January 17, 2009, HQ Church, Cheongpadong, Seoul Korea
We want to see it succeed and blossom. We want to see our children live in a church that’s truly honest, truly transparent, where the leaders are accountable, the membership is strong etc. We want to send our children and grandchildren to those kinds of churches, we don’t want to send them to churches where there is tyrannical leadership, leadership class, and the members are frustrated. We don’t want to make that kind of church. It’s very important for us, as we move forward that the glory is focused constantly on True Parents.
Yeon Ah Nim:
Good afternoon, brothers and sisters! Thank you! It has been quite a week for us. As you may all heard there was a Coronation Ceremony for the realm of liberation of God, the King of Kings. All we can say is we truly are grateful to Heavenly Father and True Parents and all the members who participated in the ceremony. Most of all we are truly grateful to True Family members who participated in the midst of their busy schedule.
Brothers and sisters, we are truly happy to see all of you again. And we love you so much and we believe in you! Aju!
Hyung Jin Nim:
Good afternoon, brothers and sisters! We are going to start with Cheon Song Gyong, Page 993: “The age of the Unification church is the age of the parents. We are paving the road whereby God can come and be present on earth. This is why it makes sense to say that we are saved through attending Him when He comes.”
I love that first passage – “The age of the Unification Church is the age of the parents.” And it’s so important for us to remember that there is always just one parent. That is True Parents. It is always so critical to understand that it’s always our constant center. And as we progress through the history, that’s always going to be our center.
Brothers and sisters, whenever we come into His presence, God’s presence, we come here to attend our True Parents, to give praise. It’s always so important to once again reframe our life, to see ourselves in the right perspective. That is because in the next week we will have certain challenges and obstacles that will come against us. It’s so important for us to have this confidence to overcome those things when they do come.
Brothers and sisters, we always like to start by remembering the greatness of God, the goodness he is placing in our lives, the great blessings that He puts around us, our children, our family, our spouse. In fact, we can walk in here on our own two feet. His great blessings, we want to always magnify them, always want to think about them. When we do that we start noticing the other incredible gifts that he is providing us with. It’s so important that we can get into the habit of magnifying struggle, magnifying a constant obstacle in front of us.
Brothers and sisters, it’s always important to be objective with those things. Seasons come, winter comes, but always passes. Any circumstance may feel huge and bulky. But we have to know that, too, can be overcome, that, too, can be broken down. And knowing that, having that confidence, when we move forward, always remembering praise songs in our hearts, always remembering that God is helping us through our life, making us stronger, giving us more determination and strength – that is one of the keys of living the blessed life.
Once again, welcome to service! If we start the new week like that we do believe that as our praises go up the blessings will come down. And our lives will become more victorious this week. Once again welcome, brothers and sisters!
Main Sermon by Hyung Jin Nim:
Thank you brothers and sisters, we always like to start with something funny, no, not today. Brothers and sisters, we wanted to do a regular service but all our ministers said it’s really important to share with you the events that happened over the last past week. One of the things we’d like to make just clear from the beginning. We’re very grateful to True Parents and so thankful, particularly to all the family members. I want to make a special reference to Kook Jin Hyung (Korean word for elder brother). He had a huge meeting in the States, that he planned one year ago but he canceled that to be there present, In Jin Nim, of course, was very busy in America but she made her way to Korea for the ceremony. So we’re very grateful.
One thing, whenever we have interviews with the media and everything, we always tell them we’re not working alone, that Father has appointed many of his children to have responsibility over the world, and that that is the direction we are going to keep pursuing.
One of the things is that a lot of people say, “We’d like you to just focus how to make faith applicable to our life.” That’s what I try to do in sermons, I always try to do that; how to make basic principles of faith applicable to everyday life, etc. But many times, because we also have to take care of a number of organizations, we have to be very rational with our thinking as well; many times we’re struggling to solve many different organizations’ challenges. This is new to me because I don’t have this kind of experience. We have a lot of people, but the person who helped me the most in this realm is my brother Kook Jin Hyung. He has over 15 , 16 years of organizational experience.
I am just so grateful to all the people that always are helping to move everything forward, increase all sort of improvement that you have seen, not only in the buildings, but also in the church restructuring etc. Those are the things where many people came together, many professionals came together, to really analyze and be very rational to take a very serious and analytical approach to improve our movement’s situation, and this of course has begun in Korea.
When I was inaugurated in April, Father asked us to take responsibility for the religious side and we made it very clear, what our direction is, we really want to be able to have the members shine, our brothers and sisters shine. When our normal members can shine, that’s when True Parents can be glorified, that’s what we believe. So we do not want just to say it. The last year we’ve been trying to do that, a very serious organization. Many people many times think I’m not very intellectual but I have been trained intellectually, so we are really seriously thinking always about how to improve the church’s situation.
Over the last year we’ve been trying to implement this seriously in our church organization. The church has changed quite dramatically, if you look at it about five years ago and now, look at the church situation. The church has changed tremendously.
One of the things that have really been a big change for our church is that in Korea we had elections; the first time in our church we actually elected our church leadership, instead of having them mandated. We wanted to return authority back to central blessed families. The first time in the church history the regional directors were elected by our ministers. They chose the best among them. They’re now our regional directors.
We also in Bunbu church (HQ church) had the first establishment of the women’s ministry and this is becoming really one of our central ministries at the Bunbu church. It’ s actually one of our most important ministries, really it’s becoming the center of our organizations, and here the twenty three women leaders were elected by the women in the congregation. So, for the first time in our church women leadership is very strongly being promoted into the church leadership, so the number of women leadership in Bunbu Church outweighs the number of men in terms of the leadership. We have 23 women leaders leading our congregation in the HQ Church.
We’re also taking very seriously the transparent financial professional management and that is done by the “Chedan team” with Kook Jin Hyung and their professional management team. Every two months, on Sunday, at the second service we give a comprehensive report. The person who is responsible for our finances is Mr. Pang. Mr. Pang was the president of “Hanjin cooperation,” a huge construction company in Korea. He was the head of the KCIA in here in Korea. So he has an incredible political and also professional career. He’s a new member in our church, Kook Jin Hyung is his spiritual father. He’s contributing tremendously and really pulling the organization at a professional level. He gives that report every two months to the congregation. We disclose all information about the church, whether it will be a bank account, financial present situation, or church attendance, etc. In this, we’re disclosing for the first time in history, what other churches try to conceal and not show it to the congregation, we’re showing it transparently to the membership.
We work also with the media, to change our societal image and stand as a Unification movement so that the members are not constantly persecuted and harassed for being Unificationists. That’s really one of the things; we’re trying to work on this here in Korea. Myself and Kook Jin Hyung combined had a total of 40 interviews, 85 articles and TV broadcast combined. The real and miraculous thing is that all of them have been positive and not even ONE was negative about our movement. (Applause) So we’re really proud of our accomplishment, I’m very proud of that (applause).
Because of many things we’re doing, not just on the ministerial side, but especially with Kook Jin Hyung’s leadership and all the organizations that he managed, we are showing a new level of professionalism in our church. As you know, Kook Jin Hyung came to oversee the business here in Korea that had in the last 3 years a yearly loss of one hundred million dollars , that’s how mismanaged it was, and within 3 years he turned that around. It is making now a total of fifty million dollars profits per year. That includes every single church company that we have now in Korea, from ILHWA to the construction companies, etc. So he has done an incredible job at professionalizing the businesses.
One thing that he has also done in the business is that he took this first step before even the church side did. Once he’s in the business, he encouraged all the Unification members in the businesses to do also the basic faith life and to not be just nominal Unificationists, not just be viewers of the tradition, sideline viewers, but also to be participants. So he encouraged all his staff, all the way down to the bottom, in every single business organization that he manages. The staff was also encouraged to do basic faith life. And as that he defined three things, the first would be attending the church, being a participant in the church, tithing, and also attending True Parents, that’s having a picture of True Parents in your house and that kind of attendance, etc.
He defined those things and he encouraged the people in the business groups, the Unificationists, to do that basic faith life. He actually did that before the church was doing that. So we saw that example, we said that if the businesses are doing that so in the church we have absolutely to do that as well. All the others, whether the NGO, or even the church administration from the “Hapteh” to the World mission department, everybody, not only the leaders but the staff, too, were made accountable to be examples to the membership. That means that having an active faith life is part of one’s responsibility as paid staff person in the business. We started this in the business but then we moved that to the church organizations as well. And also the fifth point that I want to share is that in the church we moved toward transparent church information, and results disclosed to everybody, not only for our members but to the society. What are we talking about here? We’ve done now an analysis about the last two months; we got our entire church situation, from the smallest church in Korea to the largest church in the U.C. So now for every single church we have all the different data and statistics that are now being presented not only to the leaders – before only the leaders would know about this – but now we are presenting this to the members and to the society to see, and that includes the real number of church members, the real number of blessing candidates, the real number of donations, etc. All those things are disclosed not just only to the leadership but transparently to the public and to the church congregation.
So these kinds of steps that we’re taking into the church organization are one of the most important things – I believe – that are supporting the church growth and improving the church situation. These kind of activities show that we’re moving toward becoming an organization that is trustable, an organization that in the modern world people can look up to, religions can look up to and say, “That is a very responsible leadership,” and so we’re moving the organizations, of course Kook Jin Hyung with the business side, and now at the church level, to bring those things,bring more transparency, fairness, and more and more authority and involvement with the basic membership. People who are truly participating in an active faith life should be the owners of our church and not the leaders. It s not the leaders, it’s not the people at the top, it’s the people who are truly devoted to the church, that on the ground are teaching our children, that are doing the basic faith life, those are the real owners of our church and they’re empowered to chose the best leaders, chose the best direction for a certain decision to be made, etc.
That large group of people with real faith is the ones that should be able to have the greatest say. We believe in that. I and Kook Jin Hyung are always talking about it. That has been the central aspect toward a modern day successful religious organization. And so, of course, I want to give a great credit and great thanks to Kook Jin Hyung because he’s the real genius, he has the great experiences behind this, many of which at the present time I’m learning from him. Because of these kind of improvements and activities we see a whole new level of honesty, transparency, accountability of the leadership, accountability for the staff to truly be the people who we are trying to become. And so that kind of involvement, including the membership into the church direction, is one of the biggest and largest changes that we have in the Unification Movement.
We encourage all the other nations to come and research what are we doing and to improve the different situations in the other nations by starting to implement more transparency in their organizations, and so we’re always encouraging them. It takes time, it’s a large large movement, it takes always time to be able to have a natural and realizable change process.
I want to give thanks to True Parents. Many things we were told when Kook Jin Hyung first presented them to the church staff, the church leaders, many of them told him, “You will never be able to pass it, it’s impossible, you will never be able to show it, or be able to have elections.” But each step of the way, Father has approved each one of these critical decisions and He has allowed us to make these public changes, so that the movement can become truly trustable and truly a world class religion, world level religion and contribution to the world.
One of the things I definitely want today is to recognize, Kook Jin Hyung’s great contribution he has been from the very beginning , from 5 years ago, constantly working, and because of his genius and this kind of organization frame work he has brought so much insight to help truly to bring the world movement, not just the inspiration, to the next level but to real professionalism, to move together with inspirations, message and faith, so it can truly become a worldwide impact. That’s one of the things that I’m proud of.
I want to truly give thanks to all the brothers and sisters who were there at the ceremony. For us it’s the same thing. We did the ceremony but the very next day I was doing my training at 2.30 am. So for me it doesn’t mean a big difference. I never started my spiritual training because I wanted to be a participant in the ceremony. I started my training 10 years ago because it was important to me. I started my meditation, my devotional training, because that was something I wanted and I needed to do for myself and to train myself.
So that’s what I continue to do and see that as a part of my spirituality and my training. But I’m very grateful to True Parents for this kind of ceremony, but I want to offer that glory, all the future glory, to God, to True Parents, to brothers and sisters. I want to make it very clear, there is no new king. I said that from the very beginning when I was inaugurated as an international president, I said, “There is no new king, I’m not the new king, don’t even expect it, and don’t ask me about it, I’m not it.”
So there is no new king. What is very clear for us is that True Parents are the eternal kings, they’re the eternal centre, theologically that’s very important to maintai. And since I studied theology, I know that it’ s very important theologically that there won’t be any future kings, but everybody that’s truly supporting the activities of True Parents, truly, truly the co-owners of our church traditions, those people are the ones that will be able to bring glory to God. So we feel that this kind of humility is critical and important, that this kind of honesty with oneself is essential.
