Interfaith World Peace Marriage Blessing
At the beginning of February, a few regular meetings took place to plan the event and to decide what kind of education our candidates should receive. It was clear to everyone involved that the candidates should be properly educated prior to the blessing (through a series of presentations), and that in order to be considered blessed couples, they should all complete ‘5 steps,’ namely the Holy Wine Ceremony, the Blessing Ceremony, the Chastening Ceremony (indemnity stick ceremony), the 40-day separation and the 3 Day Ceremony.
A spreadsheet was created with all possible candidates’ names, to keep track of where everyone was at in terms of their education and preparation and to serve as prayer list. A lot of efforts went into contacting our potential candidates and finding the way to educate them. This was a joint effort that brought together brothers and sisters from other states too, particularly Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria.
As the date of the Blessing came close, it became clear that most of the candidates needed more time to prepare for it. However, with one couple confirmed to participate, it was decided to go ahead with the Ceremony. The day before the Blessing, we were still educating and continuing the incredible effort to bring someone to the ceremony. And so it happened that during these visits, two more couples were able to resolve whatever issue was stopping them, and decided to participate. A true miracle!
The Blessing Ceremony was held at the Peace Embassy, main hall, at 2 pm on Saturday 22nd April. Brothers and sisters, including many young second generation came together to decorate and prepare the hall and to support the event. The team work was spectacular! By midmorning it seemed that we would not have time to get everything ready on time, but by 2 pm the hall was beautifully decorated, the banner was up, chairs, tables and refreshments ready, and the process of the ceremony had been rehearsed by the Officiators and MC.
At 2pm, the 3 couples arrived, all dressed in their traditional clothing, and the ceremony began. A beautiful Power-Point presentation and music was prepared by the Japanese missionaries, to create the background and explanation of the program. Mica was a very bright MC, the Blessing address was given by Silvana, as Jynene had a family emergency on the day. Rev and Mrs Stone officiated the Holy Wine ceremony and Rev and Mrs Lim the Blessing.
It was very moving to see that all three couples were totally serious and absorbed in the process. There were two musical presentations offered by the Yoo’s girls representing Sydney Youth and 4 Japanese sisters, from the Sydney Church choir.
The Chastening ceremony took place as part of the program. The couples hit each other as per our tradition, only this time it was done purely symbolically, very lightly. This ceremony brought smiles to everyone. 3 cheers of Mansei by Daniel Meadows were a fitting end to this very uplifting ceremony.
The cutting of the cake, group photos and refreshment followed. The atmosphere remained joyous throughout the evening. At one point, the Rev. Lim asked Dr Chit Swe what his feelings were. He reflected for a few seconds and then replied: “I am not lonely anymore, I feel as if now I belong to a big family” and pointed out to all brothers and sisters.
I personally want to thank Rev and Mrs Lim and Rev and Mrs Stone for their singlemindedness in pursuing the candidates until the very last minute, as well as running the whole witnessing, preparation and main part of the ceremony, Mica who accepted her role and showed a good amount of flexibility when the program had to be changed at the last minute, all brothers and sisters that made the efforts to approach their contacts and lay the foundation for future blessing ceremonies, Brenda Muraoka who organised prayer meetings and all brothers and sisters who offered devotions, Jynene who helped the layout of the program, Catrine who took responsibility for the hospitality and helped on stage during the ceremony, Koari who prepared the sound system and music, Mayumi, Tomomi, Takae, Yukie (program PPT), Rev Hanson and Peter for helping all round.
Finally, thank you to our Heavenly Parent and True Parents for making the event a success and the base to build upon.
Report by Silvana Daly
Sunday Service Report - Sydney
Rev Arai gave a sermon titled, ‘Christianity & the Second Advent Movement in Japan’.
