Hawaii Celebrates Parents and the Marriage Blessing
Report submitted by Rev. Kazuo Takami.
Universal Peace Federation (UPF) Hawaii and American Clergy Leadership Conference Hawaii (ACLC) jointly held a National Parents’ Day Celebration Banquet on Friday, July 20 in recognition of the U.S. holiday known as Parents’ Day, which was established in 1994. The celebration included an Excellence in Parenting awards ceremony to promote the importance of good parenting and to recognize exemplary parents, and a Marriage Blessing Ceremony.
Approximately 100 people gathered at Halau O Haumea, an open auditorium at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus. The keynote speaker was Hawaii State Senator Mike Gabbard who explained the challenges of raising children in today’s society, and said no one should give up on their children just because of these challenges. The audience was surprised to hear that on average parents and children spend only 34 minutes in conversation per day with each other, while children spend many hours on their smartphones and computers. Sen. Gabbard told the audience that he and his wife practice “solitude” every day—taking time with God for an hour in the morning and several minutes in the afternoon.
After Sen. Gabbard’s speech, three exemplary couples were recognized with “Excellence in Parenting 2018 Hawaii” awards: Dr. Saleem and Mrs. Yasmin Ahmed, Mr. Roger and Mrs. Erlinda Bolosan, and Rev. Sadrian and Mrs. Darnel Chee. Following the awards ceremony was the Marriage Blessing Ceremony conducted by ACLC where four prominent civic leader couples received the Blessing: Mr. Roger and Mrs. Erlinda Bolosan, Bishop Art Eugene and Mrs. Nida Eugenio, Sen. Mike and Mrs. Carol Gabbard, and Mr. Jesus and Mrs. Andrea Marasegan.
ACLC also recognized Rev. Lautoa F. Atisano’e, one of the 120 members of the clergy who founded ACLC in 2001, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He has participated in many ACLC-related conferences and programs and contributed to the development of ACLC Hawaii. Rev. Atisano’e is respected by many pastors as a parental figure and is well-known among Japanese people as the father of the former Sumo grand champion Konishiki.
It was a truly uplifting and encouraging evening for those who support the True Family Values movement. One of the couples who received the Blessing said that “it was a life-changing experience” that they will never forget.