Religious Leaders Fire Up for Peace in Interfaith Conference
The second day of the Peace Starts With Me interfaith conference on September 6 was full of fire as religious leaders from all over the world heard numerous religious perspectives on the importance of the unification of all religions as emphasized by True Parents.
The day began early in the morning with a passionate interfaith prayer session guided by True Parents’ words. With Archbishop Dr. Sulanch Grant Lewis, Senior Pastor of the Little Rock Zion International Deliverance Ministries, leading the reading, the religious representatives were hand in hand as they bonded over True Father’s teachings in the mission toward peace.
Following a delicious breakfast, the learning officially began for the clergy members with the first session of the day, which focused on the providential role of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC). Rev. Michael Jenkins, Co-Chair of ACLC, detailed the history of the Unification movement with respect to ACLC.
The presentation showed the humble beginnings of the True Father’s journey, including the first house of the Unification Movement. Rev. Jenkins then touched on True Father’s meeting with Jesus, his decision to focus on America due to the prevalence of Christianity, as well as the Holy Blessing of 144,000 Clergy Couples. With regards to the international and intercultural focus of Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremonies, Rev. Jenkin said “We don’t care about what language you speak; we speak through love.” Continuing the topic of peace and unity, Rev. Jenkins said, “Tolerance is not enough! We have to accept one another. We have to respect one another.”
The Panelists of the session included Mr. Hyun Young Lee, President of the Korea Religious Association; Imam Muhammad Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom; Father Lawrence Ventline from the Care of the Soul Roman Catholic Church; Bishop Michael Sykes, Pastor of the United Missionary Baptist church; and Mr. Jeongsoo Ahn, President of the International Christian Missionary Association.
The second session focused on the providential peacemaking mission of True Parents. Rev. Mark Abernathy, Co-President of ACLC, prefaced Archbishop George Stallings, Jr.’s message by urging everyone to tear down the walls between us. Archbishop Stallings then explained God’s desire for everyone to see one another as brothers and sisters, as God’s children, as one family under God. “True Parents came to answer the question, ‘Who are we?’ Archbishop Stallings said. “We are the children of God.”
The theme for the third session of the day was the life and work of True Parents and the course of True Mother. Dr. Tyler Hendricks dedicated his heart in explaining the essence of True Parents’ dedication to create a world of peace for the sake of bringing joy to God. As Unificationists and the clergy members prepare to celebrate the 5th anniversary of True Father’s ascension, Dr. Hendricks discussed the role of True Mother, and her importance as God’s only begotten daughter. With a refreshing perspective on the importance of the woman, the ministers were moved by both True Father and True Mother’s value to God.
With a fuller understanding of True Parents, the ministers and religious representatives are better able to appreciate both the Cosmic Blessing and True Father’s Seonghwa Festival tomorrow.