Canada: Celebrating True Parents’ Birthday
Vancouver BC Celebrates True Parents’ Birthday
By FFWPU Canada, Larry Krishnek : On Saturday evening, February 6th, FFWPU, UPF and WFWP co-hosted this third public commemoration of our True Parents’ Birthday. Vancouver Pastor Rev. Katsumi Kambashi and the local FFWPU family worked together to create an important and memorable event.
Many Ambassadors for Peace and representatives from numerous faiths were on hand to join the celebration and to learn more about the True Parents and their work to build a world of peace through the creation of ideal families.
North American Continental Director, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, was the featured speaker. He had attended the inaugural banquet two years ago and shared with us how enthusiastically Mother Moon received the news of such a gathering and how she encouraged all communities to do the same.
Welcoming remarks were given by a local rabbi and friend of Alan and Michiko Wilding, UPF Directors for Western Canada. The Rabbi explained how dramatically his perspective on the Unification church changed once he could learn from the Wildings the worldview of True Parents. He is particularly moved by the role the Blessing plays in realizing world peace.
Mr. John Abelseth, Blessing Family Ministry leader for Canada explained more in depth the meaning and process of the Blessing and some of his own personal experience.
A very touching video presentation of the 2012 Blessing in Korea was shown. Several of the young couples attending and supporting the event were participants in that Blessing.
It was appropriate that a celebration of the birth of True Parents would focus on the Blessing. I’m sure everyone in the room , regardless of their cultural or religious traditions, were touched in some way by the knowledge of how present God can be in Blessed marriage life.
Marriage Blessing and True Parents’ Birthday Celebration in Toronto
FFWPU Canada, Lilly Tadin: Toronto FFWPU, UPF, and WFWP jointly hosted a Marriage Blessing and True Parent’s Birthday Celebration on Feb. 6, 2016. The event was held at the King’s Garden Banquet Hall.
In the late afternoon, the beautiful banquet hall was buzzing with happy couples who came to receive the marriage blessing. Proudly, they were greeting participants and letting them know that they came to receive the blessing.
The occasion began with the Blessing Ceremony of all the participating couples; officiated by Dr. and Mrs. Moonshik Kim. Rev. Paul T. Musembwa and Unity Chang as Masters of Ceremony embraced the participants with excitement and joy. Rev. John Funelas, a chaplain, offered the invocation. After the holy wine and holy water ceremony, Martin Gray played Song of the Banquet on his violin. Rev. Stoyan Tadin offered congratulatory remarks to the newly blessed couples.
The musical offering, holy wine, exchange of rings, messages about the blessings, brought the couples to embrace and put their arms around each other. The faces of the newly blessed couples were beaming with joy.
All of us were fillied with gratitude for being able to offer these precious blessed couples as future citizens of the world, who chose to start their journey today. Months of planning, educating and guiding couples is a real testimony of faith and commitment. We know that we took the first steps in blessing sons and daughters of God, and it gave us confidence and reassurance that indeed it can be done.
After the ceremony, photos were taken with happy participants. Each couple wanted to take photos with their friends as this was their moment of pride and joy.
The second part of the program was the celebration of True Parents Birthday. During the lovely buffet dinner, Roderick Lutao entertained the audience with his nice performance.
After dinner, the main program began. The invocation was given by Paul T. Musembwa. Dr. Kim spoke about True Parents’ lives with on-screen images of their lives. For some participants, it was their first time to hear about True Parents life of sacrifice and their unyielding commitment to God and all of the humanity. Furthermore, some were so moved by the message, that during the musical performances, they were reading Father’s autobiography, the “Peace Loving Citizen”.
Martin Gray and his violin graced us again with Partita No. 3 by J.S. Bach. Dr. Hoossen Auckbaraullee who had an opportunity to hear True Father speak numerous times in person, gave congratulatory remarks for True Parents’ Birthday. A video was shown revealing the Lives of Rev. and Mrs. Moon.
The main highlight was the keynote address by Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr. who traveled from the United States to join us for the event. His talk was very passionate and so moving to so many. Archbishop Stallings started from the term ‘birthday’ and then expanded to saying that we have to know why we were born, the purpose of life, and who I am. He said before we are physical we are spiritual, meaning that we should place emphasis on our spiritual lives. Quite a number of people said they were spiritually revived through his talk.
After the uplifting and inspiring talk by Archbishop Stallings, S.G. Joshua Paghubasan, and Hannah Winters offered flowers to True Parents. A birthday cake was cut followed by a group photo.
Lilac Cana a very talented Philipino performer sang three beautiful songs; one of them was The Prayer. Her soprano voice moved the audience to their feet. The Second Generation Dance Team performed two dances. One of them was to Bruno Mars song, Uptown Funk. The dances were led by the young and very skilled dancers, Eri Young and Hitomi Dixon. It was good to see the enthusiastic audience clapping and moving their bodies along with the performers. Dr. Chae Hee Lee termed their dance style as ‘Post-Modernism.’
A Filipino DJ hosted a dance afterward which went on until about 11 PM. Both, young and old found themselves on the floor dancing, hopping and singing. It was nice to see so many of our members dancing with their children. This was indeed a wonderful way to celebrate True Parents birthday. Happy Birthday True Parents, we love you and thank you for being such an integral part of our lives.