The Words of the Selle Family
In The Spirit of True Mother - "It is God’s Time" Blessing Event in Maryland
May 24, 2006
Report and Testimony
Lively Stone Worship Center in Landover MD
We thank God and our True Parents for the having extended True Mothers’ original 12 –city tour to all fifty States of America, spreading the Blessing and the message truly to the entire North American continent before the end of May 2006.
Here in Maryland we heard of the news on May 7th, five days after True Mother just had visited Washington, DC. Thanks to our dear Bishop Floyd E. Nelson, we were able to secure a venue and a date two days later, the Lively Stone Worship Center in Landover, Maryland.
Now we had about two weeks left to prepare. Since Rev. Hong and our Korean leaders had been called to Korea by True Parents, we truly felt a new sense of responsibility and "burden" to make this event a success together with brothers and sisters and the help of God and the spirit world.
Our vision here in Maryland was to give the event an interfaith flavor. Also, for this event which followed so shortly after the previous one, we simply promoted it through emails, flyers and uplifting announcements from the pulpit, motivating brothers and sisters from the heart as to the significance and opportunity to have True Mother’s speech read here in Maryland. We had one preparatory meeting at Gary and Wanji Rowe’s home in Greenbelt. Many good ideas were shared as we prepared the program, which in essence was the same as the one at the Lisner Auditorium. Especially we wanted to be sure to have a "mother and son" read the two speeches. Everyone "voted" for Mrs. Sennie Johnson to read as the "mother" and Mike Roschuni as the "son". We put all ideas together and pledged to God and True Parents that we can and will take ownership of True Mother’s tour here in Maryland. From the unity and love between us as a foundation, we could feel that the event would be successful. Yet there was much work to be done…
Quickly the day of the event arrived. At 4pm Mother Allison and one brother of Lively Stone Worship Center opened the doors for the preparation crew to come in. Rev. Francis, with some help of second generation, hung up the beautiful banner we used at the Lisner Auditorium, which transformed the hall immediately into True Parents’ sanctuary. The Boy Scouts of Troop 1212 got ready to take their ushering roles, and the youth choir started practicing in one of the Sunday school rooms. The spirit began to build as more and more people walked in. In the end we counted 120!
We began the program around 7:15 pm. To set the stage, our New Hope Family Youth Choir opened up with a creative rendition of "Somewhere over the Rainbow", performed a cappella.
Our fiery Prophetess Patra Zannu opened up with a prayer evoking the spirit of God and asking everyone to leave all distractions and preoccupations behind. Our MC Rev. Levy Daugherty explained about the deep and historic significance of this event and then welcomed the mayor of Landover Hills to give his welcoming remarks. A humble but spirited man, Mayor Lee Walker greeted everyone and in a short but heartfelt way made everyone feel at home and comfortable.
Then Bishop Clifford Hazel-Bey, a Thirty Third degree Freemason from Baltimore, took the stage to shed deeper light on the purpose of the event. He surprised most of us as he launched into boldly and straightly testifying to True Parents, as to who they are and why we need to listen to them. He explained that there is no one who is doing this work of peace ordained by God in the way they do. Bishop Bey testified to how he himself was completely transformed after hearing the Diving Principle in Ocean City and has not been the same person since. (We will transcribe his speech.)
For the Holy Wine ceremony in the absence of Bishop Nelson, Rev. Daugherty called upon his wife, Claire, as well as Pastor Angelika Selle and her husband, Bob, to demonstrate the partaking of the Holy Wine. Then he asked Pastor Selle to pray as all recommitted ourselves to uphold the Blessing and bring healing to the world.
Mr. Howard Self as the secretary general of the American Family Coalition then called upon a variety of appointed Ambassadors for Peace, among whom was the mayor of Landover Hills (he stayed until the end of the program), Mr. and Mrs. Isaa and Hadiza Wada, elders of the Islamic Community Center in Laurel, MD, three youth leaders and Evangelist Catherine Allison of the Lively Stone Worship Center. A group photo was taken after which our very own former youth pastor, Mike Roschuni, took the stage and read from the speech by Father that was presented by Hyun Jin Nim on the tour here in the U.S. He did a great job in putting his heart and spirit into it, letting his leadership potential shine through.
