The President Returns from Bridging the American Divide
The following is a transcript of a sermon given by Rev. Demian Dunkley, president of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) USA and co-pastor of the Family Church of New York City (FCNYC), on Sunday, November 17, 2019, at FCNYC in Manhattan.
Happy Sunday. Happy Sunday. I just got back from Washington, D.C. A lot happened yesterday. In particular, I was blown away by Sun Jin Nim. Her position recently changed from Family Federation International President to Senior Vice President of Women’s Federation for World Peace International. Has anybody ever been to an event where Sun Jin Nim was the keynote speaker? You know she carefully prepares her message, then she reads her message. I started to notice something a little different about her, and it really started to come out yesterday. What I witnessed was her wings—I mentioned it to her afterward—I felt her spread her wings and start flying.
When you read from a prepared speech, and also when you’re the International President, you’re representing True Parents. You have to be really careful about everything you say and everything you do. But yesterday, her message was very personal. I really encourage you to check it out [on Facebook Live]. It’s not easy to get up in front of 300 pastors and give a message, and she even referenced that. She’s very humble.
Archbishop Stallings spoke before Sun Jin Nim, and after he spoke I went into the overflow room of 150 people. I literally had to peel people off the ceiling because they were high on his message. Sun Jin Nim comes out after that with some incredible power was speaking through her. She gave a short testimony about her life. There were about three points at which people were on their feet applauding her, and she asked, “Do you want me to sit down now? Do you want me to go?” because it felt like the final applause. So, she says, “Please let me stay until my confession.” She gave an incredible message about her life as a child of True Parents.
She said that if she added up the time that she was in the same place as her parents, it may have totaled one month out of the year. She said that she lived in a very religious household, and she was born into a very religious household. She mentioned how her parents came from Korea, what is now North Korea, and she was born here in America because of the love that God and True Parents have for America. She explained what it was like for her and her siblings growing up here. She said, “First of all, we were bullied because we were Asian. We were bullied because of religious persecution and racism.” That is a very potent, potent, mix. In fact, Father mentioned that it’s the most powerful evil force when you mix racism and religious persecution, or some kind of religious animosity. That’s the source of many wars.
Imagine, as kids, growing up like that. They grew up in this. To hear it from her was very intense. Each of True Parents’ children could write their own autobiographies and movies could be made of their days, and I could see that and feel that as I heard her message.
She talked about the time that she left, because there was no comfort for the struggles they were experiencing growing up in that household. She really left. On her way out, True Father said to her, “You may go now, but the Truth is the Truth. Whether you like it or not, whether you believe it or not, the Truth is the Truth. No matter how far you go, you will come back. Absolutely, you will come home.”
Sun Jin Nim described it as her struggling course, but she also talked about the time that she came back, with tears in her eyes. When she came home, Father said, “Thank you so much for coming back. I thought I’d lost you.”
So, the Truth is the Truth, but still Father carried that heart of feeling like he had lost her forever. I wanted to share that because it’s significant for us all, not just in terms of how we can reflect on our own lives, but what’s going on right now.
Mother’s wisdom is incredible. When she’s moving people around, and she’s moving positions around, everybody has all kinds of ideas. But what I saw going on through Sun Jin Nim was remarkable, and I shared it with her afterward. I really wanted to encourage her and thank her for speaking freely, really starting to speak freely about what is on her mind and what is in her heart.
We were at the National Press Club for a day, not just for the final and fifth major subregional-level event proclaiming True Mother, but it was also a one-day gathering for all the state leaders. Mother is an incredibly strategic leader, but she’s not a micromanager. Though, she does pay attention to the details. She’s clear about the outcomes, but she’s giving people the freedom of ownership on how to arrive at those outcomes.
A new paradigm has emerged in asking all 50 states to be represented by a Family Federation leader and an ACLC leader. We have many people, even right now, out visiting churches, meeting with pastors. We refer to a lot of these people as ACLC coordinators, American Clergy Leadership Conference coordinators, who typically are not the pastor. Usually, it’s someone who has a calling for that work, and has been doing it for 20 years thanklessly in many locations. But Mother’s mind is that this is the frontline. She’s paying a lot of attention to ACLC. She asked Dr. Kim to take care of it directly, and Dr. Kim appointed Dr. Rouse as the ACLC co-chair. Now, you have Korean Clergy being launched in Korea, which is an incredible breakthrough. And now, in 40 days, Mother will launch the World Clergy Leadership Conference.
There was a Christian pastor, he’s kind of a prophet, who came back from the trip to Korea in September, and he sent us a letter. It said, “On the way home, “I had a revelation.” He’s been working with us for 20 years but hasn’t been very active. He wrote, “I had a revelation that ACLC and KCLC and especially WCLC will be the forefront of God’s work from this point. It will be the organization that leads to the fulfillment of God’s Providence on the world stage right now.”
I’m the Co-Pastor of the Family Church of New York City in Manhattan because Dr. Kim appointed me and Dr. Rouse. Dr. Rouse is a traditional Christian leader, a Methodist Bishop, and extremely wise and deep-hearted. He’s a healer man. Just listening to his voice feels like you’re taking a warm bath. He really loves you, loves our movement, and loves True Parents. Listening to him speak, especially to the clergy, is powerful. He said to Sun Jin Nim, “Sun Jin Nim, it’s not your job anymore to defend yourself or your parents, it’s my job.”
In fact, yesterday, after Sun Jin Nim spoke, he had everybody stand and put their hands out toward Sun Jin Nim’s couple, and on behalf of everyone, especially Christianity, the very foundation that was supposed to protect and support True Parents, he apologized. He asked everyone in the room to join in that prayer of apology to True Family, for what they had to go through. He’s an incredible brother with an incredible sense, not just from his head, but from his heart. He has a heart that can discern and guide the spirit in a way that can unlock these walls that have been placed between us and Christianity. It’s incredible.
