On February 2, the day following the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) Summit in Chicago, the 23rd True Family Values Awards Banquet was held at the Hilton Chicago Oak Lawn Hotel. Nearly 500 guests attended the celebration, including clergy from the Chicago area, Ambassadors for Peace, Women’s Federation for World Peace, Universal Peace Federation, first and second generation Unificationists and 100 ACLC leaders from around the country who attended the ACLC Summit the day before.
Chicago has held the annual True Family Values Awards Banquet since 1996 under the leadership of Regional Chairman of Family Federation North America and newly appointed National Co-Chairman of ACLC Dr. Ki Hoon Kim. In the spirit of Dr. Kim’s values of unity and consistency, the banquet has been bringing religious leaders together year after year as a celebration of their work for God and an opportunity to honor special awardees who embody True Family Values in their work and ministries.
Once the new National Co-Chairmen of ACLC were inaugurated, Dr. Kim took the opportunity to say a few words. He thanked everyone for their hard work over the years and talked about the importance of taking the next step and moving toward national restoration. He acknowledged True Parents and thanked True Mother for her guidance in leading America to national restoration.
Dr. Luonne Rouse, who was also inaugurated as National Co-Chairman of ACLC, gave the keynote address. He focused his message on the concept of the New Era and emphasized the importance of making devotional commitments through prayer, unity and Tribal Messiah activities to restore America by reviving Christianity through ACLC.
During the lunch break, a special tribute was paid to True Parents’ birthday with an inspiring video from the Nassau Coliseum victory, a large birthday cake, and cutting the cake with 30 guests together on stage. A performance by the Soul Children of Chicago, a world-renowned children’s choir founded and directed by Mr. Walt Whitman, had the guests on their feet, which solidified the family spirit of the banquet.
The True Family Values Awards presentation awarded five recipients in honor of their efforts in serving their communities. The awardees included Mr. Torrence Cooks, an anti-violence activist, Bishop Arthur and Mrs. Donnie Barnes who are public servants, Ms. Deb Dawson, an author and adoptive mother of international children, Pastor Gloria Howard, a dynamic community activist, and Mr. Steven Rauschenburger, President of a nonprofit organization that provides training and management services to employees in precision manufacturing industries.
The True Family Values Awards Banquet was the perfect conclusion to the 2019 ACLC Summit, which were both appropriately hosted in Chicago, the heart of the Midwest and the home place of some of the greatest work the Unification Movement has done with Christianity.
“The Chicago community had such a great and significant event. I really felt we need to be grateful for having these events in Chicago. We mobilized clergy and guests for the True Family Values Awards Banquet, and the staff worked together harmoniously to set it up. The True Family Values Awards Banquet was filled with Heavenly Parent’s spirit and people were moved by the atmosphere and Dr. Rouse’s speech. The Chicago Family Church has been doing Prayer Breakfast every month, and through this condition Heavenly Parent has blessed this 23rd True Family Values Awards Banquet and held the inauguration of the new ACLC National Co-Chairmen.” –Kumiko Sutker
“It was such a blessing to join the True Family Values Awards Banquet with the ACLC Co-Chairmen and coordinators from all over the country. The banquet welcomed more than 400 people in the Grand Ballroom of the hotel. It was really a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the new mission of Dr. Kim and Dr. Rouse as Co-Chairmen of ACLC. I felt the atmosphere of unity and excitement in the room more than before.” –Kunihiro Sagisaka
“I was also blessed with the True Family Values Awards Banquet. The children’s choir was awesome, the atmosphere was inviting and full of power. I can rejoice because True Mother has my heart and my heart has True Mother. Because of her, we can move forward into the Providence by coming together with ACLC in this new era.” –Dr. Tanya Edwards, NYC Family Church Pastor