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A. Ward: Address to World Summit 2014

Narration of a photo presentation to World Summit 2014, Seoul, Korea, August 9-13, 2014

I have been a Unificationist for more than three decades, and I have been involved with the women’s peace movement in our movement for about 20 years. I have a very special opportunity today to give you a different kind of presentation [a narrated PowerPoint presentation giving a pictorial overview] of Father and Mother Moon’s life, legacy and contribution in North America, about 49 years’ worth of investment in about 12 minutes. This is a story of dedication, love, determination and investment, and it’s my privilege and pleasure and honor to share this with you.

Father Moon first came to America in 1965. At that time he established and blessed 55 holy grounds [places of prayer] in 43 days traveling across the country. Next he returned in 1969 with his wife. Blessing couples, who are the foundation of blessed central families, is at the heart of their mission worldwide. It’s through this blessing that men and women cultivate within themselves the heart of a parent, first in their own families and also in higher levels, living for the sake of the nation and the world. The photos of blessing ceremonies that have taken place over the past 30 years show a very substantial foundation.

In 1971 they returned and settled in the United States, bringing their children. Father Moon came to the USA to awaken this nation to its God-given responsibility for the sake of the world. In 200 years the U.S. has been blessed with a strong economic foundation, freedom of thought and freedom of religion. Father Moon stayed in the U.S. for many decades, seeking to help it fulfill its responsibility.

Speaking tours

Father Moon said that 1972-1974 were very important years in America’s history. He reached out to the highest levels of leadership and encouraged members to witness and grow the church. He and his wife conducted many speaking tours during those years. Many times during these tours they ate at McDonald’s restaurants. He conducted speaking tours in first 7 cities, then 21 cities, then 32 cities, followed by rallies at Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium and the Washington Monument.

During this time the Watergate crisis arose, and he took a very public stand with his appeal to “Forgive, Love and Unite.”. Between 1972 and 1974, Father Moon became known to almost every American. Here are photos with President Nixon and speaking at Madison Square Garden in 1974 and at Yankee Stadium in 1976. Huge crowds came to hear his message.

Institution building

On the foundation of these speaking tours Father Moon began a period of institution building. The Unification Church was founded in the U.S. in 1961 under the name Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. For many years our national church headquarters in Manhattan was a beautiful building at 4 West 43rd Street.

In 1972 he founded the International Conference for the Unity of the Sciences.

The Unification Theological Seminary was established in 1975 on land purchased in Barrytown, New York. Father Moon lectured students there and also introduced them to one of his great loves, which was fishing. He taught them how to make nets, how to catch fish in the nearby lagoon on the bank of the Hudson River.

In 1976, the New Yorker Hotel was purchased, and he walked throughout the 40 stories of the building, offering prayers of blessing.

The Washington Times, part of News World Communications, was begun.

CAUSA International began in 1980.

In 1984, the Moon family experienced a personal tragedy and lost a son in a car accident in the United States.

In the midst of this growth there was controversy and growing organized resistance to the movement from some parents. An organization called the Cult Awareness Network brought together some people in politics and the media. Father Moon was indicted on charges of income tax evasion (he was the first person in U.S. history to be indicted for the very first tax form filed), and he served time in a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, for a period of 13 months.

By the time he came out of Danbury he was organizing the movement on new and higher levels.

He became involved with the University of Bridgeport in 1992.

The Women’s Federation for World Peace was founded in 1992. Mother Moon spoke at the United Nations in 1993.

The Women’s Federation for World Peace was inaugurated in the U.S. in October 1992. Some of the women we have had the privilege of working with over the past 20 years include Lynn Cheney, Coretta Scott King, Maureen Reagan, Doro Bush Koch and Juanita Abernathy. Nora Spurgin was the first president, I was the second and Angelika Selle is the third.

The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification was begun in 1996.

Fifty years after the end of World War II, monthly International Friendship Conferences were held in eight cities of the U.S. Through them, 20,000 sisterhood bonds were formed between pairs of Japanese and American women. Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush met with Women’s Federation for World Peace presidents Nora Spurgin, from the U.S., and Motoko Sugiyama (from Japan). President and Mrs. Bush accompanied Mother Moon on a speaking tour. Coretta Scott King, the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was also involved in this series of gatherings.

In 1998, Father Moon spoke in the US and Canada on the “Blessed Marriage and Family Life.”

In 2000, the American Clergy Leadership Conference, which has developed into a major organization in the U.S., brings together people of different faiths.

Father Moon undertook a 50-state speaking tour in 2001 on the theme “We Will Stand.”

Father Moon was very concerned about the September 11, 2001 attacks and began to focus on bringing religious people together to work together and understand one another.

In 2003 the Middle East Peace Initiative was founded.

In 2005, the Universal Peace Federation was founded.

In 2006, Mother Moon went on a world speaking tour, and 120 clergy also embarked on a world speaking tour.

The last project that Father Moon worked on in the United States was preparations for the International Peace Education Center being built in Las Vegas. An artist's rendering of it was presented to Mother Moon by Dr. Ki Hoon Kim and Dr. Michael Balcomb, who lead the Family Federation for World Peace in the U.S.

In September, 2012, our beloved Father Moon passed away, and there was a beautiful ceremony in Korea. I was able to participate in that. Honestly, most of us are still trying to come to terms with it on many levels. We’re so grateful for Mother Moon’s determination and love and resolve to lead the movement forward and bring Father’s life work to completion.

A few months after Father passed, Mother Moon spoke in Las Vegas, and she and her children visited many of the sites in the U.S. that were very dear to Father Moon. In the recent God’s Hope for America pilgrimage we revisited the 55 holy grounds created by Father Moon in 43 days in 1965.

This is just a snapshot overview. As you can imagine there’s a lot more to the story than this, but I wanted to give you a taste of the depth and breadth of their work. It was a privilege to share this with you.

For more information about the World Summit, click here.