Sunday Service Report
Ye-Young reported ‘Youth Easter schedule, and Anne reported ‘WFWP USA Event, and Randall Apps Gave a Sermon Titled ‘Knots of faith’
Sunday Service Report
Kosina Hanson reported her travel to USA for WFWP event NY, and Lance Clark gave a sermon titled ‘ Judeo-Crhistian Relation & Testimony of visit Israel’
We appreciate his sermon with great music skill, his amazing voice, deep understanding christianity and DP & TP.
Clark & Nina were living 5 years in Cairns, 9 years in Brisbane, 9 years in Toowoomba Qld and finally ? moved Victoria, we warm welcome Clark family to our community.
Rev Arai’s 70 years Birthday
I have been 39 years in this country and turned to 70 years old. I have so much of good memories,,,
I thank God and True Parent, and also to my wife, and all bothers & sisters who have been supporting us, working together for God and TP mission, I thank deeply,,..
God bless you and your families,
True parent’s 57th Holy Wedding Anniversary celebration
We cerebrated true Parent 57th Holy Wedding at Belgrave Church, Rick was MC and offered prayer, and Rev Arai gave a ‘Message’
True Father’s words ,
Then, What is Christianity? It teaches us to become God’s son and make a lovely family. Christianity is the religion that has appeared with more substantial content. This is why Jesus said that he was the only begotten son of God.
When the only begotten son comes, it would be a disaster if he were to live alone. There has to be an only begotten daughter. The begotten daughter must be found and, entering on God, the only begotten son and daughter should marry each other when their mutual attraction matures.
This way God should rejoice as the vertical parent and only begotten son and daughter must become the bride and bridegroom who can rejoice as the horizontal parents, and give birth to children on earth.
Only then will the tribe begin to expand.
(Cheon Seong Gyeong p-180)
Thank you for the preparation to the Cerebration, offering table was done by Machiko & Tazuko, shopping was by Tsuneko and Cake was brought by Beth.
We truely thanked and expressed our heart of gratitude to True Parent and heavenly Parent.
On Sunday 16th of April during our Easter Service, we had our inaugural Sunday School event. As part of the evening, we discussed that we’d like the group to be a place to connect in as younger youth in the community, and we agreed that we liked the term ‘Sunday Club’ to call ourselves. Sunday Club aims to be a place where our younger youth (from pre-school to middle high school) can connect to principled values in an engaging and fellowship-focused environment.
Our focus activity was planting seeds for the community garden. Sunday Club were kindly donated a planter box in the community garden by Micah and Sarah. We plan to use this amazing space to grow and cultivate fruit & vegetables. We are sure this will be a rewarding project, which will initiate many discussions in meetings to come.
Attending Sunday Club during our Easter Service were Melanie, Cassie and Keanu, as well as Andre and Julia leading. We planted a variety of vegetables using planter pods. Hopefully next Sunday they
will be ready to transfer into the planter boxes!
Sunday Service report
Dr. Yves Moreau gave a Sermon Titled’ Anzac & the fight for Heavenly Life’, and we thank Mc Beth and the Music by Melanie, Tsuneko, Jacinta and Rick.
Victoria Council Minutes from Meeting
Meeting Convened at 6:06 PM
Chairman: Michael Treacy
Attended: Reverend Arai, Mrs. Arai, Elise Hanson, John Bellavance, Tsuneko Babb, Michael Treacy, Beth Treacy
Michael Treacy opened the meeting with prayer
Minutes from last meeting reviewed
Social club – It was resolved and agreed by all the council that WEAVE is doing a good job of organizing events for all the community of first and second generation. Social events specific for first gen can be organized by them first generation members.
Book club – Going well and the ladies are meeting once a month at different homes of the members. This is a book club for women. Would be a good idea for the men to organize a book club for the men.
Hannah Kim visit – Reverend Arai and Rick McInerheney attended.
Minutes accepted by Beth and seconded by John. Carried by all.
Proposal for an Interfaith Meeting at Belgrave
We can meet by Skype to discuss. All guests should ask to come and then based upon receiving an ok, they can receive an invitation.
Financial Report was given by Tsuneko San
Closing Balance for March 2017 is $10,000
Reverend Arai: There is a between tithing and donation. How can we establish a tithing tradition.
