The 207 participants from 9 nations were enthralled and enlightened at the National Convocation of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) and the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP). Twenty-five panelists expounded on “The Role of Religious and Civic Leaders in Realizing Peace in the Family, Nation and World” at the Los Angeles Sheraton Gateway April 5-6, 2019, in four sessions.
The first session addressed “The Vision, Universal Values and Work of UPF, IAPD, IAPP, ACLC and WFWP.” Mrs. Tomato Duggan, Senior Vice-President of the sponsor the Universal Peace Federation (UPF USA), showed pictures from the fifteen prior months of similar conferences in Dakar (Senegal), Vienna (Austria), São Paulo (Brazil), New York (USA), Cape Town (South Africa), Kathmandu (Nepal), and Seoul (South Korea).
The co-sponsoring American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) was represented by Dr. Luonne Rouse, National Co-Chair, and Archbishop G. Augustus Stallings, Jr., now director of the IAPD. They enthralled participants by enthusiastically reaching in to the ubiquitous divine image and zeal to rebuild the family through the holy marriage blessing. Archbishop Stallings promoted rekindling human spirituality beyond any one religion. Dr Rouse implored the assembled clergy to pinpoint local needs and with a soul on fire organize to restore the community, renew the nation and world.
The president of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), Mrs. Angelika Selle, stated that women have the pivotal role to bring the heart and spirit of peace for this new age. Different to other women’s organizations, we know who we are—created in the image of God and essentially different to men. Women need not battle nor imitate men. Let us instead lift up the divine in men and work together for peace. Leadership comes from the inside, from the heart. Mother Moon exemplifies the true heart. She inaugurated the WFWP twenty-seven years ago by traveling to all major cities around the globe to break down barriers. A mother’s heart has the gift to find common ground, to find connections that bring peace and harmony.
Hon. Matt Salmon, U. S. House of Representatives, Arizona (1995-2001, 2013-2017) amazed the group by singing “Let there be peace on earth.” Peace does start with me, so addressing public officials, he recommended, 1. Practice what you preach. 2. Bring peace and unity into the discussion and walk the walk. 3. As every law you pass is someone’s morality, let us legislate to strengthen the family.
Mr. Tom McDevitt asked all to better the community applying one inspiring idea from this conference through our already established networks of goodness among our phone contacts. Unabashed, the chairman of The Washington Times also implored all to subscribe to the newspaper, according to a recent poll ranked among the top five most trusted sources of information in the nation.
After the fourth session the next day, all convocation participants were bussed to the concluding City of Refuge celebration, hosted by Bishop Noel Jones. The sixty couples who participated in the convocation were seated up front to receive the marriage blessing and benediction prior to the keynote address “Peace Starts With Me – Blessing America” by UPF Founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. Again, Mother Moon let the holy spirit touch the audience and forge a new closeness as one global family under God.
For a complete report of the Convocation, see http://us.upf.org.
Submitted by Staffan Berg