August 31, 1965
True Father Prays at Calvary and Gethsemane
True Father visited Jerusalem on August 31, 1965, as part of his first World Tour. Two days previously, on August 29, he visited Mount Nebo where Moses stood and looked over the Promised Land. The next day, he and his party crossed the Jordan River and visited the area where Jesus was reported to have been baptized and the Mount of Temptation. He went into the city through the gate Jesus entered on a donkey, went to the Temple Mount, visited Pilate’s court and proceeded to Calvary under the altar of a Greek Orthodox Church. He went to Gethsemane at sunset, where he blessed a Holy Ground. Dr. Young Oon Kim, who traveled with True Father, wrote, “Our Leader and all of us burst into tears as he prayed on Calvary and Gethsemane.”
August 31, 1989
The Ceremony for the Settlement of the Eight Stages
On August 31, 1989, in Kodiak, Alaska, the Ceremony for the Settlement of the Eight Stages was held. The ceremony signifies the completion of all eight stages of both the vertical and horizontal courses of indemnity. On the basis of this ceremony, the following day True Parents declared the “ideology centered on the Heavenly Father” at the same place.
September 1, 1986
CAUSA 10 Million Signature Drive launched
True Father planned to conduct a Moscow rally by 1981, but this was prolonged for nearly a decade due to court battles in the United States and the need to build up a stronger church. Having concluded the “Danbury Course” and established a multifaceted presence in America by 1985, True Father mounted a march to Moscow from 1985 to 1990. He understood that the Soviets respected strength and that any perceived weakness on the part of the West would set back the providence. Therefore he continued to expend resources in the fight against communism.
One major effort was a massive signature drive launched by CAUSA-USA on September 1, 1986. The goal was to obtain 10 million signatures, including names and addresses, on a form stating that the signers agreed with CAUSA-USA’s goals to:
1) Affirm a God-centered morality in America,
2) Uphold freedom for all,
3) Educate people about the dangers of atheistic communism.
Unificationists and some supporters worked aggressively in all fifty states to complete the drive by Thanksgiving. The signature drive “victory” had an especially positive effect on U.S. Unificationists, who gained self-esteem and confidence as a result of being able to accomplish one of True Father’s goals on the national level.
September 1, 1997
Hoon Dok Hwe (scripture reading) tradition begins
On September 1, 1997, True Father proclaimed a “New Start.” He began a tradition where all Unificationist families set aside one hour each morning from 6:00 to 7:00 to recite the Family Pledge (Core pledge of Unificationists), then hold a daily study and discussion of his words.
On October 13, 1997, True Father named the daily morning reading tradition Hoon Dok Hwe, which was understood to be a “gathering for reading and learning.” In addition to being a cornerstone of morning devotionals, the church sponsored Hoon Dok Hwe conferences for civic and religious leaders that focused on “reading and learning” True Father’s words. True Father’s words later would become the basis for the Cheon Seong Gyeong (2004) or “Heavenly Scripture.”
September 3, 2012
True Father’s Ascension
True Father ascended into the spirit world at 1:54 a.m. on September 3, 2012 (7.17 by the Heavenly Calendar) in the loving company of True Mother and True Family. He had been admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Seoul on August 3, 2012, due to cold symptoms that worsened into pneumonia.
On August 12, after 10 days of tests and treatment, he insisted on returning to the Cheon Jeong Museum where he went from room to room, visiting the East, West, North and South of the facility. The following day his condition worsened. Nevertheless, he insisted on visiting Cheongshim Middle and High School, the Cheongpyeong World Peace Center and the Cheongpyeong Training Center before returning to the Cheon Jeong Museum, where he offered his final prayer. Afterward he was rushed back to St. Mary’s Hospital, where he remained in the Intensive Care Unit until August 31, when True Mother directed that he return to Cheongshim Medical Center, the eighth floor, from where he ascended.
September 3, 1967
Takarazuka Training Center opens in Japan
On September 3, 1967, the Takarazuka Training Center in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan opened. To build the training center, Unificationists had offered devotion by conducting a Mt. Fuji climbing tournament a year earlier.
A month before the training center opened, on August 7, True Parents visited Takarazuka, prayed over the building and declared the site a holy ground. The Takarazuka Training Center is currently used for outreach and to hold workshops for young Unificationists in the Kansai area.
September 4, 1979
Unification Theological School (Korea) first graduation
On September 4, 1979, the Unification Theological School held its first graduation at the old church headquarters in Seoul. Around 600 people attended, and two students from the Department of Theology and 174 students from the Department of Divinity graduated. At this ceremony, the principal of the school encouraged the graduates to be shepherds that do not neglect to further explore the truth. The Unification Theology School is the birthplace for young pastors who then go on to study at the Sun Moon University Theological Department.