Ambassadors for Peace Richmond, Virginia
UPF Richmond, November 7th, 2009
Creating One Family Under God
Dr. Al Khalafalla, Ph.d. (AFP 2007), executive director of Virginia Institute for Peace, brought a message of great hope and inspiration to the participants of the UPF Richmond November 7th meeting. He spoke of Sudan's world-captivating crisis and his efforts to help feed and comfort many who have had their lives destroyed. Recently, he was publicly recognized by Governor Timothy Kaine of Virginia for his sacrificial efforts to advance peace in the Darfur area of Sudan.
Dr. Khalafalla keeps an hectic schedule, flying from nation to nation (now, 51 countries) attending peace conferences, assisting the poor, and meeting with major leaders who can be effective in alleviating crises in many of the trouble-spots around the world.
He bewails the low mortality rate (40-50 years) in some African countries and calls on the vast majority of the world's populace to "feel the obligation to serve others." In his compassionate desires to care for those who suffer, he gave words of empowerment to those who are already volunteering to help the great cause.
Citing Rev. Moon (founder of UPF) and the Dalai Lama, he said: "Those who sacrifice for others will experience hardship.... Some will criticize us working for peace, saying; 'Find a real job! Stop wasting your time! etc.'"
In closing, he remarked that, "It's not usually the large crowds and the big noises that bring effective change, but those (often small in numbers) who are sincerely committed."
In the main lecture of the program, Rev. F. George Russell, Coordinator of UPF Richmond, spoke on the topic: "God: a deeper understanding necessary for world peace".
The views of the main religions of the world: Buddhism, Confucianism, Judeo-Christianity and Islam on a personal "God", or an impersonal ultimate entity were presented. With the aid of a powerpoint presentation, the topic was examined from the standpoint of "God's" existence, nature and purpose. A case for a personal God who created for a purpose of love was clearly established.
In examining the existence of "God", it was made evident that the presence of human beings and all things (visible and invisible) in the universe were obvious evidence for God (whatever name one may care to use). "God" is the Original or First Cause and reality is the created effect. The core attributes of personhood: intellect (reason), emotion (feeling) and will (volition), essential and prominent in human nature, were also shown to be pointed spiritual trademarks of a personal Creator-God.
In conclusion, we were able to arrive at an understanding that God is the parent of humanity, we are His sons and daughters, and that humankind should emerge into a new future as "one family under God", the universal structural unit that would guarantee lasting peace.
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