The True Father 1,000-Day Memorial Celebration in New York
FFWPU USA: On May 24, thousands of Unificationists attended the Sunday Service with True Mother at the Manhattan Center, and the rest of the American families watched via live broadcast. The program opened with lively songs from the Family Church of New York City band, as well as the Generation Peace Academy choir—coordinated in colorful, springtime red and pink attire. The audience sang along joyfully with power and rejuvenation, picking up the spirit by swaying in unison, snapping their fingers and clapping their hands.
After the welcoming musical warm-up, Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU)-USA introduced himself as the emcee, welcomed the guests and introduced a video testimony of True Mother’s recent tour in Europe, celebrating 50 years of the Unification Movement in Europe.
Miilhan Stephens, Vice President of FFWPU USA, read a Hoon Dok Hwe (scripture) message from the Cham Bumo Gyeong, the third of the Holy Scriptures which will be published in English on the third anniversary of True Father’s Seonghwa this year. The reading provided a crucial background to True Mother’s message later that day, describing the historical mission of True Parents, True Father’s path and the mission of Unificationists today.
Following the Hoon Dok Hwe, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chair of FFWPU North America, gave a welcome message, welcoming everyone to this very special day and welcoming True Mother to True Father’s 1,000-Day celebration. “I was moved by the testimonial video of Europe,” he shared. “The European family, too, was moved by True Mother’s heart and love and God-centered message. I was particularly moved by seeing True Father and True Mother together in Switzerland [in the video] just four years ago. How quickly time has passed. I am very amazed and grateful for True Mother’s work, which gives us confidence and conviction to move forward in God’s work.”
Dr. Kim announced the completion of the English translation of the Cham Bumo Gyeong, and urged everyone to make the study of the three Holy Scriptures their top priority this year, so that we can fully understand True Parent’s life course and how we can carry their legacy forward.
“Yesterday, True Mother tearfully reminded us of True Parents’ investment of 40 years in America,” Dr. Kim said. “Our blessings are not our own. True Mother begged us to understand her heart and determination to complete True Parents’ work in their lifetime. We pledge to complete our portion of responsibility.”
The audience applauded with resounding agreement and conviction, and the program transitioned into a video of highlights of True Mother’s work during the last 1,000 days. These accomplishments included the Holy Marriage Blessing, the Holy Scriptures, the Cheon Il Guk Constitution, the archiving of historical records of the Unification Movement, work with the United Nations, the planning of the Cheon Ji Seonhak Won museum, and most recently, the revival and determination for Tribal Messiahship.
Next, another video was presented of True Mother’s recent messages, culminating in a shared sense of clarity and reinvigoration for the entire audience as they reflected upon the last three years and the direction in which True Mother is leading the Unification Movement.
After these video highlights, Seiko Lee performed a musical offering of “Arirang,” one of True Mother’s favorite songs. Her beautiful song received enthusiastic applause from the audience, and was a beautiful welcome for Sun Jin Moon, International President of FFWPU, to come on stage and give an introduction to True Mother.
“Today we honor True Parents’ beloved legacy and your great legacy centered on True Parents,” said Sun Jin Moon. “The past 1,000 days have been a dramatic journey with many changes. The whole world was shaken through True Father’s passing. There has been much pain, suffering, and even doubt during this time. In these trying times, let us all work together, not only to persevere, but to emerge victorious.” (Read Full Introduction To True Mother)
Amid countless bouts of cheers, Sun Jin Moon continued on to describe True Mother’s unending inspiration for everyone. “She is the only person who can match True Father’s example,” she said. “Despite being on earth without her other half that makes her whole, True Mother is always looking to relieve the pain of others … True Mother sets the true standard of true beauty: the capacity to melt hearts and compel us to love one another. She is the greatest woman in all of history of all humankind. She is the source of salvation, a guiding light, our guru and queen leading the way.”
With that heartfelt, moving introduction, True Mother came to the stage and was greeted with wide smiles, endless applause and the singing of “Happy Victory” as she received flowers and a mountainous cake. True Mother playfully motioned a toss of her bouquets to the audience, reflecting the beauty and grace like that of a young bride.
Click here to watch the video of True Mother’s Speech
True Mother then began her message to the American Unification families, reminding everyone of their role as the nation leading the way for the world. “This is a time of harvest,” she began. “All of your dreams are coming true—that is my prayer for you.” She implored the audience to remember their identity and mission, to study Korean so that the world of God can be united under one common language, and to grow their roots.
“We really want to stand up for God and True Parents,” commented Manoj Jacob, Pastor of the New Jersey Family Church, after the service. “We want to be the children who can be there for our True Parents whenever they need us. We want to proclaim the name of True Parents and truth to everyone.”
Using the analogy of the olive tree, which grows its roots for 50 years to adapt to the barren desert environment, and then survives another 2,000 years, True Mother urged everyone to invest themselves and grow profound roots, so that whatever happens they will remain unshaken. True Mother asked the audience how we can start a new 50 years, filled with hope and with a renewed determination, completely different and rising beyond anything we have ever done before.
She likened the roles of America and Europe to that of Abel and Cain, and reminded the American family members that the United States was prepared for the founding of the messiah. “Heaven doesn’t bless nations or individuals for their sake alone,” True Mother explained. “Their purpose is to greet True Parents. That is the hope of fallen humanity.”
“I resonated with True mother’s words deeply,” said Miilhan Stephens after the event. “I too have felt the need to reveal the identity of God in America, and show them that America has a special role to play in bringing peace to the world when they receive the love and direction of True Parents. The call for America to work with Europe was loud and clear.”
“Blessed families, when you look at your lives and the time left on this earth, it is not much,” True Mother continued. “Each one of us and our tribe need to work to fulfill our tribal messiahship mission together.” She closed her message by asking everyone to spread the truth and spread hope for the future, and the audience responded in genuine agreement and understanding.
True Mother’s visit to New York left a profound impact on the American Unificationists, and left everyone with much to reflect on. Tanya Selle, a young Unificationist attending the event, said, “I want to thank True Mother for being so honest and strong, and being an embracing role model. I feel compelled to act. I just graduated and it makes me think more seriously about the legacy I want to leave for my decendants.”
“True Mother’s words were exactly what my spirit and heart needed to hear,” said Mari Curry, Vice President of FFWPU USA. “So many questions, concerns and struggles were answered, clarified and in some case melted away by her guidance and loving heart.”