The Words of the Ikeno Family
New York District Family Fellowship Activities 2007-2008
February 5, 2008
New York District HDFC Coordinator
The New York District has 42 Family Fellowship Church Development teams (upstate has 10 teams). They all hold weekly meetings that run about an hour and a half utilizing Hoon Dok Reading materials. The meeting includes prayer, Hoon Dok reading and sharing, and discussion questions and answers. Through these kinds of small groups meetings, all the team families have become close and have been deeply transformed. There were many good testimonies of healing past scars. This became the source of energy for outreach (witnessing) to neighbors.
Last year these were three different large mobilization efforts.
The first was on January 31st, Hyun Jin Nim’s 12 city speaking tour. Hyun Jin Nim spoke at Freedom Hall in Brooklyn. Many of our ACLC contact ministers were so inspired by his enthusiasm.
On May 21st during the U.S. 12 city speaking tour, the Family Fellowship Church Development Teams’ efforts to draw 1,200 attendees to the Manhattan Center was essential. Gradually we can see the capability of the Family Fellowship Church in mobilizing people for events.
The most remarkable was the final speaking tour in November. Two days before the event, through calculating all the possible guests, the total was still 1,100 guests. There were still 2,000 empty seats in the 3,000-seat auditorium. I was informed that Chicago had one Family Fellowship team bring 75 guests from over an hour and a half away from the event hotel. Furthermore they had four members call all the blessed central families to ask them to bring at least 2 guests per family. This strategy was successful. The result was 20 full buses from Hoon Dok Family Teams came to True Mother’s speech.
The New York district implemented that method. Leaders and members started to call all the blessed couples. Eventually the New York District reached the goal, with 120 new Ambassadors for Peace.
This miracle showed the power of the Blessed Central Families when they are set on fire to do something. The Family Fellowship Church activities aligned the Blessed Central Families to make them healthier, stronger families. I believe that the family fellowship groups were a source of energy for the mobilization.
Some Results Of Family Fellowship Activities
For a long time the Blessed Central Families of America have not been actively witnessing. But through Family Fellowship Church activities, some teams have begun to outreach to their neighbors. For example, the Heller Family team brought one full time member last year. One of their team members (a college student) brought one guest to the Fellowship meetings. After he attended the meetings, Mrs. Ayako Heller (Team Leader) began to study the Divine Principle one on one. He understood the content well. After they finished the whole DP, one on one, he attended a CARP seven-day workshop and decided to commit to full time membership.
Some Family Fellowship teams multiplied into two teams -- In Westrock, Rev. Michael Balcomb’s team and in Manhattan, Mr. Ed Poor’s team. Another five teams are ready to multiply into two teams.
Another unique Family Fellowship activity is from Flushing, Queens. Their activity was to carry out issue-oriented activities on a bi-monthly basis. On January 15th one team planned Martin Luther King Day of Flushing with one of the eldest, most active churches in the Flushing areas in planning the Martin Luther King Day Program.
The 2nd Generation pursued several service projects during the holiday season such as visiting local senior centers, cleaning the local parks with other young volunteers, and reading at a local boys’ club. These service projects drew the attention of the community leaders, politicians and different religious group leaders. Through these service projects, the team expanded its connections.
Working together with a local elementary school, they worked to educate the students on peace through many different projects. There were also contacts with other religious leaders.
On May 18th, 22 year old Maurice was killed in Flushing. After the incident, neighbors felt an urgent need for action against gang violence. One of the local politicians, an Ambassador for Peace, called various field leaders to our center for an emergency meeting to address this issue. One of the most influential politicians and district leaders, two of the biggest and most active church pastors and the NAACP chapter Director, the community outreach officer and detective from the 109th precinct came to our center. All the community leaders seriously discussed how to solve this ongoing gang violence problem and this incident. It was very interesting to see these people enter and not react to True Parents’ picture hanging on the wall. They decided to have a Flushing Community Rally Against Guns and Gang Violence in front of the store where the young man was short. Over 400 community members showed up. It was the beginning of addressing this critical issue. There are still questions on how to deal with such gangs. The answer is "Through solving the family’s problems."
