November 30, 2006
Peace Tour IV Australia
The Ambassadors for Peace on 4th World Tour began arriving on the 29th November into the Oceania region from Asia, and fanned out to various island destinations. Two ministers came to Australia, Rev Andre Jackson to Brisbane and Sydney, an African American pastor from California, Dr. Andre Jackson is a community activist and well known advocate for religious unity in Northern California. He has a thriving church and just recently opened a study center ("Hoon Dok Hae Center" he calls it).Rev. Betty Tatalajski is founder of Temple of Universality in Tucson, Arizona went to Melbourne. She is a member of the American Clergy Leadership Conference and the Universal Peace Federation and has attended 13 Middle East Peace Initiative Conferences in Israel, Palestine and Jordan.
by Coordinators Kim & Naoko Raymond
We were very pleased to finally be able to participate in support of the World Tour.
An on again off again situation made planning for a formal event difficult to organize but the Clarke Family were particularly inspired at the thought of having Christian ministers visit so they went forward to organize an event in their home town of Oakey as well as contacting ministers that they had known in Brisbane
We finally got word that one minister was to come in two days time but his schedule did not allow for participation in the Oakey event. We had to quickly plan for an evening event, which was to be in the Raymond family Gold Coast home. Also planned was a visit to an apparently positive minister¹s church in Brisbane where he had organized a morning tea and had invited other people in ministry.
Our Minister Rev. Dr. Andre Jackson was met at the Gold Coast airport on the evening of 29th November. Despite an extremely hectic schedule he was full of enthusiasm and open to all that we had planned. We were inspired by his spirit and determination to be a messenger for God at this important time in history.
Thursday the 30th November we met for breakfast then proceeded to Brisbane.
A group of about 12 people awaited us including Lance and Lucyna Clarke who had driven more than two hours to the event and set up the room.
After some music and a moving introductory prayer by Lance and a testimony from Lucyna about True Parents efforts to connect with ministers in the early days of the Church in Korea, Dr. Andre was introduced. True to his mission he explained his understanding of the bible as a record of the history of God¹s family, he then read True Parents Peace Message about True Love.
It was not always easy. When, while speaking of the ideal and the fact the God didn¹t make barriers between races and religions, the Ministers again disagreed, saying that God created the barriers. Clearly, it was a challenge for Dr. Jackson to find a heart of true love towards those who disagreed with him, but he did not lose his enthusiasm.
We returned to the Gold Coast and Dr. Clarke was offered the chance to rest before the main event or to do some sightseeing, instead he said “No, if it’s OK, I’ll just hang with you guys.” So we were able to have a spirit filled afternoon in the Raymond house, sharing our experiences with and about God and recapturing the spirit of the early days in the movement.
At 4.30 guests who were not able to come to the evening event started arriving and we were able to discuss many things and feel as one family. As children, young adults, and parents arrived at the house there was lots of activity. We shared a pot luck dinner and there was left a core of 43 people to listen to Gods message
The speech was read with passion and time flew. Dr. Jackson elucidated a few points that in particular had touched his heart. The spirit after the reading was electric and he took questions and answers from the floor. Everyone felt invigorated by the visit, as Dr. Jackson returned to his hotel for an early flight the next morning to Sydney. That evening the event planned for Oakey went ahead with a greeting by DR. Jackson shown by video.
His spirit endures!!
by Rev Rick McInerheney
Key Ambassadors, including several Christian ministers welcomed Rev Jackson at a reception prior to the main event. Rev Jackson inspired them with his missionary zeal and passion. VIP's present at the event included Mayor of Auburn Clr. Le Lam, Christian Ministers Rev Christopher Dass and Rev Rosa Taulaga, from the Tokelau Christian Church, who brought a small choir that helped to create the atmosphere. Also in attendance were Rabbi Hathem from the Mandean community, Imam Hady from the Indonesian Muslim Mosque, Jon Soemarjono, President of the Indonesian Association of Australia, Shirley Lin from The Taiwanese consulate and many others.
With only a few hours to rest after his whirlwind trip to Queensland, Rev Jackson was truly living these words as he poured out his heart to all, with his appealing "Southern" accent charming all the guests who were welcoming him. During the copious and sumptuous buffet "Pot Luck" meal the audience were treated to several musical items, including the first performance of the Australian Sun Hak Choir who sang a beautiful song from "Lord of the Rings".
Next came the Introductory video and welcoming address by Rev Ledesma, and then Rev Jackson was introduced and was greeted by a rousing welcome from the 150 strong crowd that had filled the Peace Embassy.
