Boston Gets to Know True Father
The Boston Family Church was filled to the brim last Saturday for a special event organized by Mrs. Hiroko Hiroi and her Evangelical Team, with special support from the Worcester Family Church and Faith Fusion in Manchester. One hundred and thirty participants, including 30 guests and a number of American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) ministers, filled the sanctuary for the “Celebration Banquet – Honoring the Life of Rev. Sun Myung Moon.”
“The purpose of the event was to bring the heart of True Father into our midst for the benefit of those who did not know him,” said James Edgerly, pastor of the Boston Family Church. “We did that by eating the food he loved, singing his favorite songs, listening to stories of his life, sharing words of ‘Hoon Dok Hwe’ and seeing photographs and videos of times together.”
Satoe Sakuma and Chad Johnson opened the event to a standing crowd. Following the invocation by Dr. Hilson of the New Hope Baptist Church of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, participants enjoyed a delicious Korean meal, lovingly prepared by Kinuyo Edgerly and her hardworking team. The Boston Family Church band led the audience through three beautiful Korean songs that they had learned from True Father—“Onmaya”, “Sarang He” and “Horo Arirang.” Michael Perkins then read True Father’s words form the new Cheong Seong Gyeong.
After dessert, the audience enjoyed a touching slideshow prepared by Songja Ono, showing numerous photos of the local church community proudly together with True Father in Boston, Gloucester and East Garden. The slideshow included numerous photos of fishing, a number of gatherings at 46 Beacon Street and a memorable “Boston Day” at East Garden, which took place on April 14, 2004.
The highlight of the evening was four carefully prepared testimonies given by elders in the community who had spent much time one-on-one with True Father. Catherine Ono shared about having breakfast with True Father at the end of the 2001 50-state tour, and a story about True Father learning to use a yo-yo from a small boy. Pastor Edgerly shared about the first time he met True Father and his experiences traveling with True Father during the national speaking tours in the 1970s. Manuel Queseda from Gloucester told touching stories about fishing with True Father in the Pantenel and Gloucester, and Richard Buessing from New Hampshire shared his experience as a Unificationist State Leader, reporting to True Father about the events in his state at monthly meetings at the Belvedere Estate.
The meeting ended with an endearing video of True Father singing a traditional Korean song, “Onmya,” at a Holy Day celebration in the Manhattan Center in the late 1970s.
With personal photographs, personal testimonies, words from his sermons and songs he loved, this Boston gathering was a way to create an intimate experience and connection with True Father, even for the many people in the audience who had not known him. Pastor Edgerly commented, “For those of us who had the privilege of spending time with him, it was like being with him once again.”