Unification News for May 2001
April 5 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma being the end of the Trail of Tears and the final home for many of the Tribes of this sacred place now called America, it was decided that reconciliation of the Native-American and Caucasian relationship would be a central theme for the Oklahoma City "We Will Stand" tour stop.
Tribal Chairmen and Elders from many tribes were approached. As a part of the outreach effort a "pow wow" was even held in a sweat lodge.
Native Americans Gayokla Nichi and Saginaw Grant came in from California to help with the preparations as well as the program itself. Originally from Oklahoma, Saginaw has appeared in several movies and is well known throughout America among the Indian tribal leaders.
Both are members of the Soc and Fox Nation.
Reverend Jesse Edwards also flew to Oklahoma several days before the event to help prepare. He was so full of energy and inspiration that he had called every white church in Oklahoma City. He was very meticulous about his records, too. Some got upset, some got inspired. However, the love of Jesus and confidence in the God-given mission gave him great strength.
The press conference just prior to the main program displayed the unified spirit of faith, hope, and love.
Reverend Medina testified that he had worked extensively as a key organizer for the Billy Graham Crusades and many other great revival gatherings. He stated that he had become disillusioned by the fact that many rapidly growing churches were more focused on their own growth and income rather than on sincere and genuine ministry. Feeling empty he wanted to experience something deeper.
"As Christians, we have lost our identity and completely merged into the fabric of this fallen world. We did not understand that as we wove our lifestyles into the common fabric of this secularized and Hollywood adapted society that we were actually becoming bound by the very fabric of which we became part. Bound in such a way that our churches say nothing against the escalating increase of sexual content on television at all hours of the day.
"We lost our sense of calling as prophets that we must prune the tree to keep it from being diseased. We must proclaim the word of God so that the nation can receive its life. To shake off the bonds that have bound our Christian leaders, God has raised the Reverend Sun Myung Moon to bring the Word that once proclaimed throughout the land will cause the wall of denomination and race to come tumbling down."
He was on fire!
There was a large turn-out of African-American clergy as well and the hotel banquet hall was filled to its capacity of just over 500.
Gayokla Nichi and Saginaw Grant shared profoundly the heart of the Indian people and their suffering in America. Saginaw, whose face was deeply lined and weathered from outdoor work, sun exposure and great suffering spoke with great humility as he shared very detailed accounts of the historical and contemporary suffering of the Indian peoples in America. This was not a simple encounter.
Keynote preacher Father Sun Myung Moon spoke compassionately and extemporaneously while Mr. Peter Kim translated. He then read from the prepared text, "The Path for America and Humanity in the New Millennium."
The audience listened appreciatively and responded with several "amens" and "hallelujahs".
After the powerful and poignant sermons various awards were given and received.
An exquisite prayer pipe ("peace pipe") and a sacred drum was presented to Father Moon on behalf of the local tribes. Mother Moon received a red Native shawl with white buffalo motif (symbolizing the messiah).
Gold watches were given to various members of the clergy and Saginaw Grant by the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC).
Then unexpectedly almost, there was a beautiful "path-crossing" ceremony between Native Americans and African Americans meeting White Americans. The bridge being a decidedly feminine symbol in Native usage, the term "path-crossing", was used which is masculine instead.
There were tears, laughter, and embracing as hundreds crossed the path. Each met a person of a different race, raised clasped hands in the air, and descended the stage to cheers and the flashing of cameras.
Reverend John Jackson who drove in from Texas said afterwards: "You can tell if an event was successful if no one leaves when the doors are opened up and everything's over."
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