Nearly a thousand guests filled a grand banquet room at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, New Jersey, on December 14 for a special prayer breakfast supporting the upcoming Peace Starts With Me Clergy Rally: A New Hope for a Heavenly Unified World. The prayer breakfast, one of several hosted throughout the month by the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), is a key opportunity for ministers to network with each other before convening at the peace rally the following Saturday, where 30,000 clergy are expected to attend.
“There must be love present to have peace,” said keynote speaker Rev. Edward A. Allen of the Philemon Missionary Baptist Church in Newark. “A love that grows from heart to heart, handshake to handshake.” Rev. Allen emphasized the importance of embracing people as one family and curbing violence in each community.
Guests enjoyed a morning program that included worship, a breakfast buffet, and musical entertainment where a spirited energy swept through the crowd. The highly anticipated peace rally, co-sponsored by ACLC and Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), also marks the launch of the World Clergy Leadership Conference (WCLC).
Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, FFWPU regional chairman of North America, shared the purpose of WCLC and its aim to bring God back into society and the world. “When I came to America 43 years ago, newspapers had a list of the most respected people in the nation, and clergy were at the top,” said Dr. Kim. “But today, clergy are not even listed in the top 10.” Dr. Kim stressed the role of pastors as God’s servants, asking them to unite and stand for His Will.
The upcoming peace rally, featuring keynote speaker and FFWPU co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, has brought together thousands of people of various backgrounds from around the world. From South Africa to Japan and Albania, Dr. Moon has tirelessly continued the peacebuilding legacy of her late husband and FFWPU co-founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. Now returning to the U.S., Dr. Moon, affectionately known as the Mother of Peace, will usher in 2020 with a special message of hope, love, and unity at the rally at Prudential Center in Newark on December 28, 2019.