Eminent women from around the world gathered to hear from a range of female speakers at the 19th Annual Assembly of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) in New York City on August 5, 2011. Under the theme of “We – Unlocking the Power of Relationships,” TV talk-show hosts, academic professionals, psychologists, journalists, community activists, and high officials at the United Nations joined in fellowship in the Grand Ballroom of the New Yorker Hotel, and welcomed Rev. In Jin Moon, the daughter of the founder of the WFWP, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, as the keynote speaker. The WFWP Assembly began on August 4, 2011 and will continue through August 6, 2011.
Angelika Selle, President of the WFWP and Vice President of WFWP International, first took the podium and introduced the WFWP as “an organization to bring women together, wherever we come from, wherever we are in life.” Mrs. Selle was also quick to welcome the men attending the conference: “WFWP comes to support and uplift and encourage our men. We want to ask that they not hold us back, but that they hold our backs.”
After Mrs. Selle’s remarks, Ms. Nia Lyte, talk-show host of the “Nia Lyte Show” and founder of the Shin Koyomada Foundation, introduced Rev. In Jin Moon as the keynote speaker. “I had the opportunity to meet In Jin Moon back in March in Las Vegas, and she is just a tremendous, powerful, and amazing woman,” said Ms. Lyte. “I was just blown away by her inner and outer beauty.”
Rev. In Jin Moon, Senior Pastor of Lovin’ Life Ministries and CEO of the Manhattan Center, then encouraged the audience to think and plan ahead: “Every year that we get together is an opportunity to experience what we’ve done in the course of the last year, but also a chance to look forward to the next year and to think about what kind of grand new beginnings we want to make this year. If we are really committed to building a world of peace, what are we going to decide to do at this conference?
“We realize that the most precious gifts in our lives are these beautiful bundles of joy that we call our children, and many times I’ve thought to myself, ‘how do I, as a mother, create the kind of environment that can bring out the best of who they are, bringing out the inner and outer excellence?’ Well, we as mothers are not just going to ship our children to a therapist or a boarding school, but we are going to do the hard work of raising our kids ourselves because they mean that much to us.”
“Open the Light!”
“When my youngest son was four years old, without fail, at five o’clock every morning, I would hear his little footsteps, the sudden opening of the door, and his tiny voice screaming out, “Open the li-i-ight!” My husband and I were always jarred at being woken up like this, but what my son meant was, ‘please open your eyes, turn on the light, get out of bed, give me a hug and a kiss, and make me some breakfast.’ When I thought about this little Napoleon, I said to myself, here is this child wanting me to open my eyes to the new day, to the new world that is waiting for me. He wants me to get up, get going, and have a wonderful meal together. This is not just the desire of a four-year-old boy who wants to be fed. Isn’t it the desire of our Heavenly Parent to say to his children of the world, “Open the light!”? Our Heavenly Parent is telling us, ‘Open up your eyes, be in full anticipation of the beautiful day ahead of you, be excited by life, clean yourself up, make yourself presentable, and share something with your loved ones!’
The Gift of the Blessing
“We live in one of the greatest superpowers of the world. This is an incredible country, and we as the citizens of the country have an extraordinary opportunity to make something beautiful with our lives, to exert the right kind of influence by being people who truly understand what the plan of our Heavenly Father is all about. At this time, when we are faced with the crossroads of looking to a world of peace or the end of humankind, if we want to dream, to breathe love and harmony, we have to ask ourselves, how do we go about doing that?
“The only way that peace is realized is in understanding what true love is all about. The True Parents of mankind, Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, constantly talk about not only knowing what true love is, but also exercising and substantiating it into our lives. Only by understanding how to accomplish peace in a family setting can we truly create peace on a world level. Our True Parents come to this world with an incredible gift called the Blessing, which is an invitation for people from different cultures, backgrounds, faiths, and races, to join in matrimony and learn how to love is in the context of a family. Through the Blessing, our True Parents are inviting us to graft onto the heavenly lineage, or God’s family, so that we all become in-laws, relatives, family. Black and white, catholic and protestant, muslim and followers of Shintoism, all join in matrimony. These different faiths come to understand that they are not only loving each other, but also committing themselves to God, and pledging to humanity that they are going to live as one family under God. That is the only way we can think or dream or feel that building a peaceful world, one family at a time, is doable.
“Because my father comes from Korea, and many of the great leaders of our movement come from Japan, whenever I heard them speak about true love, it sounded like, ‘true rub.’ They would say, “We hab to practice true rub!” meaning, in order to love each other, we have to rub up against each other. And sometimes rubbing up against children, spouses, and relatives is not a very pleasant thing to do. Many of them come with jarring edges, and sometimes we are scarred along the way. But we are family, blessed and stuck to each other for life, and we have been given the opportunity to rub up against each other by applying true love in our lives. So when our True Father and True Mother encourage people to practice true love, they’re not just asking us to go and teach the world what we know about God. We need to create the kind of family where we see God in our lives, each day and each night. Just as we can’t think of building a house without a blueprint, or traveling to a distant land without a map or, likewise, when we think about building a world of peace, we have to have an understanding of how to build an ideal family. We have to realize how important it is to build the kind of families that will build healthy and inspired children.
“Many people get involved in the most important relationships of their lives without any plan. We get married without a plan; we have children without a plan. This is where the concept of building ideal families comes into our lives. Our True Parents provide us a model and give us tools we can apply in our lives, families, societies, and nations, so we can build the kind of families that can ensure a world of peace – one building block at a time.
“So ladies, as we gather this morning in this beautiful ballroom as sisters, daughters, and mothers, this is a time to learn from each other and tell ourselves that we are not just going to be observers in the world, but that we are going to be agents of change. We are going to do the hard work. We are going to be a lean and mean machine – not mean in the sense of being cruel, but in the sense that we as ladies mean business. This is an opportunity to bring out the best in each other, to glean the wisdom we have experienced, acquired, and carried along the way. In the fellowship of good will and the desire to build one family under God that we all long for, we can decide today that we are going to change the world by changing ourselves. We are going to start with ourselves, our families, with our relationships, truly “rubbing” each other, albeit it might be uncomfortable and painful. But this is a time when our Heavenly Parent is saying to us, “Open the Li-i-ight!” Let’s open up our eyes, look around at all the beautiful women around us. Look at the endless possibilities that are before us, and instead of simply observing and waiting for the world to clean itself up and usher in a new millennium, why don’t we help it come about? Why don’t we as women help it along and get down to business?
“WFWP is not an organization that just puts women first, it is an organization where we as women can reclaim our dignity as eternal daughters of God and in so doing, help raise up our brothers, fathers, and husbands to be the best that they can be. It is my fervent desire for the success of this conference, and I hope that our Heavenly Parent can bless all of you this morning and through your journeys to and from the conference. I hope that we can be fed with the determination that we are going to be agents of change and create a safe world for our children. We are going to be the mothers that inspire our children to be not only externally excellent, but internally excellent as well. I believe that if we take part in doing so, one family at a time, the world of peace is just around the corner.”
Contributed by Ariana Moon