Celebrating Life, Love and Legacy
Unificationists arrived early to the Manhattan Center on Sunday, May 24, 2015, lining up all the way down the block. All were enthusiastic to see True Mother and happy to see familiar faces, catching up with each other while eagerly anticipating the moment when they would welcome True Mother back to the United States. This weekend was a truly wonderful, inspiring and reflective time in New York. True Mother shared profound messages with the American family members during two unforgettable days of remembrance, heavenly passion and determination.
True Parents Give Humankind the Path to Eternity
Yesterday, a few hundred Unificationists already had the opportunity to welcome True Mother to East Garden for the Victory Celebration for True Mother’s 2015 European Tour, where she shared an incredibly profound message that clearly outlined the mission which God, True Parents, and ultimately all Unificationists are taking on to realize God’s original plan and ideal. She talked about God’s providence, which took thousands of years to prepare, and the history of Christianity in Europe which encapsulated another 2,000 years from Jesus’s time to today. She noted that the Christian cathedrals, some of which took hundreds of years to build and represented a dedication of many generations, though beautiful did not contain the real preparation and depth of the heart that God needed to move forward. She urged everyone to be different and live with renewed vigor from this day onward.
The True Father 1,000-Day Memorial Celebration
The following day, on May 24, thousands of Unificationists attended the Sunday Service with True Mother at the Manhattan Center, and the rest of the American families watched via live broadcast. The program opened with lively songs from the Family Church of New York City band, as well as the Generation Peace Academy choir—coordinated in colorful, springtime red and pink attire. The audience sang along joyfully with power and rejuvenation, picking up the spirit by swaying in unison, snapping their fingers and clapping their hands.
After the welcoming musical warm-up, Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU)-USA introduced himself as the emcee, welcomed the guests and introduced a video testimony of True Mother’s recent tour in Europe, celebrating 50 years of the Unification Movement in Europe.
Miilhan Stephens, Vice President of FFWPU USA, read a Hoon Dok Hwe (scripture) message from the Cham Bumo Gyeong, the third of the Holy Scriptures which will be published in English on the third anniversary of True Father’s Seonghwa this year. The reading provided a crucial background to True Mother’s message later that day, describing the historical mission of True Parents, True Father’s path and the mission of Unificationists today.
Following the Hoon Dok Hwe, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chair of FFWPU North America, gave a welcome message, welcoming everyone to this very special day and welcoming True Mother to True Father’s 1,000-Day celebration. “I was moved by the testimonial video of Europe,” he shared. “The European family, too, was moved by True Mother’s heart and love and God-centered message. I was particularly moved by seeing True Father and True Mother together in Switzerland [in the video] just four years ago. How quickly time has passed. I am very amazed and grateful for True Mother’s work, which gives us confidence and conviction to move forward in God’s work.”
Dr. Kim announced the completion of the English translation of the Cham Bumo Gyeong, and urged everyone to make the study of the three Holy Scriptures their top priority this year, so that we can fully understand True Parent’s life course and how we can carry their legacy forward.
“Yesterday, True Mother tearfully reminded us of True Parents’ investment of 40 years in America,” Dr. Kim said. “Our blessings are not our own. True Mother begged us to understand her heart and determination to complete True Parents’ work in their lifetime. We pledge to complete our portion of responsibility.”
The audience applauded with resounding agreement and conviction, and the program transitioned into a video of highlights of True Mother’s work during the last 1,000 days. These accomplishments included the Holy Marriage Blessing, the Holy Scriptures, the Cheon Il Guk Constitution, the archiving of historical records of the Unification Movement, work with the United Nations, the planning of the Cheon Ji Seonhak Won museum, and most recently, the revival and determination for Tribal Messiahship.
Next, another video was presented of True Mother’s recent messages, culminating in a shared sense of clarity and reinvigoration for the entire audience as they reflected upon the last three years and the direction in which True Mother is leading the Unification Movement.
After these video highlights, Seiko Lee performed a musical offering of “Arirang,” one of True Mother’s favorite songs. Her beautiful song received enthusiastic applause from the audience, and was a beautiful welcome for Sun Jin Moon, International President of FFWPU, to come on stage and give an introduction to True Mother.
“Today we honor True Parents’ beloved legacy and your great legacy centered on True Parents,” said Sun Jin Moon. “The past 1,000 days have been a dramatic journey with many changes. The whole world was shaken through True Father’s passing. There has been much pain, suffering, and even doubt during this time. In these trying times, let us all work together, not only to persevere, but to emerge victorious.”
Amid countless bouts of cheers, Sun Jin Moon continued on to describe True Mother’s unending inspiration for everyone. “She is the only person who can match True Father’s example,” she said. “Despite being on earth without her other half that makes her whole, True Mother is always looking to relieve the pain of others … True Mother sets the true standard of true beauty: the capacity to melt hearts and compel us to love one another. She is the greatest woman in all of history of all humankind. She is the source of salvation, a guiding light, our guru and queen leading the way.”
With that heartfelt, moving introduction, True Mother came to the stage and was greeted with wide smiles, endless applause and the singing of “Happy Victory” as she received flowers and a mountainous cake. True Mother playfully motioned a toss of her bouquets to the audience, reflecting the beauty and grace like that of a young bride.
True Mother then began her message to the American Unification families, reminding everyone of their role as the nation leading the way for the world. “This is a time of harvest,” she began. “All of your dreams are coming true—that is my prayer for you.” She implored the audience to remember their identity and mission, to study Korean so that the world of God can be united under one common language, and to grow their roots.
