USA: Chicago Family Church Appoints New Pastor
Prepared by the Chicago Family Church Ministry Team
The last Sunday of April was an important “new beginning” for members of the Chicago Family Church as they welcomed a new, young pastor, Rev. Kunihiro Sagisaka.
Rev. Sagisaka was selected as pastor by the Chicago Family Church community due to his steadfast faith, kind character and exemplary standard of living for the sake of others. He joined the Unification Movement through the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) in Japan in 1986 and later received a master’s degree in engineering from Tohoku University.
In 2003, Rev. Sagisaka arrived in Chicago where he was blessed in marriage with Maria, a native of Peru, at the Life Center Church of God in Christ. Since then, he has worked in Chicago as associate pastor and coordinator of ACLC Illinois. He and Maria are proud parents of one daughter and two sons.
The Sunday Service celebration was filled to the brim with local and visiting members of all ages. The music was inspiring and God’s spirit was abounding. Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, vice president of Family Federation (FFWPU) International, delivered a deep message on the importance of faith, daily study and devotion, and consistent, unified effort in successfully building God’s Kingdom.
Rev. Sagisaka was then installed as new pastor through a beautiful ceremony led by Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of FFWPU USA. It began with an expression of appreciation by Rev. Jeff Schmidt, District 7 pastor to Rev. David Rendel for his service as the interim senior pastor and return to his work as Midwest Cheon Il Guk IW. Rev. Rendel then extended his gratitude to the Chicago members for their great investment and support.
Ms. Carrie Arline, vice chairperson of the Chicago Council, introduced Rev. and Mrs. Sagisaka to affirm their pastoral pledge with Dr. and Mrs. Balcomb. The entire congregation then surrounded the Sagisaka couple for a hands-on anointing prayer for Heaven’s blessings on their new mission.
Commenting on the event, Dr. Balcomb shared, “The pastoral appointment ceremony is always very special. The recitation of the ‘Pastor’s Affirmation’ is a solemn moment that gives the incoming pastor an opportunity to state publicly and for the record the standards to which he or she agrees to be held accountable. It also helps the community understand what a big commitment it is to become a pastor, and encourages them to support their new minister. The high point of the ceremony is always the prayer of appointment and anointment, with laying on of hands by the whole congregation. This is a very emotional and spiritual moment, and every time I have the opportunity to do this I feel the power and presence of God and True Parents.
“Fumiko and I, and Dr. and Mrs. Kim, thank David and Agnes Rendel for their service and wish all the best to Rev. Kunihiro and Mrs. Maria Sagisaka and to all their family. They follow in a long line of sacrificial leaders who have worked for True Parents and God’s providence in Chicago, and especially the vital work with the Christian ministers of the American Clergy Leadership Conference. We look forward to great blessings coming to all in the near future!”
In his acceptance remarks, Rev. Sagisaka pledged to do his best in helping all families find empowering relationships with God while the Chicago community serves God’s providence in America. The ceremony closed with the cutting of a victory cake and three cheers of Og Mansei led by Dr. and Mrs. Kim.