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April 2020
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WCLC Assembly: Clergy at Assembly Seek ‘God’s Will for the Earth’

Korea-2020-02-05-Clergy at Assembly Seek ‘God’s Will for the Earth’

Seoul, Korea—Several hundred clergy from around the world attended the World Clergy Leadership Conference (WCLC) Assembly, which was held during World Summit 2020.

The assembly took place on February 5, 2020, the third day of the summit, in the Grand Ballroom of the KINTEX Center. The WCLC, which was launched on December 28, 2019, in New York, is an initiative affiliated with UPF.

Opening the assembly were co-moderators Rev. Dr. Luonne Rouse, national co-chair of American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), and Ms. Laura Yang, director of the International Committee of the Korea Religious Association, who warmly welcomed all the participants. A video followed, describing ACLC, outreach activities of the Korea Clergy Leadership Conference (KCLC), and the launch of the WCLC.

Welcome Address and Special Guest Lecture

Rev. Rouse invited Bishop Noel Jones, senior pastor of the City of Refuge Church in Los Angeles in the United States, to give the welcome address.

Bishop Jones stated: “Everyone who has been called here and inserted in this place [and at this particular time is here] to make better for our posterity. If you are sitting here today, God is showing you there is more than what we are than simply operating in our own neighborhoods. … Mother Moon teaches us we are believers and implementers for God’s universal will for the Earth.”

He called on all those present to “find solutions together for our world problems” and welcomed “all that [everyone] will accomplish together in the spirit of the centenary of the birth of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.”

Rev. Dr. William A. McComish, dean emeritus of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Geneva, Switzerland, and president of the Geneva Spiritual Appeal, gave the guest lecture, in which he talked about clergy and leadership. “Clergy have the role to lead their communities. This has many forms—a priest, a minister, a rabbi, an imam. Clergy are the leaders of the communities, and the leadership is recognized by the communities,” he said. 

Rev. McComish emphasized, “Our leadership as clergy must be outgoing to the larger world; to other religious groups—especially religious groups, like the Rohingya, that are persecuted, violated.”

He appealed to clergy to not tolerate corruption and said that as leaders “we must encourage dialogue.” He suggested that a new religious center be established in which people of similar religious values can pray together. He expressed his appreciation for UPF and “other movements [that] bring people together.” In closing, he said: “We are stewards of God’s creation, and God will ask us what we are going up to. As clergy, this is an aspect of our leadership.”

Following this, Archbishop George Augustus Stallings Jr., founder and pastor of Imani Temple in Washington, D.C., led songs of praise, which everyone joined in in singing. 

Keynote Addresses from WCLC Launching Committee Members

The second part of the assembly featured keynote addresses by WCLC launching committee members from five regions: Korea, Africa, Latin America, Asia and North America. Each speaker offered visions and plans for the WCLC for their region.

Representing the WCLC in Korea, Rev. Stephen Kim, national co-chair of the KCLC, asked: “Can we become one as religions? Love binds us together, even if our skin color is different, our doctrines are different.” He affirmed his “vision of unity [between the] KCLC and WCLC.”

Representing Africa was Prophet Samuel Radebe, founder of the Revelation Church of God in South Africa and president of UPF-South Africa. He said the continent is waiting for the WCLC to come and spoke of the need for it: “It will be a unifier of all religions, all forms of spirituality throughout the world.” He added that “it respects all religions” and “that is a holistic approach.”

Representing Latin America was Bishop Jonas Florencia, pastor of the Return of Christ Mission Church in Brazil. He came to the stage with his daughter, who sang a powerful rendition of “How Great Thou Art.” 

Bishop Florencia explained that he had “the pleasure to know Reverend Moon 30 years ago in Rio de Janeiro” and said: “It is a surprise for me to be here. I am still impacted from the warmth [from the WCLC launch] in New York.”

He continued: “Why are we being invited to participate in this religion? It is a unique moment in which our faith is being manifested, transformed, so [we] can live in a moment that is different.” He added, “Brazil is awaiting [the WCLC] and more than happy to embrace this project.”

Afterward, Dr. Rouse, co-moderator of the session, remarked that Bishop Florencia and his daughter said they will launch the Brazilian Clergy Leadership Conference.

Representing Asia was Rev. Kali Bahadur Rokaya, president of the National Council of Churches, Nepal. In offering his vision for WCLC from 2020 to 2027, he suggested that it start a “Clergy Leadership Conference in each country, beginning with Asia. Why Asia? Because [it] is going to be the political, economic epicenter of the world. It is the birthplace of all the major religions. We also need Asia [to be] a spiritual [center]. One more focus [could be] Europe, [which has become the] most secular place in the world,” he said.

Also representing Asia was Rev. Toru Miyahara, a Christian pastor from Japan. He spoke of his commitment to the Japan Clergy Leadership Conference (JCLC) and vision that “it will be a keystone of the reconciliation of religions.” He asked all the “clergy of the world [to] please pray for the awakening of Christianity in Japan and a new spiritual awakening around the world.”

The sixth and final speaker, representing North America, was Rev. Dr. Luonne Rouse, national co-chair of ACLC. “What’s the plan?” he asked. “To have the CLC [Clergy Leadership Conference] all across the world.” He added that ACLC will “go across the [United States] into every state, every community.”

With seven women faith leaders whom he had invited earlier to the stage, he announced that a Clergy Women and Spouses Conference will be started. He also suggested that in these next seven years the WCLC should strengthen the relationship between elder clergy and younger clergy.

“Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon is faced with a Goliath, but God would not allow a Goliath to be in our path if He did not know there was a David in each of us. WCLC will do it with all the men and women,” he said. 

Dr. Rouse concluded by saying that WCLC will report annually how it is “reaching [the] vision.” 

Closing Address and Invocation

Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, North American regional chair of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), an organization that is affiliated with UPF, gave the closing address, in which he talked about the purpose of WCLC. “We have a clear mission statement for the WCLC, guided by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon,” he said. Dr. Kim asked everyone to read the four banners hanging on the wall to the left of the stage, which had the WCLC mission statement written on them. 

  1. “Christian leaders, let’s join and launch WCLC throughout the world.”
  2. “Spreading the view of heavenly Asia-Pacific civilization as the key to building a heavenly nation and a heavenly unified world.”
  3. “Building an alliance under our Heavenly Parent through WCLC.”
  4. “Movement to uphold the family and bring nations together through God’s principles.”

He announced that ACLC would be hosting Christian leaders from all 50 U.S. states and invited pastors and coordinators from around the world to come to Las Vegas, Nevada, between February 18 and 25. To close the event, Archbishop Stallings gave a representative invocation.

To read the WCLC Resolution, click here.

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