Albuquerque Family Church celebrated the day with a delicious meal and True Children’s Day cakes, desserts and fellowship.
Nashville Unificationists celebrated True Children’s Day on Sunday, November 6 at the Nashville Family Church. Youth in the community organized the entire service by themselves under the guidance of the youth pastor, Hitomi Agari. After Yoshinori Agari welcomed participants, the congregation sang the Cheon Il Guk anthem, Masami Agari offered the opening prayer, and everyone enjoyed singing joyful songs like “Higher Ground.” Ayaka Saito and Nolton Woods then read Dr. Ki Hoon Kim’s speech titled “The Meaning of True Children’s Day.” Youth Pastor Hitomi Agari commented briefly on the significance of the Holy Day and then offered her benediction prayer on behalf of all in attendance. Three generations of Unificationists (Sumire Breslin was born last Tuesday!) gathered together to celebrate True Children’s Day as God’s children. After the service, Manny Breslin offered the prayer for a barbeque potluck lunch. Everybody then enjoyed delicious foods cooked by community elders like Ronald Swint.