May 23, 2010, Cheon Bok Gung, Yongsan Seoul Korea
Guest Speakers: CBG Southern Region Pastor – Rev. Hong Seong Bok and CBG Northern Region Pastor – SeoYu Am Hoonsa
Good afternoon, Brothers and Sisters. Welcome to the headquarters of Unification Church. Everybody, please be careful with colds. I have a cold, even if it’s getting close to summer. (…) We sincerely hope and pray that, in the name of Heavenly Father and True Parents, North and South can be united in a peaceful way. Aju.
Good afternoon, Brothers and Sisters. Let’s first manifest the Principle: give and receive action, four position foundation, may I inherit the true love of God, Aju.
In today’s Cheon Seong Gyeong, 10:11, Father speaks. He says, “The church is a holy place that connects heaven and earth. It is a gate to the world, enabling people to interact in relationships of cooperation, and as a spiritual pillar, for the church supplies strength in our daily life.” Aju.
Brothers and Sisters, we are living in a most special era. The whole world is observing Korea, with the whole situation that is unfolding between the South and the North, for the unity of North and South Korea. It’s so important that we understand that the unity of the North and the South is not going to come by the South just looking down upon the North. No, but we have to really understand and see that they are also people, but they are behaving in a certain way, not because they’re inherently evil, but because as one of our presidents who is at Pyonghwa motors there says, “They don’t know any better, but they’re searching and they’re looking, and they desire something greater.” So Brothers and Sisters, in this most uncertain time, we want to also reach out all our prayers today. That’s what we are going to be focusing on in our one-on-one prayers today.
I want to invite you all to stand up now and let’s do Kajong Maeng Sae, Number Four today. Let’s join our hands together and recite the Family Pledge Number Four:
Our Family, the owner of Cheon Il Guk, pledges to build the universal family encompassing heaven and earth, which is God’s ideal of creation, and perfect the world of freedom, peace, unity and happiness, by centering on true love. Aju.
Good afternoon, Brothers and Sisters. Today, as you know, Cheon Bok Gung has moved into the four-district region, and last week we met our east and west region Hoonsa nim and Mok Sa nim. And this week, we’re going to be actually kicking off the southern region and the northern region. Today, representing the southern district, we have Rev. Hong. Rev. Hong will come up and start the kickoff for the southern district of Seoul. And then we have Seo Hoonsa nim. He is the northern district leader there. He will come up for the last fifteen minutes and share the words and the kickoff for the northern region. So let’s first invite Rev. Hong Sung Bok, and as he comes up let’s give him a really warm Unification Family welcome! (Applause)
Rev. Hong Sung Bok – Southern Region
Hello everyone, Brothers and Sisters. My name is Rev. Hong. I’m the minister for the southern region. First I’d like to introduce the women leaders who will work with me in leading the southern district to victory. The first lady I’d like to introduce is the president of the Women’s Association for the southern district. She has a great deal of experience in working in society, Mrs. Kwang Jung Nam. She also manages a branch office of Segye Ilbo. Mrs. I Gyung Ga is working as a lecturer for second generation members. And Mrs. Sato Rieko will be in charge of the Japanese wives in the southern district, who will work with and attend our international president and serve you in order to gain victory in the southern district. Thank you.
First, I’ll read from the Hoon Dok of True Parents’ words. Ladies and Gentlemen: we are living in a historic time of great transition. It is a time for a great historical revolution to change history, to unite the spiritual and physical worlds and to create the ideal kingdom of heaven that God has longed for since the beginning of time. We can no longer postpone or prolong the fulfillment of His wish. I have already proclaimed that January 13, 2013 will be Foundation Day. That day will be the actual beginning of Cheon Il Guk. That day will be the origin. An unavoidable time is upon us today, where we must invest ourselves completely with a life or death commitment for the remaining three years under the guidance of the True Parents, who carry out the Providence on Earth as the substantial representative of God, the King of Kings. All the good spirits in the spirit world are mobilized and are already moving forward a step ahead of you. Aju.
Today I would like to speak to you about the true hope that we should have as members of the Cheon Bok Gung, centering on the words of Father that we have just read. I would like to speak briefly first of how I joined the church and worked as a minister. I was truly guided by Father’s words of tears and by his prayers. Father said that when he attended a school in Hook Sok Dong in Seoul, he prayed and he shed a great deal of tears, and I was actually guided to the church in that place of Hook Sok Dong. And I decided to become a minister after I saw the way that Father spoke very deeply, and in tears, at the early morning services at the Headquarters Church.
