On Sunday, June 3, the Washington, D.C. Family Church held its first Sunday Service in the historic Founder’s Room of the Washington Times building. Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Regional Chairman of Family Federation North America, and Rev. Richard Buessing, President of Family Federation for a Heavenly USA, joined the service to celebrate the new beginnings with the revitalized community.
The previous day, Dr. Kim and Rev. Buessing met with local council chair, Jacob Tegnan, as well as local pastors Dr. Achille Acolaste, Reverend Jean-Pierre Sonna, and Reverend Ndassi Babatunde. Together, they discussed proposals for moving forward and transitioning to a new church center. All three pastors acknowledge that although the move is necessary, it will be bittersweet to say goodbye to the beloved church building, which has been a cornerstone for Washington families for over 40 years.
During Dr. Kim’s meeting with the local church leaders, he expressed his love for the Washington, D.C. families and his inspiration from seeing the youth so diligently learning heavenly culture. Dr. Kim and Rev. Buessing listened carefully to the Washington Family Church leaders, who shared their concerns that moving from the present building would be difficult for the community. Dr. Kim emphasized that True Parents have a vision of creating heaven on earth and that the environment we desire will be more quickly realized through a unified, creative investment into a new location.
Throughout the meeting, Dr. Kim offered a vision of working together to make changes that will create lasting improvements for the community. He reiterated that his goal is for everyone to be enveloped in True Parents’ love and empowered to build successful families and good communities. He noted that this is a time of revolutionary change both spiritually and physically and he warmly invited all leaders to join him in quickly guiding our families to make the future of Washington loving, vibrant, unified and filled with hope. Dr. Kim appreciated the fact that the powerful spirit of the Washington Family Church is created by its families, regardless of which building they use. As Dr. Kim explained, our future is not laid out like a map, and wonderful change can come through our faithful unity with action. Dr. Kim concluded his comments by once again expressing his love for the families of the Washington Family Church and his confidence that God will bless us abundantly once we create a determination centered on True Parents. The meeting began and ended with sincere prayers for True Parents’ vision of faithful, loving families to be fulfilled in Washington, throughout the USA and around the world.
The next morning, the Sunday School teachers and children were thrilled with the clean, spacious and comfortable new rooms provided for them at the Washington Times building. Rev. Buessing opened the service with a powerful prayer for unity, love and the coming of heaven. In an adorable presentation, the D.C. Children’s choir led the packed room in singing the Cheon Il Guk anthem. Dr. Kim began his sermon by reading a section from the Pyeong Hwa Gyeong in which True Father elucidated the heart of attendance. As True Father explained, our heart should be to attend True Parents as if they were God. True Parents came to work through Christianity to save America and we have inherited that mission.
During his sermon, Dr. Kim lauded the determined effort of one faithful mother in Los Angeles, Naoko Hiraki, who responded to True Mothers’ plea to save the nation by investing in youth. Mrs. Hiraki singlehandedly sparked a nationwide revival in the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), an organization that encourages young people to explore their faith and values. In the same way, Dr. Kim explained, each one of us can be Tribal Messiahs who spark a revival in our families and in our nation.
Many members of the congregation were moved when Dr. Kim described True Father’s prayers. As Dr. Kim explained, True Father never prayed for himself, because his attitude was always that God needed him. Because of True Parents, our lives do not need to be complicated. Our mission is simple: the Messiah is here, and when we unite, we will share True Parents’ victory.
After service, the packed room was invited to share a bountiful meal of meats, salads, and elegant, artistically- arranged fresh fruit platters. The luncheon wrapped up with a celebratory cake- cutting which exemplified the unity of two generations centered on True Parents, working together to create a sweet and sustainable future.