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World Peace Blessing

A Celebration of the Family in U.S. State of Virginia

United States-2019-03-16-A Celebration of the Family in U.S. State of Virginia

Fairfax, United States—A Celebration of the Family World Peace Festival brought together a broad spectrum of family proponents.

The event was held on March 16, 2019, at the Learning Center of the Northern Virginia Family Church, a branch of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, which is affiliated with UPF.

The program started with an invocation by Family Church Pastor Werner Seubert. Tetsuya Nomura led several young people carrying flags from around the world in a Parade of Nations. It was a beautiful reflection of the Universal Peace Federation’s 120 national chapters and global network.

Barbara Moseley-Marks, the executive director of UPF-Virginia, extended a warm welcome and explained the inspiration and purpose behind the organization. She quoted the UPF co-founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, “If there is peace in the family, there will be peace in the world.” Ms. Moseley-Marks challenged the participants to “think globally, act locally,” and urged everyone to advocate for our children and the health of the family.

Several inspiring speakers followed, beginning with Maria L. Vargas, the regional executive director of UPF-USA for the Northeast, who gave an outstanding overview and vision of the family festival national tour. Ms. Vargas, originally from Puerto Rico, described the family as the school of love. Emotionally decrying the impact of pornography on the community, she concluded by saying, “It is poisoning our families, and it is up to us to take a stand!”

Indira Kumar, the president of Global Economic Foundation, an organization that supports Asian immigrants, offered her insights on family happiness. “While today’s family is confronted by many uninvited influences, the key to having happiness and well-being is directly shaped by the quantity and quality of family interactions. It all comes down to the family,” she said.

An interpretative Nepalese dance about a young girl’s yearning for love was performed by Man Kumari Thapa. The story is from that country’s ancient culture. It was a lovely performance and brought tears of happiness to many.

After lunch prepared by Michiko Yokoyama and animated conversations among the participants, Dr. Zulfiqar Kazmi, the chair of The Commongrounds organization, spoke about the work and activities of UPF in Pakistan. Dr. Kazmi and his wife, Tanvir Kazmi, have been active for many years in their home country. He testified to their outreach work with Imran Khan, the current prime minister, whom they first met in 2000. Dr. Kazmi also showed pictures of himself meeting Rev. and Mrs. Moon and receiving a commission to lead UPF activities.

The final keynote speaker was Bandita Sharma Dahal, Esq., a family immigration attorney in Northern Virginia. Ms. Sharma Dahal outlined many of the challenges facing immigrants. Making a distinction between being illegal and being undocumented, she said, “Our Lord taught us that we should stay connected as a family and community and that we should show kindness, especially to the vulnerable.”

To close the festival, Dr. William Selig of UPF International gave a brief background on the history of the Blessing Marriage Movement initiated by Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon almost 60 years ago. He spoke about the important role of the family as a support for its members and as a place of safety and refuge from the challenges of the secular world. Finally he called on everyone to join in a blessing toast to true families, which was followed by a prayer by Dr. Kazmi.

Guests and friends, some of whom came from as far away as North Carolina, lingered for photos, conversations and networking. Ms. Moseley-Marks said plans are under way for the next UPF event to be held in the area. “Family is a gift from our Heavenly Parent, and we must do everything possible to protect it,” she concluded.

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