Prepared by FFWPU USA
The Bay Area Family Church, in collaboration with the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), Oakland Service for Peace and Oakland District 5 Councilmember Noel Gallo, hosted a day of service, prayer, peace messages and a prayer march in Oakland, California. Over 70 participants gathered for the event on Saturday, January 18, initiating the “40 Days of Peace,” a time for families, individuals, and organizations to come together in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy to work towards building a peaceful community and world. The Bay Area Family Church will also offer 10,000 prayers for peace during the 40-day period.
The day began with an explanation of the Peace Starts With Me initiative in an effort to unite people under the vision of the Mother of Peace, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU). Participants then headed out in small groups to pick up trash off the streets. After a few hours of service work, participants reconvened to hear two ACLC pastors, Pastor Jasper Lowery of Urojas Ministry and Bishop Andre Jackson of Carriage Hills Community Church, testify to Dr. Moon and her mission for global peace.
The peace march was led by Councilmember Gallo, who was inspired by the idea of 10,000 prayers for peace and by the spirit and determination of the CARP youth. Participants chanted “Peace Starts With Me” as the made their way through Oakland to the Ghost Ship, a location where a massive fire took the lives of 36 people in 2016. Pastor Lowery led a prayer in honor of those who lost their lives. The group continued to other points of devastation and crime in Oakland, blessing each site with prayers.
After the march, Junta Naito, a local Unificationist and CARP Bay Area member, gave a concluding message of peace, sharing his story of overcoming personal challenges. Then, the Bay Area Family Church recognized Councilmember Gallo for his investment and active role in the Oakland community and presented him with an Ambassadors for Peace Award, which he was overjoyed to receive.
To conclude the historic day, CARP students danced the “Mujogeon (Unconditionally),” bringing a joyous spirit and smiles to everyone in attendance.