Elizabeth Family Church Celebrates International Day of Families
Elizabeth, New Jersey—More than 100 people celebrated the UN International Day of Families on Sunday, May 22, at the Elizabeth Family Church. The event was co-sponsored by Universal Peace Federation USA and FFWPU Elizabeth to commemorate the importance and diversity of families in the church community. It also provided the opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.
The event commenced with an international lunch buffet, with homemade dishes and cuisines from Asia to Latin America and from Africa to the United States.
The Elizabeth Family Church Band, headed by Pastor Darryl Franklin, opened the program with its rendition of “We Are the World,” followed by a video presentation introducing UPF and its work. Richard De Sena, president of UPF USA, gave the keynote address and passionately shared the values and significance of the family as the cornerstone for peace and prosperity. He introduced the members of his family and even invited his wife to join him while he was delivering his talk, which was a beautiful testament to a respectful relationship. Mr. De Sena encouraged the community to host an Interfaith Peace Blessing, rededicating marriages and empowering families to contribute to a peaceful community and world.
Different cultural presentations were staged by young children, young adults and also parents. Ethnic dances from Thailand, Philippines, Lebanon, and Africa were presented as well as vibrant moves from Latin America like cha-cha and salsa and popular dances in the United States, including line dancing. Some attendees also sang karaoke.
The event, which was coordinated by Assistant Pastor Emiljun Rapada and Worship Director Elena Bahian, was also an informational event about the upcoming God’s Hope for America Family Festival on June 5 at Belvedere. A table was set up to register members and guests for the festival, and some young people signed up to volunteer at the event. More than 100 people signed up and were very excited at the prospect of meeting families from across North America centering on True Mother.
Overall the afternoon provided a lot of fun and great fellowship for young and old alike. The three-hour program was truly a great experience.
Contributed by Emiljun Rapada, assistant pastor, FFWPU Elizabeth