USA: Messages, Resources, Plans Shared in Ohio
by FFWPU USA, Rev. Frank H. Sanchez: The Unificationist community of Columbus, Ohio was visited on the weekend of March 12 and 13 by Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) USA President Dr. Michael Balcomb and his wife, Mrs. Fumiko Balcomb. Dr. and Mrs. Balcomb were accompanied by Rev. David Rendel, the newly appointed IW for Ohio, Chicago and Minnesota.
On Saturday evening, Dr. Balcomb met with about 40 young Unificationists, with 15 elder Unificationists also participating in the gathering.
After a pizza dinner, he addressed the young people and conveyed the hope he has in True Mother and in the future of our movement. He related that when he became the U.S. president, True Mother told him that as a filial child, it’s important to put your parents’ dreams before your own dreams. Dr. Balcomb explained that the mission of the United States is to make sure that our True Parents’ vision for the world is accomplished. As a leading nation in the world, the United States need to look after the well-being of all the other nations of the world, much like an elder brother would look after his younger brothers and sisters.
Afterward one of the participants expressed: “I was impressed by how open Dr. Balcomb was about his own life and how he encourages others to be open. It creates an atmosphere that people can ask true questions in. If we continue to have open dialogue like this, I think we will find answers to how to win the hearts of others.”
On Sunday morning, Dr. Balcomb gave the sermon titled “Doing God’s Business,” in which he again emphasized that we should have a filial heart toward our True Parents and God. He said he often asks himself, “Am I about my Father’s business?” He reminded us that we need to be aware of what God and True Parents are striving to accomplish at the present time and that we need to find ways in which we can support their efforts and vision.
After Sunday Service and a potluck lunch, Dr. Balcomb and Rev. Rendel met with the congregation again to talk about what the National Ministry Team is currently working on. Rev. Rendel presented the many practical resources available online to assist in conducting Tribal Messiahship and Marriage Blessing activities.
Following this presentation, the seats were rearranged in a circle for another session of questions and answers, which lasted for more than 90 minutes. One young woman commented afterward, “There was plenty of time and opportunity to ask our most pressing questions. Truly appreciated. The entire time I felt a sincere respect toward others emanating from both Dr. Balcomb and Rev. Rendel.”
At the end of his visit, Dr. Balcomb met with our local church council representatives and ministries coordinators. He announced that there will be a revival rally this year in Washington, D.C., commemorating the 40th anniversary of True Father’s Washington Monument rally, and encouraged our community to start planning to travel to Washington to support this event.
One of the Columbus elders said afterward that the visit “shows that our national representatives are concerned with local Unificationist communities,” adding, “I am grateful for that.”