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Ambassadors for Peace Richmond, Virginia

International Day of Peace (IDP)/Family Peace Festival, 2010


Creating One Family Under God

The United Nations annual International Day of Peace (IDP) is now a day that we look forward to in Richmond, VA. This year, a gathering of over 50 organizations that included exhibitors, sponsors, vendors, performers and others; and visitors numbering close to one thousand, made the commemoration event a big success. Among the many prominent groups participating were: the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, League of Women Voters, and the City of Richmond.

Under the banner of the "Family Peace Festival", organized through the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond (ICGR), and given personal hands-on by Mrs. Annette Khan (last row, first picture) and her husband, Malik Khan, the program was geared to attract families. The energy and joy generated by the overall effort was beaming from the faces of the children who lacked nothing in food and fun.

   

The beautiful grounds of Mary Munford Elementary School became the hosting site for this year's event. Previously, St. Joseph's Villa at Parham and Brook Road was the cherished venue.

It could not have been a more gorgeous day, the resplendent Richmond sun shone brightly on everyone. In the early afternoon, many had to escape to the shade of the trees alongside the main stage in order to avoid the blazing rays.

The entertainment program enlivened the Festival with the Latin Ballet of Virginia, Hotel X, Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company, Bread Winnaz Peace Rappers and Chinese Dancers. Many could not resist joining in the rhythm of each.

     

Central to the whole program was the Interfaith Worship Program which comprised sacred readings and elements of worship from the religious groups represented: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Bahai, and Unificationism. Universal Peace Federation (UPF)-Richmond Coordinator, Rev. F. George Russell, spoke of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church and the UPF. He introduced and unfurled the Unification flag, explaining its universal meaning and mission to bring world unity as "One Family Under God."

Excerpts from Rev. Moon's speech to the "World Assembly Proclaiming the Substantial Word of God" on July 24th, in New York City, was read. In his address, Rev. Moon said: "Ultimately, the problems afflicting humanity can only be resolved through the worldview of One Family Under God,...." He also stated that "January 13th, 2013, will be the 'Foundation Day' for the actual beginning of the Kingdom of God on earth." His full address can be read at: www.upf.org, on the menu bar; "Resources", "Downloads", "World Assembly....,-'Evening Program', Pdf."

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At the UPF table, the autobiography of Rev. Moon: As a Peace-loving Global Citizen was on sale for half the suggested retail price. A Bestseller in his homeland, Korea, the book documents each stage of his life in his quest to pioneer the path to true and lasting peace for God and humankind. It is a "must-read" for all peace-loving people (See Autobiography Debut Banquet, 2009.

One Jewish visitor to our table was quite elated when his eyes caught the display of the World Scripture: An Anthology of Sacred Texts. He mentioned that he had purchased a copy in Hebrew and was very delighted with its content. This book, a project inspired and funded by Rev. Moon, is the result of five years of research by forty international scholars representing all the world's religions. It brings together the common themes, shared values and beliefs, and co-spirituality embodied in all the great faiths of humankind.

   

To the joy of many, the local TV Station, WRIC TV, Channel 8 (ABC affiliate) came and capture many of the event's highlights. It was specially pleasing to our UPF members that WRIC also captured a portion of the Unification presentation.

The excitement and enthusiasm of this year's event appear to be overflowing, enough to last throughout the year, into next year, and unto the next IDP. Family Peace Festival and many others like it, conducted in and around Richmond, are having the desired results: bringing hearts together as one, transcending race, religion, culture, ethnicity, and nationality.

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