For the benefit of those who weren't there, here's a little report about the Inauguration/Transition Ceremony that took place at our church today.
Today Sunday, April 30, 2000, an Inauguration/Transition Ceremony took place at the Columbia Church in Washington, DC.
Dr. Tyler Hendricks, who has served as one of the vice-presidents of HSA-UWC (for 6 years) and as President of HSA-UWC (for 5 years), has been appointed by True Parents to now be the President of the Unification Theological Seminary. His inauguration as new UTS president will take place in the Seminary chapel on Wednesday, May 3. Dr. Hendricks will continue with HSA-UWC as Director of the Education Department, and it was for this position that he was recognized today.
Rev. Michael Jenkins, previously Vice-President of HSA-UWC America, is the new President of HSA-UWC here in America.
Also two more Vice-Presidents were recognized, Mrs. Alexa Ward (WFWP) and Mr. Howard Self (CARP). Howard Self was appointed new American CARP President by Hyun Jin Moon two weeks ago.
The ceremony was inspired and moving. Dr. Chang Shik Yang (Continental Director), Rev. Phillip Schanker (Vice-President), Rev. Levi Daugherty (Vice-President), Rev. Henri Schauffler (Regional Pastor), and Mike Smith (ALC) offered introductions, recognition, and congratulatory words. The new presidents and vice-presidents also addressed the audience.
Dr. Hendricks reflected on his 11 years in the National Headquarters and recognized all the HQ staff that had been working with him, naming each person. He also gave a warm and inspired introduction to Rev. Michael Jenkins. Rev. Jenkins expressed his gratitude and explained that he felt glad that this was a victorious transition, and not one of those which make you wonder what had caused this change. (Rev. Schanker, who acted as MC, had previously explained that, according to Father, Dr. Hendricks was the only American church president who had never reached the breaking point when tested and pushed hard by Father.)
Rev. Jenkins then declared his strong determination to bring victory for True Parents. He shared with the audiences his experiences while traveling with Mother on her speaking tour. He served as MC on three of Mother's speaking tours, and he said that on this last tour he noticed a substantial change in the way people respond to True Parents. More and more people, including some senators and civil leaders, are finally accepting and respecting True Parents. Rev. Jenkins' determination and optimism was very infectious, and he finished his speech to rousing applause.
By the end of the ceremony I got the impression that Dr. Yang has gathered a wonderful group of brothers and sisters for the national church leadership. They all seem to deeply respect each other. Howard Self, for example, mentioned in his speech that he would be willing to lay down his life for Tyler Hendricks or Mike Jenkins at a moment's notice. Such unity and love among these leaders impressed even a sometimes cynical mind like mine. I feel good about our present church leadership.
At the end of the service Dr. Yang announced that Father had decided yesterday that the National Headquarters should move from Upshur House to the Columbia Street Church building.
I heard that Mike Balcomb, the previous US CARP president, is now working as Vice President for World CARP directly under Hyun Jin Moon. Dr. Theodore Shimmyo, current President of UTS, will move from that position to a position in interreligious work with the Interreligious International Federation for World Peace, working under Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak.