As the second of eight stops of her “We Love True Parents” speaking tour in the United States, Rev. In Jin Moon, senior pastor of Lovin’ Life Ministries (LLM), arrived at the Radisson Hotel in Los Angeles, California on August 22, 2012. The tour was launched on August 21, 2012 in the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center (see story here) as an opportunity for Rev. Moon to extend gratitude on behalf of her family to Unificationists throughout the nation for their support of the recovery of her father, Unification Church Founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon. The elder Rev. Moon was hospitalized with pneumonia at the St. Mary’s Catholic Hospital in Seoul on August 13, 2012 and remains in critical condition to this day.
Rev. Moon was welcomed to the hotel by a crowd of 600 people from District 12 (Southern California, Southern Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii), and shortly thereafter shared a quick but intimate meal with community leaders from District 12. Doors for the evening program opened at 7:00 p.m., and the event began at 7:30 p.m. with a musical offering by the Los Angeles LLM Band and the Los Angeles Sunday School Children’s Choir, which is composed of children between the ages of four and eleven.
Emcee Rev. Joshua Cotter, vice president of the Unification Church USA, invited Sheri Rueter, a community elder, to give the invocation prayer and then introduced Rev. Moon as the keynote speaker.
Rev. Moon said to her audience, “I was struck once again about what an incredible father we have in our True Father, but also what an incredible woman we have in our True Mother. True Mother continues to be our guiding light, continues to be the True Mother of all of mankind, and she has been nothing but a vision of inspiration, strength, integrity, and hope.
“The paradigm of what true love is to the world involves not just a man or just a woman, but a man and a woman together, symbolizing the male and the female, the alpha and the omega, the plus and the minus symbolizing the harmony and unity of the universe. Regardless of where Father is, our True Mother is there. And regardless of where Mother is, our True Father is there. No matter how great our True Father is, he cannot be the messiah all by himself. He cannot be the True Parents all by himself. He’s only the True Parents because he has True Mother.
“We need a different kind of leadership in order to make our community work. We need compassionate leadership. We need an understanding of teamwork and volunteerism. And this kind of leadership is very much encompassed by our True Mother in a sense that, now, we will be able to see some of the more feminine qualities of leadership.
“I can say with great confidence that our True Father and our True Mother has chosen the youngest son [to be the spiritual head of the Unification Church] wisely. We call him ‘Lovey’ for a reason. He’s not an arrogant type of a leader. He’s not a leader that capitalizes on power and position. He is truly a humble servant of god. He is that kind of a compassionate type of a leader that this next millennium needs.
“A lot of people are saying, ‘How can we leave this church in the hands of a woman? What qualifications does this woman have? She doesn’t have a PhD. She’s never been a leader.’ Well, I for one have had five kids and realized that this is a woman who can have 14 kids. On top of that, this is a woman who can accompany True Father in public and in private 24/7, every day of the week, for the – how many decades? For over four decades.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for all of us in the True Family. But at the same time, I have been quietly, truly inspired by this woman. We have true leadership in our True Mother at this appointed time and in our international president, Rev Hyung Jin Moon. Let’s take this time to re-dedicate ourselves to True Parents.”
Following her address, Rev. Moon was presented with flowers from two individuals, Adam and Jessica Gotleb, new members who had joined the LLM community two weeks earlier. Dr. Chang Shik Yang closed the event with a prayer and three cheers of Eog Mansei. Rev. Moon shook hands with each member of the audience to fulfill a promise she had made to her Father to take her handshake with him to Unificationists throughout the nation.
“Everyone understood and felt united with our True Parents after hearing and feeling Rev. In Jin Moon’s heart,” said Rev. Tengan. “Many were touched by her coming all the way to Los Angeles just to meet us and shake our hands in True Parents’ stead. I also noticed that many brothers and sisters that have been distant for a long time attended that evening and were happy to feel the genuine heart of True Family.”
Feedback from Participants in Los Angeles
Jane Berg, Arizona LLM Pastor: “Very clear. It is so good to know how things are functioning. In Jin Nim is like a breath of fresh air.”