I always talk with Kook Jin Hyung, because he always tells me, “So many people are trying to fire me,” that’s what he says to me, and he adds, “I’ll be happy to leave this job, I never asked for it anyway.” I said, “Kook Jin Hyung, I’m the same way, I want to get out of this job, too, I got all this stress, we got all the stress doing this work.” For us it’s important to see the success of the unification tradition overtime. We want to see it succeed and blossom. We want to see our children live in a church that’s truly honest, truly transparent, where the leaders are accountable, the membership is strong etc. We want to send our children and grandchildren to those kinds of churches, we don’t want to send them to churches where there is tyrannical leadership, leadership class, and the members are frustrated. We don’t want to make that kind of church. It’s very important for us, as we move forward that the glory is focused constantly on True Parents.
Being in the ceremony is a great honor for us, a great strength, but the most liberating part was when I took off that crown, that was the most liberating part for me, I was the happiest than, I was filled with stress and turbulence when I was wearing that thing, and I became so happy when I took it off. This was always our attitude and it will continue to be. We’re going to continuously push the organization forward. We really feel that only when the glory will be returned to True Parents and will be continually focused on them, only then God will be able to be happy and truly build his Kingdom here on earth.
Brothers and sisters, we were so thankful to all your letters of congratulations, and all the messages that are pouring in. We’re truly so grateful and thankful for all these warm letters and greetings. We want to return that back to brothers and sisters, all the world, actually. But also we want to make sure that everybody is clear. True Parents are the eternal centre. Theologically it’s very critical and important for us, we just want to do our job so that the Unification tradition can truly be successful and blossom, and as we pass and we move on, and the next people, the next generation passes and takes our footsteps, that will be our happy day because we can retire, go to the mountain. But we want to be sure that our leadership is focusing on the whole, we’re focusing on the Unification tradition and not on our personal ambitions. We want the people who are being elevated for leadership to have a public mind, who want to serve the public, who want the public to be protected and the membership be strengthened. That’s what the movement is moving toward and will continue to move in that direction. We’ll continue to have the election system, continue to do transparence financial managing. We’ll continue to work with the media. We’ll continue to have the leaders and the church staff to be accountable to the membership, be an example for them, and not only be salary men. We’ll continue to have transparent church information, and the results will be disclosed to the membership and have them be able to have freedom, so they can be free in the future to chose their leaders at a church level.
All these processes we are going to be working on, so that truly the Unification Church can be the most transparent, the most accountable, organization and church. We don’t want only to have powerful spirituality, or only a powerful emotional content, but we should have also a powerful mind and intellectual content. We should have a powerful will content, and be a real contribution to the world. I believe if we do that we’ll find our tradition with more victory, more illumination, and more peace, and we’ll have the blessed life and this church and this movement will live that blessed life that God has blessed us with. Brothers and sisters, if you have received this message, let us give it up to God and True Parents.
Final Prayer by Hyung Jin Nim:
Heavenly Father! Thank you for this day, which you have blessed upon us. Father we pray, that as we walk in this course with You, as we pass through our circumstances and different events in our life, that we always may keep the right frame of mind, the right perspective in our hearts. Let us never be filled with arrogance when we have a victory. Let us not gloat and let us not put others down when we are victorious. Let us make light of the victory and offer it to you. Let us know that we didn’t do it and never do it on our own strength. Let us know that with this humility You will imbue us with power, You will give us strength to overcome obstacles and also inspire others to overcome their obstacles and their mountains as well. We know that even in times that are tough, You give us perseverance, determination, the internal self-esteem and strength to get us through those things. Father, let us be an inspiration to not only the people around us, not only to our communities, not only to our nations, not only to our world but let us be an inspiration to You. Let us inspire You everyday. Let us truly be the children that can inspire You and can bring tears to Your eyes; truly make You glad and proud that You created us, make You not regret that You created us, make You happy that You created us. Heavenly Father, all we want to do is offer thanks to You. We pray that in the hard times and in the good times, when we cry and when we laugh, that we may continue to send those praises up. We know that when we praise and when we give thanks only blessings can come upon us in our lives.
Father, thank You so much for this day that You have blessed upon us. We pray that You may be with each and every one of the members here and each of their families, each of the people that are connected with their families, be with all of them here today and across the world. We are praying for all the nations, all the families around the world and we pray that You may bless them entirely, completely and fully. Thank You so much for imbuing this day. With tremendous gratitude and happiness we pray that we may return an everlasting love to You and glorify Your name forever and ever. We pray these things in our names. Aju.
Transcribed by: Mrs. Snezhana Olatunji / Mrs. Vera Sawaya / Mrs. Regina Shin
Edited by: Rev. Bruno Klotz