"I come as Reverend Moon's mouthpiece; I come as his arms, his legs. I am a Christian pastor, and I'm here to tell you that Jesus is working powerfully with Reverend Moon at this time in history to bring all God's children together." began Rev Jackson, exhorting the Ambassadors in the audience to take their mission seriously. "As Ambassadors for Peace we must go beyond our religious boundaries and live in the spirit, we must be Ambassadors of true love."
After a short introduction he faithfully read the peace message, delivered from start to finish with power and conviction, colored with his engaging African American preacher's style.. Later Rev Jackson commented that he felt it was a good spirit, albeit quite a spiritual battle. I sensed that God had sent us a champion that was up to the challenge.
The event concluded with the stirring anthem "We Are Australian" with the refrain saying it all. "We are one but we are many, and from all the lands we come, we share a dream, and sing with one voice, I am, you are, we are Australian".
As we waved goodbye the next morning to Pastor Jackson at the airport, I felt grateful that we have Ambassadors of such quality and integrity supporting our True Parents. This is surely a new and exciting era and bodes well for the future.
by Rev. Ian Darbishire
Thank you Rev Betty Tatalajski. Thank you families and AFP of Melbourne.
Thank you Unity Church of Burwood for such a successful UPF event on Friday evening Dec 1st. Including Island members and families about 120 people filled out the Unity church. About 30 of those were guests most coming for the first time. 6 Peace ambassador Awards were presented to Sudanese leaders.
Rev. Betty was talking on live community Radio 3WBC within half an hour of arriving in Melbourne. The show¹s host, Bill, turned up to the Friday event to be blessed and with our brother Douglas Moriarty is developing plans for a regular Radio slot in the future.
For two nights Rev Betty stayed at the guest cottage at our Church camp, Belgrave. Getting the feel of Australia with the sheep, possums and Kookaburras.
Thursday morning was a relaxing time with Mrs. Jacinta Darbishire, Rev Lucey Verstegen and Keiko Hasagowa from Japan, visiting the local bird sanctuary. Rev Lucey, who had been many times before had never seen so many lorikeets landing on everybody!
That afternoon Rev Greg Hanson and Jacinta took Rev Betty to meet with Prof Gary Bouma at Monash University. An Anglican priest and head of the school of Political and Social enquiry. This was our first chance to meet Prof Boom who has just launched a new book, ³Australian Soul²and being on the board of a few world Councils for Church and Peace We think Rev. Betty opened an important door for us in Melbourne.
Rev Betty never missed the chance to do her mission and the Meet & Greet / rehearsal with 30-40 members gathering turned into an event. Very focused, with authority and confidence, Rev Betty took center stage and inspired us all for an hour with moving stories of events in Israel on her 14 visits.
Friday started with another meeting in the City. Dr David Schultz, Executive Officer, Catholic Interfaith committee was looking forwards to meeting our AP. David serves the best coffee and conversation at his little office and had been up since 6.00am researching the internet and reporting on The Popes visit to Istanbul and the signing of a Declaration with the Eastern Orthodox church. Our one hour meeting was quickly coming to an end when Rev Betty used the last minutes to report her experience of signing the Declaration of Jerusalem in Israel standing up in her excitement. David, who had another appointment, then decided to personally guide Rev Betty through the historic St. Patrick’s’ Cathedral.
Aboriginal elder Reg Blow welcomed everyone to the land and prepared a space for the good ancestors to come by playing his Didgeridoo. An invocation prayer was offered by Rev. Gatwech Kulang, a Sudanese minister and leader.
Then our own Angelina Scott sang like the very angels.
Rev Betty seemed so comfortable in the Unity church having already spoken there the night before. Presenting God¹s revelation through the True Parents and supporting the message with her personal testimony to it, we have never heard such sincere witness to True Parents with such Spiritual authority.
With so many Africans in the Church Rev Betty was moved to recount the Ministers recent amazing experience while in the Congo during the elections that was turned from ³inevitable conflict² to ³peace² by their timely presence. A military leader watched our Peace event on local T.V. and invited our Ministers to his home to explain before starting his intended war!
As Saeed Sabri, (UNESCO, Bahai and the Parliament of Religions), presented a gift to Rev Betty he officially invited her to return to Melbourne for the Parliament of Religions event in 2009 that could bring 10,000 different faith leaders here.
It was truly inspiring to see the four elder Spiritualist Ministers sharing together. Rev Rhonda Murray and Rev. Sylvia Erikson of Unity with Rev Betty and Rev. Lucey Vestigner. Rev Rhonda spontaneously took the podium and warmly supported our continuing work together and thanked us for choosing their Unity Church.
Of Course my only regret for this Friday event was that we didn¹t fill an enormous stadium with Religious leaders, as Rev Betty¹s presentation was so good. However it had a completeness that seemed also to be just right.