Demian Dunkley, Las Vegas LLM Pastor: “I really felt True Mother’s and Rev. In Jin Moon’s love during her wonderful message of encouragement. It was unexpected for me that Mother would send Rev. In Jin Moon at this time. I wish True Mother wouldn’t need to worry about us now; instead I wish that all of True Family could be with her, supporting her and True Father. I wish also that Rev. In Jin Moon wouldn’t need to worry about us or what stories we hear. We are praying for you, True Parents and True Family. No matter what, we will continue to work together, and I hope that we can not only unite in prayer, but also consolidate our efforts and focus to bring substantial results in our own lives and families and truly liberate you from the burdens on your heart. Thank you, Rev. In Jin Moon, for bringing us True Parents’ love, and sending back our love. Please know that we want to support you, True Parents and True Family, so please take the time you need and we will take care of each other while you are by Father’s side. We will use the time to reflect on how we can do better. No matter what, we will be by your side.”
Stefan des Lauriers, Unificationist from Las Vegas: “When the speech was over, and we were directed to shake hands row by row, it all happened so fast. It was like a spiritual experience for me, because I have no recollection of actually touching Rev. In Jin Moon’s hands; I think my senses were overwhelmed by just looking into her face and seeing the understanding look in her eyes. I was so happy when I heard that our senior pastor would be taking all our handshakes back to Korea to give to True Father.”
Heidi Iseda, Unificationist from Las Vegas: “It was wonderful to hear directly from Rev. In Jin Moon last night on the developments in True Father's condition, though how heartbreaking it is, and True Mother's precious position, and True Children's unity with them, and concern for all of us.”
“We Love True Parents” in San Francisco
As step three of her national speaking tour, Rev. In Jin Moon arrived in San Francisco on Thursday, August 23, 2012.
“Rev. In Jin Moon brought grace and dignity to the Bay Area as an elder daughter of True Parents and poured out her love and guidance during her 22 hours in town,” said Rev. Thompson, pastor of District 11.
He continued: “Upon arrival in San Francisco International Airport, without stopping to rest, Rev. Moon went into a lunch gathering with local church members and leaders to hear reports of local activities. I felt that this was exactly the same schedule that I have seen True Father and True Mother conduct whenever they went around America on speaking tours. Rev. Moon received reports as a representative of True Parents and shared some guidance over lunch that was deeply personal and inspirational to those who were there.”
Rev. Moon also took time to visit the “Lego Show,” which currently occupies the top floor of the LLM Bay Area Church and is attracting thousands of non-Unificationists from all over California to see the display and to learn how to build models of their own (view Lego Show here)
Later that day, more than 500 Unificationists, some of whom had driven from as far away as Fresno, Reno and Sacramento, gathered in the LLM Bay Area Church with great expectation to receive a message from their senior pastor.
“We see her each week in a live broadcast, but we’ve longed to see her in person,” said Rev. Thompson. “The fact that she was coming directly from having attended True Father in hospital in Korea, along with True Mother and her siblings, made the anticipation levels even higher. She did not disappoint.”
Kristina Seher, Head of School of The Principled Academy, began the evening with a heartfelt prayer that set the tone for the evening. The Bay Area LLM band followed by leading the congregation in song, and then Rev. Cotter introduced Rev. Moon, who took the stage and received flowers on behalf of True Parents from Joshua and Naomi Starr, a young Unificationist couple.
According to Rev. Thompson, while Rev. Moon shared about her father’s current physical situation, “you could hear a pin drop. She thanked everyone for their conditions of devotion in support of True Father’s health and encouraged that we remain in prayer and offer our hearts during this critical period. She also explained that it is True Parents who fully represent God and that means both True Father and True Mother. Even though True Mother has mostly taken a supporting role throughout Father’s ministry, Mother is the counterpart to Father and her leadership is emerging. During this health crisis, True Mother is in charge of the worldwide movement, and we can be assured that no matter what happens with True Father, the leadership of True Mother and their youngest son Rev. Hyung Jin Moon is in place, and we have nothing to fear for the future. Of course, we all wish for Father to fully recover and take his place as our leader as we move toward Foundation Day, but no matter what, God’s Providence will progress and the leadership structure for the future is established.”
