Approximately 40 Unificationists in Wisconsin convened for a special statewide meeting at 7:00 p.m., Sunday January 13, 2013, gathering from as far away as Green Bay, New Glarus, Madison, Waterford, as well as Milwaukee to meet with Dr. Michael Balcomb, vice president of Unification Church USA, who arrived at the Unification Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with Rev. Kazuo Takami.
After dinner, the church venue was transformed from dining room to theater as the Carlson family and young Unificationist Zen Quinn provided a musical offering. First-generation Unificationist Debbie Anderson gave a great rendition of Elvis' “If I can Dream” and Pastor Ike Miller, a pastor of American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), sang “Trying to be Your Friend.”
Dr. Balcomb provided an opportunity for each of the thirty people attending to introduce themselves and found common ground with second-generation Unificationists Helen and Nara Ferch, who grew up in Africa as he did. He shared his testimony of how God had helped him to accept the Vice President position of our church and take responsibility for America. His frank reflection and honest account built bridges of trust between him and the members.
Then, Dr. Balcomb led Sunday Service, delivering his message, “Standing in the Presence of God,” a topic that True Father had spoken on many years earlier that is relevant today. Some of the ideas he shared were that God may call upon an individual at any time and that His heart, which is hungering for his children, cannot be at peace until everyone “comes home.” He also spoke about the limitation of translation and the importance of learning our parents’ language, even if we learn only one word a week. Furthermore, he explained True Father’s goal to liberate the heart of God and that we have the opportunity to share in that task, which demands 100 percent of our efforts in order to accomplish our 5 percent responsibility. He said that unprecedented spiritual awakening is anticipated, so it is time to let go of the chains and come confidently into the presence of God.
After a short break the families reconvened to practice teaching the Divine Principle.
“Four never-before-lecturers did a sterling job in five minute segments, teaching the Mission of the Messiah,” said Wisconsin State Pastor Rev. Marian North. “This practical method he shared provides great incentive for teaching Divine Principle from the kitchen table or the podium. The animation was awesome, and everyone appreciated the huge effort that had gone into creating it.”
After a group photograph and the official dismissal for the evening, more than half of the families stayed to have a town hall meeting, asking questions about Foundation Day as well as more general questions on church-related issues.