Celebration of Families Hosted by UPF Washington
Seattle, WA – On Saturday, April 16th, UPF Washington reserved a room that would comfortably sit 32 people, however, before the program even begun 36 guests are already in the room and expecting others to join shortly.
Luckily, the program in the larger room next door had finished and the hostess pushed back the panel separating the two rooms for an overflow into the next room. This scenario is both challenging and inspiring as more people are very excited to listen and learn more about the program.
The celebration began with a prayer by Rev. David Roberts. His invocation, a well targeted prayer for the families in our nation, leading into the topic was heartfelt. After which, Mr. Ray McCready UPF-WA executive director began the presentation built around the concept of “the family as the school of love”. His talk underscored the founding message of the UPF Co-founders, Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon in 2005. It also included messages during the 180-City Tour in 2006 which Mrs. Moon gave the speech “God’s Model Ideal Family and Nation, and the Peace Kingdom”. The same address was first delivered by Rev. Moon on March 16, 2006 at a Korean Ambassadors for Peace and Leaders meeting.
The presentation was dedicated on the idea of “family as the school of love” using brief but clear text messages along with photos illustrating the concepts being shared. The presentation also highlighted comments on the importance of marriage and family from the point of view of six faith traditions. Mr. McCready went on discussing the types of love in the family, elements emphasizing the significance of marriage, and sharing stimulating quotes from Rev. Moon on love, life and lineage and the realities of family breakdown and its consequences. He also shared the affirmations of the World Peace Family Movement towards building one family under God, working with one family at a time. “We explained that through this marriage blessing ceremony we offer our couple and our extended family to God for His Blessing upon our lineage”, Mr. McCready said.
After a brief but helpful explanation of the steps of the ceremony by the officiators, Rev. David and Yoko Roberts, everyone participated in the World Peace Interfaith Blessing of Families. Among them are couples who have been married for over 50 years: The Nelson and Harriet Williams couple, who brought 3 of their family members, Mar and Luz Murillo couple, and Beverly Sherman, whose husband could not attend, along with the David and Karen Rogers couple.
The ceremony also integrated the “Forgive-Love-Unite-New Start” steps, where many thought was interesting and are open to follow them.
Before lunch, a video on the works of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon over the past couple of years was shown. During the meals, representative couples especially those who have been together over 50 years shared their stories and testimonies.
Rev. Enoch Yisrael of the Holy Trinity Church of Tacoma, WA who attended the Peace Starts With Me Rally and Blessing America event on April 6th in Gardena CA with his wife, shared his testimony and his experience in Los Angeles. Rev. Yisrael commented on how he and his wife were seated next to a person attending the event from Israel, and how he was surprised when they each brought out a shofar (ram’s horn) and blew it during the event.
Overall, everyone enjoyed and were very blessed from the contents and by sharing in the World Peace Interfaith Blessing of Families.
Contributed by: Raymond McCready, Executive Director, UPF Washington