Letter to All Members from President Hyung Jin Moon
Dear Members and Blessed Central Families —
Thank you to everyone who organized and attended the recently completed “Town Hall Tour.” The total attendance during this tour was over 5,000 people in 12 cities. With both words and letters, our members and Blessed Families had an opportunity to raise challenging issues and concerns, and to become familiar with our new church leadership. At the same time, I had an opportunity to hear firsthand the concerns of our nationwide church community. I believe this was a win/win outcome.
Over fifty years of love, sacrifice, hope and very hard work have been invested in building our Unification community here in the United States. True Parents worked side by side with us for thirty four of those years. Heavenly Father has guided this effort out of His concern for the central role that America has been assigned in God’s Providence of Restoration. The fruit of that profound and immeasurable investment Is a nationwide community of members and Blessed Families that have given birth to a second and now third generation.
In the past month, two events have impacted our community: the passing of our True Father into the Spiritual World, and the resignation of our Senior Pastor. Certainly we all miss True Father and feel sadness that he is no longer with us. In his place, we confidently look to True Mother for strength and leadership. And once again, we express regret to our membership that mistakes made by our national leadership came to light during the very sacred hour of our Father’s ascension.
We now face a very challenging period in our church history. Together we will decide whether that great investment of decades past will now flourish or wither under the challenges of these recent events.
With the conclusion a few days ago of the 12 City “Town Hall Tour,” we are now beginning a new era of leadership for the Unification Church of America. Please understand that a thorough organizational restructuring is just now getting underway and will require months of time and effort to reach full effectiveness. As we initiate this transition, we can offer the following expectations:
• Our national headquarters will most probably be moved from New York City to East Garden. This is being done to connect with the spiritual heritage of our True Parents, who resided for over thirty years in the Irvington/Tarrytown area.
• Our church will be identified as the Unification Church, the foundational and core organization of our broader Unification Movement.
• The Unification Church will become a more decentralized organization, with considerable local autonomy being granted to local pastors and Blessed Central Families. Local church governance will be based on a written governance structure which will feature election of local church leaders by tithing members. The leadership at the District Level will be decided by District councils which will be created to oversee the Districts.
• We will incorporate best practices from our American church as well as Unification Churches worldwide. These features include leadership elections, a new role for National HQ. use of performance measurements to identify best practices and dissemination of best practices to support local church growth.
• Our culture will not emphasize or glorify leadership personalities, but rather focus on an intimate personal relationship to God based on our personal relationship with True Parents through the study of their words and teachings. In that context we will place renewed emphasis on the tradition of Hoon Dok Hae and study of the Divine Principle and the Holy Bible.
• The Unification Church will affirm transparency, accountability, freedom and responsibility among its core values, while at the same time proudly upholding our unwavering loyalty to the spiritual authority of the True Parents.
• To support our commitment to God’s great gift of family, the Unification Church will articulate clear policies relating to the Holy Blessing of Marriage and Blessed Family Tradition. The role of our local churches will be to support the success of our members and families in upholding those sacraments and traditions.
In the next few days, I will be sending out memoranda offering guidance on two important initial steps:
First, a memo providing guidelines and details for the election of District Councils will be sent to our tithing members.
Second, a memo will be sent to our general membership requesting recommendations of individuals to fill key organizational roles in our National Headquarters.
Thank you for your continued activism, faith, and patience as we work together to take this next step forward in the Settlement Era. For the first time, we undertake these steps without the physical presence of our True Father while under the guidance of our beloved True Mother. We do so with understanding that our greatest source of strength, energy and wisdom will come from harnessing the collective power of our Blessed Central Families who seek to glorify and bring joy to our Heavenly Father and our True Parents.
Hyung Jin Moon
President, Unification Church, America
Damian J. Anderson