American Leadership Conference Uplifted Diverse Communities in Philly
Philadelphia, PA – In the wake of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s victorious peace rally at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, the Pennsylvania, and Delaware communities united in prayer and outreach to hold a One-Day American Leadership Conference on October 7th at the FFWPU Learning Center in Germantown. A moment of silence for the victims of the Las Vegas tragedy opened the program.
Guest speakers Dr. Tanya Fowler, a Medical Anthropologist offered a Libation Ceremony and prayer. Universal Peace Federation (UPF) USA President, Rev. Ricardo de Sena introduced the work of UPF International and UPF USA while Rev. Shota Iwasaki introduced the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) of Philadelphia.
Reading for the first session, Mr. Paul Horner, Director of the Pastorius Community Gardens Music Series, shared deep insights on the topic of True Leadership, Character and Good Governance. Mr. Jeff Templeton, Executive Director of Staying Positive Equals Amazing Kids (S.P.E.A.K) emphasized the importance of maintaining a positive attitude within oneself and communication that to our children and the community at large.
Mr. Kevin Convery, an Art teacher at Abington High School read the second topic, Marriage and Family as Our Essential Resource followed by Rev. Du Vanna Scott, the founder of the New Life Outreach International Ministry, who shared insights on how children in America today are missing the loving presence of their fathers all too often, with negative consequences in our communities. After the discussion and reports on this topic, the entire group joined in a brief Holy Wine toast guided by Pastor Shota.
Over a buffet lunch, Rev. Phylicia Smith, having just returned from a trip to Korea with a group of American Clergy to meet with the founder of UPF, shared her heart in song. Pennsylvania Congressman for the Germantown community, Hon. Steven Kinsey shared his personal journey as a politician, father, and follower of Christ. Also, Ms. Rhodora Gonzales a traveling Ambassador for the Department of the Interior of the Republic of the Philippines shared her gratitude for being able to participate in the event.
Sunhyun Miller, Youth Ministry Leader from Delaware, read on Building Community and Civil Society, Beyond the Boundaries of Race and Religion. Dr. Tanya Fowlers’ commentary led to a fruitful concluding discussion. Fifteen Ambassadors for Peace received their commission to use their talents and gifts to promote peace throughout all the land. President de Sena concluded the seminar with a Call to Action encouraging all participants to take ownership of the experience they shared today and invite UPF-PA to their neighborhoods.
Here is what participants were saying about the conference:
“I was truly touched by my experience at the American Leadership Conference. On the news and in the media, I see so much animosity, division, and hatred. Sometimes it seems that no one can agree on anything or find any common ground. I find it heartbreaking that people cannot see past their divisions, especially in the realm of racial and identity politics, to see the truth that we are all one family under God. But at the conference I didn’t see any of that animosity; instead, I saw love and unity among people from so many different religions, backgrounds, races, political parties, and nationalities. We may not have agreed on everything, but all of us there were completely dedicated to loving our fellow human beings, and trying to heal our nation and our world. We found common ground and discussed what was truly important in leadership, governance, family, and civil society, and what we as individuals and communities can do to further the cause of peace. The event ended with a call to action, to go out into the world. The forty or so participants who attended, prominent leaders in their congregations and communities, all seemed really energized and uplifted by the day’s readings and discussions, and eager to find ways of healing their families and communities. Thank you so much to the organizers for this opportunity!” Sunhyun Miller, Youth Pastor, FFWPU Delaware
“I’m so glad for your warm reception at my presence during our event at American Leadership Conference yesterday. I have learned a lot and I’m so thankful to Universal Peace Federation. Thank you so much and looking forward to seeing you in the Philippines in the near future.”. Rhodora Gonzales, Core Leader, Department of Interior and Local Government
Contributed by: Hans Moyer, Executive Director, UPF Pennsylvania