USA: Holy Day Celebrations Kick Off
By FFWPU USA: Happy True Heavenly Parent’s Day! Around the world, Unificationists celebrated this Holy Day today along with their families and local communities. Several family churches chose Sunday, February 7 to put on a local Holy Day celebration in combination with their Sunday Services. Check out some photos of the festivities shared by the following local areas:
On Sunday, February 7, the Boston Family Church held a big celebration with 140 people. The Beacon House Band gave a festive performance and Pastor Chris Hempowicz gave a message titled, “Walking Down Two Paths” (see video on facebook.com/UCBoston).
As per annual tradition, Special Recognitions for 2015 were received by Takahiro Hiroi (for Public Service), Kinuyo Edgerly (as Unsung Hero) and Tazuko Sugawara (Youth Ministry Champion). Afterward a bibimbap luncheon was enjoyed by everyone, thanks to Unificationist Bibian Bamfo for her days of labor to prepare the feast, and to her hard working helpers, the Naquines family and Olga Alvarenga. After lunch, a smaller group of people enjoyed two hours of folk dancing in the sanctuary led by Bob Butler.
Then, on the morning of February 8, they had a morning gathering in their church prayer room at 7:00am. This was followed by a tasty traditional Korean Holy Day breakfast, including two homemade celebration cakes prepared by Hildegard Christiansen. A wonderful Holy Day spirit was present throughout their morning together.
On a beautiful sunny Sunday morning with the winter crisp air, Unificationists jumped out of their cars and gathered to celebrate True Heavenly Parent’s Day. The offering table, full of different colored fruits as well as snacks and other goodies, stood beautifully in front of the room. At 9:30am, Pastor Abe and Mika Deshotel lead the congregation through the ceremony with the reciting of the family pledge and a prayer. Pastor Mika asked the young people in the audience who are preparing to receive the Marriage Blessed in the upcoming Foundation Day Blessing to cut the cake with her. It was a hopeful moment for the congregation to acknowledge and see these four young Unificationists inheriting the tradition of the Blessing. Everyone sang “Happy Heavenly Parent’s Day” in high spirits.
After a short break, Pastor Abe and his band led everyone in a few songs to start the Sunday Service. The music set a lighthearted atmosphere and everyone was singing with a lot of energy. Pastor Mika went up to the podium to show her video sermon, which was a story of “The Terrible Chenoo”, retold by Fran Parnell. It was a story of loving one’s enemy and how that love melted the Chenoo’s icy heart. After the video sermon, Pastor Mika asked some people to read a few quotes from “The Way of God’s Will” about heart.
After the morning celebration, everyone was excited to have lunch, talk and spend time with each other. Children were running around and there was laughter everywhere. Soon afterward, there was a heated game of yute with a lot of excitement and energy.
“I believe God was enjoying the time with everyone and made the experience even better,” said local Unificationist Yasutaka Ozawa. Read More