Famicon: The Life and Value of Offering
Famicon’s three-day conference at the International Peace Education Center (IPEC) in Las Vegas continued early on the morning of February 25 with a trip to the Cheon Hwa Gung, followed by several program sessions and topic discussions. ‘The Heart and Value of Bringing Our Offering’ and ‘Bringing Life to the Offering Table’ were among the topics alongside powerful messages from Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) USA leaders.
More than 200 participants visited the Cheon Hwa Gung for Hoon Dok Hwe service, which included a sermon from Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, regional chairman of Family Federation North America. Dr. Kim shared about the history of FFWPU co-founders Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, affectionately known as True Parents, and their dedication and investment in Las Vegas. “True Parents came to Las Vegas because they saw its potential,” said Dr. Kim. “Just outside of Sin City are all of God’s beautiful creations; mountains here, canyons there, and even the desert plants.” He expressed True Parents’ love for Las Vegas, where True Father spent his last five years before his ascension in 2012.
The Shine City Project, a local volunteer service group founded by Unificationists in March 2013, believed in True Father’s hope of turning Sin City into the ‘Shining City.’ Jeffrey Silerio, a longtime Shine City Project volunteer, shared how the service group is a vessel for creating social impact. “We work with many different organizations such as charitable, environmental, and agricultural organizations, as well as many different volunteers of different faiths, backgrounds, and age groups,” said Silerio. “As a public organization, Shine City also has the potential to inspire others to volunteer.”
In 2019, the Shine City Project received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for completing more than 100 hours of service that have “strengthened the bonds of cooperation and trust that bring people together, while helping to address some of the greatest challenges of our time.”
FFWPU-USA leaders later expounded on the significance of offering and living a life of offering. FFWPU-USA President Rev. Demian Dunkley compared the quality of an offering to cooking a beautiful meal. “When you see a beautiful meal prepared for you at the table, don’t you feel loved?” he asked the crowd. “God and Heaven have given us the ingredients, and all we have to do is cook the meal according to the recipe for it to be delicious. We must believe that everything has its purpose; let’s not doubt that the banana belongs on the table. We have to trust that Heaven is guiding the Messiah, the Messiah whom we trust.”
“The notion of offering is very important to us in the Unification movement,” added FFWPU-USA Midwest Subregional Director Rev. David Rendel. “True Parents built this movement on their heart of giving and their attitude of offering.” Rev. Rendel brought up the story of the Widow’s Offering, where Jesus taught at a temple in Jerusalem and observed the people who were offering donations to the treasury. The wealthy gave large sums, while a poor widow gave two coins only worth a few cents. “Jesus told his disciples the widow had given more in her two coins than the wealthy have, for she has offered her entire livelihood,” Rev. Rendel concluded.
Sarah Takhar, youth pastor of the Los Angeles Family Church and Youth and Young Adult Ministry (YAYAM) West regional coordinator, discussed the efforts of sharing the Blessing with married couples, as well as sharing the Hyojeong Promise━a devotion to a relationship with God, your future spouse and family and the world━with single youth. “The most precious gift we have been given is our lives,” said Takhar. “We need to give our lives back to God.”
Chongbom Katayama, a member of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) Las Vegas chapter, shared about the many college Campus Talk events centered on the topic of Sexual Integrity. “Through these Campus Talks, CARP has received a lot of opposition,” said Katayama. “However, at the same time, we have formed many great relationships with people of different faiths, including students, faculty, professors, and civic leaders.” This year, CARP successfully sent three Campus Talk speakers to Korea for the World Summit—an incredible feat.
The program concluded with dinner, followed by games and activities aimed to unite all participants from around the country and strengthen bonds within all communities.
Subregional Famicon conferences will be held from Friday, March 6, to Sunday, March 8, in various locations across the nation. If you have any questions, please contact your Subregional Director.