True Family Values Ministry Celebrates 20 Years
On December 12, 2015, after commemorating its 20th anniversary milestone in Chicago and New York, the True Family Values Ministry had its third and final celebration at the International Peace Education Center in Las Vegas—a key city in True Parents’ 40-year providence in America.
Over 700 Unificationists, FFWPU Korea and FFWPU Japan District Pastors, clergy of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) and Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and Ambassadors for Peace gathered at the Peace Center and welcomed True Mother, co-founder of the True Family Values Ministry, who was inspired to hold this event in Las Vegas and share her message with this ministry which for 20 years has shared True Parents’ vision and recognized the importance of family togetherness and raising communities built upon strong families as the basis for world peace.
Welcome, True Mother!
With Christmas around the corner, the air outside was fresh, the main hall warm, and the celebration exuded holiday festivity as international guests greeted each other. The program kicked off with congregational songs led by a lively band of all ages and nationalities.
Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of FFWPU USA, emceed the event. “We just finished 20 years of the True Family Values Ministry in the United States,” he said in his introduction. “True Parents loved this ministry, loved the city of Chicago, and in her grace True Mother brought this celebration to New York and Las Vegas.”
True Mother then entered the room and with a radiant smile greeted the group. Everyone expressed their happiness to see her again with emphatic cheers and applause. Many local Unificationists in Las Vegas had recently had the opportunity to welcome True Mother to this very building in May, when she cut the ribbon for the Grand Opening of the International Peace Education Center and prayed that it would become a place where international leaders could make strides for peace and where educators could provide guests with the tools to build strong families and communities.
Gifts of Gratitude to True Parents
The significance of this 20th anniversary showed through the meaningful gifts offered to True Mother upon her entrance on stage. Leader of the local Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), Akira Watanabe, and his wife offered beautiful bouquets of flowers. A group of leaders of the ACLC including Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Co-Chairman of ACLC, and Rev. Jesse and Tanya Edwards, brought out the True Family Values Crystal Award, a crystal model depicting the view of Chicago, home of the True Family Values Ministry, from the Shedd Aquarium, a sight that True Parents loved so much during their visits to Chicago.
A final gift was a framed proclamation offered by members of the original Top Gun group, a movement inaugurated by True Parents to educate leaders to spread the teachings and vision of True Parents around the world.
Rev. George Augustus Stallings, Jr., Co-Chairman of ACLC, gave the invocation. In his prayer he reported, “We come before you on this occasion on the 20th anniversary of the True Family Values Ministry, a gift of True Parents to America, which has inspired representatives of all faith communities to affirm the Blessing of marriage.
“True Parents have Blessed millions of couples from all faiths who now are anointed to become Tribal Messiahs. Through this foundation, the kingdom of God, Cheon Il Guk, will continue to grow and expand Your territory of true love. The True Family Values Ministry over the last 20 years has melted our hearts together beyond race and religion to lift up Blessed marriage in the lineage in the image of God.”
Dr. Ki Hoon Kim then welcomed everyone to this exciting occasion to celebrate the True Family Values Ministry with True Mother.
“How quickly time has passed since the first True Family Values award program hosted by Pastor T. L. Barrett Jr. under the inspiration of our cofounders, the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and True Mother, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon,” he reminisced. “Since then True Parents have joined us here in Las Vegas many times. They always taught to us the importance of responsibility of religious leaders to build good families and strong communities, and to help America in its God-given providential mission.
“Today as we see continuous conflict around the world driven by evil extremism we are reminded that our work is far from over, so we are not here just to celebrate the past, but to make a new commitment to the vision. The True Family Values banquet has been a catalyst for new commitment.”
Video: 20 Years of the True Family Values Ministry in America
A video was shown highlighting the history of the True Family Values Ministry and testimonies of its success, including last weekend’s events in Chicago and New York. Watch the video below:
Report: True Mother’s Investment from Foundation Day to Vision 2020
“Three years ago when True Father ascended to the spirit world, True Mother immediately provided her leadership, and especially her vision,” said Dr. Balcomb. He proceeded to introduce two representatives from FFWPU International who prepared reports on past and upcoming endeavors by True Parents.
Rev. Sung Il Cho presented True Mother’s vision and report for 2020. His presentation is available in the video clip below:
Dr. Young Ho Yun described the providence in Nepal and India centering on the Sunhak Peace Prize. You can watch his presentation here:
True Family Values Message
True Mother was inspired to share her message this year at the 20th annual True Family Values Ministry Banquet. In Chicago and New York, International President of FFWPU International Sun Jin Moon presented her message. Today, Prof. Yeon Ah Moon, Women’s Federation for World Peace International President, delivered this message on behalf of True Mother.