Before the main message, all were treated to a delightful rendition of "Can’t You Feel the Love Tonight" from "The Lion King", by Kiah Victoria. As Rev. Daugherty introduced her, he also acknowledged and thanked her wonderful parents, Adruma and Fiona Victoria, who patiently and with much love and protection have been supporting her all the way.
The best was yet to come, when Elder Sennie Johnson, wife of our dear Bishop C. Phillip Johnson was introduced as the proper choice for this reading. In a very humble way Elder Sennie expressed that it was a privilege for her to read Mother Moon’s speech and she prayed that truly she could read it with Mother Moon’s spirit and heart and convey that deep message. Then she began to read. Every word was emphasized with dignity spirit and heart as if True Mother were reading it. Many of us felt the spirit of True Mother descending upon her and touching our hearts in unprecedented ways. Elder Sennie spoke slowly, yet with so much passion and emphasis, almost like Martin Luther King, Jr, so that many, rather than reading in the booklet, watched and listened to her. Time became not an issue. She ended with a crescendo and received a standing ovation.
The Holy Blessing ceremony then began. The front row, all VIPs then turned around and sprinkled the Holy Water on the congregation. The officiators, Rev. Adruma and Fiona Victoria, National Messiahs to Kenya, Africa, ascended the stage, accompanied by the Holy Water attendants. Rev. Adruma recited the four points of pledge and the audience responded with a thundering "yes". Mrs. Fiona, asked by her husband, gave the benediction in a very motherly way. All celebrants and pastors then gathered on the stage for the finale, when Rev. Daugherty called Mrs. Reiko Jenkins to the stage to give a word of encouragement, which she did by shining Mother’s love on everyone. Senior Evangelist Charles Agbaza then gave the Call to Action, reminding everyone to live by the word of God, no matter what the religious background or tradition and to spread the Blessing.
To conclude this memorable evening, Rev. Daugherty sealed the Blessing and renewed commitment with three cheers of Mansei! Amen! Amen! Amen! Glory be to God and the True Parents of All Humankind!
Special thanks go to Loretta Schauffler for assisting in pulling together the program and taking on major responsibility during preparation time. To Otmar Weinman for providing uplifting and wholesome music to make the event holy and sanctified, for Maria Agres helping with setting up a book table and setting things up and preparing young people for the Holy Wine Ceremony. To our Kodan Sisters team for the reception and Evangelist Allison for helping with set-up and representing the hosts, Akiko Li for video production, the Boy Scout Troup 1212 for providing ushers, to Howard Self and Joe Wakaria for framing the Ambassador for Peace certificates, for Nancy Bulow and Wendy Herstein for volunteering for the registration table and VIP ushering, for Gary and Wanji Rowe for inviting and bringing the mayor of Landover Hills, for Annemarie Weinman, Mary and many others for phone calling, for the sisters’ prayer team for their needed prayers, for Rev. and Mrs. Levy and Claire Daugherty their MC leadership and love! Thanks also to Bishop and Dr. Nelson for being gracious and generous in making their church building available for this historic event!
Thanks to Rev. Ile Mabua and Minister Lynn Sofinowsky from Baltimore and Mr. Louis Johnson for bringing their guests, Muslim leaders and a professor as well as Mel Haft who represented Judaism. Thanks to dear regional vice-director couple, Rev. Randy and Kumiko Francis, who quietly and humbly yet tirelessly supported in action to make this event successful.
Finally, thanks to all those who attended and those who couldn’t attend but were with us in spirit. It was a victory of unity of heart and cooperation, the spirit of community and volunteerism and ownership. In my heart, that is one of the greatest victories of all.
