The Words of the Garratt Family

Anointed Preaching, Singing and Dancing Bring Los Angeles April ACLC Prayer Breakfast Participants to Their Feet

Joy Irvine Garratt
May 14, 2007

It was a prayer breakfast in which we could truly feel both the masculine and feminine aspects of God. The April 28th ACLC monthly prayer breakfast in Los Angeles took place in the Christian Light Missionary Baptist Church. The more than 100 participants agreed that the church was very aptly named as the beautiful morning sunshine poured in through the sanctuary windows, bathing the entire program with warmth and light. The host pastor, Rev. J.L. Briggs, serving as the emcee, multiplied that warmth by making everyone feel embraced and at home from beginning to end.

The invocation was offered by Chief Clayton and Dr. Anita Two Bears, executive council members of the Native American Leadership Association (NALA). Next Rev. Angelina Hamilton, who is very active and beloved throughout the community, gave the scripture reading, John 17:21-23 with Wanda Parker, the CEO of Positive Choices Youth Organization, then reading an excerpt on "True Love and True Family" from the speeches of Dr. Sun Myung Moon.

Rev. Timothy Henning, the co-chairperson of ACLC, and his wife Elisabeth led all the participants in the Holy Wine Ceremony. Reflecting Rev. Henning’s brief message on how drinking the Holy Wine represents an act of cleansing and new beginning, Christian Light soloist Debra Wilson gave a beautiful rendition of "Yesterday", modifying the words to pay tribute to Jesus.

Rev. Courtina Reid, pastor of Christ Community Truth Church, not only read the ACLC Goals and Objectives but testified to the value of actually implementing them in one’s daily life. Inviting all present to attend the regular Monday Divine Principle study sessions at her church, she reported that the sessions provide an opportunity for ". . . growing in consciousness . . . growing and knowing the truth." She added that she had "never felt so good since becoming a member of ACLC." With those words, District 12 ACLC coordinator Mark Tengan introduced the five new and renewing members of ACLC.

Two youthful Sadoc Christian Choir singers then brought the audience to their feet in preparation for the keynote address by offering a stirring performance of the gospel song "Let it Rain!"

The words "dynamic duo" took on a new meaning when Rev. William Smart and Rev. Thembekila Smart, a spirit-anointed team in both marriage and in ministry, sprinted up -- yes, they literally sprinted!--to the altar to give the keynote address together. Pastors of Christ Liberty Tabernacle Church, their preaching took off right where the Scripture reading from John 17 left off, echoing the theme of oneness with Christ and oneness in Christ. Like a heavenly tag team, first Rev. William and then Rev. Thembekila called on those assembled to reflect and teach the love of Christ and back it up in our daily lives. "Jesus is perfection, and He deals with not just individual perfection, but with the perfection of the body of Christ," Rev. William reminded us all.

"One and one is two in math," Rev. Thembekila followed up, "but one and one is one in the Body of Christ, the oneness of spirit. We’ve got to walk it, talk it and sing it. Unity isn’t just becoming one, but being one. Then you can stand strong in the face of persecution." They emphasized that "when you’re family-focused, you don’t want anyone messing with the blood! Gang violence is a blood issue. HIV is a blood issue. We’ve got to make the blood of the lamb a lot more attractive than the blood of the man. We’ve got to protect our blood!"

The strong and powerful preaching was followed by the joyous and graceful praise dances offered by the Christ Liberty Tabernacle Praise Dancers, a troupe of four women and eight girls. Whirling throughout the sanctuary to the inspiring rhythm and words of "This is the Day that the Lord has made" and additional songs, the dancers wove ribbons of color and the Holy Spirit about the audience and served as a beautiful prelude to the final presentation of the morning by ACLC Women in Ministry.

ACLC Women in Ministry coordinators Rev. Reiko Jenkins, First Lady of the National Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, and Rev. Ethel Hayes, co-pastor of Glory Land Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, shared deeply about their calling to strengthen, encourage and support Women in Ministry as "daughters of God, sisters, wives, mothers and grandmothers for building God’s Peace Kingdom." Their heart-filled words inspired most of the women present to become involved.

As rich and filling as the spiritual food of the morning proved to be, no prayer breakfast would be complete without . . . breakfast! The congregants moved into the church’s Fellowship Hall for a delicious and long-awaited breakfast lovingly prepared by ACLC and host church volunteers. As friends new and old deepened their relationships, 19 year old Dana Burpo, a newly appointed Youth Ambassador for Peace, read her poem "One World, Two Hearts." The event closed with remarks and a prayer by Rev. Carlos Torres.

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