The Words of the Jenkins Family

The Blessing Was A Day Of Joy

Michael Jenkins
July 6, 2007

At 11 a.m. our True Parents conducted the 2007 International Cross-Cultural Marriage Blessing Ceremony in the Sacred Reign of Peace with the theme "Advent of the Era for the Beginning of a New Universal Civilization of Peace --The World Is One Home, Humankind Is One Family." From 10 to 11 were rehearsals and preprogram events. Kia Victoria performed, lifting everyoneís hearts, representing the second generation from America. A Korean performer stirred the gathering and helped make the atmosphere more festive.

During the rehearsal and preprogram events, parents were able to go on the floor to get final pictures with the engaged couples. At 11 a.m. Rev. Sun Jo Hwang and Mrs. Lynne Kim took their positions as the co-emcees. Rev. Kwak gave the welcoming address. Reverend Im, chairman of our movement in Japan, gave the report to Heaven.

As the attendants entered in their white robes, overlaid with dark pink shawls, we could feel the great dignity, holiness and grace and beauty of the occasion. Rev. Hwang announced that there is nothing more precious or beautiful in Godís sight than to see these couples gathered together as the fulfillment of Godís ideal.

True Parents entered to applause, Mother dressed in a beautiful white gown, Father in a black tuxedo. Twenty-four couples came onto the platform representing all the couples, and attendants went throughout the crowd as True Parents conducted the holy water ceremony. Then True Parents offered the prayer of blessing, with joined hands facing each other as the couples faced the stage, arm in arm.

Father offered a most beautiful prayer with all his heart, pouring out all his energy to bless, sanctify, and seal these couples forever. As he prayed, Father lifted his and motherís arms, almost as if they were ready to fly. Everyone could feel Fatherís heart and commitment through the prayer, given with total concentration and love. Next, three representative couples came onto the stage for the exchange of rings ceremony. Then True Parents gave the proclamation of blessing, proclaiming before Heaven and earth that these couples, both first and second generation, are now blessed and sealed before Heaven on this day, July 5th, 2007.

Participants from 186 nations were present. It was a great moment in history as once again True Father and True Mother, the king and queen of peace and true love, lifted up Godís ideal.

Then True Parents were seated. President Shushkevich, former president of Belarus, and Mr. Lee, former prime minister of Korea, both gave congratulatory addresses. A quartet of opera singers performed beautifully for the new brides and grooms, concluding with a celebration song of "Oh, Happy Day." True Parents concluded with three cheers of mansei.

The couples bowed to True Parents and to all parents and relatives in attendance. The blessing concluded with fireworks, and then streamers and balloons coming down from the ceiling. There was so much energy on the floor afterward, so much celebration and joy. Parents were there, taking precious photos. How we also remember that time as couples being blessed by True Parents. It was just a few days ago that the 2075 couples celebrated their 25th anniversary, and here are many of us celebrating our childrenís blessings. Many American, Japanese, European, and Korean families were present on this beautiful day.

Another amazing thing is to see in-laws come together, many of whom never met before. But suddenly through the blessing we become one family. In my own family we were amazed to see through the blessing of our son and our daughter-in-law the coming together of Korean, Japanese, American and German families. Truly we could see that the Gyocha blessing brings peace and understanding between all races, religions and nations. My Korean in-law, Mr. Shin, who has a Japanese wife, and whose brothers and sisters are all blessed, commented that by having so many nations come into his family through marriage, his heart has changed; as a Korean, he doesnít look at anybody as an outsider anymore. This is the essence of the Gyocha blessing. No one is considered an outsider anymore because we are all relatives, not in theory but in fact.

It was wonderful to see Rev. Burgi Hutcherson with her son and daughter who were matched by True Parents, joined together with families from Spain and Japan Rev. and Mrs. Schankerís son was blessed. Mr. and Mrs. Michael Runyonís daughter was blessed to a young man from Japan. All the older generation from North Carolina were matched by True Parents and blessed. Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Leal from San Francisco were together as their son and daughter got blessed. We can never express in words the incredible experience of seeing the blessing unfold before our eyes.

Dr. Yang, our Continental Director, took pictures with many of the blessed couples. We are grateful for his leadership, and for the education provided by the Second Generation Department of Rev. In-guk Seo, and of our Education Department with Rev. Schanker to help these blessed couples take a step toward Godís eternal blessing. Korean families, Japanese families, American families, European families, Mongolian families, all the worldís families were there for this glorious day of blessing.

We thank you, True Parents, with all of our hearts, and we pray that the blessing will rapidly expand to all of our second generation and to all of humanity. True love is expanding forever.

MWJ

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