The following are excerpts from comments of participants:
As we entered, a young man opened the door, which was nice and inviting. Then we were ushered in by BOY SCOUTS!! I liked it.
The 2 people I remember most were Rev. Bay and Mother Sennie Johnson. They touched me because they spoke from the power of their heart.
Most importantly, the ambiance and spirit of the program was beautiful, Holy and Uplifting. The program was smooth, short and love filled. It was nice to have a variety of people involved. My husband and I enjoyed an evening of love and truth at the Maryland rendition of Mother's speech.
I felt the spirit of the attending members and their guest(s) as they arrived for this grassroots blessing was high because of the preparations that were set for the event.
As the MC: Rev. Levy Daugherty took the podium; the whole congregation was receptive to the message and the sure blessing was to behold the place.
The program was well balanced with objective VIP guest speakers who did a good job through their personal testimonies, clearly building to our True Parents anointed role and significance in introducing the higher; all religions acceptable and all scholarly logical practices of the blessing era, rebuilding God centered Couples and peaceful Families that extend their home made love and peace to the community.
The opening prayer proclaimed the place holy and sanctified by the power of Jesus.
The Landover Hills Mayor Walker’s very short welcome remarks signified that he more wanted to learn from the program than teach anything himself.
Bishop Clifford Hazel Bey’s remarks of recognizing the fruits of T/P’s reconciliation peace works between Jews, Muslims and Christians as his sign that; he is the ANOINTED ONE and his absolute desire to be with T/P’s in Spiritual World was like a key for people to accept the blessing is so special.
Kiah Victoria’s song lifted peoples HEARTS so high that everyone was on higher ground.
Mr. Roschuni was very confident, like he was on his Father’s business reading the speech.
The best of all was Mrs. Johnson reading and representing TRUE MOTHER. That was a true representation in a lively, eloquent, graceful and a kindred spirit of T/M. Honestly, It’s the best seen ever and T/M should see this particular part if not the whole thing.
As the HOLY WATER was being sprinkled, I could observe that the congregation did not mind even to take a shower of it if they’d be asked. In short they loved it.
Did you hear the echoes of their answers to the VOWS? And the three cheers of Mansei? There was the sound of joy!
The 2nd Generation Choir and ushers’ willing spirit and attendance made the place and the event honorable.
Thank you, Rev. Angelika Selle, and Rev. Randy Francis for bringing us together for the above event!
Capt. Ezra G. Karimi: ACLC CO-ORDINATOR
The following are some comments about our guests experience at the Lively Stone Worship Center Blessing, readings and AFP presentations:
Mr. Isaa Wada described their experience as "remarkable". Isaa is a very devout Muslim, attending mosque regularly for prayers. Publicly, when it is time for prayer he will excuse himself and go pray in a side room for about 15 or 20 minutes. So, at the beginning of Mrs. Johnson's reading he excused himself. He also encouraged his wife Hadiza to join him, however she politely insisted to stay for the entire reading (perhaps Muslim women living in America have a bit of independence and authority!).
He was so pleased that " the name of the almighty God could be sanctified by the human soul" at this event. The readings, "like the Koran tried to bring us to the fundamental truth and that the readings were a warning, a teaching, a lesson". Those fundamental truth's, he said, "we can trace back to Abraham, to Adam and back to God. The majority of the time we focus on the branches. Where is the root however [of our problems]?""Allah's plan is the best plan. His will is the best"." how we have become derailed from the original ideal of God and His will]" were other comments. He also brought up the importance of service to others that was mentioned several times during the evening event. Mr. Wada said that he realized that serving others brought true satisfaction.
He also responded positively to attending the June 10th follow-up dialogue on True Mother's speech and agreed to attend a dialogue on the Islamic, Jewish and Christian perspective of The Fall of Man that we plan to hold at a "home meeting" in our neighborhood.
As a final note, I truly felt God's blessings and empowerment as representative couples of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths sitting together, united in heart and spirit. This gives us much hope and inspiration to continue the task of home meetings centered on the word.
Mel and Holly Haft
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