True Mother’s Keynote Address
It was a great honor to then welcome True Mother to deliver her message for the True Family Values Ministry. She took the stage and asked the crowd, “Did you miss me? How much did you miss me?” Her question was met with laughter and cheers, and True Mother began sharing her remarks.
“These days, there are many tragic occurrences and natural disasters,” she said. “Those of us who know need to come out and overcome them with education. Because of that, even when I’m in Korea, in Japan, and even in America, these days what I’m asking everyone is this: In order to become one, this problem needs to be solved, so keep educating and accomplishing your responsibility as a Heavenly Tribal Messiah. You must share with people. There must not be one person who lived at the same time as True Parents and say that they didn’t know.”
For True Mother’s full message, watch the video below.
Apple Heaven Musical Ensemble
The entertainment of the day was prepared by True Mother herself. In Korea, Apple Heaven is part of True Parents’ security team. Despite being enveloped in serious conversation, particularly related to the wellbeing of True Parents, it is their heart for True Parents and visitors to feel encouraged amid the serious matters that True Mother deals with each day. They performed in Chicago and New York, and today, donned in holiday-red suits, they sang American favorites including “God Bless America,” and “When the Saints Go Marching In,” as well as traditional Korean songs. By the last song, everyone was on their feet, clapping and dancing, closing the program with an international family dance party.
America At a Turning Point Forum
The Universal Peace Federation (UPF’s) American Leadership Conference (ALC) hosted a forum titled “America At a Turning Point” which followed the True Family Values Ministry 20th Anniversary events in Chicago, New York and in Las Vegas.
The True Family Values Ministry recognizes that this nation is at a critical point, facing many challenges but also yearning for change, for God and for family. The ministry partnered with UPF to provide this forum, a program that allowed leaders to engage in dialogue and map action steps for the future.
Over 80 people participated in this two-hour educational session which provided an important opportunity to consider the principles and values needed to address the political, cultural, social and spiritual challenges facing our nation and world today. It featured interactive presentations and panel discussions in three key areas: “Interfaith and Peace-Building”, “Family: The Cornerstone for Peace” and “The Significant Role of Youth for Sustainable Peace”.
In the coming days, we will be sharing testimonies and reflections right here from the events in Las Vegas. If you attended the event, take a moment to share your reflections and words of encouragement with True Mother here.
The entire event was beautiful. Having True Mother in out midst was extremely beneficial. True Mother’s message about the menu of the last supper was significant. When I think about it I realized that I take many simple things for granted. I am now more committed to testify to my friends and family about True Parents. I cannot let what happened to Jesus happen to True Parents.
I really thank God and my ancestors that I can spend precious time with True Mother in this time. I came to Vegas three years ago as a first student of Wongu University. I have seen dramatic changes in Las Vegas through these three years and really appreciate True Parents’ devotion for this God-chosen city. I will study hard and do God’s work wherever God wants me to go. Thank you True Mother for your sacrifice for all of us.
The event was great. I did enjoy the message from True Mother and the also the great report on what is happening in other parts of the world and how the president of Nepal received the Ambassador of Peace certificate, that was amazing. My words of encouragement will be for True Mother to not give up, continue doing the great work and bringing more people to True Parents. We all have to work hand in hand to be the change the world needs.
We were so happy to see True Mother in Las Vegas. I was so moved that True Mother made the band Apple Heaven. They have mission to protect True Parents and not only that, they give joy to others. They are so wonderful and great. I was so happy to be there. Thank you so much.
Being human, going into the event I needed some love, and I received it, in all things, through True Mother’s Apple Heaven band; she raised up her own security staff and that to me is the epitome of love. Everyone is family and gets respected and nourished; no one starves, physically or emotionally, in such an atmosphere. What a shot of hope this brings to me. It is what I joined 40 years ago.
I have not felt this heart of God from True Mother in several years. I am encouraged on a level that is life changing. I cried so much as I was listening to her speech, understanding her heart and God’s heart. I am ever so grateful to our True Mother for taking the time and effort to show us the presence of God from her presence. My only worry is how I can manifest her encouragement through substantial improvements in my life by following her directive to witness to everyone in my life. I miss True Mother desperately and hope I can see her in Las Vegas again and receive her spirit. My heart is for True Parents.
First I thank Heavenly Parent and True Parents. True Mother talked especially about Christianity. She urged clergy and all of us to take responsibility, love and educate people, bring back humanity into one. She expressed the heart of God, how painful it was when Jesus was not received by people after God’s hard work of 4,000 years. I felt that pain deeply through True Mother. I felt how much she is living in pain yet comforting Heavenly Parent and loving all humanity as her children. I want to live with and practice the love she gave us.