When I heard that Dr. Kim appointed him here as the co-pastor, I asked Dr. Kim, “Can I work with him?” I was not pastoring any church yet, and now I’m here because I asked to work with him. I asked because I felt, at the national level in America, we should have this close partnership between a Family Federation leader and an ACLC leader. Do you think it’s a good idea? This is a volunteer job because I feel that every level of the organization needs to be walking this frontline. It’s amazing to me that we are reaching back into what may have been a lost foundation and grabbing it. It’s happening, brothers and sisters.
Some of you remember the time when Father would call the state leaders every month. State leaders were sent out. There was a certain spirit of that time when young people felt completely responsible to pioneer the states. Mother is thinking back to this time and asking that we have 50 states. But this time it’s different. Mother directed Dr. Kim last week to make sure that we also have an ACLC leader for each state. That’s what we just did this weekend. Yes, we had a rally, but we wrapped a seminar around it, and then we concluded it with a Youth Concert as well just because why stop while you’re having fun? It was a very busy day. I’m frankly exhausted, but I’m so glad that I could be there, and also here with you.
I just want to share a little bit of the heart of what’s going on because I feel something is changing within the American movement. It’s not just our movement. I feel something is changing in the foundation in which God is working right now in America. This partnership between us and the Christian clergy is just the beginning. Mother’s talking about a new movement. This is incredible. Several times she said we should create a new movement that attends God. There’s a lot of incredible words in there. “Attending God,” we know that she’s going to say that, but “we create” and “new” is very interesting to me because we are not just about trying to bring everybody into our thing, but recognize what God is doing and be a part of that. Something new is happening, and it’s happening very fast. I want you to pray about it and try and catch it.
We expected maybe 70 people to come [to the state leaders meeting]. A week ago, I woke up, went to work, and spoke to Dr. Kim. Mother told him that “Demian needs to pay more attention to the state leaders and the Tribal Messiahship activities in each state. I said, “Dr. Kim, you mentioned yesterday about the state leaders. I heard you, what do you think we should do, because I woke up thinking about it this morning.” He suggested we gather all the state leaders, which was the same exact idea I woke up with.
We just got back from Korea two weeks ago, and then had to get back on a plane and come to New York? We looked at the calendar and saw that we have the Washington, D.C. event 40 days before Mother’s rally. So why not just pile it all on to that? Why not just invite all of our state leaders and their ACLC counterparts to Washington, D.C. for a day? We thought maybe 70 people would come. Instead, 144 people showed up with a one-weeks’ notice. I was a little bit worried about what to say to them. We held an appointing ceremony, but I also had to give some kind of presentation about how we’re going to work together, what the strategy is and what the tactic is. Every time I reflected, God told me again and again, “Don’t worry, I’ve prepared these people. You know what to do.” And it was proven by the fact that they showed up.
My job is not very difficult. The only thing that’s difficult about my job is shaking lots of people’s hands. It’s not just one handshake, it’s 150 handshakes. One ACLC brother, one minister from South Dakota had the firmest handshake. I shook his hand five times throughout the day. And after everything was done, he wanted to say goodbye. He said, “I just really wanted to thank you for recognizing us, thank you for calling us, thank you because we now feel that we are partners.”
This rally on December 28, we are doing together. We couldn’t do it by ourselves. We’re doing it because we’re united with Christianity, the very foundation that has been striving for 2,000 years to prepare for this time. We’re not going to let it fail. Do you understand? If you were at Nassau Coliseum [in November 2018], 70 percent of the room was full of new people that we haven’t worshipped with before. That’s incredible.
We’re in the middle of a 120-day condition in preparation for December 28, but Mother called a worldwide condition starting tomorrow, the final 40-day stretch until December 28. The culmination of the entire seven-year course since Father ascended is very clear in her mind. It is the bow on the gift that she’s preparing on the world stage for True Father’s birthday, and it’s happening right here with us. The whole nation, in fact, the whole world is invited to participate in this 40-day condition.
Next Sunday is also our Thanksgiving meal at 10:00 a.m. We’re not going to charge you for it, we just want to feed you, and we want you to feel welcome and warm. There’s going to be music. We want you to bring your friends and family members.
Also, speaking of turkeys, the following day on Monday, November 25, the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey has asked us to participate in his annual Turkey Drive. That means we’re going to give away a lot of turkeys. In fact, he purchased 6,500 turkeys. A. Curtis Farrow contributed $10K and we contributed $15K. We’re going to bring the manpower. We want a bunch of us there in Peach Starts With Me t-shirts handing out turkeys at 6:00 in the morning. This is a whole service project partnership with the Mayor, and we’re going to be doing it again the next day, maybe. We’ll find out about that.
A. Curtis Farrow said that if we bring 10 people from our church, or 15 people, we’re going to be the largest church group there. So, I’m thinking we show up with 100 people. We don’t want to do things small, right guys?
It’s so funny working with Curtis. When we told him we were going to bring 10,000 people to City of Refuge, he laughed. He said the Unification movement never does things small. Why can’t you just do a gathering with a couple hundred people? Why isn’t that good enough? Why do you have to talk about 10,000 people all the time?
I want you all to know that this is the frontline of the providence right now. I want you to have this experience in your own personal lives. Go to a church. Show up at a prayer breakfast, the next one is on Saturday, November 23 at the Robert Tree Hotel in Newark, New Jersey. We’re going to have another big one on November 30 the New Yorker. This is the final 40-day stretch, and it is like walking through the orchard harvesting the fruits. They have been prepared for us, and now we just need to show up.
To get involved with outreach efforts for December 28, register here.