Rev. Moon then shared the reason she is touring is to deliver the message she did as well as personally shake hands with each person who is part of True Parents’ extended family and by doing so, connect them to True Parents. As a conclusion to the event, Rev. Moon warmly shook hands with each person who introduced him- or herself to her. The official program was closed with a prayer and three cheers of Eog Mansei led by Continental Director Dr. Chang Shik Yang, who is travelling in support of Rev. In Jin Moon.
Feedback from Participants in San Francisco
Donna Davis, Unificationist mother: “If anyone is the epitome of filial piety, I would say that it would be Rev. In Jin Moon. Her arrival here at the Bay Area Family Church at the bequest of True Mother energized all of us. She was able to emphasize True Mother’s wish to thank members for all their love and support, to reconfirm True Mother’s unwavering dedication to True Father and her very critical role in Father’s recovery, and to clarify any rumors floating around about True Father’s situation, the “feuding brothers” theory, and other misconceptions about who was in charge. Rev. In Jin Moon exuded dignity and composure in the presence of such difficult circumstances. She brought a genuine love and comfort to all of us even though it is we who should be comforting the True Family. We are truly grateful for her tireless effort for God and True Parents.”
Jaime and Ganesh Tamrakar, young Unificationist couple: “Dear True Mother, we were moved by Rev. In Jin Moon’s visit to us in the Bay Area and relieved to hear that Father’s condition is showing some improvements, however small, since we all started offering prayers. From Rev. In Jin Moon’s message, we were all reminded how strong you are for all of us. Thank you so much. We love you very much, and we feel very close to you and True Father. We have a good feeling that Father will be stronger than ever after his recovery. Whenever in the future God might choose to send Father to the spirit world, we will remain strong and focused under your leadership and Rev. Hyung Jin Moon’s leadership. We will continue to offer our prayers and deepest love for you and True Father and hope for the best.”
Jack and Jeannie Young, Unificationist parents: “Dear True Mother, my husband Jack and I had the honor of seeing your daughter Rev. In Jin Moon tonight at the Bay Area Family Church near San Francisco. It was so incredibly kind of you to send her to us in order to bring us up to date on True Father’s condition. She comforted us very much, and assured us that True Father is in good hands. She explained that Father’s condition is very volatile and varies from hour to hour, but that Rev. Hyung Jin Moon’s reports will continue to keep us informed most accurately. Rev. In Jin Moon graciously and eloquently conveyed your love to all the members and expressed gratitude from the True Family for offering jeongseong for Father’s recovery. She brought True Father’s loving handshake to each of us and received ours to take back to you and True Father, upon her return to Korea.
“Rev. In Jin Moon’s spirit is radiant and represents you so well. Because of her, we feel closer to the True Family than to our own relatives. Her love, warmth, and depth embrace and heal me to the core. She brings the experience of the True Family to all of us and makes it tangible and accessible.
“It is now our hope that we can give that embrace back to you and to True Father. The entire Bay
Area church, together with all members in America, prays for True Father and you, and indeed for all the True Family, everyday. I am so sorry that Father has to suffer through this physical crisis. It must be terribly difficult for you to see him in this state. Rev. In Jin Moon explained that the True Family actually gets to spend very little time with True Father. I hadn’t realized that before. My own mother became very ill and was on a respirator, and I can really understand what a horrible shock it is to see our loved ones in the hospital depending on machines. We pray for the wisdom of the doctors, and that True Father can be surrounded with Heavenly Father’s healing energy and profound love. I do believe he will recover and be stronger than ever.
“Rev. In Jin Moon also expressed that the True Family is making constant strides for unity among all the True Children. That is our fervent desire as well, and we pray for that daily. Please know that we stand beside you and continue to prepare for Foundation Day and to fulfill the responsibilities that lie ahead of us, no matter what. We are always with you. You are amazing and an inspiration to us all.