I wanted to work until I was forty years old, having many different kinds of experiences and learning many different kinds of things, but when I saw the way that Father was unjustly sent to Danbury Prison, I decided to begin my work as a pastor immediately. So for twenty-one years, I worked as a public official, starting as a minister in a pioneer center, and then as a church leader, going up the steps, and then working even as a church pastor in America for a Korean congregation. During that time, I felt God’s guidance and True Parents’ guidance very deeply, and also the deep love of the members that I was working with. I had many experiences where I felt, I saw, that the more I invested myself in my pastoral work, the more closely True Parents would guide me.
Our loving members of the Cheon Bok Gung, right now we are going through many changes because we are in the time after the coming of heaven, and we are now in the era of Cheon Il Guk. Right now, we are being asked to practice our faith and bring results for our faith. It’s important for us now to have a positive outlook on our faith, and also a hopeful faith. I would like to speak first of what we must have for that. We need to attend our True Parents in a new way in this era after the coming of heaven. The world has changed a great deal, and also, many other things have changed. But our True Parents have not changed and the True Children have not changed. We need to check ourselves, how we are attending our True Parents, who are the Messiah and the Lord of the Second Advent in this time, and how much am I trying, how much do I yearn to attend the True Parents in my heart?
We must remember how Father has said that he cannot close his eyes, he cannot pass away from this world until he has fulfilled the promise that he made to God. We must see our True Parents with our spiritual eyes. We need to rediscover our True Parents as MY True Parents, my own True Parents, and then go out into the world and testify to them. Truly, our True Parents, who are now working and marching forward strongly towards 2013, are truly our True Parents and our hope.
And I would like to testify how I felt that hope as I attended our international president. In October 2005, I was studying in UTS. At that time, Hyung Jin Nim was leading a meditation service. When I participated there, I was deeply moved because through the meditation and his teachings, he was telling us and showing us the possibility for us to recover and restore our original selves. He was very humble. He was very joyful towards the students who were participating in that, and he gave everyone very much hope. It was very moving for me to see how he loved the students there with all of his mind and all of his heart. And I prayed at that time truly with gratitude to our True Parents for his presence.
In 2007, I came to Korea briefly in order to receive my doctoral degree and to participate in events here. I was moved again to see the way that Hyung Jin Nim addressed the Cheon Il Guk Leaders’ meeting. At that time, he lectured from a perspective of comparative religion about how our True Parents and our community centering on True Parents are eternal. His conviction and his confidence in his faith was very moving to me. I finished my work in America and returned to Korea. I worked for a while at the church headquarters and then at Cheon Bok Gung and then again, there, I had the experience to receive a great deal of hope. I felt hope because I could see how God’s hope in His work was being realized through the life of Hyung Jin Nim and how Hyung Jin Nim had been prepared to do the work that he was doing.
And I would like to share with you the value of the Cheon Bok Gung. The completed stage of the Cheon Bok Gung will be the third temple of Israel that God has been waiting for. It will be a temple where people will be able to attend God and True Parents, transcending national boundaries, races, and religion. This place will be a temple where we will be able to accomplish the ideal world of the returning resurrection. Yes, in fact, in name and in reality, the Cheon Bok Gung will be the temple of Cheon Il Guk.
Our loving Brothers and Sisters, do you really believe that you yourselves are the primary actors, the standard-bearers of Cheon Il Guk and you are sitting in this place right now for that very purpose? Do you feel proud that you are in that position? Please let’s shout, “Aju” together for that purpose. Aju!
You’ll remember, I’m sure, the way that Hyung Jin Nim prayed in the Cheon Bok Gung after he completed his 21,000 bowing condition. In tears and in sweat he prayed and his prayer was, “I am sorry to True Parents,” he apologized, he said,” I am sorry to True Parents, but I am grateful to True Parents at the same time.” We felt an incredible power of resurrection to hear him pray that way. Just as True Parents have completed the course of resurrection as the absolute son in front of God, because our international president had established himself as the absolute filial son in front of True Parents and as leader of the Cheon Bok Gung. This was a very incredible and very hopeful event that happened then.
The vision of Cheon Bok Gung is one that we create together. In the process, there may be some trial and error, maybe some things that change. There may be some things or times that are a little bit unstable, but we never have to be concerned or worried, because God and True Parents are always protecting and guiding us with their love, and because the True Children are creating the highest level of systems in this community that is centering on the Cheon Bok Gung.
Our international president is establishing the absolute center, centering on a horizontal and vertical spiritual discipline. He is establishing the vision of the Cheon Bok Gung step by step. This is an incredible thing that is giving us tremendous hope.
