This week in history 12 to 18 September

True Father's Seungwha Ceremony 15 September 2012
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September 12, 2005
Universal Peace Federation (UPF) Founded

True Father speaks at the inauguration of the Universal Peace Federation on September 12, 2005.
True Father speaks at the inauguration of the Universal Peace Federation on September 12, 2005.
True Parents at the inauguration of the Universal Peace Federation on September 12, 2005.
True Parents at the inauguration of the Universal Peace Federation on September 12, 2005.

True Father established the Universal Peace Federation on September 12, 2005, prior to the United Nations’ 60th anniversary. Its inaugural convocation was held before 376 delegates from 157 nations at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York. Its mission, True Father declared, was “to renew the existing United Nations and provide a new level of leadership as an ‘Abel-type’ United Nations.”

As part of the launch, he also proposed a “World Peace King Bridge Tunnel” to “build a passage for transport across the Bering Strait.” He described this as “a truly providential and revolutionary project” and envisioned it as a crucial “link” in “an international highway system connecting the world as a single community.”

UPF was a successor organization to the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP, established in 1999). In addition to its UN renewal and Bering Strait initiatives, UPF led the movement’s Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI), which sponsored interfaith “Pilgrimages for Peace,” and its Northeast Asia Peace Initiative (NEAPI), which supported Korean unification.

September 12, 2011
Ocean Cheonjeong Palace Hotel on Geomun Island dedicated

The dedication ceremony of the Ocean Cheonjeong Palace Hotel on Geomun Island off the southern coast of Korea near the city of Yeosu, began at 10:30 a.m. at the newly built hotel located in Deokchon hamlet. More than three thousand people attended, including members of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), church members, core members of the Tongil Group, chief executives of providential organizations and corporations, Ambassadors for Peace, Japanese leaders, leading celebrities of Yeosu and the surrounding area, and local residents of Geomun Island.

September 13, 1974
Members of Congress Invite True Father to Speak on Capitol Hill

On September 13, 1974, one U.S. senator and twelve congressmen issued a formal invitation to all members of Congress and their staff to attend True Father’s speech on “America in God’s Providence” in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 8, 1974. The invitation read:

“Dear Colleague: The United States today is in need of strong moral leadership. The great moral and spiritual values upon which this nation was founded must be renewed at all levels of American society. Moreover, our nation seeks a clarification of its national identity and the role it must play as the leading nation of the free world.

“Many of us have been impressed with the work of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon from Korea. We well remember the three days of prayer and fasting on the Capitol steps conducted by young people last month, in which they sacrificed food and rest to ask God’s guidance for each of us on the critical decisions we were facing at that time. Beyond the exuberance and dedication of those young people is a deep concern for America and a fresh new vision of America’s role in God’s providence, which stems from the teaching of Reverend Moon.

“We in the Congress now have an opportunity to hear the message of this dynamic man.”

The invitation was signed by: Senator John Sparkman, Congressman Robert L.F. Sikes, Congressman O.C. Fisher, Congressman Bob Wilson, Congressman Tim Lee Carter, Congressman Robert H. Michel, Congressman John E. Hunt, Congressman Barber B. Conable Jr., Congressman Bill Chappell Jr., Congressman Charles W. Sandman Jr., Congressman Goodloe E. Byrne, Congressman Manuel Lujan Jr., and Congressman C.W. Bill Young.

September 14, 1993
True Mother Delivers the Completed Testament Age Message before 50,000 at Tokyo Dome

On January 10, 1993, True Father announced “the transition today to the Completed Testament Age,” which shifted the focus of salvation from the individual to the family. In May 1993, True Parents began a speaking tour of 33 U.S. cities under the theme “True Parents and the Completed Testament Age.” True Mother delivered the message on July 28 on Capitol Hill and on September 7 at the United Nations. This was the springboard to a world tour in which True Mother delivered the Completed Testament Age message to audiences in forty countries.

From September 11 to 30, True Mother conducted twenty-five rallies in Japan, the highlight being her speech before 50,000 at the Tokyo Dome. On that occasion, which also commemorated the first anniversary of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), Princess Eva Maria of the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Marilyn Quayle, wife of the former vice president of the United States, offered congratulatory remarks.

September 14, 1995
True Mother Tours Japan with President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush

Former U.S. President and First Lady George and Barbara Bush attend a WFWP conference.
Former U.S. President and First Lady George and Barbara Bush attend a WFWP conference.

On September 14, 1995, fifty thousand representatives from 53 countries gathered in the Tokyo Dome for a rally to celebrate the third anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP).

True Mother spoke, as did former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. Mr. Bush, along with former first lady Barbara Bush, accompanied True Mother on a historic five-city tour which focused on building bridges of friendship between the Japanese and American people. The Bushes were inspired to do so as a result of their participation in the WFWP-sponsored “Sisterhood Ceremonies,” which brought together women from Japan and the United States in a demonstration of friendship on the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II.

September 14, 1999
True Father directs blessed families to pray in their own names

The press conference announcing the World Festival of Culture.
The press conference announcing the World Festival of Culture.

