USA: ACLC LA Celebrates the ‘True Spirit of Christmas’
Prepared by FFWPU USA
On Sunday, December 15, the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) of Los Angeles joined with a variety of churches and related ministries for the 19th Annual International Celebration of Christmas and Live Nativity Play at the Old World Village in Huntington Beach, California. The celebration, which featured a live re-enactment of the birth of Jesus over 2,000 years ago, embodied the true spirit of Christmas, emphasizing Jesus’ message of hope and salvation, which has now spread throughout the whole world, spanning different religions, ethnicities, races, and cultures.
Mayor Pro Tempore of Huntington Beach Jill Hardy opened the event by welcoming the audience of more than 220 people, followed by the German School campus’ presentation of “Aschenputtel” or “Cinderella,” a story demonstrating the universal morals of kindness and forgiveness. Then, Bishop Gale Oliver and Pastor Bernadette Oliver from Greater Light Family Church offered an invocation and a choir of winged angels from the Amazing Grace Community Church, the Faith Fellowship Church, and the Los Angeles Family Church sang traditional Christmas carols, lifting their voices to heaven. Other performers included Andrea Kim from the Los Angeles Family Church, who captivated the audience with a traditional Korean Folk dance, and a Kenyan dance troupe from Lifeline Community Church, who performed Tambira Jehovah, a joyous musical celebration of Christmas in Africa.
The focal performance, the Live Nativity Play, comprised of cast and crew members from many different congregations, including Bikers for Christ, Jehovah Jireh House of Prayer, Los Angeles Family Church, Sadoc Christian Church, San Diego Family Church, Shepherd’s Grove Presbyterian Church, and Word Empowerment to Serve Ministries. When the story of Jesus’ birth concluded, the room erupted into applause and the El Shaddai dance troupe from Iglesia Nueva Vida danced with flags and tambourines in celebration.
The event concluded with a prominent message from Dr. Nicholas Benson, co-chair of ACLC LA and pastor of First Summit Evangelical Church, who spoke about Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, co-founder of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), and his life-long commitment to restoring the family in order to build community. Dr. Benson then asked for contributions, after offering his own, to benefit the Huntington Beach Police and Community Foundation, a nonprofit that allows the Huntington Beach Police Department to increase their involvement in programs that give back to the community, fostering positive relationships between youth and officers.