I would like to speak now about the third hope that we have in Cheon Bok Gung. Our senior couples, who have dedicated their lives to live for True Parents, are our third hope in this Cheon Bok Gung. They attended our True Parents and the True Family in those early days, when the persecution was so great. They are our older brothers and sisters who sacrificed their own dreams and even their own self-respect in order to attend the church, the community at large, the nation and the world. They sacrificed their entire lives in order to attend our True Parents and follow the Will, to follow that narrow path of the Will. Because of their victory, because even despite persecution they followed the will, they deserve our respect. Who in this age can recognize those senior couples and their sacrifice that they have made? That is what we must do, as their younger brothers and sisters, as we attend our True Parents, and also respect them. They have a living training. They are the tremendous hope for our community.
So I would like to address our senior couples today. Please have strength and please guide and protect us. We, your juniors, will attend you and we will walk with you towards victory. Now is the time for us to make a new determination. We must inherit the tradition of absolute faith that has been passed from God to True Parents down to us. Senior couples and junior members such as ourselves must become completely one in order to attend our True Parents. On May 1st, I was given the direction to go do the hometown providence by going to the southern district and begin doing pastoral work there. I have not yet been able to accomplish the work that I promised I would accomplish to True Parents and to God when I began pastoral work 40 years ago. We need to do everything we can to offer everything to God and True Parents for the victory of Cheon Bok Gung.
Yesterday, my wife and I received the honor of being able to offer bouquets of flowers to True Parents at the Cheon Jeong Gung at the Welcoming Ceremony on their return to Korea. I think that this honor was not given to me just as an individual, but representing all the pastors, the women leaders and the members of Cheon Bok Gung. When True Father shook my hand, then this honor was also not given to me as an individual. It was to encourage us all to join together towards victory.
True Parents have declared that January 13, 2013 will be Foundation Day, the start of Cheon Il Guk. Even today, he is not resting. He is continuing to work for the Blessing and also for the Seung Hwa, for us to be able to have resurrection and eternal life towards the Cheon Il Guk victory.
Loving Cheon Bok Gung members, our True Parents have spoken like this: “A warm and gentle wind must blow from the south in order to unite the Korean peninsula.” Koreans prefer to live in houses that face the south. Perhaps that is the reason why right now True Parents stay in Yeosu, which is on the southern coast of Korea. In the southern district of Cheon Bok Gung, we will create a gentle wind from the south that will lead to the victory of all. We will work hard with that sense of responsibility for the whole.
As I conclude I would like you to encourage us, so that we can have victory in the southern district. So, please shout with me: “With devotion and love, victory for the 210,000 congregation, southern district-fighting!” (Applause)
Seo Yu-am Hoonsa nim – Northern Region:
I would like to introduce the women’s leaders for the northern district. Not everyone is here, so we will introduce two people representing all. Chairwoman Choi Yoon-hae is a graduate from Sun Moon University’s theological seminary, and Mr. Ok Yoon-ho’s wife. Mr. Ok is a second generation pastor in Cheon Bok Gung.
First, let’s read from “The Way of God’s Will” and also from the Bible. “Have a renewed mind. In your life of faith, you must always rejoice and be thankful. When you rejoice in prayer and experience a constant welling-up of pride, your mind is a joyful mind.” Aju.
1 Thess. 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.” Aju
Centering on these words, inheriting the true love of God, to create a northern wind, we will gain victory in the 210,000 congregation. This is the title of my remarks today.
I joined the Unification Church 45 years ago. For 40 years and eight months, I have been going only one way and that is pastoral work in the Unification Church. In 2008, I retired. After True Father went on his world tour, I became interested in doing this work, particularly with the pastoral work that is based on Jeongseong (devotion) and love. I was offering 120 bows. Although I retired, I continued that Jeongseong. I participated in the 120 bowing condition at the headquarters church. Through that connection, I was appointed as a Hoonsa in April 2009. I’m grateful again to God and True Parents for that honor, and I’m very grateful to our international president and his wife.
My family has received a very wonderful honor and glory from True Parents. Particularly our second daughter received much grace from True Family. Rather than feeling proud of that, we feel repentful and are humbled by that and offer even more Jeongseong. In every situation, we are living in gratitude towards heaven. We could see that instead of being indebted to heaven, we were always able to give gratitude to heaven.
As I participated in the early morning spiritual training, I understood that our international president had gained victory in terms of recovering and restoring his humanity through these seven years of training. He studied philosophy at Harvard University and also received a Masters degree in comparative religion at the Harvard University course. In addition to all his studies, he had gone through this period of spiritual training more than any pastor in the Unification Church tradition. It was on that foundation that he began his pastoral work in the Mapo church in 2007.
The topic of that time was “the new beginning”. He spoke then about creating a foundation of spiritual victory. From that time, he grafted this spiritual training and tradition of working in the early morning, onto what existed as the Unification Church tradition. On October 12th, 2008, Hyung-jin nim received the mission to establish Cheon Bok Gung from True Parents at the King garden in Hawaii at the first Original Divine Principle workshop that was held there. I happened to be there at that moment and felt deep gratitude for that.
