The American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) New Jersey chapter celebrated its first annual True Family Values Banquet on Sunday, May 19 at The Brownstone, an elegant, historic landmark in Paterson, NJ. The event promoted values such as living for the sake of others and creating marriages and families centered on our Heavenly Parent. The awards banquet honored people and families who had served their communities in this tradition.
The atmosphere was full of excitement and anticipation as the master of ceremonies, Bishop Rene Ballenas of the Association of Christian Evangelists, called Rev. Madelene Clark-Harris, the CEO, founder, and senior pastor of House of Judah Empowerment Outreach Ministries, to the podium for the opening prayer. Then, Rev. Dr. Michael Sykes, a member of the National ACLC Committee and the pastor of the United Missionary Baptist Church, took the stage to give the welcoming remarks.
The ACLC NJ Advisor, Rev. Manoj Jacob of the Clifton Family Church, explained the history of the True Family Values Ministry, which originated 23 years ago in Chicago under the leadership of Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Regional Chairman of Family Federation North America, and the inspiration of True Parents. Rev. Jacob announced that New Jersey and the surrounding states strive to develop and expand the True Family Values Ministry through annual banquets and awards ceremonies which promote The Marriage Blessing Ceremony. Rev. Jacob aims to improve the quality of life, relationships in the community and beyond by promoting the idea that we should all live for the sake of others.
The National ACLC Executive Director, Rev. Bruce Grodner, introduced the keynote speaker, National ACLC Co-Chairperson Dr. Luonne Rouse. Dr. Rouse gave a deep and powerful message about understanding the necessity of True Family Values. He stressed the need to create families centered on God who can become the cornerstones of society and the nation. Then he proclaimed that True Parents were appointed by God to offer and perform the Blessing Ceremony. He concluded by saying that the blessing of marriages can reverse the curse which was caused by the Human Fall, and that “everyone should receive the Blessing on their marriage!”
During the Awards Ceremony, Miss Liberty 2019 of the Philippine-American Friendship Community assisted in handing out crystal trophies and bouquets of roses to the awardees. Guests came from all over New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware to celebrate the accomplishments of the honorees.
One of the awardees from Philadelphia shared that she lives each day to make a better tomorrow. Another awardee who was honored for her accomplishments in religious education commented that being an award recipient and hearing the accomplishments of the other awardees only inspired her to do more for her community.
President of Family Federation for a Heavenly USA, Rev. Demain Dunkley gave the congratulatory remarks while Rev. Dr. Greg Agulan, ACLC Executive Northeast Coordinator, gave the closing remarks. Dr. Agulan thanked all the guests and staff for their participation in the True Family Values Banquet and Awards event.
All clergy are invited to the ACLC Convocation from June 21 to June 22 in Las Vegas to hear Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and Bishop Noel Jones. To learn more and register, click here.