Klaus Hartmann: Faith and Finance Workshop will be held at Belgrave on April 29-30.
Insurance Update for the Church Buildings
$89,000 repair bill for the mens shower block and septic tank. The insurance money will go into our account.
$1,200 will go towards repairing the cyclone fence. We will pay half - $600. We won’t know the final cost until the builders give a quote.
Euthanasia Legislation issue in Victoria
Victoria State Government wants to pass legislation to legalise euthanasia.
Our Local State Member for LaTrobe, James Merlino, does not support euthanasia. We should support him.
WFWP and UPF should help with submissions to support Merlino.
UPF Report by John Bellavance
Peace Weekend in Sydney at the end of June – UPF will have a political dimension without being political.
WFWP Report by Elise Hanson
The WFWP Dinner was successful.
Should we carry on for another six months the payment for the secretary who works in the office 2 days a week.
We could put collection tins in shops to help with payment for the secretary.
Resolved: If WFWP agree and endorse the secretary plan then the VC agree to also endorse it.
Property Committee Report by Michael Treacy
It took half a day of work to take care of the fallen trees.
The next project is the repair the roof over Cabins 1-6 once the trees are taken down.
The Youth Room is all cleaned out and now the Sunday School is using it. A request of $700 was made to have the floor carpeted with carpet squares.
Rick and James have been clearing out the carport for firewood storage.
Sunday Service team Report by Beth Treacy
The Music Team resigned. However, Reverend Arai would like to have a meeting with the Music Team to see how we can organize some weeks when they will play music for church.
Church Publications order for H.S.A. Books
Tsuneko and Beth will discuss how to organize the order
UPF - 10 Level 4 Books
Arai – 5 DP Books
Church – 5 DP Books
Hanson – 2 DP Books
Pastor Report by Reverend Arai
May 26 – True Day of All Things – 7pm Pledge Service at Belgrave
Reverend Arai’s Schedule
April 29 – Sydney
May 27 – Adelaide
June 24 – King Island
Mica Camara will visit Melbourne from April 29 to May 9. She will give the sermon on Sunday, May 7 at Belgrave.
Victoria Council Election for new council in July
Each department will vote on the new representative before the 26 of June at the next VC meeting.
July 1st the new Victoria Council begins.
Next Meeting of 6 pm at Victoria Council will be 6pm on June 26 at Belgrave
Closing Prayer was given by John Bellavance
Meeting ended at 8:35 pm
Notes taken by Beth Treacy
Faith & Finance
On the weekend of the 29th & 30th of April 2017, a group of 16 Melbourne youth gathered at Belgrave in the Youth Room for a Faith and Finance Workshop.
This was the second time this event has been held in Victoria, this time the content being delivered by Klaus Hartmann and Ritatsu Thomas. Both have developed a well-informed understanding of many aspects of finance through their own extensive research and experience.
The speakers spent a long time providing detailed background knowledge to this field, including the history of money and banking as well as explaining finance specific terms. Through this, all who participated had a good foundation upon which to further understand topics such as debt management, budgeting, saving, investing, creating businesses and real estate. Participants were encouraged to consider their own financial planning for the future, including in a couple or family context.
The Faith aspect to the event focused on giving back. It was highlighted that it is not only a religious notion that when you are able to give, you are able to gain more in return. Participants were encouraged to think of how they can practice this. Additionally, the ideas of ‘wealth’ and ‘being rich’ were analysed, concluding that the person and their motivation and actions with this wealth, determines its true value.
There was also a big emphasis on self-development and how this can help achieve success. This includes goal setting and creating routines and lifestyles that promote productivity and positivity.
Both speakers were very open to questions and spent time listening to participants and helping with advice where they could. They were also available for one-on-one discussions, which could allow people to ask questions specific to their own situation.
The overall feedback from participants was that it was a highly engaging and encouraging event. It was extremely informative, with many young people learning a wide variety of new and significant concepts, which they agreed will be beneficial for the future.
