Peace Road 2015 in Sydney, Australia
Date: Sunday, 2nd August 2015
On Sunday, 2 August 2015, the Sydney church community held a Peace Road event at Bicentennial and Olympic Parks as part of the Peace Road project that is happening all around the world. More than 73 people participated in this event, including church members, UPF youth contacts and Hoon Dok Home Church contacts, with 50 people taking the 10 km bike tour and 22 people joining the 3km walk.
The event was organized by a team of youth, with the support of national leader Rev Soon Teck Lim. William Saver, a local second gen, was responsible for planning the bike and walk routes as well as communicating with the bike hire. The program manager and MC of the opening and closing ceremonies was Jana Lajdova, a UPA graduate, and coordination of the event was managed by Kwonil Yang, a Korean staff from the national office. In addition, church centre members including missionaries and OLT volunteered on the day with preparing the barbecue, taking photos, collecting signatures and other responsibilities.
Registration for the participants of the Peace Road project began at 9am, and at this time they were also able to sign the banner with the world map of the peace road. Then at 9:30am the event kicked off with an opening ceremony in a central area of the park led by Jana. There was a launching ceremony with the receiving of Peace Road flag. Rev Lim offered some words on the meaning of the Peace Road and True’s Father’s vision, and William explained the logistics of the walk and bike ride. There was a group photo and then everyone who did not bring their own bike went to the bike hire location nearby.
At 10am the cyclists set off, wearing their bright yellow vests with Peace Road logos, in three groups of fast, medium and slow speeds, with the latter group consisting mainly of children. Each group was also led by local second gen volunteers, and there were two medics as well. The fourth group consisted of the walkers, who finished their course a bit earlier than the others. A few volunteers stayed behind to prepare the barbecue, which included sausages, steak and Korean pork belly generously donated by Man Soo Han.
After everyone had returned, there was a closing ceremony that included some words by UPF Oceania secretary general Rev Greg Stone, a singing of “Tongil” led by Debbie Bruce and three cheers of oek mansei with William. In addition, Aila Willitts had prepared a congratulatory cake which was then cut and distributed to everyone. Participants smiled happily for the final group photo and then all enjoyed the barbecue lunch together. The weather was warm and sunny despite it being in the middle of winter and people stayed longer to spend time together and made this a happy event that will inspire the community for a bigger Peace Road project next year.