Western Regional Holy Day Celebrations
The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) Western Region observed the 100th birthday of FFWPU co-founders Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, affectionately known as True Parents, with a concurrent celebration of the 53rd True Heavenly Parent’s Day at the regional-level in Los Angeles, California on January 25.
The Los Angeles Family Church was overflowing with Unificationists, Christian pastors, and various guests who all came in honor of True Parents. The pledge service began at 9:00 a.m., emceed by Rev. Mark Tengan, District 12 Pastor, who led the community through the Family Pledge (core pledge of Unificationists) and bows. Rev. Larry Krishnek, Western Regional Director, gave a short message about the coming new year.
The celebratory program opened with a powerful gospel, after which co-emcee Secretary General Jennifer Pierce introduced what was being celebrated. Rev. Krishnek further explained True Heavenly Parent’s Day and about True Parents’ life. Three pastors followed, Rev. Tracy Price, Elder Edwin Perry, and Rev. Jae Won Park, who shared their own experiences with True Parents and the Unification movement.
After cutting the cake and singing “Happy Birthday,” entertainment ensured. Yumi Kim, an eight-year-old second-generation Unificationist, danced a beautiful traditional Korean dance, showcasing the culture that True Parents loved. Next, Matt Ishizuka sang some of Hyo Jin Moon’s songs that expressed a deep love and understanding for True Parents. Then, the young adults of the Los Angeles community sang “Hyo Shim,” a song of love and filial piety for True Parents. And finally, two second-generation Unificationist sisters, Rebecca Zinke and Juri Moore, sang True Parent’s favorite “Sarang Hae.”
After a benediction, all participants were invited to a Korean lunch accompanied by live music by Jumpin’ Joz, a swing band. Also available was a bounce house, games and activities for children, and a game of yut with cash prizes.
The Kodiak Family Church held a 7:00 a.m. pledge service at North Garden, after which community members stayed for three hours talking and sharing with each other. On Sunday evening, Pastor Tasnah Bercy of the Kodiak Family Church shared reflections on the significance of True Heavenly Parent’s Day and True Parents’ Birthday, along with gratitude and the importance of giving a gift to True Parents. For dinner, participants took part in “make your own sushi,” where they first made a roll for another person before making one for themselves. The program concluded with a minute-to-win-it game that the children enjoyed.
San Diego, California
The San Diego Family Church began their celebrations with a pledge service followed by a Hoon Dok Hwe (daily study of scripture) reading from True Mother’s April 17, 2019 speech, a photographic essay about True Parents’ life by Walter Frank, pastor of the San Diego Family Church, and words from blessed couples and second-generation Unificationists about their 2020 goals and realizations.
Afterwards, the community enjoyed a fabulous lunch featuring sushi, bulgogi and birthday cake!
The Tempe Family Church in Arizona, which includes members in Phoenix, Tucson and several smaller surrounding cities, celebrated the holy days during Sunday service. The day began with Holy Songs and the Family Pledge. Sean and Romina Rahman, a young couple expecting first child, officiated the program, and after offering a deep praying, they touched each item on the offering table, representing Heavenly Parent and True Parents’ receipt of the offering.
The children helped cut the cake while everyone sang “Happy Birthday.” Everyone shared an amazing meal together with wonderful fellowship.
More than 50 Unificationists in Hawaii gathered at the Honolulu Family Learning Center on January 25 for a pledge service. After offering bows and reciting the Family Pledge, District Pastor Rev. Kazuo Takami read President of FFWPU USA Rev. Demian Dunkley’s message “We Owe it All to God.”
Later in the afternoon, a special prayer luncheon was held at Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in Honolulu to celebrate True Parents’ Birthday with 90 Unificationists and clergy guests. Special guest speaker from New Jersey Dr. Michael Sykes of the United Missionary Baptist Church in East Orange, New Jersey delivered a powerful message. He pointed out that the greatest problem of America is none other than the family breakdown. He talked about his direct experiences with True Parents, how True Father inspired him to marry and how he met his wife through the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC).
The host pastor, Dr. Anthony J. Cook, who traveled to the Peace Starts With Me Clergy Rally in New Jersey last December, gave a testimony about how he was impressed by the World Clergy Leadership Conference Inaugural Convocation (WCLC).
Bay Area, California
The Bay Area Family Church celebrated with clergy friends at their Community of Faith Breakfast. The Father’s House Band was outstanding in setting the atmosphere for the event. Local Unificationist Bento Leal shared the five values of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), and Rev. Carl Dorn shared about how he came to the WCLC kick off in New Jersey intending to change the minds of some Unificationists, but instead had his own mind changed. District 11 Pastor Rev. Kevin Thompson of the Bay Area Family Church spoke about why clergy should study the ministry of True Parents as a model for how to be successful in their own ministries.
The celebrations concluded when Rev. Dorn and Rev. Thompson led the congregation in singing “Happy Birthday” to True Parents.
The Reno Family Church in Nevada held a beautiful gathering with nine Unificationists, as well as a Tribal Messiah blessed couple and their family of four children. They began with prayer and devotion in the morning, then enjoyed a delicious meal. The festivities continued with an exciting game of yut.
The Seattle Family Church’s celebration began with a beautiful offering table filled with fruit, a pledge service and a representative prayer. District 10 Pastor Rev. David Ryan delivered a sermon highlighting True Mother’s providential role, including the immeasurable hardships, as well as victories, that True Mother had to go through. He also said that God is a God of suffering due to the Human Fall and is seeking for the victorious Only Begotten Son and Only Begotten Daughter. Rev. Ryan also acknowledge that True Mother’s proclamation of her being the “The Only Begotten Daughter” means she is telling the world that she is one with True Father and is standing in an equal position with him.
The celebration continued with a song offering by the Japanese Sisters Choir, who beautifully sang “Furusato,” a traditional Japanese song about returning to a beloved hometown and also said to be one of True Parents’ favorites. A very generous and tasty Korean meal were served for lunch where everyone enjoyed in fellowship with each other.
After lunch, a game of yut was played between the older generation versus the younger, which the younger generation won!