Korean Evangelical Association Celebrates Church Extension
Fourteen years have passed since the purchase of the New York Korean Evangelical Association (KEA) Family Church building in North Haledon, NJ and since then, KEA had been facing the problem of space shortage. After various ideas were brought to the table to broaden the space and a great deal of research with architects, engineers, and lawyers, on October 1, 2017, KEA held a dedication ceremony for the expansion of their facility.
Senior Pastor Rev. Ki Yeal Lee, Rev. Ferrabolli, Council Director Mr. Chung Boo Kang, and, the late General Manager, Mr. Jacob Park worked together since 2014 to ensure the expansion would take place.With an extended cafeteria and many new rooms for Sunday school classrooms to accommodate the increasing number of 2nd and 3rd generation Unificationists in the KEA congregation, the ceremony dedicated the building as a place to educate and train future generations in the tradition of Cheon Il Guk, and Hyo Jeong culture.
TESTIMONY FROM THE CELEBRATION
What might seem like a simple dedication service for a building extension was so much more. For many of those there, especially those who attended there for decades, this represented a well spring of hope.
We had a number of guests attending this event including Korean War veterans and representatives from a Muslim faith community in Paterson, NJ.
Many awards were given to families, in appreciation of their outstanding efforts to make the church extension possible. It was beautiful seeing the families going on stage together and taking pictures with Rev. Ki Yeal Lee, the local pastor of KEA.
Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chairman of FFWPU North America, gave the address with much cheerfulness and encouragement. He shared how this event is special in the unity of the community and is happy to share this success with True Mother. He went on to talk about how we must have one heart and one mind. This is the role of the church. When we do this, Dr. Kim said, then we can realize the great dream of God and True Parents.
A significant part of this ceremony was honoring the life and dedication of Yoon Myung (Jacob) Park. He ascended to the spirit world in April this year. As a key board member of KEA, he spearheaded this extension project and more: he made everyone feel like family.
Many would say he was the one who brought life to this community through his love and laughter. When his wife received an award on his behalf, I could see tears and hear sniffling all around the room. There was also a moment of silence given to him. I could feel his spirit in the building when the video presentation started with a clip of Yoon Myung as he spoke about the project.
For me this event shows the best of the Unification movement: Unificationists across multiple generations working together to build something that brings joy to God and one another.
Contributed by FFWPU USA Vice President Rev. Miilhan Stephens