Minnesota Family Grand Opening for New Church
The long-anticipated Minnesota Family Church building is finally here! It took more than six months of labor, but the hard work paid off this past weekend. On Sunday morning, December 9, the first ever Unification Church building to be built from the ground up opened its doors for service.
The building, which was designed by collective input and visions from the Minnesota community, features a stunning sanctuary hall, a social hall, and a youth education zone. It is also right next door to a community park, making it the perfect spot to support the growing families that call Minnesota their home congregation.
The Minnesota community has received overwhelming blessings, love and guidance over the last two years from Heavenly Parent, True Parents and Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Regional Chairman of Family Federation North America.
Prior to picking the plot of land where they would build the church, Unificationists prayed earnestly to ask for Heavenly Parent’s guidance on the project. It was with this prayerful mind that they finally chose a spot which truly felt blessed by God. Then the hard work really began. While the project manager, Mr. Keith Anderson, was busy laying the blueprints for the building, others spent months raising the necessary funds to make it possible. As a finishing touch, the creative young design team chose the color schemes and necessary furnishings to truly make the building feel like home.
Since November 19, the congregation has led a 21-day special devotion to prepare themselves to open the doors of their church this past Sunday. Each evening, Unificationists gathered to offer 40 full bows to True Parents and read Hoon Dok Hwe from True Mother’s new anthology. This spiritual devotion has prepared the hearts of the Minnesota family so that the grand opening may be a sincere offering for True Parents and Vision 2020.
The congregation is especially grateful to Dr. Kim for his prayers and Jeonseong (devotional offering) for the community. Minnesota was Dr. Kim’s first assigned district as a leader in the 1980s, and his foundation helped make the new church building possible.
Now that they are equipped with a beautiful and modern building, the Minnesota family has created a new vision to develop their church even further in the new year. They plan to formally open their doors to the public in January and hope the building will serve as a model and reference for any communities who are planning to build a church of their own.
“Reiko and I arrived in Minneapolis just in time – right when things started to come together for a new church. The church community meetings after Sunday service enabled us all to plan our future together. We quickly realized how much the church community loves each other, cares deeply for the community and their warm hearts. We could see many happy, wonderful young families, too. Second generation families are a strong part of making a good future here. Each and every Minnesota family is a treasure. Therefore, how could we not be inspired to help the project of building a new church? How could we not help it become a reality? It was so natural and joyful to want to pitch in. The 21-day special devotion to prepare for the church opening was a time to deeply connect with Rev. Ha. Through Dr. Kim, we could feel love from True Mother. We feel the community is strongly connected to God and True Parents. This community has been truly blessed. As for Reiko and I, we are grateful to God and True Parents that we have received new spiritual life here in Minnesota. We are very grateful to be a part of such a blessed community.” – Ted and Reiko Forbath, 30,000 Couples 1992 (The Forbaths moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota a year ago and donated $10,000 to the new Minnesota church building)
“Within 6 months from the groundbreaking ceremony, the Minnesota Family Church was able to successfully build a new church. On December 9, we held our grand opening with about 200 people in attendance. A lot of preparation went into the opening but nothing could have been done without the help of each family member. Everyone’s continued prayers, hopes, and commitments have brought us all together as one community. Keith Anderson offered the opening prayer with tears over the thought of more than 20,000 hours of work being put into building the place. As he shed tears in his prayer, he reminisced about each and every worker that helped put up the walls, connected the electrical wires, and down to laying the concrete floors that made this place a reality. Jim Gavin emceed the event with enthusiasm and passion. Rev. Jim Bard, Minnesota state pastor for 17 years before retiring in 2013, gave a synopsis of the building history of where Minnesota started and how far we have come, including the time when Dr. Ki Hoon Kim was the District Pastor in Minnesota. Finally, Dr. Kim gave the sermon and reported about the works of True Mother. Before arriving to