Connecting Community Dinner Dance
An evening with WFWP
Kosina Hanson, our lovely MC, began the evening with a welcome to country and Anne Bellavance gave an introduction about the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) at the UN in New York, where eight delegates from Oceania attended. Anne also highlighted the work of WFWP International, with this year’s community dinner commemorating 25 years of our international activities, plus our activities in Victoria. Giulia Iacono, our new secretary and coordinator of the Island Projects gave an overview of ongoing Oceania Projects and two new initiatives: the Scholarship program and the micro-credit program.
This year, WFWP Oceania initiated the Global Women’s Peace Network partnership award. This prestigious award is given to one organisation each year, in each of our Chapters. The Global Women’s Peace Network (GWPN) is a project of WFWP International and established with the goal of creating a peaceful world; aiming to strengthen and enhance cooperation among Women’s organisations beyond political, racial, cultural and religious backgrounds. The GWPN adheres to the principle that women working together, taking initiative and empowering one another across traditional lines of race, culture and religion to create healthy families are resolving the complex problems of our societies and world.
This year’s recipients were the United Muslim Sisters of Latrobe Valley (UMSLV). Arfa Khan (president) and Khatija Halibi (founder) are both WFWP members and received the award from Dr. Mimmie Watts (WFWP Vic. Patron) The UMSLV were selected to receive this award because both organisations have similar goals and work to empower women, and foster peacebuilding within their communities. The reading on the award sums up the purpose of the partnership: Women working together to realise one global family rooted in a culture of sustainable peace. Presented to (organisation) for your inclusive partnership with the Women's Federation for World Peace, Australia; that place people and the planet at the centre. Through this partnership both organisation will support each other’s work and stand as advocates for our common goals.
The UMSLV began four years ago as a united women’s voice for all Muslim denominations in the Latrobe Valley, a region adjacent to Melbourne. The UMSLV have been instrumental in bringing the Muslim community and broader community together to better understand our differences, but most importantly to celebrate our likenesses. Through events such as Understanding Scarves and Understanding Journey’s, a climate of acceptance, understanding and friendship has been established in the Latrobe Valley amongst a broad range of women.
Highlights of the evening were honouring our Board and volunteers who helped develop the activities of WFWP Victoria and Australia throughout the year. Our new caterers, ‘Bay Leaf Kitchen’ provided an Australian and Indian three course meal. Vanitha Prabaear and her husband are a new Australians who originate from India. As a start-up company, Vanitha has become our official caterer for all our events; offering exceptional service with healthy and tasty meals that cater for all dietary requirements. We are very grateful for her heart of service.
In the key of B Community Choir began in 2012 as the Brunswick Neighbourhood House Community Choir, where they meet on Monday nights. Ruth Kennedy, the choir's director and conductor is a member of WFWP Victoria and has performed at a number of our events over the years. We are very grateful that Ruth could bring the choir along to perform for us and be our primary entertainment during the evening. The choir has performed at the Malthouse Theatre in “the Events”, at Brunswick Music Festival, Sydney Road Street Party, Moonee Valley Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Peppertree Place Garden Fiesta’s, SPAN’s Sustainable Living Festival, Food Pay Love for Women’s Health in the North, Peace Meals at the Social Studio, City of Darebin and Moreland City Council Citizenship Ceremonies, Moonee Valley City Councils Aged and Disability Christmas Dinner & Lights Tours, Brunswick and Coburg Libraries Saturday Sessions, Coburg Farmers Market and CERES Organic Market, Open Table dinners, BNH Annual General Meeting and at end of term events.
Thank you to the City of Monash for supplying the Community Centre; all the supporting organisations who contributed towards the raffle prizes, our youth volunteers, Giulia and Ashley for serving us during the evening with a happy spirit; Kosina who Emceed, our WFWP Board who pulled it all together; our volunteers on the night; our members who shared together during the evening; and, to the In the Key of B Community Choir for sharing their fun and beautiful voices with us.
It was a great night.