|ACLC Clergy Urged to Raise up a Generation of Peace
“Making A Generation of Peace” was the message, and ballroom dancing was the medium as ministers from across America joined scores of twenty-somethings on the dance floor January 22nd at the First Annual American Clergy and Leadership (ACLC) Gala in the Manhattan Center in New York.
Archbishop G. Augustus Stallings, Jr. served as Master of Ceremonies at the black-tie event in the Grand Ballroom of the historically prominent Manhattan Center.
Rev. Mark Abernathy of Connect Point Christian Center gave the invocation.
A Gospel hymn of praise was offered by Rev. Cornelius Clark of the Streator Community Church near Chicago.
Guests viewed a video of the highpoints of ACLC accomplishments and history since its founding in 2001 with voiced narration by Archbishop Stallings.
Rev. Michael Jenkins, Chairman of the ACLC, introduced Rev. In Jin Moon, the keynote speaker. In his opening remarks, he noted that after In Jin Moon’s graduation from Harvard Divinity School in 1995, her parents ordained her as a Reverend, the first such ordination by her parents. He also explained to the 200 guests that Rev. Moon has served as the Overseer of the ACLC since her maiden speech to that group on Jan. 30, 2009.
Rev. Moon explained that her primary mission, and an important duty of her colleagues in the ACLC, is to raise and motivate the rising generation of faith leaders. “Those of us already working as pastors, and ministers and reverends have an incredible duty to raise up young people to be such great shepherds of our Heavenly Father and Mother,” she said.
Rev. Moon invoked the founding vision of her father which had begun on a mountainside in North Korea on an Easter Sunday in 1935 when he had received his calling from Jesus. “My father took this vision of wanting to create an ideal family -- of wanting to create a world of peace – to his heart and ever since then that man has never wavered in his faith. The wonderful thing about this man is that he understood the Providential significance of finding an eternal bride, an eternal partner that can be the example of True Woman that we – that I – have been waiting for our whole lives. And the wonderful thing about True Parents is that for the first time in history we have a man and a woman as the True Parents who can show us how to go about building this wonderful thing called an ideal family that our Heavenly Parent wanted so long ever since creating the universe,” she said.
“Brothers and sisters, having our True parents here is an incredible moment in history, It will not happen again. Just as those lovely people who understood the significance of Jesus Christ, if we truly open up our spiritual eyes and our spiritual hearts, we will realize that here together with us we have the Lord of the second advent, we have the messiah, we have the True Parents. Just as Jesus Christ brought us the Good News, True Parents have brought us the breaking news,” she said. Rev. Moon told her guests that “for the first time in history we have a chance to graft onto the true lineage of God our Heavenly Parents.”
Rev. Moon amplified the term “generation of peace” which she had introduced to the ACLC at that signature speech the previous year in Newark, New Jersey.
As she has done several times at formal events, she spelled out what the word “Peace” means to her: “P” means God is our Parent; “E” means “eternal beings of love;” “A” means altruism; “C” means compassion; and “E” means “excellence” both in an internal, moral sense and in an outward, professional sense. The generation of peace is the generation that is the embodiment of internal and external excellence, she explained.
She implored her guests to join with her to condemn the persecution of Unificationists in Japan who have suffered kidnappings and forced confinements by enemies of the church. She asserted that more than 6,000 Japanese citizens have been victimized with little or no legal protection from Japanese police and prosecutors.
Rev. Moon also called upon her guests to join with her to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Haiti, and she promised to match dollar for dollar all donations made for the sake of Haitian aid.
Rev. Jenkins presented distinguished service awards to seven individuals. These included Reverend Dr. Willie Weston, founder of Hope Evangelistic Ministries International in Chicago; Rev. Fermin Bocanegra, founder of the Iglesia Cristiana Wesleyana in Kernersville, North Carolina; Rev. Reginald T. Jackson, pastor of St. Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church in Orange, New Jersey; Rev. Gilda Price, a minister of the New Temple Mt. Zion Christ Church in Brooklyn, New York (founding member of ACLC’s Women in Ministry); Rev. Betty Tatalajski, founder of the Temple of Universality in Tucson, Arizona; Rev. Jason Bently, founder of HighPoint Church near Seattle, Washington; and Victoria Roomet, the Lovin’ Life Ministry’s Service Coordinator as well as the Vice President of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP).
Bishop Margie Delarosa of Mount Vernon, New York, a bishop in the Christ Family Church, was recognized as Woman Pastor of the Year.
Dave Hunter, assistant pastor of the Lovin’ Life Ministry, introduced a waltz demonstration by 14 couples of young volunteers from Rev. Moon’s congregation. He explained that teaching dancing is Rev. In Jin Moon’s deliberate strategy to show young men and women grace, etiquette and respect for the opposite sex. The floor then filled with guests of all ages waltzing, jitterbugging and fox-trotting the evening away.
Contributed by Douglas Burton