National Monthly Meeting Grows Hearts of Appreciation
On October 11, the National Ministry Team gathered once again at the Crystal Ball Room of the New Yorker Hotel for their monthly meeting. From True Father’s 5th Seonghwa Anniversary, to the Hyojeong Cosmic Blessing, to Peace Starts With Me interfaith conference, to the celebration of Chuseok in Korea, there were numerous events for Unificationists to ruminate and reflect on from the past eventful month for the movement.
FFWPU USA President Rev. Richard Buessing set the tone for the meeting as he opened with True Parents’ words from the Cheon Seong Gyeong. “Let’s not just hear the testimonies of others. Let us become the living testimonies for others.” Rev. Buessing told the audience after reading from the scriptures.
Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, the Continental Chairman of FFWPU North America, then took the stage to share with Unificationists about the interfaith conference from early September as well as the Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) celebration with True Mother. He began by explaining the meaning and traditions of chuseok, which centers on showing appreciation for the elders and ancestors before us. “In this way, America must attend and show appreciation for True Mother,” said Dr. Kim. “This is one of the biggest responsibilities of America.”
Dr. Kim personally showed his appreciation for True Mother during chuseok when he, along with Rev. Buessing, Chairman of Universal Peace Federation (UPF) International Dr. Tom Walsh, and President of UPF International Tom McDevitt sang “Generation of Righteousness” in hanbok, traditional Korean clothing. Dr. Kim said that in response to their undersized Korean attire, True Mother jokingly and endearingly remarked, “Those are hanbok for children.” Dr. Kim’s desire to show appreciation was not just for True Mother, but also toward the Unificationists in America. He encouraged everyone in the audience to share with him their activities for God: “I really want to share with True Parents what American Unificationists are doing,” he said. “Please be proud of your activities.”
Truly displaying his desire to share with everyone and especially True Parents about the growth of the Uniifcation movement in America, Dr. Kim closed his presentation with a moving testimony he received from Rev. Joy Sigur-Ramza regarding last month’s Peace Starts With Me interfaith conference. “This amazing human being, True Mother, saw more value in me than I could have imagined in myself,” she said. “Mother Moon raised the life value bar higher for me and a standard only God can provide me with to fulfill my task.” Read her full letter to True Mother here.
Representatives of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) including its Co-Chair Rev. Michael Jenkins and National Co-President Archbishop Dr. Sulanch Lewis-Rose provided detailed summaries of their experiences from the same interfaith conference. “True Mother is an engine,” Dr. Lewis-Rose passionately declared. “She is paving the way so that all of us can go to heaven. I know that True Father is working through her. I know that God is with her. I know that we all have to pray for her because it is important to pray for your mother.”
Dr. Hugh Spurgin, the President of Unification Theological Seminary happily announced that UTS will be offering online courses, allowing students to take courses from around the world. “UTS is entering a new era,” he said. “This is a dramatic change for UTS and it is following the vision of True Parents.”
Luke Higuchi of the National Ministry Team then gave a detailed summary of the volunteer relief efforts of the International Relief Friendship Foundation (IRFF). Click here to learn more about IRFF and their recent efforts in Florida.
Crescentia DeGoede, Director of Blessing and Family Ministry, discussed the Hyojeong Cosmic Blessing Ceremony in Korea. Christina Lange, a second-generation Unificationist who participated in this Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony, shared with the audience her story with regards to the Blessing. She and her husband had waited over two years until they received the Blessing, which is relatively long for a Unificationist couple. It is through this waiting, however, that she realized the true value of the Blessing: “The Blessing is not just something you take as soon as you want it. It is about really surrendering to God and True Parents.”