UPF Elizabeth Calls to Pray for Peace
Elizabeth, NJ – The local chapter of Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in New Jersey called leaders from various sectors of the community to pray for peace on September 22nd. This is in observance of the International Day of Peace promoted by the United Nations. The two-hour event attended by more than twenty people was co-sponsored by the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) Elizabeth and the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) Elizabeth. The theme was “The Right to Peace: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.”
The program begun with a prayer by Pastor Darryl Franklin, Pastor of FFWPU Elizabeth followed by a warm welcome by Christine Rapada, the Chairwoman of WFWP Elizabeth. She shared some thoughts from Mother Theresa, “The fruit of Silence is prayer. The fruit of Prayer is faith. The fruit of Faith is love. The fruit of Love is service. The fruit of Service is peace” that sets the tone of the event.
Different leaders from the community were called to share brief messages and offer prayers. Bishop Marco Antonio from the New Life in Christ Prayer Ministry gave a moving prayer followed by encouraging words from Detective Darin Williamson of the Elizabeth Police Department. Pastor Ruben Rodriguez shared his ministry of creating personal relationships and strengthening these relationships towards peaceful coexistence. Meanwhile, Eliana Rapada, a 5th grader and a representative from WFWP Girls read the poem “Crown of Glory” written by Rev. Sun Myung Moon when he was sixteen years old.
Rev. Ralph Oppenheimer, the UPF-NJ Outreach Director then presented the Five Principles of Peace which prepared four individuals to receive their appointments as Ambassadors for Peace namely: Apostle Cesar Garcia and his wife Prophet Belle Plaza; Bishop Marco Antonio; and Mr. Stevenson Van Derodar, State President of Junior Chambers International – New York
In his response, Apostle Cesar Garcia, the Founder and President of Pastores Internacionales De America which comprises an 8,000 network of ministers in the United States including Latin America believe that planting the word of Christ is like sharing love that can take root and blossom.
Rev. Emiljun Rapada, the host and main organizer of the event announced the “Peace Starts With Me” Rally at Nassau Coliseum on November 12th. He encouraged everyone to save the date and bring their families to honor the men and women who gave their lives for peace and freedom and to join thousand others to pray for peace and healing in America.
The program concluded with a candle light ceremony coupled with a unison prayer from all the participants. Everyone broke bread together and continued the fellowship.
Contributed by: Emiljun Rapada, UPF-USA