The Words of the Edwards Family

Master In Washington DC - The First Blessing Of Western Couples

Hillie Smith (Edwards)
March 3, 1969
Washington, D. C.
New Age Frontiers - March 1969

"Warmest Welcome To Our Leader, His Wife, And Their Party, In Love And Joy, The American Unified Family" -- These words, on a large banner in the center of an archway of roses and ivy. greeted our Leader as he entered the house.

The first week in February was a week of intense inner and outer preparation for the coming of our Master. I could never describe how we felt, but I think each one of us experienced the full spectrum of emotions as we waited and worked. Miss Kim went to the West Coast on February 1 to prepare the Centers there and to meet his plane, which arrived at 6:00 a. m. PST on February 4 in San Francisco.

She called us on Friday, February 7, to let us know that our Leader, Mother, Mr. Eu (President of HSA-UWC in Seoul), Mrs. Choi, Mr. Kuboki (President of HSA-UWC in Tokyo), and she would arrive at Dulles Airport at 4;40 p. m. on Sunday, February 9. Welcome signs, songs and food were prepared, and Saturday night everyone participated in an all-night prayer vigil -deep and meaningful hours.

February 9: Sunday evening we waited in a receiving line in the front hall, sometimes praying, sometimes singing or talking softly. Here to meet him from local Centers were: Maria Pascher, Diane Giffin, Carroll Ann Dobrotka, Betsy O'Neill, and Therese Klein from New York Center; and from Philadelphia, Joan Dorfman, Barbara Mikesell, George Fernsler, Jim Cowin, and Hal McKenzie. Also many Washington area members living outside the Center were present. We sang the chorus of "You Are My Sunshine" as the Master and his party entered, and it seemed as though the sun actually broke through the snow clouds as we saw them for the first time. After greeting everyone, Master and his party rested, Later, we presented a talent show, produced and directed by Travis Jones, Barbara Snell, and, I'm sure, Father.

February 10-13: The next three evenings we met in the lecture rooms and listened to the Master's words as he explained, particularly, the Blessings. and the course of restoration centering around them.

February 14: Some of us gathered in our Leader's living room in the Center for the first of several informal evenings which have brought us closer and closer to him in heart.

February 16: Mr. Kuboki spoke at the Sunday service and after lunch about our Japanese Family and their work. We eagerly listened to his story of our Japanese Family's early beginnings, Mr. Kuboki's own moving testimony, and the methods through which Japan is presently being led strongly to Father, Sunday night our Leader spoke to several of us about CARP (Collegiate Association for the Research of the Principle), our student movement in Korea and Japan, and FEC, an organization whose goal is to disprove the validity of Communism as a world ideology and present the Principle.

February 17-20: John Schmidle, Vernon Pearson, Maxine Adamson (Pearson), and Marie Laux (Schmidle), arrived from various parts of the US Northwest. Many of us had never met these members of our Family and we rejoiced to welcome them. Also from the Northwest came Garold Johnson, complete with guitar and magnetic voice, and Galen Brooks. With these members arrived Mr. David S. C. Kim, their teacher and one of the early missionaries from Korea.

We were delighted to meet him as well as Mr. Sang Ik Choi. from San Francisco, the first Korean missionary to Japan. From Kansas City Pauline Phillips arrived with Mary Merta Parkinson, who had heard of our Leader through Anthony Brooke, A young couple who had heard the Principle on their way to Florida made a U-turn and flew to Washington on two occasions to be with us here. Linna Miller (Rapkins) arrived from Toronto, Canada, soon to be followed by Vince Walsh, Kathy Bell, and Larry Boyle. Gloria Sbeerin, our member in the Boston area, represented New England. Matthew Smith, a writer who met our group originally in Toronto and then spent some weeks at our Los Angeles Center, spent February with us.

February 21; To synchronize our day and time with that of Korea, we celebrated our Parents' birthday on February 21 at 12:00 p. m, After a brief and beautiful ceremony, we feasted, presented gifts and telegrams from all over the United States and sang individually for them. Sara Witt from Chicago played the piano for everyone's enjoyment.

February 22: Wesley and Gladys Samuel from New York joined us as well as Galen Pumphrey and Judy Barnes from Denver; from Florida came Sue Barnett, and Fred and Jacque Stock arrived from St. Louis. From the West Coast, Jon and Sandy Schuhart brought Ray Barlow, Lisa Martinez, Judy Culbertson and Zed Robinson (all with the Los Angeles Center), and Edwin Ang came from Berkeley, By this time the Center was overflowing with 80-plus brothers and sisters. Every hour was rush hour; as each one came, the pitch of excitement, anxiety, anticipation, and joy rose. Few had time to sit and talk, but eyes met as we hurried on about our various assignments, and voices joined in song and prayer. There was only one Heart to feel, so nothing about our sharing was superficial.

February 23: Our Leader spoke at Sunday service. Sunday evening Mr. Choi gave his testimony, telling of rainy nights when there was no food and no place to sleep as he searched alone for someone who would respond to Father in Japan.

February 24: Mary Penn came from New York with her autoharp, and Martha Vertreace arrived from Chicago with Betsy Norton, a new sister. Orah Schoon (Pope) and Julie Antal came from Hammond, Indiana, and the first day of a week-long training session began.

February 25: Mr. Eu lectured morning and evening on the Ideal of Creation. In the interim period, four couples were betrothed! Peace, beauty and harmony began to slowly find its way into the turmoil of OUT days as each additional couple was announced. But until the last couple was betrothed, all hearts were in suspense.

February 26: Next to arrive were: Dee Beckner from Kansas City, Patty Pumphrey from Denver, Bob and Vivian Oswald and Martha Pattengale from St. Louis.

February 27: Lectures and betrothals continued on the eve of the wedding. At dinner we received instructions from Miss Kim regarding the wedding ceremony. Music, flowers, decorations and the wedding garments had to be prepared by early afternoon of the following day. The house must be cleaned and food prepared for the wedding reception. All "committees" began to scurry.

February 28: The six couples and seven couples were blessed and America gained her wellspring. The faces of the new couples glowed with a quiet, deep light.

As February closes, we find our numbers diminished and our Center regaining some degree of equilibrium. We have entered a new dimension of working and living, and we all feel that ';'new occasions teach new duties." Though our Leader is still with us, he may have left for South America and Europe by the time you receive the NAF.

Could I ever convey to you what it has really been like to live in the Washington Center in February, 1969? I don't think so, although I wish I could. Each day as I came home from work, I stopped and looked at the Center with awe, gratitude, and concern, realizing that the hope of America and of the world was physically and spiritually present there. I wish I had the time and ability to write about our Leader's power, depth, and love. I would like to tell you about the day he threw snowballs with Jon Schuhart or the night we sat with him on his living room floor until 2:30 a.m. I can only say that our Parents really are True Parents in every way, whose love fills our hearts with the Father's desire for the children of the world.

P. S. New members in the Washington Center in February: Godofredo Salas Allan Sands, American University student Mr. and Mrs. Marin Zuesse, Eric Williams, Howard University student, John Harries Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Quinta. 

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