Annual Chuseok Seonghwa Memorial Celebration in District 1
Chuseok is one of the most celebrated holidays in modern Korea. True Parents celebrate Chuseok every year and have made it an international Unificationist tradition. Family members from near and far gathered to share food and stories and give thanks to their loved ones. As a celebration of the good harvest of the grains and fruits which are at their ripest for harvesting, Koreans visit their ancestral hometowns and share a feast of traditional food and rice wines.
On September 23, District 1 held its Annual Chuseok Seonghwa Memorial Service to remember the 74 Unificationists who ascended in the community, including the five who ascended this past year. The service was hosted by Rev. Young Chul Jang, KEA Pastor along with the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification KEA team at the National Wonjeon Shrine of America in Brentwood, MD, where more than 40 Unificationists gathered.
Although it was a rainy afternoon, there was a sense of togetherness. Judie Lejeune, Blessing and Family Ministry Coordinator for the Northern Virginia Family Church shared the main message about the relationship between your loved ones in the spiritual world and yourselves. “They need us in order to continue their spiritual growth, and we need them to help us grow and mature as well… together we work to accomplish God’s will.”
The closing remarks were delivered by Southeast Subregional Director Rev. Ernest Patton who described our time in the physical world as a training ground for the eternal life. “The more we practice love, the better it’ll be in the spirit world.” After the service concluded, KEA members served a delicious meal with traditional Korean holiday dishes – songpyeon (rice cake) and japchae (noodles and vegetables).
The District 1 community has inherited this heartfelt tradition built on Chuseok as a time to remember our ascended loved ones and honor their memories. It has become a day to treasure families and friends who have transitioned to their eternal lives. This time of remembrance leads everyone to self-reflect on the essential priorities of their lives, and to re-dedicate themselves to live for a higher purpose in attendance to True Parents.
Report contributed by Dr. William Selig.