USA: Communities Commemorate the Fourth Seonghwa Memorial
Local communities around the country hosted ceremonies to commemorate True Father’s Fourth Seonghwa Memorial, connecting to the live broadcast of the events in Korea on the evening of August 18. We will continue to compile their stories here. If you have a Seonghwa commemoration story to share, please be sure to submit your story and photos at familyfed.org/share-a-story.
Belvedere Family Church (Contibuted by Rev. Drissa Kone)
On Thursday, August 18, 2016, the families of the Belvedere Family Church gathered together at East Garden to celebrate True Father’s Fourth Seonghwa Anniversary. It was a beautiful evening; the sun was setting as families made their way to East Garden, a place where True Parents have left so many enduring memories.
The program started at 8:00 p.m. The main room was overflowing with family members not just from the community but from the different boroughs of New York City and also several young adult Unificationists from Generation Peace Academy (GPA). The program commenced with congregational songs, after which Rev. Drissa Kone, pastor of the Belvedere Family Church, offered a prayer. Then, Rev. Kone along with Paul Fontaine and Kimisei Miyake, each representing first- and second-generation Unificationists, respectively, performed a ritual where they poured tea into a cup which was set on an offering table for True Father. The table had an assortment of delicacies that True Father enjoyed, including traditional Korean meals, cut fruits, and even a few items from McDonald’s, all prepared by the East Garden staff.
Instead of watching the live broadcast performances from Korea, the program at East Garden consisted of live musical performances and testimonies by members of the community. Those who gave testimonies at the podium spoke with great passion and enthusiasm as they shared the memorable moments they experienced with True Father. As the night progressed, the program turned to the broadcast of True Mother’s speech. True Mother’s speech inspired particularly the second-generation Unificationists who were present, particularly when she spoke about the importance of taking ownership of our lives to pursue greater things on a global scale. After True Mother made her closing remarks, the program at East Garden ended around 11:00 p.m., when the community sang together one last time to bring the night and the ceremony to a close.
Tampa Family Church (Contributed by Mihoko Gonzalez)
We celebrated the Fourth Anniversary of True Father’s Universal Seonghwa on Sunday, August 21. Reflecting back on my life, I personally met True Father with my mother when I participated in a three-day workshop with True Father in Korea. Five thousand Japanese women participated at that time. We spent time with True Father for three full days, from morning well into the night each day. He gave us so much love and shared so much of God’s truth at that time. I can never forget this. It was the most precious experience for me.