The Washington, DC kickoff for True Mother's 12 city North American tour was a great success, with many outstanding individuals coming to receive their appointment as an Ambassador for Peace. The program began with the Bridge of Peace, sponsored by WFWP, founded by True Mother. Mrs. Susan Fefferman guided us through a very moving ceremony, in which women from divergent backgrounds, many times consciously seeking to reconcile on behalf of former enemies, crossed the bridge of peace with a heart to resolve past differences. Representatives of religions, races and nations that were enemies crossed the bridge with a heart to repent, forgive and reconcile.
When the women came off the Bridge of Peace, an atmosphere of love blanketed the room. Everyone's hearts opened. Very important guests came to hear this special message from True Mother entitled "God is the Origin of Peace." Over 20 ambassadors from the diplomatic corps, as well as a former US senator and his wife, and the mother of Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams were appointed as Ambassadors for Peace. The Washington Times reported that 750 VIPs attended. Others estimate that over 1,000 came, as the overflow area was jammed.
Ms. Robin Read, the president and CEO of the National Foundation for Women Legislators, NFWL, and board member of several major US corporations, gave a special introduction to True Mother. Her husband, Sam Brunelli, a former Denver Bronco, is also a leader in the family moral values movement and special adviser to important American political leaders. Robin praised True Mother's work for humanity and her ability to go beyond social barriers.
Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, chairman of the ACLC executive committee, founder of Imani temple, gave an important message on the meaning of True Parents, and how True Mother was specifically requesting that we realize that we're living in a time where we can fulfill our God-given purpose to become the sons and daughters of God, and build true families that will lead to world peace. To an international audience the Archbishop gave an excellent presentation which touched the hearts of all, from ambassadors to senators, to women and clergy leaders. His speech was universal without losing its core religious content. It further underscored the unique gift that Mother and Father share in the ability to create an atmosphere in which all religions, races, and both the secular and the sacred can experience a feeling of being "part of one big family."
Strong applause came naturally when a short report was given by the MC concerning the blessing on Sept. 14. Millions have received this blessing of marriage, and found their marriages strengthened and renewed. On Sept. 14 in particular an amazing phenomenon of hundreds of Muslim and Christian clergy couples, as well as representative families from all religions, came together to receive True Parents' blessing. Upon hearing that Imam Sheku Kabbah, the brother of Sierra Leone president Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, and his bride Aissatou Fofana, a Christian sister, asked that their Muslim-Christian marriage be blessed by Father Moon, one pastor commented. "We are really living in the time of the lion laying down with the lamb."
Proclamations from Sen. John Warner, Maryland Lt. Gov. Townsend, Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, Cong. Roscoe Bartlett, and other prominent elected officials congratulated True Mother on her peace tour.
True Mother's speech was delivered with grace and love. Her speech is quite deep and would be challenging even for a highly experienced native speaker, but she went through it with confidence and a steady delivery that continued to build in power, until finally at the end the applause was overwhelming. The speech proclaims it is truly the time of the Last Days. We must understand the meaning of the True Parents as the Messiah of the Completed Testament Age, that God's deep desire is to end all conflict by dwelling in each and every one of us.
Former Sen. Larry Pressler (R-SD) and his wife presented a gift of doves of peace and congratulated True Mother. A prominent Egyptian professor, Dr. Aida Chohayed, presented a gift of Egyptian art to True Mother. Then Mr. Antonio Betancourt, Secretary General of IFFWP of North American continent, came on the stage of announce the Ambassador For Peace appointments of prominent men and women such as Sen. and Mrs. Pressler, Amb. Blasco Penaherrera, Ecuadorian ambassador (on behalf of his wife), Sen. Florence Pendleton, Virginia Williams, mother of DC Mayor Anthony Williams, Dottie J. Tiger of Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Rev. Betty Lancaster-Short, professor at Howard University, and Mrs. Thuy Nguyen Hugo of the YMCA.
After the presentations, Mrs. Patsy Casino read testimonies of saints and leaders from the spirit world, which were well received. As we continue to read this publicly, we can see that easily misunderstood terms such as messiah are best understood in the light of True Mother's address, in an atmosphere created by Archbishop Stallings and prestigious leaders, that True Parents have been anointed by God to build his kingdom. Christian leaders are now testifying that they feel the presence of Jesus in these programs.
The Kingdom is here. We are simply expanding it to include everyone at this time. Have confidence and be bold, strong and loving. The power of true love is sweeping America in the form of True Mother, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.
The program concluded with Mr. Antonio Betancourt and Archbishop Stallings doing a special call to action, which was more like a call to joy and celebration. Their confidence in calling upon the VIPs to join the movement of love was so exciting that you could feel there was no resistance in the audience to affirm the call that we must all become Ambassadors For Peace.
Thank you, America, thank you Washington, D.C.
(Special thanks to all those who prepared the DC program. There was so much cooperation from every organization in DC that I could see that we are truly transitioning from an intense outreach effort to a new atmosphere and spirit of "bringing our extended family together." Because of the continuous outreach of all the related organizations founded by True Parents, the frequency and familiarity of the top leaders of America has made them feel like "family." Special thanks to Continental Leader Dr. Yang, Rev. Lee, Rev. Lykes, Rev. McCarthy, ACLC ministers Rev. Johnson, Rev. Sparrow, Rev. Bayo, and Rev. Daugherty, Caroline Betancourt and Alexa Ward of WFWP, AFC, Antiono Betancourt, one family-one church outreach teams of Alex Hunter, Debbie Taylor and Angelika Selle, Japanese missionaries and sisters, all brothers and sisters who helped. True Mother was very inspired by the cooperative effort and higher level of impact. Washington, DC is manifesting the kingdom spirit in this new dispensation.)