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UPF-USA, Washington State, Honors United Nations' Days

Washington, USA—The Washington State chapter of UPF held a virtual meeting on March 23, 2023, to honor the UN Days in March: Int’l Women’s Day (8th), Day of Happiness (20th), and World Water Day on the 22nd. Raymond McCready, UPF Executive Director of WA State, gave a brief presentation on the three UN Days, followed by an update on local activities of the Ambassadors for Peace program.

The main speaker, Dr. William Selig, UPF Int’l Director of Communications, gave a “Report on AFP activities around the World.” UPF’s more than 160 chapters support the UN’s international days with particular emphasis on marriage and family and interfaith understanding. Click here for Dr. Selig's talk and general discussion.

Dr. Selig outlined UPF’s four areas of focus:

  1. The Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula,

  2. Interreligious Dialogue,

  3. Threats to Religious Freedom and Human Rights, and

  4. Stopping the Violence and Crime.

“The UPF is fully committed to promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the world, guided by the principles of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values,” he said.

Director McCready emphasized that we live in an interconnected and interdependent world and explained about the Ambassadors for Peace Association and its peacemaking principles to strengthen families through a vision for peace, and to provide networking opportunities for service-minded individuals.

Following the presentation, there was a lively discussion among the approximately 20 guests.

Bert Caoili, Ambassador for Peace and former District Governor, District 19-B of the Lions Club in Washington state asked about the current challenges and obstacles to peace on the Korean Peninsula. Exec. Director McCready referenced the long history of distrust between North Korea and the United States.

Prof. Walter Lowe, a faculty member at Green River College, spoke about campus activism and his experience with the Collegiate Assoc. for the Research of Principles (CARP), a student campus organization. Students, faculty and staff perceive a lot of resistance to talk about God and religion on college campuses in the USA these days. The religious approach and drawing upon faith can help us overcome some of the challenges and issues in our life; however, currently the trend is to push prayer or even any mention of God out of our schools. People are afraid to discuss their faith for fear of persecution and/or career setbacks. Prof. Lowe stressed the point made in Dr. Selig’s report: If we don’t have religious freedom, we don’t have the most basic freedom, part of a process through which we could end up like China or North Korea.

UPF member Annerose Lowe recommended two conservative resources to address modern liberal values and trends: The Discovery Institute, which is a non-profit think tank based in Seattle, and Christopher Rufo, a local conservative activist and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Noting society’s increased polarization, Maricres Castro, a member of the Tacoma Commission on Immigrant and Refugees Affairs, pointed out how people who have been hurt are quick to lash out. She suggested we recall Gandhi’s words on reconciliation, “An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.” If you never heal from what hurt you, a friend had told her, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you. Castro concluded by saying, “We should always look for ways to create an environment of healing and love in our relationships.”

Following the discussion, Director McCready conducted a Candle Lighting Ceremony for peace. The next Ambassadors for Peace meeting is planned for May 20th, in-person.

By Raymond McCready, Executive Director, UPF-WA State
Thursday, March 23, 2023


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