UPF USA Celebrates International Day of Families in NJ

Elizabeth , NJ – More than 100 people celebrated the UN International Day of Families on Sunday, May 22nd  at the Elizabeth Family Church. The event was co-sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation USA and the FFWPU Elizabeth commemorating the importance and diversity of families in the community. It also provided the opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.

The event commenced with an International Lunch Buffet with homemade dishes and cuisines from Asia to Latin America and from Africa to America.

The Elizabeth Family Church Band headed by Pastor Darryl Franklin opened the program with their rendition of “We Are the World” followed by a video presentation introducing UPF and its work. Richard De Sena, President of UPF USA gave the keynote address and passionately shared the values and significance of the family as the cornerstone for peace and prosperity. He introduced the members of his family and even invited his wife to join him while he was delivering his talk which showed a beautiful testimony of a respectful relationship and impressed an amazing portrait to the audience. He then encouraged the community hosting an interfaith peace blessing rededicating marriages and empowering families to become contributors to a peaceful community and world.

Different cultural presentations were staged starting from the young children to young adults and to the parents. Ethnic dances from Thailand, Philippines, Lebanon, and Africa were presented as well as vibrant moves from Latin America like ChaCha and Salsa and popular hits in America including line dancing. Some also sang karaoke. The event was coordinated by Assistant Pastor Emiljun Rapada and Worship Director Elena Bahian, both from Elizabeth Family Church.

Overall, the afternoon was so much fun and great fellowship among the young and old alike. The 3-hour program was truly a great experience that will last a lifetime.


Contributed by: Emiljun Rapada, UPF USA

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