National Ministry Team Monthly Meeting
The National Ministry Team celebrates March birthdays and newly-Blessed couples
There was much extraordinary business on the docket at the National Ministry Team’s meeting this month. It was the first opportunity for many of our national leaders to touch base after an incredibly eventful month of attendance and activity both in Korea and around America, from which many memories, lessons and next steps were shared. In addition to an address from FFWPU North America Continental Chairman, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, leaders and representatives of the National Ministry Team, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), the Blessing & Family Ministry (BFM), the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), and Generation Peace Academy (GPA) shared about their latest and upcoming events.
The National Ministry Meeting opens with congregational songs
Owners of Cheon Il Guk
Dr. Kim recently returned from the Holy Day events in Korea, and shared True Mother’s reactions to this year’s celebrations. Dr. Kim began his comments by inviting Rev. George Augustus Stallings, the national co-chairman of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), to describe the celebration of True Parents’ Birthday hosted by his parish at the Imani Temple in Maryland. Dr. Kim commended the Imani Temple celebration as a model and gateway for all churches.
Rev. George Stallings shares about the recent Holy Day celebration at the Imani Temple
Dr. Kim then shared two primary themes that he internalized from True Mother’s message in Korea: the crucial importance of filial piety as the cornerstone of all levels and expressions of messiahship, as well as the urgency of testifying to True Parents.
Dr. Ki Hoon Kim welcomes meeting attendees
“Testify about True Parents for the sake of the whole world—this is the mission of the Unification movement. Many people believe we are too late to change this country. But True Parents think differently, and the only way we can change this country is by testifying about True Parents to the people of America and the world. It is time for us to take ownership as we follow True Parents, to fulfill our own personal, family, church, community, and national responsibilities.”
Global Leaders Respond to True Mother’s Call
Dr. Thomas Walsh
Dr. Thomas Walsh, Chairman of UPF, reported on the 35th International Leaders’ Conference that took place from February 12-16, 2016 in Korea. Over 600 leaders, including 142 current parliamentarians, were in attendance. The conference began with a keynote address by Sun Jin Moon, International President of FFWPU, whose comments centered on the theme of environmental stewardship. She echoed True Mother’s growing concern for the state of the natural world in encouraging spiritual leaders to step forward and fulfill their mandate to care for the earth.
Other topics covered during the conference included the ongoing challenges posed by fundamentalist extremism around the world, the demographic challenges currently being faced in the nation of Japan, and the reemergence of tensions between North and South Korea in the wake of North Korea’s recent missile tests. Discussions on this last theme coincided with a Peace Road rally at the DMZ. Dr. Walsh commented on this event, “It was bitterly cold but undoubtedly one of the most memorable experiences for the leaders to be there, at the DMZ, conscious as we were about the renewed tensions rocking the Korean peninsula.”
Clarification of Processes to Build Cheon Il Guk
Miilhan Stephens, Vice President of FFWPU USA, subsequently reported about the Cheon Il Guk Leaders’ Assembly, which also took place in Korea last month. He shared remarks given to the leaders in attendance by both True Mother and Sun Jin Moon, who respectively urged leaders to continue building up the tradition of True Parents’ joint birthday as an incredible opportunity to share who True Parents are with the world, and to become true owners by pioneering and pursuing long-term, sustainable, and quality projects that will benefit not only our movement but the world. Miilhan also spoke at length about clarifications of the organization and plans currently in place to build Cheon Il Guk, ranging from church-level evangelism efforts to global-level efforts to mediate conflict and to protect and revitalize the environment.
Global Top Gun’s Success Thanks to God and True Parents
Director of the National Evangelism Team for FFWPU USA, Demian Dunkley, began his report by commenting, “The overwhelming message from our experience at Top Gun this time, as last time, is simple: God and True Parents already prepared everything, every blessing and success for us to grab. But in order to grab those blessings, we needed to unite with True Parents and with each other.” In just four weeks, 96 participants from around the world registered to come in response to True Mother’s invitation and at Dr. Kim’s initiative. He explained about the purpose, structure, and content of the workshop, and concluded by sharing that the highlight of Global Top Gun was, once again, sharing time with True Mother, this time over lunch, conversation, and song at the newly opened Heaven G. Burger restaurant.
Foundation Day Holy Marriage Blessings Held in Korea and Across America
Mrs. Crescentia DeGoede, BFM Director, reported about the many Marriage Blessing ceremonies that took place across America on Foundation Day as well as the primary ceremony that took place with True Mother in Korea. This year, America had 95 couples in attendance at the various ceremonies, and Crescentia encouraged all communities to nurture and support these new and rededicating couples as they grow together spiritually on the foundation of the Marriage Blessing. One National Ministry Team staff member who attended the Marriage Blessing ceremony in Korea, LeeHee Wolf, was invited to share her concise and very genuine testimony of her couple’s experience there. Crescentia concluded her report by asking us all to reflect on who we can bring to the next Marriage Blessing as part of our national and international efforts to bring America back to God through the True Parents.
CARP USA Reports New Initiatives to Support Young Adults
The CARP USA team. From left: Naokimi Ushiroda, Teresa Ferette, Taka Sugawara, Justin Okamoto
Naokimi Ushiroda, President of CARP USA, and his New York team shared about the several different levels of initiatives currently in place to support college-aged Unificationists around the country. The most recent addition to CARP USA’s platform is a competitive online campaign to encourage youth nationwide to reflect on and record how much they are practicing Unification principles: the more hours of practice they complete, the more “Unification experience points” they earn, and the more benefits their local CARP chapters will be able to redeem.
Generation Peace Academy Sends Out America’s First Cheon Il Guk Missionaries
Mrs. Louise Honey, core staff member of GPA, reported about the status of the overseas service initiatives GPA participants are currently pursuing in Nepal, Peru, and the Philippines, as well as the new initiative to send out some second- and third-year participants as Cheon Il Guk Missionaries. GPA has recently determined to become a two-year program, offering this opportunity to become Cheon Il Guk Missionaries to its second-year participants. There a currently seven Cheon Il Guk Missionaries stationed in the Philippines, where they will dedicate 3 months to evangelism efforts there. To support their efforts, consider making a contribution at the link below.