The Flushing Family Fellowship Church organized a Block Party Against Violence: and suggested that all the gathered people have a "Family Values Seminar" at the center. Two months later 25 neighbors gathered to have a meeting on the issues of the community.
The Family Fellowship Church must take care of neighborhood beautification, sexual morality education for youth and resolving family problems. We must step out of the comfort of our homes to reach out into our neighborhoods and transform its reality so that Heaven can be established in every corner of America.
The Perspective of Family Fellowship Church 2008 In the year 2008, the Family Fellowship Church Movement in the USA will encounter a critical turning point. Until now the Family Fellowship Church development Teams have grown into 400 teams throughout America. In New York District, It has grown to 32 and around 10 additional in the upstate area. Those team members have been greatly transformed. They have become closer to each other and they feel some strength to outreach from now on. Rev. Sudo’s lectures became DVD and leadership manuscript. All the team leaders grew spiritually through reading and attending Hoon Dok Education sessions.
I hope that all the teams of the New York District can be nourished by such kind of leadership training manuscript and eventually they can create a strong foundation of faith. That is the source of multiplication in the Family Fellowship Church.
The year 2007 was the formation stage. From this year the question becomes how to multiply the Family Fellowship Church Teams. This is the critical point of the coming year. The New York HDFC Committee discussed more effective committees. So we divided into 4 committees.
1. Leadership Education Committee -- In order to multiply, it is necessary to have more leadership training. The New York District HDFC Committee published a 400-book of Small Group reading material. This material included materials from LA to DC, and was distributed throughout the nation. In 2008 we want to add Rev. Yo Han Lee’s internal guidance and True Parents’ "Peace Messages" to the reading materials. Last year we invited Rev. Sudo to UTS and listened to the deeper meaning of the Family Church providence. This year we want to invite him once more, so that he can teach fully the contents of the real meaning of the Family Church Providence.
2. New Membership Education Committee -- Rev. Fong is responsible for preparing the 2-day and 7-day workshops for the New York District.
3. Outreach and Multiplication Committee -- The Family Church teams can continue to collaborate in their outreach events like bi-monthly service projects in their community. Eventually teams can expand more.
4. Report System Committee -- New York has created a weekly data-based system for all the field’s reports.
Toward a Successful Global Peace Festival Based on Family Fellowship Grassroots Movement
1. Most effective method of expansion of our movement
a. Multiplication of Family Fellowships
b. Increasing Core Membership
c. Increasing AFC, ACLC and CARP membership
2. Creating many co-sponsorships through outreach activities
a. Governmental and municipal co-sponsorship
b. NGO co-sponsorship -- MLK Day of Service had 18 co-sponsoring organizations, including the Queens County Savings Bank.
c. Inviting more volunteers
3. Development of Interfaith movement
a. Making consistent effort to take away any barriers between different religious groups
b. Creating a local religious peace council and join the "One Family Under God" movement
Peace Pledge 2008 to be signed at MLK Day of Service. The hope of all the ages is an ideal peaceful world. A world with individuals, families and even nations living together joyfully as one. … Thus, on this day 21st day of January, 2008, in Queens, New York, the place known as a United Nations of a Borough, we pledge, as representatives of all faiths and cultural traditions, to surpass our differences through the practice of peace….In this moment, we pledge to establish an Inter-religious, Inter-cultural Peace Council that will embody in all ways the universal and shared values of, love, family, service and spirituality. We will harmonize our cultures and bring together in a harmonious s family of God.
Volunteers and Religious Leaders signed the pledge
Religious Leaders came to give congratulatory remarks
c. Consistent dialogue between different religious groups based on Family Community peace issues
d. Work together with different religious groups on the current issues (anti-violence, international day of peace, domestic violence) (For example: Cross Cultural Sisterhood Ceremony, Interfaith Symposium centered on Family Values, Parents’ Day -- three generation families, International Day of Peace with five different interfaith groups, Global Youth Service Day, where the governor’s wife came to encourage volunteers and MLK Day of Service with one of the eldest, most active churches in Flushing.)