I believe very deeply that if we inherit our international president’s method of spiritual discipline, then anyone will be able to unite their mind and body. I could see the way for us to get rid of our fallen nature. We are also reciting “I’m alive, thank you!” If we do that once every ten seconds for 30 minutes, it becomes 180 times. So if we see our life itself as a spiritual training, then every 24 hours that we live must be 24 hours of giving gratitude. As I was going through this spiritual discipline and through the breathing exercises with our international president, I actually felt the grace of being able to breathe with God and to feel God’s love in those breaths.
I was also grateful that through that I felt spiritually that truly our True Parents are the Messiah, the Christ, the Second Advent and the Savior of the world. Already we have been given the growth stage Cheon Bok Gung and we are creating a new revolution in history today. We are already attending the four great saints in Cheon Bok Gung. True Parents have said that this year will be a historic year in which we will overcome all difficulties.
On God’s Day, True Father spoke about how we are now using the heavenly calendar, uniting the old and new calendars. Centering on the birthday of True Parents, he established the first day of the heavenly calendar. Through the Seung Hwa rallies, he has given us the incredible blessing of all mankind being able to overcome death. At the Cheon Bok Gung, we are dividing our area into four districts now, in order to make a new beginning in this new era.
Until now, I have been very busy attending the international president as a Hoonsa, but now, as the leader of the northern district, I’m sure that I will be very busy. I don’t know what will be coming, but whatever comes, I will look upon it positively and I will work for victory. There is a great difference from when I was working in the rural area to now that I’m working closely with our international president. There is a big difference in the way the work is being done. We all need to receive these changes with a positive outlook.
We see in the Bible that every time a central figure changed, the providence also changed. In the Old Testament, there was the culture that was centering on Moses. In the New Testament, a new culture was brought centering on Jesus. Now, centering on the international president, we have a new culture of spiritual discipline. When we receive that new culture with a positive outlook, we create change within ourselves.
Beloved Brothers and Sisters, our international president’s couple is working every day as a filial child, patriot, saint and God’s divine son and daughter in the world in order to bring about the victory of Cheon Bok Gung. Let us all also be determined to attend our international president to bring about the victory of Cheon Bok Gung by accomplishing our task in witnessing. Aju!
Every time I see our Chuksajang nim (Yeon-ah nim), I feel a very quiet and strong love. She works very hard every day with our international president, always being with him like a shadow, always attending him. I feel that we must learn from her and must also accomplish our responsibility towards the victory of Cheon Bok Gung in the same way. With big determination, let’s say “Aju!”
Until now, the international president and Chuksajang nim have worked a great deal for the Cheon Bok Gung. In order to accomplish the final victory of the 210,000 congregation, we must be determined to inherit his tradition of spiritual discipline and to work much harder than we have already. I’m sure that we will be able to gain this final victory of the 210,000 congregation if we work together. If we work together, we will be mobilizing the spiritual world.
Let’s finish by reading True Father’s words again: “Therefore, it is time for all people to be humbly obedient to Heaven’s decree. An unavoidable time is upon us today where we must invest ourselves completely with a life or death commitment for the remaining three years under the guidance of the True Parents, who carry out the providence on earth as the substantial representatives of God, the King of Kings. All the good spirits in the spirit world are mobilized and are already moving forward, a step ahead of you. Aju!”
All of our ancestors are moving very quickly ahead of us. We, as their descendants, have to try hard to follow them. So let’s work hard and run together!
We say that the king always resides in the north, and when we offer our prayers and bows, we face the north. The Cheon Jeong Gung where we attend God and True Parents is located in the northern district, so I’m sure that much grace and victory will come to this district. Let’s raise a wind of witnessing in the northern district and bring about the victory of 210,000!
Hyung-jin nim’s prayer:
Our Heavenly Father, dearest most beloved True Parents, thank you so much for this day. Father, we want to offer our prayers to You today and offer our hearts to You today. We pray for the wonderful and adorable love and hearts that our ministers showed today. We pray that You may help us in the southern and northern districts to help with the process of having all those people in Seoul who are prepared to come to Your heart. We pray that upon that foundation, the Abel U.N. can be established here in Cheon Bok Gung at the perfection stage level, and that we can truly have all the religions living together centered on the words and the vision of our True Parents. We absolutely want to pray and lift our hearts up today for those brothers and sisters in North Korea, and we pray that this situation in Korea now can come quickly to a resolution. We thank You so much and pray all these things in gratitude and offering our hearts and prayers to You this day. In our own names and in the names of True Parents. Aju!