On September 14, 1999, True Father opened the era in which blessed families were no longer to pray in the name of True Parents or any mediator but in their own names as blessed couples who have inherited True Parents’ realm of victory. True Father explained that this was meant to mark the era of “personal responsibility.” He said that couples should “report their work” and that it was no longer “a time to pray to receive blessings.” This guidance was consistent with True Father’s view that humankind had entered the Completed Testament Age.

September 14, 2002
True Parents Officiate Interreligious and International Blessing and Rededication Ceremony

True Parents officiated four major Marriage Blessing Ceremonies in 2002, all in the United States. On April 27, they officiated the 144,000 Clergy Couple Blessing, the main venue of which was the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. On July 3, they officiated the 1.44 million Second Generation Christian Youth and World Religious Youth Blessing from the same main venue. Then on September 14, 2002, they officiated the Interreligious and International Blessing and Rededication Ceremony.

This historic Blessing ceremony was held in New York City’s Manhattan Center, just a few short miles from “Ground Zero,” where the twin towers of the World Trade Center had been destroyed barely one year earlier. Couples from many faiths participated as well as several Christian-Muslim couples in a poignant and moving statement of hope that New York’s Daily News said “couldn’t be more appropriate on the week America marked the first anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.”

The final 2002 Blessing Ceremony, a “National Blessing for Reconciliation,” was conducted at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, on December 7. It marked the 61st anniversary of the Japanese bombing raid on Pearl Harbor and included some 300 Japanese leaders who expressed their wish for reconciliation among former enemy nations.   

September 15, 2012
True Father’s Seonghwa Ceremony

True Father ascended to the spirit world on September 3, 2012 and his Seonghwa ceremony was held on September 15 in Korea.
True Father ascended to the spirit world on September 3, 2012 and his Seonghwa ceremony was held on September 15 in Korea.

True Father’s “Universal Seonghwa Ceremony” took place at Cheongshim World Peace Center on September 15, 2012, twelve days after his ascension on September 3.  From September 6 to 14, an estimated 157,000 people had come to pay their respects to True Farther, many waiting for hours to sign an electronic register and offer a rose or lily before True Father’s portrait. Most were able to offer a final bow to True Father, who lay in state at the Cheon Jeong Gung Peace Museum.

On the day of the Seonghwa, True Father’s body was carried reverently to a waiting vehicle and a flower-bedecked procession wound its way slowly down the mountainside to the stadium where tens of thousands of mourners waited. The casket was met at the main entrance by an honor guard of pallbearers and began a dignified processional entry through the center of the arena up to the main stage, which had been transformed into a garden of roses, lilies and chrysanthemums. True Father’s family accompanied the procession, and True Mother took her seat next to True Father for the last time.

Following the representative prayer, Seonghwa address and eulogies, True Father began his final journey, with the procession winding its way back up the narrow mountain road lined with flag-waving supporters to the burial site on the grounds of the Cheon Jeong Gung Peace Museum. There, close family members and leaders gathered to hear final words from True Father’s teachings. Each offered flowers and sprinkled soil onto the casket as it was lowered into the waiting earth.

September 16, 2011
Korean Surnames Bestowed Upon 172 Faith Leaders from the United States

Ministers of different faiths and backgrounds embrace after receiving honorary Korean surnames.
Ministers of different faiths and backgrounds embrace after receiving honorary Korean surnames.

True Parents conducted a grand ceremony in the Cheongshim Peace World Center for the bestowal of Korean surnames upon 172 ministers, 43 each from the North, South, East and West quadrants of the United States. They came to Korea representing America, Christendom and the entire world, with the purpose of registering in God’s Kingdom and testifying that God had anointed True Father.

The clergy, who understood and supported True Parents’ historic mission from the point of view of 77 different religious denominations, were united through a singular cause. By joining into and becoming part of a Korean family and exchanging names, they gave a powerful testimony to the Korean people of the fruits of True Parents’ work to remove all barriers between races and denominations. Through proclaiming that Korea is God’s Homeland and Hometown, they affirmed that God had chosen this nation to be the base for the Kingdom of God and the family culture that honors elders and has fidelity and faithfulness in every aspect of the family—from marriage to the filial piety of children to their parents.

September 17, 1988
Seoul Olympics begin

True Father welcomes the representatives of 120 nations to his home in Korea for the Seoul Olympics.
True Father welcomes the representatives of 120 nations to his home in Korea for the Seoul Olympics.

The Games of the XXIV Olympiad took place from September 17 to October 2, 1988, in Seoul. The “Seoul Olympics” were significant not only for Korea as the second Asian nation to host the Olympic Games but also for the world, as the games brought together athletes from the communist and free-world nations for the first time since 1976.

These also were the last Olympic Games for the Soviet Union and East Germany, both of which would cease to exist by the time of the next Olympic Games in 1992. True Father recognized this and made a special effort to welcome Eastern Bloc and Soviet athletes, providing them with generous gifts and invitations to cultural events.

Although Coca-Cola was the official soft drink of the Games, athletes, friends and officials of many nations accepted more than 40,000 cans of McCol and bottles of Ginseng-Up. Following completion of the games, True Father proposed the holding of a World Festival of Culture (later designated as the World Culture and Sports Festival) as an “internal” complement to the Olympic Games.

