Hoon Dok Hwe with True Parents
Manhattan Center, New York, NY
February 1, 2009
Following a day of amazing heavenly fortune pouring down on America and the world centering on the Manhattan Center, members got together at the Hammerstein in the Manhattan Center at 5:00 AM on February 1, 2009 for a Hoon Dok Hwe service with True Parents.
At the beginning, True Father asked Peter Kim to explain the significance of the new booklet True Family: Gateway to Heaven. Peter Kim explained that on one previous morning during Hoon Dok Hwe, Father came and asked Wonju McDevitt to open the Cheon Seong Gyeong to a random page. When Wonju opened the book, it was to the exact section that Father wanted to emphasize, so Father was very excited. Father had spent two hours that morning before Hoon Dok Hwe preparing, choosing a section of the Cheon Seong Gyeong that should be shared with all 6.5 billion people on the earth.
The section that True Father chose that morning was chapter 3, 4 and 5 of book 4 (the book on True Family) in the “Cheon Seong Gyeong”. True Father explained that the first few sections of chapter 3 and the final few sections of chapter 5 are l flesh in comparison to the rest of the sections in chapters 3, 4 and 5, which are like bone in comparison. Then True Father asked Peter Kim to make the new booklet “True Family: Gateway to Heaven” using content from those chapters.
In his explanation, Peter Kim suggested to members to think about the historical situation of our movement at the time of each excerpt of Father's speeches in the booklet. For example, there may be two similar excerpts from Father from two separate time periods, such as the late 1950s and the late 1990s. One amazing thing to note is the unchanging nature of Father's words. Even as the time and circumstances change, Father's essential message remains the same. At the same time, there are subtle differences to Father's message at different times. Peter Kim testified that he received much grace from Heaven when he read thinking about the historical context of Father's speeches.
After Peter Kim finished explaining about the book, Father told members that this is a very important collection of speeches that everyone in the world should know about. He does not want anyone to come up to him in the spirit world saying that they do not know the content of the new booklet. He extolled members to give copies of the book to all their relatives and friends, and even to give out the booklets to people in their neighborhoods.
Father had Wonju McDevitt read the new booklet. During the reading, Father made comments, many times adding jokes, although it was a challenge to convey the jokes in the translation. For example, Father would make a statement and then add the negative form "~ji anta" multiple times at the end, effectively making it unclear that he was affirming his statement, although contextually it was an affirmation. It would seem that Father wants people to fully discover for themselves that what he is saying is true, and he also wants people to appreciate what he is teaching them.
Later, Father had Rev. Yang Heo, current regional director of one of the church districts in Seoul and former missionary to Mexico, to sing Ul-san Arirang for all in attendance. Father explained that because Rev. Heo had to experience difficulties as a missionary in other countries, his singing is rich emotionally and it always gives something new every time Father hears him. Father had Rev. Heo sing the song repeatedly and had leaders get up and dance during the song.
Then, Father asked Mother to sing a song. She sang and then asked Father to sing. Father sang two songs, then started dancing, to the delight of all present. It seemed that he was trying to express his appreciation for the events the day before and to create a deeper bond of love with American members.
Written by Tossa Cromwell, FFWPU USA national staff