Minnesota, Dr. Kim reminded True Mother about what was happening and why he was traveling here. He asked mother if she remembered signing the church rendering to which she replied: “How can I forget, I didn’t want to sign it but you made me.” It was so wonderful to hear that True Mother loves the members of Minnesota and USA. 21 days ago we started a prayer devotional commitment. We did Hoon Dok Hwe and 40 bows to prepare our spirits, hearts, and minds. We read from the first Anthology book, Global Unity through True Parents. One day, we read words from True Mother which said, ‘We have to quickly show the world that the Unification Church is alive and well and growing continuously. We must have people seek us out on their own….It is necessary to ensure that groups can come seeking for us on their own and then be connected. We cannot postpone this further.’ These words really resonated with me. I do feel a sense of urgency and I have personally witnessed to people who randomly walked through the front doors to see this place even before the grand opening day. Several people have come in through our doors to find out what this building is all about, several people have already asked to rent this place for their church service, and several people not knowingly walked in the day of the grand opening to see the building. We hope that this building can be a place where God and True Parents can dwell. We hope to create an environment that is welcoming and loving so that anyone can feel at home. We hope to move forward as sons and daughters, brothers and sisters that True Parents can be proud of and our future descendants can live happily.” – Denise To, Secretary General of Minnesota Family Church
“The Minnesota Family Church celebrated our Grand Opening Dedication Ceremony. Dr. Kim represented True Parents to bless the building and the community. I am so grateful to have a wonderful leader, Rev. Ha, who has lead the 21-day Sincere Prayer commitment to offer this church to Heavenly Parent and True Parents for the victory of Vision 2020. Our Minnesota Community brothers and sisters are so united in love and sacrifice to attend True Parents. I can see the beauty of the teamwork in our community. The one who have talents and abilities poured everything they have into designing and constructing this building. There is no doubt that we can bring great results to fulfill our portion of responsibility by 2020. I am so happy and proud to have such a beautiful brand new church.” – Keiko Foss, MN, Kodan Leader
“I am so grateful to be able to participate in the Grand Opening and Dedication Ceremony of the Minnesota Family Church held on December 9, 2018. I truly felt Heavenly Parent express joy by pouring love onto the Minnesota Family Church members. All the participants experienced a day surrounded by joy, hope and love. Dr. Kim’s message deeply moved me. He said, “This church is the church where Heavenly Parent and True Parents made a safe settlement. This is a house of God and our house. We can see the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and we can experience it…This is a church where first-, second- and third-generation offered devotion together.” I firmly believe that Dr. Kim planted victory in the Minnesota Church through this dedication ceremony. Dr. Kim referred to the victories of True Mother’s world tour, and testified that True Mother poured the heart and love of Heavenly Parent as the Only Begotten Daughter with pride and dignity, devoting every second of every day with all her soul. She gave enormous sacrifice and devotion to offer the great victory of this world tour to Heavenly Parent. We were able to deeply feel the abundant heart and love of Heavenly Parent and True Parents through Dr. Kim’s message and the entire church was surrounded by true love. A Japanese meeting was held the day before the Dedication Ceremony, and I was able to listen to the testimonies of brothers and sisters. I heard testimonies of the 21-day, 2-hour prayer and 40 bow condition. Some of the Japanese sisters said Rev. Ha’s prayers were filled with deep heart and love of Heavenly Parent and True Parents. It was truly a time of blessing and inspiration. Many stated that it was such a blessing and they felt so happy to have such a wonderful leader and to be able to work with him. I also heard testimonies of overcoming many challenges and hardships through the unity of first and second generation. I was so impressed to hear brothers and sisters who have studied design helped created the modern design, structure and function of the new building. I felt the success of the Minnesota Church building was due to the unity of heart created by Dr. Kim who followed True Mother’s words. I realized the greatness of True Mother and how when we unite with True Mother’s words and put them into action, miracles can happen. Through visiting Minnesota, I received great blessing and I was able to make a new determination for the victory of Heavenly America.” – Rev. Hiroshi Inose, Director of HSA-UWC Kodan