November 1, 2006
A typically Finnish winter cold welcomed the seven USA clergy with snow on 1st November. They arrived together at the Helsinki airport in the early afternoon. One retired Lutheran bishop also welcomed them with us. We went to the hotel at first and had lunch together. Even though we met each other for the first time, we felt that we were brothers and sisters . Each event coordinator explained to his/her clergy about the event.
In Finland we had seven events and those events were held at almost same time. five events were in Helsinki, one in Espoo and one in Heinola where it took one and a half hours from Helsinki. Each event was unique, organized by two or three families. The events were held at our National HQ, Lutheran Church Ecumenical center, local community centers and in private homes.
Because American clergy came this time, we could invite religious leaders and members from Christian groups such as Mother Teresa community, a Lutheran pastor’s daughter, a representative from evangelical Church, Islamic community leaders, and a Buddhist nun. Our guests could enjoy the events because those clergy were very powerful to convey the message of Peace.
Minister Amar Nath Gupta testified about his personal cancer having been healed at Cheongpyeong, and about his experience with Mahatma Gandhi. Minister Gupta said Gandhi taught people to go beyond religion and with a deep spirit of love to embrace one’s enemy: that this is also Rev. Moon's message at this time. Rev. Carolyn Parker mentioned that she got an invitation to participate in the Tour just four days before the starting of the Tour. She said that she was sure the message was true and came from God and had no hesitation to answer the call.
In addition, Rev. Lauri Oinonen, a Parliament Member, sent his welcoming message to the American clergy, regretting the fact that he was not in Helsinki and could not attend the event.