The National Convocation of IAPD and IAPP
Contributed by Staffan Berg.
The National Convocation of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) and the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) took place at the Los Angeles Sheraton Gateway from April 5 to 6, where 25 panelists expounded on “The Role of Religious an Civic Leaders in Realizing Peace in the Family, Nation and World” through 4 sessions to over 200 participants from nine countries.
The first session addressed “The Vision, Universal Values and Work of UPF, IAPD, IAPP, ACLC and WFWP.” Mrs. Tomiko Duggan, Senior Vice-President of sponsor Universal Peace Federation (UPF-USA), showed photos from the last 15 months of similar conferences in Senegal, Austria, Brazil, New York, South Africa, Nepal, and South Korea.
The co-sponsoring American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) was represented by Dr. Luonne Rouse, National Co-Chair, and Archbishop George A. Stallings, Jr., Chairman of the IAPD. They enthralled by enthusiastically reaching in to the ubiquitous divine image and zeal to rebuild the family through the Holy Marriage Blessing. Archbishop Stallings promoted rekindling human spirituality beyond any one religion. Dr Rouse implored the assembled clergy to pinpoint local needs and organized to restore the community and renew the nation.
Mrs. Angelika Selle, President of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) stated that women have the pivotal role to bring the heart and spirit of peace for this new age. Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, The Mother of Peace, inaugurated the WFWP 27 years ago by traveling to all major cities around the globe to break down barriers. A mother’s heart has the gift to find common ground, to find connections that bring peace and harmony.
“Different to other women’s organizations, we know who we are—created in the image of God and essentially different to men. Women need not battle nor imitate men. Let us instead lift up the divine in men and work together for peace,” said Mrs. Selle.
Hon. Matt Salmon, former U. S. House of Representatives, amazed the group by singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” Working off the message of Peace Starts With Me, Mr. Salmon addressed public officials, recommending them to practice what they preach, to “walk the walk” by bringing peace and unity into discussions, and to legislate to strengthen the family.
Mr. Tom McDevitt, Chairman of Board of Directors at The Washington Times, asked all to better the community by applying one inspiring idea from this conference through the already established networks. Mr. McDevitt also implored all to subscribe to The Washington Times newspaper, according to a recent poll ranked among the top five most trusted sources of information in the nation.
After the conclusion of the Convocation, all participants were bussed to the City of Refuge Church for the Peace Starts With Me: Blessing America rally. The 60 couples who participated in the convocation were seated in front to take part in the Marriage Rededication ceremony.
For a full report of the Convocation, visit upf.org.