“Thank you again for sending In Jin Nim here on your behalf to convey your heart and love. I am sure it is hard for you to part from her, as it is now for us to continue on the rest of her tour.
“We Love True Parents” in Seattle
Rev. Moon arrived in Seattle on Friday afternoon, August 24, 2012, and in an effort to provide her relief and refreshment, Rev. Larry Krishnek, pastor of district 10, escorted Rev. Moon to Windermere Mansion, the home of her parents in Seattle.
At Windermere, Rev. Moon joined several young Unificationists for lunch and dinner, during which both the dining room and the adjoining room were filled.
“As Rev. Moon enjoyed the lake-front view from the table, she commented on what a lovely setting this would be for weddings and gave us various, inspiring ideas of how to make good use of this historic property,” said Rev. Krishnek. “From there, the conversations turned to the need for archivists to record and preserve the history of True Parents and our church in America. Blackberries, a fruit that grows wild virtually everywhere in western Washington, were at full ripeness and were a hit with Rev. In Jin Moon.”
The main program began at 6:30 p.m. and took place at the North Seattle Community College Performance Hall. Entertainment was provided by the Seattle LLM Band, and flowers were presented by Unificationist couple Leon and Ran Granstrom.
After a brief introduction by Rev. Cotter, Rev. Moon shared her message of encouragement and leadership with the 250 brothers and sisters in attendance. Most attendees were from Washington and Oregon, but some had traveled from as far away as Montana, Idaho and Vancouver in British Columbia.
Dr. Yang followed with a benediction and four cheers of Eog Mansei, and Rev. Cotter coordinated the audience so that all could shake hands with Rev. Moon.
“I had the opportunity to see every face as they passed by me after shaking hands with her,” said Rev. Krishnek. “I was so moved by the brilliance of their countenances – a reflection of the love and hope they had received.”
Following the program, Rev. Moon left for New York on a late-night flight.
Feedback from Participants in Seattle
Marcus Beresford, LLM Pastor in Idaho: “Dear Rev. In Jin Moon, thank you for bringing True Parents love to us all in Seattle and across America. The suffering of True Parents and True Family is our anguish too. You brought us comfort and we were able to share with you and hopefully give you our sincere and heartfelt love, concern and hope. Our Father is fighting a great spiritual battle on a cosmic level and this severe turn of events has brought us all together and strengthened our resolve, not only to never give up, but also to repent and redouble our unity. Our love pours out to True Mother, to comfort her and thank her for sending you. When you came to lunch, I felt lost for words, knowing the reason you had come, yet you inspired us all about what we could do. At dinner, I was moved by the love you have inspired in our second-generation and at the evening meeting, I was so very glad you spoke your heart about attitude and humility. Thank you for being so humble, honest and loving. The handshake was so personal; we are one family, one heart, one love, all in one handshake. Thank you for your time with us; I know you have many things to do and instead you gave to us. My prayers are with True Father. We will come through victorious. May God bless you.
Clint J. Woods, State Leader in Montana: “The evening message was spot on in terms of helping everyone understand the gravity of True Father's situation and the spirit and heart of True Mother, and was delivered in a way to make it easy for everyone to feel a part of True Family’s situation. The level of honesty and respect in Rev. In Jin Moon’s sharing was liberating, inspiring, and empowering. One could feel that the jeongseong we desire to offer throughout our district really does matter, and that every person's contribution is received.
“Her entire visit connected us all in one heart as a district, as a nation, and as a world family. The handshake from True Father really came through as such. Perhaps most importantly, everyone could understand that no matter what happens, True Father’s irrepressible love and powerful spirit will only increase through the True Parents and united True Family. Thus, it is a time of offering great sincerity and loyalty of heart, as well as a time to focus and go forward with great hope to uplift God, True Family, and all of humanity.
“I could not imagine there to be a dry eye in the entire room of standing room only brothers and sisters. Rev. In Jin Moon makes becoming a true object partner for True Family, centering upon True Parents and True Family, a most natural response from my heart, and I sensed, from all who were there as well as those so represented by myself or others.”