Many thousands of people participated in activities around and during the 2017 Madison Square Garden event, which was organized by the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. The keynote remarks by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who founded the organization with her late husband, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, set a precedent for each rallies on five continents.
On the morning of July 14, 2017, 80 young people, including CARP students, staff from Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), the National Ministry Team and the leaders of the Hyojeong Youth and Young Adult weekend workshop, walked in groups around Madison Square Garden to pick up trash and clean up the general area. In Harlem, religious leaders of the African community gathered to discuss the event and affirm that humanity’s universal desire for peace is greater than our differences.
On July 15, in final preparation for the event, WFWP held a morning meeting at the Crystal Ballroom of the New Yorker Hotel. Some 120 women and men of different backgrounds, cultures and religions gathered for a dynamic message from former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Suzan Johnson Cook.
Tens of thousands of people arrived for the event, including many from communities representing Afghanistan, Pakistan and countries in Africa and the Caribbean.
The program embraced the diversity of its audience from the start, with Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr., National Co-Chair of The American Clergy Leadership Conference co-emceeing the event with then-Family Federation USA President Dr. Michael Balcomb (currently the Regional Chairman for Family Federation Europe and Middle East).
Pastor Paula White-Cain took the stage and reminded the audience, “We’re not waiting for change; we bring change.”
Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, New York Democrat, noted that “What affects anyone directly affects us all indirectly.” She ultimately encouraged those in the audience to rededicate to the call to start and create peace on this earth.
Family Federation International Vice President Dr. Ki Hoon Kim spoke of the importance of unity in America, saying that Mrs. Moon “pointed out what our problem is today. More than anything else, we as Americans need God and True Parents for the sake of God’s nation. We must come together and restore this country, America.”
Mrs. Moon, in her remarks, talked about the history of God’s Providence, the world’s dire need for true parents who can guide us to live as true brothers and sisters, and how America can be a leader in restoring peace on earth, starting with each of us. She closed with a call to action, exhorting all to practice true love everywhere we go, shine our light to the world, and live for the sake of others. “God’s peaceful home on earth is not far away.” he said.
Also participating in the July 15 program were Pastor T.L. Barrett, the senior pastor of the Life Center Church of God in Christ in Chicago; the 3,000 Voice Choir led by A. Curtis Farrow; 200 Praise Dancers; and 600 youth and young adults from the Hyojeong weekend workshop. The program included powerful performances from Grammy-award winners Bishop Hezekiah Walker and Yolanda Adams, Shamira Mighty, and Family Federation’s Apple Heaven United, a conjunction of the original Apple Heaven band from Korea and Apple Heaven U.S.A.
This article is based on materials from the Family Federation of World Peace and Unification. For more information, please go to familyfed.org.
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