September 18, 1959
David S.C. Kim Arrives as the Second Missionary to America

David S.C. Kim was a founding member of the Unification Church in 1954 and its first overseas missionary, having gone to Swansea University College, Wales, as a U.N. scholar during the mid-1950s. He was the second Unificationist missionary to the United States, arriving in Portland, Oregon, on September 18, 1959, some ten months after Dr. Young Oon Kim had arrived in Eugene, Oregon. Like Miss Kim, he came to the United States on a student visa (the only other way out of Korea was via the diplomatic service) and enrolled at Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary. 

He was expelled for “heresy” just weeks before his graduation in 1961. This precipitated a series of crises as Mr. Kim successively enrolled in Portland University, the University of Oregon, and finally Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, in efforts to retain his student status and stay in the country. He nevertheless founded United Faith, Inc., or the “Northwest Family,” and directed a far-flung network of Unification centers extending as far east as Chicago during the 1960s.

He played a major role after True Parents’ arrival in America, translating for True Father, firing up members at the Belvedere Training Center, leading the International One World Crusade (IOWC), and later serving as the founding president of the Unification Theological Seminary (1975-1994).

September 18, 1961
HSA-UWC Legally Incorporated in America

Dr. Young Oon Kim, the first Unification Church missionary to America, legally incorporated the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC) as a California corporation on September 18, 1961. Her primary motivation in establishing HSA-UWC was to stabilize her visa situation. However, she also recognized that for tax exemption purposes and legal protection, it was necessary for her group to be recognized by the government and to receive legal status as a religion. This incorporation became and still is the legal basis for the Unification tradition in the United States. It preceded the legalization of the church in both Korea and Japan.

September 18, 1974
True Father Speaks at Madison Square Garden

True Father speaks at Madison Square Garden on September 18, 1974.
True Father speaks at Madison Square Garden on September 18, 1974.

True Father’s Madison Square Garden Speech, delivered on September 18, 1974, in New York City, was the culmination of his “Day of Hope” speaking tours which had begun nearly two years earlier. Building on all that had gone before, “MSG” launched a triumphant 8-City Tour through many of the same cities that had been visited in the 7-City tour of 1972.

Filling Madison Square Garden was the Unification Church of America’s most ambitious undertaking to date, and the arrival of seven hundred IOWC members in mid-August greatly augmented campaign preparations in New York City. Ten 70-member IOWC teams followed rigorous street canvassing schedules. Representatives from each of the forty nations where the Unification Church maintained missions and the remaining American church members — in all, about 2,000 — converged on New York City for a final week-long blitz prior to September 18. Members “wallpapered” Manhattan with eighty thousand two-by-three-foot posters with a portrait of True Father advertising that “September 18 Could Be Your Re-Birthday.” The New York Times reported, “His face is everywhere, it seems.”

The turnout at Madison Square Garden was astounding. At a kick-off banquet held in the Waldorf Astoria hotel on the previous evening approximately 1,600 prominent New Yorkers had a chance to see and hear True Parents. The following night, Madison Square Garden was filled to capacity, with an estimated 10,000 to 35,000 ticket-holders turned away.

True Father spoke on “The New Future of Christianity.” He proclaimed that Jesus had not come to die on the cross, that the crucifixion was the “secondary,” not the “original” mission of Christ, that the Lord would return “as the Son of Man in the flesh,” and that “that day is at hand.” With nearly two hundred journalists in attendance, widespread publicity helped ensure success in other cities. The pattern of overflow crowds and continued publicity was repeated throughout the tour.

September 18, 1976
Washington Monument Rally

Crowds gather at the Washington Monument when True Father speaks in 1976.
Crowds gather at the Washington Monument when True Father speaks in 1976.

True Father spoke before 300,000 people at the Washington Monument rally, which was the second of two major rallies held in 1976 to celebrate the United States’ bicentennial. The first had been the Yankee Stadium rally on June 1 in New York City. They were both part of the “Bicentennial God Bless America Festival,” which True Father stated was unique among the bicentennial observances because they were convened in the name of God and included international participants.

At Washington Monument, True Father spoke on “America and God’s Will.” He stated, “The United States of America, transcending race and nationality, is already a model of the unified world.” He also said that Judaism, Christianity and the Unification Church are sibling faiths and that Israel, the United States and Korea as sibling nations had “a common destiny representing God’s side” and needed “to restore the United Nations to its original purpose and function.” He called upon the three religions and nations to “join hands in a unified effort,” contributing “internally to the unification of world religions and externally to the unification of the world itself.”

After the Washington Monument Rally, True Father confessed: 

I feel light as a feather. I feel like I can fly. I have borne a tremendous burden of responsibility, but with the victory at Washington Monument, I feel like I have been liberated from the weight. I can now walk as a free man. I can hold my head up before heaven and earth.

Washington Monument was a watershed event in the history of the Unification Church in America. It concluded the initial proclamation phase of Rev. Moon’s ministry and opened the way for new initiatives in the fields of evangelism, education, interfaith relations, business, media and public life.

Source: Sunhak History Institute, accessed 10 September 2021