“We really want to stand up for God and True Parents,” commented Manoj Jacob, Pastor of the New Jersey Family Church, after the service. “We want to be the children who can be there for our True Parents whenever they need us. We want to proclaim the name of True Parents and truth to everyone.”
Using the analogy of the olive tree, which grows its roots for 50 years to adapt to the barren desert environment, and then survives another 2,000 years, True Mother urged everyone to invest themselves and grow profound roots, so that whatever happens they will remain unshaken. True Mother asked the audience how we can start a new 50 years, filled with hope and with a renewed determination, completely different and rising beyond anything we have ever done before.
She likened the roles of America and Europe to that of Abel and Cain, and reminded the American family members that the United States was prepared for the founding of the messiah. “Heaven doesn’t bless nations or individuals for their sake alone,” True Mother explained. “Their purpose is to greet True Parents. That is the hope of fallen humanity.”
“I resonated with True mother’s words deeply,” said Miilhan Stephens after the event. “I too have felt the need to reveal the identity of God in America, and show them that America has a special role to play in bringing peace to the world when they receive the love and direction of True Parents. The call for America to work with Europe was loud and clear.”
“Blessed families, when you look at your lives and the time left on this earth, it is not much,” True Mother continued. “Each one of us and our tribe need to work to fulfill our tribal messiahship mission together.” She closed her message by asking everyone to spread the truth and spread hope for the future, and the audience responded in genuine agreement and understanding.
True Mother’s visit to New York left a profound impact on the American Unificationists, and left everyone with much to reflect on. Tanya Selle, a young Unificationist attending the event, said, “I want to thank True Mother for being so honest and strong, and being an embracing role model. I feel compelled to act. I just graduated and it makes me think more seriously about the legacy I want to leave for my decendants.”
“True Mother’s words were exactly what my spirit and heart needed to hear,” said Mari Curry, Vice President of FFWPU USA. “So many questions, concerns and struggles were answered, clarified and in some case melted away by her guidance and loving heart.”
Musical Celebration: A Tribute to Hyo Jin Moon
After her message, a special memorial concert organized by True Mother was held as a tribute to True Parents’ son, Hyo Jin Moon, who ascended to the spirit world in 2008. Featuring the Hyo Jin Moon band and Hyo Jin Moon’s three children, this performance was incredibly nostalgic, as it was held in the Manhattan Center, a place Hyo Jin Moon founded and where he poured out his heart and soul.
The band debuted with one of Hyo Jin Moon’s songs, “My Last Prayer,” after an opening video of one of Hyo Jin Moon’s concerts. The video portrayed Hyo Jin Moon’s heart towards True Parents and our Heavenly Parent, his devotion and filial piety shining through his lyrics and electric music.
“It was hard to contain my tears during the Hyo Jin Nims Band’s performance,” said Miilhan. “His music forces you to dig deep into the most painful parts of your heart. Thinking of the challenging life he lived also reminds of the pain that God and True Parents must have experienced along side him.”
The band began with a strong entrance and a male vocalist and guitarist who replicated and revived Hyo Jin Moon’s style and image during his concert days. His voice and presence on stage mimicked Hyo Jin Moon’s electric guitar solos and passionate energy. Another song was sung by a female vocalist, again embracing Hyo Jin Moon’s presence and style on stage. Both vocalists then sang, “Love You Forever Like Clean Spring.” All the songs performed were written by Hyo Jin Moon.
A intermittent video was projected, highlighting the influence that media has on culture, and Hyo Jin Moon’s legacy with creating a heartistic culture. He established the Manhattan Center as a media platform to exponentially increase goodness into the world, wishing to transform people through music. He has written over 10,000 songs before he ascended to the spirit world in 2008 at age 47.
After the video, to everyone’s surprise and delight, Hyo Jin Moon’s children appeared one by one on stage to perform their father’s singles. Each sang a selection of his music, right there on the Manhattan Center stage where their father performed so many times years ago.
The first performance was by Shin Yuh Moon, the youngest of the three, who sang “Dol-I-Ai”. Her endearing and timid introduction warmed the hearts of the audience members. She thanked everyone for inviting the Hyo Jin Moon band and letting her sing on stage. She began with a big smile and sang sweetly and beautifully to her father’s song. Towards the end of her song, she displayed moving emotion in tearful remembrance of her father, yet stuck through to the end, moving the audience to their feet and drawing a standing ovation.
Next, Hyo Jin Moon’s second son, Shin Heung Moon, introduced himself and acknowledged that this was “a meaningful day for us all.” He thanked the audience for going through the hardships that accompanied a life of following True Father, and then sang “Glory” with a powerful and passionate voice. The audience was able to resonate with Hyo Jin Moon’s voice through Shin Heung’s voice, and again rose to their feet in applause.
The final song was sung by Hyo Jin Moon’s eldest son, Shin Chul Moon, who performed “Let it Blow.” This lively and upbeat performance compelled everyone in the room to stand, clap and dance along. Many Unificationists, young and old, streamed to the front of the room to dance mosh-pit style, waving their arms in the air and creating a vibrant, electrifying energy of joy and unison.
“It was absolutely incredible,” shared an audience member. “I’ve never seen anything like it. To see Hyo Jin Moon’s children’s love for their father, their incredible talent and the response of everyone in the room was a reminder of the love of True Parents that has touched the hearts of us all.”
As True Mother continues on her journey to Las Vegas, where the celebration will continue and the long-anticipated opening of the International Peace Education Center will be celebrated, the American Unification family feels revived, enthused, and deeply touched by True Mother’s words and the heart surrounding them. Stay tuned for updates on the 7-day Divine Principle Workshop in Las Vegas, and other events as we continue to welcome True Mother back to the United States.